BraveWords.com: Let me ask you about the rock stuff. You’ve ghosted on some of rock’s biggest artists’ albums – Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper and KISS (both on the solo albums and band albums into the mid-80s). Let’s start with Jimi Hendrix. You played on his posthumous albums Midnight Lightning and Crash Landing. Tell me about that experience…
Schwartzberg: “I met Jimi Hendrix at a NY club called ‘The Scene’ on West 46th Street. I was playing with Mose Allison and he was playing in a duo with flutist, Jeremy Steig. It was the loudest electric guitar that you ever heard in your life and a flute. It was a crazy juxtaposition. Between our sets, he came over to me at the bar and tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘hey man, you sound great. Maybe we can get together and play sometime.’ But I just really wanted to be a jazz musician so I said ‘I don’t know’ which pretty much meant ‘no’. I blew him off because I just didn’t want to do that.”
BraveWords.com: At that time, did you sense there was anything special about him?
Schwartzberg: “No, I didn’t. I missed it. It zoomed over my head and I wish I had caught it. The universe put him right there for me and I missed it. I was just so into playing this art form called ‘bebop’. Many many years later, I’m doing the studio stuff and working on the very first song to get the disco treatment (GLORIA GAYNOR’s ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’). I’m credited with inventing the disco beat by the way; a dubious distinction. After ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ people started doing songs in the ‘disco style’. So, the guys who did these disco things Tony Bongiovi (JON BON JOVI’s uncle who owned Power Station), Harold Wheeler (who’s now the man behind Dancing With The Stars), Meco and Alan Douglas.”
BraveWords.com: That explains why Jon Bon Jovi’s first professional recording gig was on the song ‘R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ on Meco’s 1980’s album Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album.
Schwartzberg: “Yes. Now, to my sadness, Jimi Hendrix had already passed away at this time.”
BraveWords.com: So, you did overdubs…
Schwartzberg: “Yes, these were overdubs. These were tracks that were so screwed up that you couldn’t believe it. During the recording of these tracks, Jimi must have been absolutely whacked out of his mind. We even had to work around the count offs. He’d count off the songs, but by the time he got to three, he’d be nodding off. Musically, he was just all over the place. It was like an arcade game where you have to steer a car around the track, but just keep bumping into the walls. It was all very uneven, but we found a common road and managed to drive the drums through it. It ended up sounding decent and the world ended up getting some more Jimi Hendrix out of it.”
BraveWords.com: Was Mitch Mitchell playing drums on the original recordings?
Schwartzberg: “Yes, Mitch Mitchell was on them. These were the masters.”
BraveWords.com: And you overdubbed his drums?
Schwartzberg: “Oh, yeah. Mitch Mitchell was also (pauses)… damaged. This wasn’t ready to go out in the world. The tracks were not fit for consumption. So, his drums were stripped away and my drums went in. We did that twice – two albums worth of that. Hendrix-philes might object…”
BraveWords.com: It’s got to feel nice to have ‘Jimi Hendrix’ on the resume…
Schwartzberg: “It is, but I regret not hearing how great he was when I met him. He was always great, but you don’t always hear it. It was just one of those things. I didn’t even love The Beatles when I first heard them. There’s no groove here. It’s not in time. How could you like that?”
Source : http://www.bravewords.com/news/148993