I just nodded and laughed at the appropriate moment, just to keep him going. So, over the course of the sessions, I offered him a variety of different percussion instruments — guiro, maracas, tambourine and triangle. He had great timing and he did a good job.
I think David Bowie and Lennon were there too that night. It was an awkward moment, but we both ended up laughing about it and, again, it was an ice-breaking moment which bonded us a little better. Finally, I looked in the toilets, turned the lights on, and there was a row of wooden stalls with the one at the farthest end with its door closed.
I had to bend down and look through the space, about eight inches, at the bottom of the door, and I saw this gigantic pair of size 14 shoes, with the white sweat socks that he always wore. But the cubicle was locked and there was no response when I called out his name, so I had to bang on the door.
I stuck my head right under and I could see him slumped over, evidently unconscious. He had turned an almost white-ish grey colour, his trousers were down around his knees, so all I could do was squeeze into the stall with him, and started to shake him. Luckily, he came around quite quickly, and got quite angry. That I should be in the cubicle with him was beyond his imagination.
He had simply passed out. As I recall, after he had a few hours sleep in The Cumberland, we went into Olympic, but nothing we recorded that night got used. Norman Dayron : One guy who really deserves credit on these sessions is Jeff Carp. He was a brilliant chromatic harmonica player who led a band called the 43rd Street Snipers. Jeff did some wonderful stuff on the London Session s, and I had got his band signed to Capitol Records, so he had a great future ahead of him.
Tragically, he was so elated by what he had achieved at Olympic that he went off on a holiday in the Caribbean with his girlfriend, Scarlet Grey, during which the captain of the ship went insane. He had taken an animal tranquilizer, PCP, and was chasing people around in a psychotic rage with a big butcher knife.
So some people, including Jeff, jumped overboard. Being a New York City kid, he had never learned to swim, and he drowned in 10 feet of water by the dock where the boat was moored. So his album never came out, and there went one of the greatest harmonica players who ever lived, at the age of Norman Dayron : That final day was very productive and, with all of the rough edges smoothed out, everybody was locked in and enjoying themselves.
Wolf ended up playing the slide with a milk bottle but he was in a mess! We just went back to the hotel, packed up and went home, just as we would have done at Chess at the end of a recording session.
Nobody came to see us off at the airport or anything like that. I made sure that Wolf and the others got on their flights, and then my girlfriend and I went off for 10 days in Spain before flying back to Chicago for mixing and overdub sessions. They were really snobs. Despite the participation of sundry Stones and Beatles , it disappointingly made no impact whatsoever on the British albums chart. It also spawned several similar London-based collaborations, the most memorable being by Muddy. Just as Wolf himself had expressed reservations about the notion of playing with white rockers, and Clapton had wondered out loud why he was needed at the sessions, so the blues purists of the critical fraternity were not best pleased by the collaboration.
The era of super-sessions had been ushered in back in July with the Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Steve Stills album Super Session , a spontaneous set of live-in-the-studio jams by hot young players, all of them blues oriented, all of them white. Evidence that interest in the London Sessions has never since waned came in , when the two-disc Deluxe Edition put together by Universal sold well enough to hit No Six in the Billboard Blues Albums chart.
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