‘All the Young Dudes’ are a perfect example of what can happen when art and business meet. The right and left sides of the brain are in those positions for a reason …
Wayne Cullen, one of the two drummers in the band, reminisces on what a drag the whole ordeal became;
“There were enough completed, fully-produced tracks for a second album.” Explains Cullen.” Columbia decided not to release another lp rather than spend more money promoting the band any further. This was a shame because the band was very happy with the work we had done for the second album.”
The band had produced six of the tracks on their own and another five tracks had been produced by the well-known production team of Ron and Howie Albert. Two brothers who had been engineers at Criterion Studios in Miami under the tutelage of Tom Dowd and Karl Richardson.
The siblings had participated in the recording of the Derek and the Dominoes’ song Layla as well as recordings by Stephen Stills, the Allman Brothers and others.
“The brothers were asked by Columbia to supervise the production of some tracks for us after Columbia decided the six we had produced ourselves were inadequate.” Says Cullen. “When the Albert Brothers listened to the same six tracks they wondered aloud why they were asked to preside. They believed the self-produced tracks were excellent and they doubted they would be able to improve on what they had heard.”
Despite Columbia not knowing what was right, the ‘Dudes’ gave their all and have nothing but fond memories of the time spent together. According to David Henman, most of the funny memories took.place on stage …
“The band was quite spontaneous. In the middle of a set, Segarini would suddenly request that a table and six chairs be brought on stage so we could just sit, drink and goof around. Sometimes, when we used to perform downtown Montreal at the Moustache club, the next days’ newspaper would often arrive. Segarini would aks for it to be brought to the stage, whereupon he would put his own spin on the stories”. Laughs Henman.
One tale which Segarini or anyone else do not have to conjur was meeting and hanging out with the Bee Gees. A memory which floats dearly in Henman’s conscience.
“I was very sick during the Bee Gees tour.” Says David. ” Somehow, I always ended up in Barry Gibb’s hotel suite after the show sitting between him and his wife and passing out on his shoulder. We were fans before the tour and by the end, we practically idolized them. Barry, especially – one of the most down to earth people I’ve ever met. The effect they had on audiences was pure magic.”
David did not stay in contact with all the Bee Gees. Barry did invite him to le Studio in Morin Heights when he was recording the album “Nights on Broadway”.
Says Henman. “I sat with him at the console while he chain-smoked Panama Red and conducted a string section. He then went into the studio and without any warm up – sang like an angel.”
Henman and his fellow ‘dudes’ also met Ian Hunter. David became acquaintances with the singer and an opportunity to replace future Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson in Hunter’s band presented itself. Unfortunately, Henman was too shy to grab the opportunity.
Following the release of their first album, ‘the dudes’ thought about re – recording their first record.. A record which had and continued to have so much promise.
“Bob was on the phone constantly”.Says Henman. “Demanding that we be able to at least re-mix that album. If I am not mistaken, the guys at le Studio in Morin Heights offered to re-mix it for free.” He continues. “I think at least one other studio in Montreal made that offer as well but we were up against Columbia Records, a gigantic corporation at that time. We were told: “hey, Columbia Records insists that this album is going to be a huge hit and, well, they oughta know…” so, we backed down…”
Henman’s advice to young musicians and the lessons learned;
” If you are the artist, you should make the rules…”
Please stay tuned for more on ‘ the Dudes’..