The second cut off "Bridges" was one of the few times we struggled in the studio.
This song was also taken from real life, although Mary Martin (the A and R person at Warner Brothers' New York brownstone) wrongly assumed it was about her. I remembered when I was writing it in my bedroom I was vaguely influenced by The Eagles, but as I'm the furthest thing from a Country rocker I got to a point where I wanted to do something with it that was more adventurous musically. I think I was around 22 or 23 and my friend Alan LeBoeuf (Baillie and the Boys, Beatlemania) had turned my head with his creative, even radical approach to writing pop songs. (I loved his songs so much that a few years ago I recorded a tribute album, "Gratitude," which isn't really for sale anywhere except through me.) The song is in G, and when I got to the chorus I modulated to Bflat- that was what I was looking for.
Spinozza and the great R and B oriented players in New York had taught me lessons about the groove (check out the rhythm section of "She's a Ride" on Asford and Simpson's "By Way of Love's Express" for example) that would last a lifetime, but drummer Chris Parker (whom I was honored to work with) struggled with the shifting feels between the verses and choruses. He wasn't comfortable with it, and in fact verbally expressed his discontent, even asking this green 25 year old "artiste," "Chip, how many hit records have you played on?" Spinozza quietly got us back on track by responding "Chris, it isn't there yet," which Mr. Parker accepted with good grace. We worked on the basic tracks over two full nights- I think we were up to around 25 takes when we got it.
Later I remember dictating the middle of the song solo to Spinozza as we sat close together in the control room; the slide parts were all his idea, and he (and I) really loved the sound of them- they scream at the end of the last chorus. But it's his outro solo (done in one take) that's now a high point of the entire album for me. Amazing to sit there and watch him do it- and then do a second take that was equally as good and say "There- now you have a choice." Later, this same guy, who also did the legendary "Right Place, Wrong Time" solo in one take, would call "She's a Ride," "One of my best solos."