When Cliff came back in July, we fixed anything that we were unhappy with and then added our harmonies, but I was working on the CD every day that he was gone and for the next six months after he left.
Incorporating all the guitars and the performances by John Densmore and Robby Krieger and then the slow mixing process, I kept going out on the road and then coming back and listening with fresh ears. When you produce yourself it is important to get some distance periodically. It's not unlike a painter stepping back from his work and looking at the overall picture and then going back into it, up close and personal, and making those decisions that an artist must make.
After all the recording was done, you noted, "The time consuming work was going through all the tracks, listening to everything that everyone contributed and then choosing the cream from the cream." While the album includes the cream of the crop, were there one or two songs that you wish could have worked onto the CD, but could not?
No, every song we chose for the recording is on the recording. There is nothing in the can. I was referring to the numerous tracks that I recorded on everyone. For instance, there were at least three complete and different passes at each song by the bass and percussion (which I recorded simultaneously, as that's the way I like bass and drums to work, as a unit completely aware of each other).
After all the recording I had to listen to each and every note by both of them, learn what they had done on each pass and then choose what I thought was the most wonderful and, at the same time, the most true to the vision of the song. It takes a while to learn all the licks to each part of each pass by each musician. That did take some serious time.
We took a total of 415 hours to record and produce All Wood and Doors. Only about ten weeks and two days of regular eight-hour-a-day work, so it really went quickly for this kind of project. By the same token, The Beatles recorded their first album in one day. But that was after eight months of playing eight hours a day in Germany. Somewhere along the line someone has to do the time. That's all there is to that.