Wednesday, August 14, 2013

One thing leads to another

Hey, speaking of weird, unsettling noises that should never have ended up on the finished records of professional musicians aided by technologically competent recording engineers, do you all remember the Ohio Players hit single "Love Rollercoaster"? Sure you do, if you spent any time at all in a skating rink or disco in 1975. There's an urban legend that an audible scream on the song is that of a woman being murdered when the song was recorded.

It isn't what you think.

Yes, there was a scream but nobody was murdered. We know, we were there. We had rented an apartment next door to the Players' recording studio in New Jersey (go figure).We were trying to track down the first known video pirates who had somehow produced bootleg copies of "The Exorcist".
We owned one of the first VCRs. It cost $4000, weighed 120 lbs. and the only movie available for rent was "Zardoz".

Jeff was screening one of the copies and let out a blood-curdling scream when something startled him.

"Movies don't scare me", he scoffed. "A mouse ran across my foot...I mean a rat. An enormous rabid, rat. He got up on his hind legs, making him, six...feet tall. Everybody knows New Jersey is home to massive, diseased rodents. He hissed at me whilst baring blood-streaked fangs. I screamed...yelled... to scare him off because if you guys saw him you'd shoot him or kick him out of a window. That's all."
"So... we shouldn't try to kill giant rats with rabies?", I asked.
"I'm saying you two tend to overreact every time you see something strange, like an innocent little girl's head turn completely around while she's projectile vomiting and saying the most awful things."
"Little girl? I thought we were talking about a rat", Michael said.
"Shut up!"
The Ohio Players came over to make sure everything was okay. We made friends with those guys quickly after this exchange took place between Michael and drummer Jimmy "Diamond" Williams:
MICHAEL: If you guys are the Ohio Players, why aren't you in Ohio?
JIMMY: I don't know; if you guys are The Unbelievables,why aren't you at Disneyland?
MICHAEL: Point taken.
They really liked Jeff's scream and asked if they could leave it on the record. We were honored and didn't give Jeff a hard time about it because it was the '70s and people went around screaming about different things all the time.

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