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第2-1章:与上帝会面 - Meeting God

发表于 2017-3-17 08:55 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

Meeting God

      It was 1976, and Jesus Christ Superstar was scheduled to close in Sydney after its six-month run in that city. Air Supply had recorded its first single at Alberts Studio in Sydney. Both the A- and B-sides were completed in about four hours. The A-side was a song called "Love and Other Bruises." I always thought it was such a strange title for a song, but one else ever made mention of it. Our producer, Peter Dawkins, was insistent that the song should have an orchestra play on the track, and he hired Bill Motzing to write the arrangement. Bill had written several movie scores at the times.

      I first met Bill at the string session at Alberts Studio before the musicians arrived. I remember Russell and I making a cup of tea in the break room and munching on digestive biscuits, a main staple for the string players. (I soon learned the Musicians Union would not allow the session to  take place without those biscuits!) "What a lovely song," he said to me. "Would you like to see the score?" I quickly said yes, pretended to be able to read it and told him how great I thought it was.

      For the first time, I saw a real piece of music that said at the top of the page: "Air Supply, 'Love and Other Bruises,' words and music by Graham Russell." I could not take my eyes off the manuscript page. Bill then said, "This is your copy." It is, to this day, one of the most precious gifts I have ever received. I still have it in my collection of Air Supply jewels.

      The whole recording experience for us was completely overwhelming. I was trying to be calm and cool the whole time as thought I were used to it, but in reality, it was my first time in such a huge studio, I was quietly having a baby and, to top it off, I met George Young there that afternoon. George popped in to see what was going on. It was his studio and he along with Harry Vanda produced and recorded AC/DC in the very same room. (George is brother to Angus, the lead guitarist for AC/DC)

      I remember saying to myself, "Things don't get any better than this. I'll be able to tell my grandchildren all about this day!" I had no idea that things were indeed going to get better.

      Pretty soon the string players began to arrive. I don't remember how many there were, but it was probably about 24. I had never seen an orchestra this close. I remember the colossal noise and began tuning their instruments. It sounded just like the intro to Sgt. Peppers, and I was suddenly in Beatles heaven.

      A state of euphoria began to set in. Something happened inside me at that moment. I knew that I was in the place where I belong. To say it was an awakening would be such an understatement. The violins tuning up to the orchestra leader was heavenly, and the huge sound of the big fat basses sent chills throughout my body. I was vibrating to every note I heard. I wanted that afternoon to last forever, not realizing then that it would.

      The uncanny thing was that they had not played anything together yet; they were just tuning up. The anticipation was killing me! Bill suddenlt said, "Let's go to measure 32. Violins 1 and 2 only please. And..." That's when it began - heaven had come to earth. It sounded so beautiful. My whole body was tingling like never before. Next the celli and basses joined in and the walls shook.

      The Peter, our producer, said, "Let's try it with the track." The familiar count of 1,2,3,4 was followed by the guitar intro, but this time with pizzicato string creating a bed of tension as Russell's amazing one-take vocal stole the scene. It was the ultimate marriage of the harmony of the musician and the haunting tenor voice that was for the first time heard by other people that day.

      When the orchestra played the first chorus, Russell's voice weaved its magic spell, a historic moment that you can still hear, especially on the vinyl recording. When the out chorus came in and Russell jumped up the octave, I could not hold back tears of great joy and fulfillment. It was like seeing God. I remember feeling that whatever happend after this day, this mement would always live in my heart and soul. The arrangement was simply gorgeous - a few notes beautifully placed at the right moment in the chorus, finding their own space and speaking volumes without saying a single word.

      I knew at that moment that Air Supply had truly arrived and that what we had was a gift that we must treasure and bring to the world at whatever cost. I also strongly felt that we could not be stopped and, even more than that, that we had a message to give. We didn't know what the message was yet, but we knew that it was coming and that was more than enough, at least in that moment.

      那是在1976年,Jesus Christ Superstar 在悉尼演出6个月之后,行将结束。Air Supply在悉尼阿尔伯特录音室已经录制了第一支单曲。A,B面都在4个小时内完成。A面歌曲名字叫 "Love and Other Bruises"。我总是觉得这首歌的标题相当奇怪,但是竟然没人注意到这点。我们的制作人,Peter Dawkins坚持这首歌要有弦乐在里面,所以他雇了Bill Motzing来编写。Bill那时已经为许多电影作编曲。

      在所有乐手都到之前,我在阿尔伯特录音师第一次与Bill见了面。我记得Russell和我正在休息室里泡茶,吃一些消化饼干。(我很快就知道了音乐家协会可不会允许会议时没有那些饼干!) "真是一首可爱的歌曲。" 他对我说,"你想看看那些谱子吗?" 我很快说是,假装看得懂,并且告诉他这些东西多棒。

      第一次,我见到了真正的首页上的文字:"Air Supply, 'Love and Other Bruises,' words and music by Graham Russell." 我无法把我的眼睛从这些页面上移开。Bill接着说,"这是你们的拷贝。" 的确,这是我那时收到的最珍贵的礼物。直到今天这依旧是我的Air Supply收藏中的明珠。

     整个录音体验对我们来说真的是彻彻底底势不可挡。像往常一下我尝试着让自己镇静下来,但是要知道,这是我第一次在那么大的录音室里,我就像个大孩子一样,那天下午,我见到了George Young。George突然来看看我们到底在干嘛。这是他的录音室,他和Harry Vanda在同样的房间里制作和录制了AC/DC 的专辑。(George是AC/DC主音吉他Angus的哥哥)

      我记得我自言自语,"事情可不会再棒了。我要把这一天发生的所有事告诉我的孙子!" 可我不知道,事情真的向好的方向发展了。


     不可思议的是,他们还没有在一起合奏,就已经开始燥起来了。真是要我命!Bill突然说,"让我们调32。Violins 1 and 2 only please. And..." 当试音开始的时候 - 天堂降临人间。太美妙了。我整个身体从未有过如此的酥麻感。接下来,加入小提琴和低音,整个墙壁都在为之震动。

     我们的制作人Peter说,"让我们试试放到歌曲里。" 熟悉的倒数声1,2,3,4紧接在吉他开场之后,弦乐伴着Ruusell的惊人的声音。真是旋律和声音的无间结合。

      当弦乐演奏了4小节之后,Russell的嗓音发挥出了魔法,这个历史性时刻你至今都会听到,特别是在黑胶唱片中。特别是在当和声出来,Russell的高八度声音进入的时候,我再也无法控制住喜悦的泪水。就像见到上帝一样。这个感觉已经深入我的灵魂,无论何时我都会体会得到。曲子编排简单而华丽 - 几个简单的调调放置在正确的曲子中,找到了自己位置,不用说任何一句话。

      我知道这一刻,Air Supply真正来到了,我们所得到的的是一种我们必须珍惜和带给世界的礼物。我也强烈的认为,我们不能停止,我们有一个信息要带给大家,但是我们不知道这个信息里有什么,但是我们已经知道它已经来临了,至少是在那一刻。

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