Bass player Phil Spalding has published a detailed article about the recording of Mike Oldfield’s Crises and Moonlight Shadow. Here he also tells about the influence Mike has had on him.
1983, MO’s home studio, Denham, Buckinghamshire
So … Simon Phillips calls me up one day at the end of January 1983 and says … ‘Are you free tomorrow?’ … ‘Yes’ I reply … ‘Do you fancy coming to play bass in the studio for Mike Oldfield ?’ … my next reply said it all … ‘Is it complicated’ I say first off, terrified !!! I hear Simon ask Mike in the background if it’s complicated … ‘Nooooooooo’ I hear Mike say, laughing … ‘OK’ says I … Simon … ‘Pick you up tomorrow in Albany St 8am’ … EIGHT AM !!! FFS !!! Are they mad I thought ??? I’d be nursing some kind of hangover surely … was he serious … YES !!! Mike, I learned, was a stickler for starting early …That conversation with Simon was my very first experience of the man who was to change my life in so many ways … haha … and I was terrified !!!
My first worry, ridiculous as it seems now, was that they were going to be really straight and boring guys and I wouldn’t be able to smoke dope on the session !!! My God … what would I do ??? I hadn’t really done any kind of recording session ‘straight’ since … well I can’t remember but probably demos or something with my formative bands in the mid 1970’s. Playing ‘straight’ as in, not under the influence of something mind altering, was something I just didn’t do almost as much as I didn’t do any recording at 9am !!! I had to process and accept this challenging situation very quickly as I had less than a day to think about how I was going to cope with this session and of course, apart from my fears, I realised intuitively that this was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed.
Read the article here.