A Band On Fire
I wanted to scream. Our playing was on fire and so deeply swinging in a kind of old-school way even though it was still in a very chromatic harmonic language.
As the energy diminished, we came to the end of my solo and Jack then took his drum solo.
Jack is so smart and experienced. He started his solo with just the cymbals. And what did he do next? Jack increased the tempo! Remember that I brought us down to a medium tempo from the original up-tempo. Jack increased the tempo faster than it was originally!
I was just listening and looking around not believing what was going on with my tune.
Jack played a phenomenal drum solo. He exploded. It sounded like the sun going supernova. Enormous.
Even though Jack is strong when he’s playing in the rhythm section, when he plays by himself, he can get so much louder. But it wasn’t too much. It was virtuosic. And of course, his solo acted as a climax–as an architectural climax to the whole piece.
Now, remember there were no CDs in 1978. You had only 22 minutes on each side of an LP. And Manfred was very strict because the more music you put on the disk, the more degraded the sound became. So Manfred told us to record no more than 22 minutes.
The Snow Leopard was timed to be around six minutes. We were already up to 10 minutes but I didn’t care. I knew we had gold.
So Jack played his phenomenal solo and the observer in me thought that I should cycle back to play the head out as planned.
But that little voice inside me said, Don’t go back to the head. You already played the head going into the bass solo. That’s enough.
You become inspired and create something special never before played when you’re playing with people at that level under extreme recording pressure.
So what happened next?