With The Blue Man not selling as well as Tightrope, Dr. George Butler requested that I have a co-producer for the next CD. I was lucky to be able to land the engineering / production talents of my old and dear friend, Elliot Scheiner. Elliot and I had recorded together on countless sessions, but perhaps most people link us together because it was Elliot who recommended me to Donald Fagen and Walter Becker for AJA, which, of course, led to Gaucho. Like The Blue Man, the focus was the same, keep the core group of players intact and feature original tunes. In addition to the Telecaster, I decided to include my Fender Stratocaster, and it's heard on "City Monsters" as well as the Hendrix-influenced "Candles." Some highlights would have to include: The horn section work on "City Monsters"; Michael Brecker's solo on "City Monsters"; Don Grolnick's organ solo on "Some Arrows"; Steve Gadd's drumming on the "City Suite" and "Daily Village"; Rick Marotta's drumming on "Some Arrows" and "Candles"; the accompaniment of Don Grolnick and Will Lee throughout, but especially on "Daily Village." Though they haven't been seen since, the Arrows LP featured some pretty zany liner notes by Donald Fagen:
By Donald Fagen
The kid from Westwood, after years of study and sacrifice, can now do just about everything he wants with an electric guitar. He has now begun to branch out into other areas. To this I can testify. I was there on that sticky afternoon at Mediasound Studios in Manhattan when Khan, obviously an intense, driven man, gave the go-ahead sign to his two enormous roadies, a pair of titans in "Inspector Fuseau" T-shirts. Four huge rectangular slabs of limestone were carted into Studio A and, while engineers and musicians alike looked on in horror, were carefully positioned in an igloo-like configuration in the center of the floor. Each dolmen had been meticulously decorated in a surreal, rather gallic style. In the shadow of this makeshift shrine, Khan began to rehearse the tunes with the other musicians. Before each run-through, Khan would stare at the structure from a different angle, as if trying to discern the answer to a hopelessly cosmic question, and then burn through the take as if he were possessed. The rest of the band seemed to respond to his blazing energy and were soon playing with unheard of fire and precision. During a union break, when Khan began to refer casually to the four tablets as "the brine, the salta, the awn and the alder," even the usually staid Will Lee almost choked on his eggplant frappé.
Some people think they know all there is to know about Steve Khan. Sure, he does a great Ed Sullivan; O.K., he's got an almost Teutonic fascination with little machines. But don't let anyone tell you he's just another guitarist.
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