A Few Memories of the Recording Sessions at
Terry Gavaghan's Guardian Studios ~ 1979
From The Stories
Behind the Songs
Scrapbook of the Third
Tour of England
Album No. 9: On
Tour in England
The recording of the song, Lady Luck, was the culmination of
a joint international project. We spent a week in Durham's Guardian
Studios with Desperado, a Middlesbrough-based English
show band. After pooling our efforts on the backing tracks, we each did
our own version of the final vocals and mix. The result was that they had
songs to release as singles and we had enough originals and covers for
a complete album. I felt that we needed synth arrangements and since our
regular keyboard player, Kevin Pahl, couldn't accompany us on this
third tour, I hired one of the musicians whom we had met in the local clubs.
He did a fantastic job for us and we really weren't too surprised when
we learned five months later that he had joined Mark Knopler's Dire
Straits as a regular.
Desperado was comprised of Alun Edwards (vocals, congas, percussion),
Sandbrook (vocals, bass), John Whittingham (vocals, guitar),
Bradley (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Paul Duckers (drums) -
all from the Middlesbrough, County Cleveland area. Paul Rodgers of Bad
Company had come out of this group a few years before.
The Hillmans with Terry at the Guardian Board
was while recording the vocal tracks for this song that we were drawn into
the realm of the supernatural. The hour was late -- around midnight at
Guardian Studios, Pity Me -- the bed tracks were in the can, and we had
just removed the drums from the isolation cubicle which was to double as
my vocal booth. Sue-On had gone across the street to make a telephone
call while Terry, Alan and Mick sat staring at me through the control room
glass, waiting for me to sing along with the backing tracks of Lady
Luck. Part way into the song there was a brilliant flash of light around
me and someone turned off the 24-track recorder. Wondering what the problem
was, I looked inquisitively toward the guys at the console. They had strange
looks on their faces and I heard Terry's voice over the cans, directing
me to come in.
My first thought was that something had happened to destroy the master
tape. Terry phoned his neighbour friend while I tried to get Mick to tell
me what had happened. The neighbour rushed in saying, "She's back!???"
All three in the control room had seen a brilliant light radiating from
a negative image of a small person standing close to me!
Terry explained that years ago a young girl who lived here in this row
house, the one that he had converted into his studio, had run out into
the path of a lorry and had been struck down. They carried her into this
room and had laid her dying body on a sofa in the same area as the vocal
booth. The ghostly image of this girl has appeared frequently, usually
in conjunction with some calamity - in this case her visit must have been
brought about by my singing.
Stories about the 'ghost' (Guardian Angel?) abound and her picture is
displayed in the pub down the street. I suggested to Terry that he should
include the story in his advertising, but he seemed very reluctant -- in
fact, he was afraid it would drive away business. I saw no ghost but I
did see a brilliant light... and the shocked and frightened looks on my
~ Bill Hillman