Monday, February 8, 2016

At The Hop

Bones Howe and the Toppers

Tops Records 45-R413-49


Yes, Bones Howe was here, not in front of the mike, but behind the studio's glass :
"I was the recording engineer on the session, and since the group was all studio musicians and singers, and didn’t want their names exposed, so the record company (which was notorious in those days for recording sound-alikes of the current hits); used my nickname (which later became my professional name). "
Dayton Burr "Bones" Howe (born March 18, 1933) is a Grammy Award-winning record producer and recording engineer associated with 1960s and 1970s hits, mostly of the sunshine pop genre, including most of the hits of the 5th Dimension and the Association, as well as music supervision of several films.

Howe discovered his lust for music as a teenager and learned to play drums, a talent that earned him gigs at downtown Atlanta's San Souci and Peachtree clubs while studying electronics and communications at Georgia Tech. Bones Howe
"I was a jazz musician, and I worked six nights a week," he says, sinking back into the sofa with one leg crossed, revealing the slightest grimace of nostalgia. "In those days there were road bands coming through town. They would take the tennis court nets down at Tech, put a bandstand in there and bands would come in and play.

"I met a lot of guys in road bands as they came through Atlanta; I played in a lot of jam sessions with those guys after hours, and they would say to me, 'You should come to California."'
Howe learned that the only people recording music in L.A. at the time were old radio engineers who "didn't know what a rhythm section is supposed to sound like," let alone how to set one up. His thoughts about the future began to take shape.
"That idea really caught on with me, and somewhere in my sophomore or junior year I began to think seriously about it," he says. Howe rejected the hustles of engineering recruiters at graduation and set his sights on the Left Coast.

"I went to California with $200 in my pocket and went slugging around in the streets looking for a job in a recording studio." He smiles and leans forward as if sharing a secret. "I figured the worst thing that could happen to me was that I'd fail and go get a job as an engineer somewhere."
Sources : Bones Howe official website; private email from March 26, 2013


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