Cobain’s legendary impatience with multiple takes came to the fore at this time.
He really wanted to do everything on the first or second take. He’d do a couple of takes and say, ‘That’s it. I’m not gonna do it anymore.’ The tricky part was trying to figure out how to motivate him to give really good performances. Sometimes his first or second takes were brilliant, but sometimes they needed work. They needed to be more focused. What I ended up doing was recording everything he sang, even the warmups. A lot of times, I’d actually be going for a first take, but he would think it was just a warmup. Then I’d have the engineer flip to a new track and I’d tell Kurt, ‘Okay, you’re ready for your first take.’ If I was lucky, I could get as many as four takes out of him. Then I’d take the best pieces of each one and make a master out of it.
Cobain’s painful stomach condition would sometimes bring sessions to a halt.
He was very sensitive to certain foods. Sometimes we’d eat dinner and he’d get sick half an hour later and end up spending 45 minutes in the bathroom.
We wrap up #TenWeek today.
(#NoCode Week runs through Wednesday.)
The Beatles song, “I’ve Got a Feeling” was frequently covered by Mookie Blaylock and Pearl Jam during their early days. It was recorded in early Mookie sessions, and was included on the first “Alive” promotional CD released by the band. “I’ve Got A Feeling” was featured as an extra track on the Japanese release of Ten.
Here’s part of a December 1991, interview with Eddie and Stone by Houston’s KLOL radio station:
INTERVIEWER: The first promotional release that came out from Pearl Jam was a 3-song CD that included “Alive” and also a cover of a Beatles song, “I’ve Got a Feeling”. Is there any particular reason why you chose to cover that song?
STONE: I think it was Jeff’s idea to cover that song. I think it was one of his favorite songs as a kid and I think that it just felt like the right kind of song for this band to do. And I don’t think that we ever actually really learned it. I think you can tell by listening to it. [laughter] And that’s the way we like it.
Eddie: I think the first week we were playing, too…that was recorded really early in our young career as this band and I think it was that album, the Abbey Road record, that’s how it felt when we were playing. It was just this loose kind of thing and if you listen to that record, it was pretty amazing the way everyone was playing together, even though it was the first to time.
[They play I’ve Got a Feeling]
INTERVIEWER: I asked Stone Gossard about his working relationship with long-time musical partner, Jeff Ament.
STONE: Yeah, we have an interesting dynamic in our relationship that’s, for some reason, we work together pretty well, I think.
EDDIE: Even though they don’t speak to one another.
STONE: [laughs] We don’t actually speak…
EDDIE: It’s all done through music and then of course they have their ‘people’. So Stone’s people will talk to Jeff’s people and …
STONE: Well, it’s strange because I think, generally, I don’t think me and Jeff would be two people that would just hang out together if we weren’t playing music together. I think we’d be friends and stuff but we wouldn’t… But it’s because we’re so opposite in a lot of different ways as far as just general personalities…something about it works. We’ve had this relationship and it’s continued and we just… I think we’ve both really grown to appreciate it and into seeing it through.
Who said this in 2009, about the Ten recording sessions at London Bridge Studio?
HINT: It wasn’t Stone.
“We did Evenflow about 50-70 times. I swear to God it was a nightmare! We played that thing over and over until we hated each other. I still don’t think Stone is satisfied with how it came out!”
Photo of Eddie taken by Lance Mercer Photography during the Ten Sessions at London Bridge Studio.
(answer: Mike McCready)
“I drew the Stickman the night after Kelly Curtis told me that we needed artwork for the giveaway cassette for ‘Alive.’ The ‘art’ really just represents how I was feeling at the time, playing in the best band I’d ever been in, and all of us were in such a creative zone. It didn’t really have anything to do with the song.”