Steps for recording an Ardent Presents session:
1) Do not look at this list. This is a beautiful–and evil–list. You will read it and realize half your heroes recorded in the same room as you. You will try not to geek out. You will make jokes about scented candles. You will re-tune in-tune guitars. You will act nonchalant, and you will fail. You’ll say, “this weather is fantastic,” but you will think, “my God, is that a Paul Westerberg vomit-stain?” The list will get inside you. Don’t look at it.
2) Take three Five-Hour Energy shots. Hydrate. Stretch a little. Talk to Miss Rachel Hurley. She’s a resourceful person, and she has nice sweaters. These things are soothing.
3) Do not look at the list. What’s wrong with you? Don’t even think about the list. Also, don’t look around. Don’t look up or down or around. There are gold records everywhere. Big Star artwork lines the halls. Strum your guitar and sing your songs, but make eye contact with nothing. You won’t look crazy, I promise.
4) Once you begin playing, you will notice that Studio A sounds a little bit like heaven. Do not be alarmed–this is actually normal. Wild dogs with chainsaws would sound good in this room.
5) At this point, you may start to have a lot of fun. You’ll involuntarily smile as you’re singing. Do not do this. Look cool. Stop smiling!
6) DO NOT look around. You’ll be tempted to look around, and you must resist. You’re singing, you’re talking, you’re comfortable, you’re having a blast, you glance ahead and BOOM–who’s that, oh good grief–Jody Stephens (Big Star’s drummer) is in the control room.
7) Do not launch into “Thirteen.”
8) Do not launch into “Thirteen.”
9) Do NOT launch into “Thirteen.”
10) When you finish, you’ll want to do it again. You’ll want to take up the rest of (ace engineer) Alan Burcham’s day, or week, or year. You’ll want to move into Ardent, pick out a corner of Studio A, bring a cot, and stay there forever. Do not do any of these things. These people have families. Stop terrorizing them.
11) Force yourself to leave the building.
12) Wait the twelve remaining hours until the 5 Hour Energy shots to wear off. Wait longer for the smiles to wear off.
13) Now, look at the list. Remember recording in the same room as so many of your heroes. Thank everyone at Ardent for making it happen. Then, count the hours until you come back.
Chris Milam is not only a gifted singer/songwriter, he is also a fantastic writer and contributor to this site. You can also find him all over the interweb on Twitter, Facebook, and the Youtubes. Check out his upcoming tour dates on Chrismilam.com. You can purchase his music iTunes, Amazon and CDbaby.