Were you a hard task-master in the studio?
The atmosphere in the studio in those days was pretty much like the atmosphere in professional sports. A very male-dominated, macho environment. I had a tough reputation because the reality of the studio was that a record company gave me a budget and a length of time, and my livelihood depended on adhering to those things. So I had to really push people to get things done. But I always tried to do it with humour. Some people didn’t get the joke though.
Did things ever turn physical?
Not that I’ll admit it. There have been few wrestling sessions, but nothing really serious.
Have you ever had people who refused to play ball?
I used to kill engineers. I had one guy with a really wrong-headed notion. We had a very famous artist on the floor and this guy did something that almost blew his head off. And I yelled at him. At the end of the session he turned to me: “You know, you treat me like I’m worthless and he is all that matters.” I said: “I got news for you. If he’s not standing there, you don’t have a job. He is all that matters. So if that means I have to treat you like crap every once in a while, then suck it up.” I fired him the next day.