produced by Mike Thorne

Nina Hagen Kit Hain Roger Daltry
Hollywood Beyond Laurie Anderson Marc Almond

message from Mike Thorne

As with all the best players with whom I've had the joy/pleasure of working, Chris is a musician first and a player second. Whenever he has performed on his guitar, it has always been in support of the music and the growing record, unlike many guitarists who seem to need to fly their flag every time out. He has a strong personality and is perfectly sure of who he is. It's often insecurity that drives players to be pushy in the studio. Chris doesn't suffer from any of that, and it shows in the quality and compatibility of his musical contributions.

Paradoxically, his team-player approach, and his exceptional musical and arrangement skills, always result in a distinctive guitar personality within the finished, recorded music, since he will draw on and complement the strength of the other musical components that he hears.

Chris has seen a lot of rock&roll madness. I have only read about most of his exploits, but we do have some brilliant, untamable mutual musical friends. Such experience might be what makes him completely unflappable in the studio. He is also able to step outside the immediate issues of musical detail, to see and comment on the big picture, to be able to see where the music and the record might ultimately be going. He understands production deeply, practically, intuitively and intellectually, and I really appreciated his expertise on my sessions.

Unlike so many mature performers, Chris keeps a raw edge to his playing, which is more emotionally effective than a guitar part locked up in note-perfection. His parts often sound rough when they go down, but at playback you often hear intuitive magic. A producer needs self-confidence to appreciate that at the time, to complement the assurance of the artist. Thankfully, I had the confidence/arrogance when we worked together.

A younger player might bring more carefully-honed technique and more youthful physical energy to a session, but, whatever age he might be, Chris will always be able to provoke musical mayhem with a small movement of his little finger. That's economical, which is also the best single adjective to describe his musical brain.

Chris is a strong, natural stylist. He delivers powerfully in the classic rock&roll idiom, which has always been his natural home, and I have always enjoyed his stage performances. Differently, my productions have tended to be of non-traditional pop music, with some new angle, yet Chris will invariably adapt his playing/musical contribution to complement the unusual musical surroundings in which he would often find himself. That way, I could enjoy and apply both his integrity and his flexibility, a powerful combination.

(written for GG in May 1999)

session list