After 8 years of pretty much glorious escapades, the first year of the new century had ended rather acrimoniously for Native. There were problems between Mat & myself, and looking back after all this time, I can see it objectively, and say that:
1) Mat’s beefs with me were completely legitimate.
2) My beefs with Mat were completely legitimate.
3) The two sets of beef had nothing to do with each other.
4) We were both a couple of big babies, and it damaged morale in the band.
But, we soldiered on into 2001, and somehow Mat & I worked through our differences, and our collaborations started clicking, the band breathed a sigh of relief, and there was great rejoicing.
We kicked off the year with a fresh round of rehearsals to work on all the new material we had, with Fitz at the studio controls – located clear across on the other side of the loft from the live room!
He was still working out the fine points of using the digital recording software – ProTools, and was loving every moment of it, except for the lack of ventilation or oxygen in my room, where the recording console was set up.
Amidst a general air of friviolity in the occasion, Mike suddenly goes bang into the wonderful Grateful Dead song that is this week’s submission for your approval. And, damn if we didn’t jump in and hang on for a perfectly splendid rendition!
As I listen to it, I marvel at how good we were, and *gosh-a-mighty* Mike was just the most talented guy in the world!
Added bonus – It’s kinda good to see how things can go if you work through your struggles.
Surely, we had grown stronger for having learned how to —