Carly Simon and her son, Ben Taylor, performing Love Of My Life
Special Thanks to: Nick Meyers, Quincy Jones, Raoul Roach, JoAnn Tominaga, Jim Hart, Joseph Werzinski, Jeff Schock, Nina Ray, Angela Webster, Tim Matheison, Paul Samwell-Smith, Jessica Schulte, Ellie, Jenny and Carrie Filipetti, Nancy West, John Herman, Kerry A. White, Kip Kaplan, Simon Andrews, Michael Kosarin, Jerry Hey, Larry Williams, Emile Charlap
This album is dedicated to the memory of my precious Uncle Peter, otherwise known as Peter "Snakehips" Dean
Release Date: April 14, 1992
Label: Qwest Records
Album Billboard Peak: n/a
Single (Love Of My Life) Billboard Adult Contemporary:#16
Produced by Frank Filipetti and Carly Simon except
"Easy On The Eyes" Produced by: Frank Filipetti, Carly Simon, Andy Goldmark
"The Night Before Christmas" Produced by: Frank Filipetti, Carly Simon, Russ Kunkel
Recorded and Mixed by: Frank Filipetti at Right Track Recording & Bubble Hill Studio except:
"Love Of My Life" Mixed by: Tom Lord-Alge and Frank Filipetti at The Hit Factory & Right Track Studios
Add'l Recording by: James P. Nichols at BMG Music
Production Coordinator: Bibi Green
Music Supervisor for Twentieth Century Fox by: Elliot Lurie and Matthew Walden
Originally Mastered by: Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound
Assitant Engineers: Brian Pollack, Lolly Grodner, Gary Tole, Eric Stark, Keith Evans, Vincent Caro, Major Little, Doug McKean
Orchestra Arranged and Conducted by: Teese Gohl
Carly Simon: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Whistle
Jimmy Ryan: Ukelele, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Teese Gohl: Synthesizers, Acoustic Piano
Will Lee: Bass, Vocals
Andy Newmark: Drums
Paul Samwell-Smith: Bass on "The Night Before Christmas"
Andy Goldmark: Synthesizers on "Easy On The Eyes:
Russ Kunkel: Drums on "Easy On The Eyes" and "The Night Before Christmas"
Richie Morales: Drums on "Little Troupers"
Jamey Haddad: Percussion of "Love Of My Life"
Ben Taylor: Additional Acoustic Guitar of "Love Of My Life" and "The Night Before Christmas"
Toots Thielemans: Harmonica
Randy Brecker: Trumpet on "The Show Must Go On"
Charles McCracken: Cello on "Love Of My Life"
Background Vocals on "Uncle Peter": Carly Simon, Jimmy Ryan, Will Lee, Frank Filipetti, Teese Gohl, Keith Evans
Background Vocals on "The Show Must Go On": Michael DeVries, Ann E. Brown, Kathi Moss, Joanna Glushak, Peter Samuel, Christy Baron, Martin Vidnovic, David Elledge
Bacground Vocals on "The Night Before Christmas": Brenda White-King, Curtis King, Diane Garisto, Marty Thomas, Melody Kay, Kimberly Mahon, Joel Chaiken, Parker Conrad, Marcus Bishop-Wright, Sally Taylor
Art Direction: Kevin Design Hosman
Carly Simon Photography: Pam Frank
Movie Stills Photography: Kerry Hayes
Shadow Background Photography: Sherry Etheredge
Carly Simon appears courtesy of Arista Records
Toots Thielemans appears courtesy of Polygram Emarcy
Randy Brecker appears courtesy of GRP Records
My uncle peter (otherwise known as Peter "Snakehips" Dean) taught me to play the ukelele when I was five. I never did improve but that wasn’t important. He taught me to have fun with music. Peter left his job as a personal manager at the age of 68 to begin recording and performing. The name “Snakehips” was given to him because he appeared double-jointed from his waist down and managed to play the uke, scat sing and perform a sort of futuristic Elvis dance simultaneously. He always roused an audience to cheers, though it was often hard to hear him over the laughter.
When Nora Ephron called me early in 1991 and asked me to score her movie, she said it was “our story”. A comedy/drama about the tricky business of raising children and maintaining a solid career, without the benefit of a live-in father. From the night of Nora’s first phone call, I couldn’t wait to start writing the score. There has never been a real conflict in my mind about what takes precedence in my life. It has always been Sally and Ben. It was never a conscious choice, but rather a deep instinctual fact of my being. I wrote the song “Love Of My Life” right away and discovered happily that the emotions in the song struck a sympathetic chord with Nora and ultimately with how Dottie (the mom in the movie) feels about her two daughters, Eric and Opal. No one has ever made me happier, sadder, crazier or made me feel more helpless, vulnerable, special, needed or loved than Sally and Ben. After seeing early rough cuts of the film, Nora and I had a similar instinct at the same time: the ukelele. I relistened to all of Uncle Peter’s records. The (and the memory of his ukelele playing) supplied the main inspirations for the musical feel.
The other songs for the film all evolved out of excited conversations with Nora. I wrote two different versions of “Back The Way,” one from Dottie’s (mom’s) point of view of how boring things used to be before Hollywood and Las Vegas opened all their glittery doors to her. In her glory, she forgets what fun it was to stay at home and make pancakes for Erica and Opal. “Back The Way” is all melancholy with nostalgia about the was it used to be when they were “a normal family.” I know that Uncle Peter, from wherever he is, was conducting all the musical operations, including Toots Thielmans’ participation. Toots used to play harmonica in this lifetime with Uncle Peter in the flesh.
“The Show Must Go On” came later in the cutting of the movie when Nora decided she must have a song that embodied Dottie’s show biz persona. She said, “Just write a song like ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business.’ I said, “No problem,” after which I stayed in bed for about three weeks, clutching, hiding from the challenge. When I got out of bed, I rearranged all the furniture in my apartment, expecting that it might reassemble my musical brain cells. The result rather surprised me, and I’m still not sure that I wrote the song.
“Easy On The Eyes” and “The Night Before Christmas” were written as intended “source” music, which is a movie term used to describe any music which is not “score.” It is usually played in the background of a scene as if it’s coming over a radio or loud speaker in a club. If you see the movie you’ll hear about 20 seconds of “The Night Before Christmas” in a different arrangement than exists on the album. “Easy On The Eyes,” unfortunately ended up not working in the scene for which it was written, but we like it so much that we included it here anyway.
Behind the scenes all the time was Quincy Jones, who loved the music when there was only “Love Of My Life.” He fathered the project and for a few months I got to feel like Michael Jackson. Having Quincy believe in you is like graduating Phi Beta Kappa, suma cum laude from heaven. Quincy, not coincidentally, knew and worked with Uncle Peter.
As on any project, there was a nucleus, a family that got closer and closer throughout what turned into many months of work. In the beginning, Jimmy, Teese, Will, Frank and I listened to Uncle Peter’s records to get in the mood. Most of the early material was recording sitting around my living room during Hurricane Bob. Those sessions lack the polish of a lot of records I’ve made, but they have that indefinable spirit that made it impossible to duplicate in a more “professional” way after the winds of Bob died down. We kept returning to the very personal living room idea. Yes, we overdubbed and embellished a bit, but I hope what you’ll hear on this record has the true personality that the movie, Uncle Peter, and those close relationships with the musicians inspired. Even when they weren’t playing on a particular session, Jimmy, Teese and Will often showed up just to listen. And Frank was always (let me say that again with emphasis), ALWAYS there. Thank you, Gentlemen. Thank you, Nora. Thank you, Uncle Peter.
~ Carly Simon