PHILIP PINTO, 1984, LA/NYC
By 1983 or so, I had decided to become a pop star like my idol David Byrne, without sacrificing my quirky artistic ideals. Given the zeitgeist back then it seemed possible, and my plan was to simplify, simplify, and wink an eye each time I delivered a particularly inane riff or lyric. I didn't succeed at any of it. I have always been at the mercy of my own whims, and as much as I would have loved to be in control of my own muse, I simply never was. Meanwhile, I was in constant contact with a friend on the west coast, Paul Blinderman, who had always stood head and shoulders above me in both all things pop and all things art. He'd started a band and a music production company with a CalArts friend named Gino Gable, and the two of them offered to produce my breakthrough single, so I flew out to L.A
. to do it. Both MIDI sequencing and sampling were just hitting then; we actually recorded a bunch of African drums, and had the sounds transferred to EEPROM chips which we then put into an Oberheim drum machine, which we then used to drive the sync of a Commodore 64 computer which in turn triggered a MIDI keyboard and 3 "Instant Replay" samplers- a radical setup for the time, and all done on the cheap, too. All Gino's doing, and it definitely set me on a new course, which then took a long time to find its voice. See next.