Friday, March 2, 2007

"Running on Empty" in the East Peoria Holiday Inn

A couple years after my encounter with Bob Seger, we were again traveling back to Colorado. After a day of traveling down a long, lonesome highway, way east of Omaha, we stopped for the night at the Holiday Inn in East Peoria, Illinois. My Dad checked us in, we got our bags, and headed to our room for the night. As we walked down the hall, we heard someone playing music really loudly. So we went back to the front desk to tell the receptionist, a sweet and pretty girl with short brown hair. She looked a bit distressed. There was a band staying there, she said. They are recording something. Please be patient, they should be finished soon.

So we went to our room. In a few minutes, the music stopped, and it was peaceful the rest of the night.

A few years later, when I was in college, I was browsing through the albums in the local record store in downtown New Brunswick, NJ. I picked up a copy of Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty."

The liner notes on the album said that the title song was recorded " ... in the Holiday Inn in East Peoria, Illinois, on ..." such and such a date, which was the time we were headed west to Colorado.

Put two and two together, and what have you got? Yup, that Jackson Browne and company were recording the song in their room while we were making our way to our lodgings for the night.

I've always wanted to see if there was a way to enhance the ambient sounds in the recording. That way I could see if the microphones had picked up my dad, sister, brother, and me in the background walking down the hallway, and saying, "What's going on? Who's that playing their music so loud?"