“I remember mentioning to John Cuniberti when we were doing the remastering that I found myself listening to this album more and more. I'm not quite sure why that is. It just has a beautiful sound to it and is so eclectic. It’s a record where I think, ‘Really? I talked everybody into doing this? Wow… ’
“We recorded, I think,16 tracks for it and wound up with 14. I was fooling around with this seven-string guitar for the first time, working in more acoustic guitar, and then of course, Robert Fripp came over one day, which was really great.
“Before we started the session, I was making Robert a cup of extremely strong coffee in the kitchen. He taught me a little lesson when he said, ‘Can you please poor hot water in the coffee cup first and then let it sit for two minutes?’ Because then when the coffee's ready, you’re not putting it into a cold coffee cup. I always thought that was some sort of Frippism. I was like, ‘Wow, this is great. I've learned something today, and I haven't even started recording.’
“So we went downstairs to my studio, and Robert said, ‘Well, what do you want me to play?’ I said, ‘I don't know. Just start noodling around.’ At one point he said, ‘Produce me, Joe.’ It was a powerful moment. I remember thinking, Holy shit. 'How did I get here?’
“I recorded him about six times and played it back for him. He was searching for stuff, but he didn’t know what it was. Listening to it, there was something in the first pass that was what I had in mind, but I thought to myself, ‘A clever producer would never let the artist know the ultimate goal. He would just let the artist run free.’
“Sure enough, everything that he played co-existed with each performance. In other words, it was totally cohesive, and it was remarkable how he had done that. He actually gave me six or seven completely unique performances that I could use as an ensemble, and there was no conflict between any of them, which was really something. I was knocked out by that.
“I did a version of Santo & Johnny’s Sleep Walk. I don't know why I wanted to do it, other than the fact that I've always loved it. It’s one of my earliest memories of loving guitar music. I probably heard it in the back of a '48 Dodge that my family had, driving around.
“When I hear that song, I remember the smell of the horsehair seat and the hunch in the leather. Man, that thing was a broken-down car, but I loved it. I just had great memories of life, and that song was there as a part of it. But I remember thinking, ‘Wow, it’s so hard to play because I have to live up to my memory of it, all the good vibes I’ve collected over my whole life. So every time I play a note, I'd go, ‘Well, that's not good enough; that's not good as Santo & Johnny.’ It's very hard to live up to that.”