“I had done an album with Mitch Ryder and his band in Detroit, on which we covered Lou’s song Rock & Roll. Lou heard it and said, ‘I want to work with the guy who did that.’ I went to go see Lou play a show in Toronto, and afterwards we started talking about the project. Eventually, we wound up sitting on my living room floor, playing songs and kicking around ideas.
“I said to him, ‘You wrote all of these amazing snapshots of people’s lives, these four minute portraits, but what happens with them? The stories only go so far.’ I used the two lovers in the song Berlin as an example, but I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to tell the whole story? Why not do something like that?’ He thought that was a great. Then we decided to not do something ‘like’ that; we were going to do exactly that.
“He went home and started writing, and when he came back with the guitar-and-vocal versions of some of these songs, it was chilling. He had done such a phenomenal job. It was then my job to take the tunes and turn them into something more orchestrated in the rock sense. It’s a fantastic record. They just remastered it last week, and Lou called me from the mastering room to tell me how beautiful it sounded.”