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© Clayton Call / Retna Ltd./Retna Ltd./Corbis
“Yes were having problems reproducing their albums live, so I went on tour with them and helped out with the sound. I had these tape machines with me to cue in pipe organs and things like that. It was a blast. We traveled in private planes and stayed in first-class hotels. It can be hard for bands trying to get their careers off the ground, but once you’ve made it to the top, life can be quite nice.
“During this time, I had built my own console that allowed me to do sound for Yes and record their shows. It was great. I took it to Woodstock and recorded some people there, and eventually I brought it to Atlanta, Georgia. I bought an old movie theatre, one of those places with a stage and a pipe organ, and one of the bands from the area came a-calling. They were the Dixie Dregs.
“I guess they were progressive rock, but they had such a strong country thing going – it was like progressive country rock. Steve Morse has got to be the fastest guitar player in the world. He played so fucking fast, I couldn’t believe it!
“The songs were written before we got to the studio. I didn’t help them shape the tunes in any way; everything was ready to go. Their poor violin player [Mark O’Connor] – he would play something, and to everybody else it sounded fine. Steve Morse could always find pitch problems, though, and he’d insist on doing multiple takes.
“He didn’t spare himself: A lot of time was spent on his guitar solos. He would break things down into two-bar phrases, whereas most solos might be 10 phrases. He’d record one two-bar phrase, and once he was happy with that, he’d move on to the next. I wouldn’t call it spontaneous, but he got what he wanted.”
Offord co-produced (with Steve Morse) 1982's Industry Standard.