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“Once we started working together, we became a team. It wasn’t broke, so nobody wanted to fix it; whenever it was time to make a record, they called me.
"The song School’s Out came from [guitarist] Glen Buxton, who came up with this amazing riff. Shep called me in Toronto and said, ‘I think the boys just wrote a hit. You need to get out here.’ I met them in LA and we went into a rehearsal room. They had the beginnings of the song; we put it all together, and it became a big hit record.
“It was a fun album to do, and it the first one we did outside of Chicago. We had been making records at the RCA's Mid-America Recording Center, which we really loved, but when the band started to take off, it was thought that we should embrace New York and take that city by storm. The best way to do that was to move everybody there.
“I had worked at A&R Studios in New York with Phil Ramone, but I also knew that [engineer] Shelly Yakus had moved over to this hot new studio called The Record Plant. So we went there to give it a try, and from the moment we walked in, we knew we were in the right place.
“The guys in the band were kind of like The Jets from West Side Story; they were snot-nosed Bowery Boys. That’s how they acted, and those were their references. We decided to do some portion of West Side Story and turn it into a thing. It was also a bit of an indulgence for me. But it worked out well – I listen to it now, and while it sounds kind of primitive, it has a lot of charm. The audience really appreciated it.”