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“The band wanted to do solo albums. The other guys went off and did their thing, and Ace came to me because he knew I could get him a great guitar tone. We worked very well together; it’s similar to the kind of relationship with the Zep guys or Jimi. I was always empathetic towards his abilities, and I loved his playing. I figured we could make a good record.
“There were no shenanigans. Ace knew that if he could make a statement on this album he would be proving a point, and he really set out to prove a point. He was fortunate in that we picked the song New York Groove, which I thought was really great. He sang his ass off on that and worked hard. He was creative, he was inventive, and he was very focused.
“We had a brilliant rhythm section, Anton Fig and Will Lee. It doesn’t get much better than that. It just clicked. We were up in this huge Colgate mansion in Connecticut – I did the old mansion trick one more time with another truck. We got great guitar sounds, great drum sounds. It was a good atmosphere with a band working together as one unit.
"Ace was very nervous about singing, and he felt quite insecure about standing up and singing. In order to make him comfortable, we set up a studio in a very particular way. We put down a little rug and turned all the lights down. Ace would lie down on the rug, with a bottle of beer in one hand and a microphone on his chest, and that’s how he started to sing. By the second song he was sitting up, and by the third song he was standing up.
“Much to the chagrin of the rest of the band, he had the best-selling album – it sold a million copies, I think. The others didn’t do quite as well.”