My Producer, Don Gooch
by Michael DeGreve

Gooch, Gooch, Gooch! How I miss you, my brother!

I was in Hawaii in the mid 80's visiting David ( the Bear ) and went to see my friend, Graham Nash. Graham has always been one of my biggest inspirations. CSN and CSN&Y at the top of the list of my favorite music.

I played a couple songs for Graham, Gypsy's Lament and Magic Eyes, and we went into his studio and cut demos of both of them. It was a great day! What a singer Graham is! I think I asked Graham if he would sing on the songs when I recorded them. He said absolutely. I was feeling pretty great about everything, and I asked Graham if he would consider producing the record.

Graham politely said no. He told me he produced a record for Terry Reid, and it really wasn't something he wanted to do again right then. On the other hand, he told me who he thought should produce. Don Gooch. Don had worked on several records with Graham and David and the guys and he thought a lot of him. He told me he would put us in touch with each other. And so Don Gooch entered my life.

Don called me a few days later and we talked for a couple hours. He flew out to Cheyenne and spent a few days. We set up a little studio in a spare room on my ranch. We hit if off immediately. In fact, I even let him smoke in the studio, in my house! Now if you know me, you know how rare that would be! I think he was the last person to smoke in my house or studio, period!

Gooch had been in the business a long time. He was a house engineer at Motown Records, he worked on one of the Jefferson Airplane records, several of the Crosby, Nash records, and many, many more.

He had about the best sense of humor of anyone I've ever met. I absolutely loved him! He was a joy to be around. He really believed in my talent and my music and always encouraged me. He agreed to produce my record, Gypsy's Lament, and we became partners on two records and a video, Live At The Hitch.

During the recording of Gypsy's Lament, Don pretty much arranged everything. Booked the studios and brought in incredible musicians. David Lindley ( Jackson Browne's band ) on guitars and violin, Leland Sklar ( Jackson Browne, Phil Collins, James Taylor and countless others ) on bass, Ian Wallace ( King Crimson, CSN, among others ) on drums, Jeff Boydstun ( who arranged and co-produced ) on keyboards, Marcy Gensic ( who then brought in Randy Meisner of Eagles fame ) on vocals. What a joyous time that was. Thank you, Don!

In the early 90s, I decided to build a new studio on the ranch, and Don helped more than I could tell you. He flew out to Cheyenne countless times, consulted and guided me on each piece of equipment. He arranged for patch bays to be wired in LA and then flew out to make sure everything came together. When we were done, I had a studio that was incredible. One of the many gifts of friendship Don gave me.

Many of you in Cheyenne got to know Don. He would fly out any time there was something special happening for me, special concerts, anniversary parties, or just to come out and visit us for a few days. He was one of those people that you just wanted to be around.

The first time I saw Graham after we lost Gooch a few years ago, it was the first thing he and I talked about, even though Gooch had been gone a couple years and Graham and I hadn't seen each other in awhile. It was something like "Damn, how dare he leave us." ( I cleaned this up a bit ).

I wonder how many times I've said, "God, I wish Don was still here." (especially when I was in the studio trying to figure something out. He never stopped teaching me. )

Anyway, for all the people over the years that have said great things to me about the records, so much credit goes to Don. My producer, and most of all, one of my best friends ever. Love you, my brother!

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