Putting out fires with gasoline


1983, just out of highschool, this 4.0 AFROTC scholarship student, classically trained pianist won a try-out for a keyboard player for one of the top cover bands in Central New York. (Come on now, Foreigner, Benny Mardones & Eddie Money were forged here.) Putting out Fires was on the set list. I can remember asking the guys, "who is David Bowie?"
Of course, I'm listening to this cut as I type this story. Putting Out Fires might be one of the sexiest, most elegantly orchestrated covers I've ever performed. The lead singer/guitar player was so talented and beautifully shy. I crushed on him listening to the intro: 'See these eyes so green...'
Doing the harmonies & backups (Been So Long ... So Long ... So Long) still gives me chills! Our drummer (The Rooster) started on the rims and then later kicked it on the drums. I bought my first synthesizer for the parts and had to figure out how to midi my keyboards together to get the layered synth/organ/string sound that is signature for Putting Out Fires.
Do you hear the guitar harmonies? Dr. Dan & Scott rocked this part. I can smell the funky warehouse smell from our rehearsal space just listening to the track.
Putting Out Fires marked a right of passage for me into adulthood, and as a musician. Thank you David!

Grace Lanni | Austin, Texas


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