Doug Wilde and I have been working together, co-writing, touring, creating shows, leading bands on TV, doing music for film and advertising now for I guess about 40 years. In all that time we have never had a fight. More importantly, I think it would be fair to say that we have always been proud of what we have done. This collaboration has taken us and the music around the world from Australia to Italy to China to the US and throughout Canada. Doug describes our co-writing collaboration as; I’m the architect, he’s the builder. Which is not the case all the time, sometimes he’s the architect and the builder and I’m doing a little light landscaping over the septic.
Writing this album, The Twelfth of Never was a two-year process that began at his house in Toronto listening to what we called “records that changed music”. It was an eclectic mix, Miles (Blue), Moby (Play), Laura Mvula (Can’t Live With This World), Maria Joao, Oregon, Eddie Harris and Les McCann, Elizabeth Sheppard. Baaba Maal, Värttinä, Manni Sandhu & Jelly Manjitpuri. It was a crazy mash up of stuff, in many cases, it might not be entire songs that interested us, it could be just a groove or a background vocal part. The listening mission was to explore. We wanted the Manteca album to be less structured than our previous work, we wanted to “meander” through the charts, not be in such a hurry to get anywhere. We wanted our new guitar player Nick Taiteshi not to just get parts, but to “cast” the guitar as a character in the songs.
Over the years of working together, one of our most bizarre collaborations was when we were asked to audition for the Conan O’Brien show back in the early 90’s. That story, and it is quite a tale of death and resurrection and re-death is told here. Here is the audition which includes Manteca’s Charlie Cooley on Drums, the remarkable Neil Chapman on Guitar, Collin Barrett on Bass, Phil Dwyer on Sax, Dave Dunlop on Trumpet, Gord Myers on Bone, Doug on keys and me on percs.