How did I manage to get the mighty John Payne of Asia fame to play (and sing) on my album?
Well, it's another long story, but I will shorten it. Some time in 1991, Asia's former manager asked if I would be interested in doing artwork for the current album. "You bet", I replied and set about some pencil sketches for the Aqua release. During the selection process John and Geoff Downes visited my studio to peruse some ideas I had drawn out. To my horror they chose the design that I least liked - he who pays the piper calls the tune - the space whale machine with dolphins was used:
Anyway, back to the story. I got one well with John and Geoff, but it was John who was in touch more frequently and we became good friends.
Some time around 2007, I plucked up the courage to ask John if he would play some bass guitar for me and, to my surprise, he said yes! Not long after, things took a less than agreeable turn in my life and the album was shelved and forgotten, until a couple of years ago, when I decided to revisit my idea of a "proggy" album of music, inspired by my images and written jointly with my friend Jeff Scheetz, a great guitarist from Kansas City.
John is a talented and experienced musician - I'm very fortunate to have him on board. Here we see him in his menagerie, doubling as a recording studio, laying down the bass for The Granite Curtain: