To be sure, he was distinctive as a singer; his train-whistle screams were identifiable in a good way. But every time I heard him get pitchy or completely miss a note, I worried that the public was going to be turned off by this band because of his limitations. He knew that Dave scared the shit out of me. Thinking back on that first go-around with Dave in the studio, I started wondering if I should stop talking about it and actually see about firing him. While he had his moments, he mostly just croaked along while the other guys played the most amazing shit. He also had this engaging personality and looked great onstage. Could I find a way to pull better performances out of him? I listened to their new songs and gave them feedback. Captain Beefheart used to try to do that; all the guys around Frank Zappa thought they could do that. But Dave naturally is that way.
Templeman wasn't a neophyte: he'd worked with producer and future boss Lenny Waronker on Harpers Bizarre, and he "would also go to the [Frank] Sinatra sessions, and I learned about headroom, over-modulating," remembers Templeman. That's how I knew what I was doing. Sinatra was a tough session, because you had live strings and horns and background singers in a booth, and if something was off, he would hear it. I was also lucky enough to go to Elvis Presley sessions and watch him record at Western Recording. But it was with Van Morrison where Templeman's production career began. As Morrison, 74, hits the road on tour behind his latest, Three Chords And The Truth, Templeman shares his memories from his intimidating but ultimately triumphant first co-production -- along with the duo's subsequent two albums -- where, Templeman says, "Van Morrison taught me how to produce records. I was working as a listener at Warner Bros. One day Joe told me I should take a trip to San Francisco with him to learn the ropes. Len cautioned me: "Ted, don't eat or drink anything he offers, it might be laced with acid. After that, we drove to Fairfax, California to see Van Morrison.
Templeman was born in Santa Cruz, California , where he began his career in the mid s as a drummer in a band called The Tikis. At the suggestion of Warner Brothers staff producer Lenny Waronker , the group decided to change their name to Harpers Bizarre in with Templeman switching to guitar and vocals. In , the group released the album Feelin' Groovy Warner Bros. Harpers Bizarre disbanded in
He says he has an unsigned band for you to see in Hollywood. To be honest, I rarely bothered to take calls concerning unknown local bands. By the time Marshall called, I was a Warner Bros.