Today’s Feature, September 16th & 17th: Fertitta & McClintock

September 16, 2007 at 6:26 pm (Today's Feature)

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So what did you do at your last high school reunion? You probably had some punch, wore a silly “Hi, My Name Is” name tag, maybe even ran into an x-girl or boyfriend that just had some beneficial reconstructive surgery. All in all, it probably wasn’t that eventful. It wasn’t as if some reunion was going to turn into a life-altering event or something.

In the case of Fertitta and McClintock, that’s not exactly true. These high school pals who first found success in the 1970’s have reunited today nearly 30 years later to resurrect the sound they left behind decades ago. In 1977, the pair signed a publishing deal with Island Music and subsequently a record deal with the legendary Clive Davis and Arista Records. Having the opportunity to be produced by multi-platinum producers Fred Mollin and Matthew McCauley, it seemed the duo were well on their way to rousing commercial success. However, that scenario never came to fruition, the record fell through, and the friends parted, going into careers writing songs for movies and TV, commercial jingles and other recording acts. But today…it’s a different story.

The record that was never supposed to exist has been created, and it’s fittingly called “After All This Time.” It’s an album that recognizes their passions of the past, as well as the experiences they’ve gained since then.

XXQs: Fertitta and McClintock

PensEyeView (PEV): How and when did Fertitta and McClintock form as a band?

Steven McClintock (SM): We started playing together in high school…in a band called JOBE. It had two lead singers…David and I…and that was unique at the time. We started making money at it together about 3 years later in Houston…we had the best gig…great money, great hours, great audience and 5 nights a week! No set up or tear down…I loved it.

David Fertitta (DF): Actually the first real version of Fertitta and McClintock was formed around 1974. Steven originally replaced a member of a trio that I had performed with for several years in Beaumont, Texas called David, David, and John…after the summer of ’73 we lost one of our members to college at Notre Dame…that’s where Steve joined the band…it was a short lived trio but Steven and I saw right off the bat that we had a really unique blend with our vocals and loved what we heard …he and I pursued work together as a duo in Houston which we did for about two years…at the end of that stint together I moved to Los Angeles in the summer of ’76 and Steven went on to play in another duo that toured Texas and had a gig in San Jose as part of the tour…over the Christmas holidays of ’76 I went back to Texas to visit family and ran into Steve there…we discussed reuniting at that time and decided to make a effort to make a go of it in Los Angeles. Steven moved to LA in January of ’77 and that was the beginning of Fertitta and McClintock the west coast version.

PEV: Growing up in Beaumont, Texas and both of you having gone to the same high school (Forest Park High School), what was the music scene like in Beaumont growing up? How did Texas music help shape your sound?

SM: Well growing up in Beaumont was actually cool. David lived across the street from Johnny and Edgar Winter. We would peek at them through the fence and listen to their rehearsals. It was a ball…we also had the influence of Janis Joplin…which I got to see rehearsing in Terrell Park when I was about 12 or so. I thought she looked like a witch…I remember it so well. There were great players everywhere and every kind of music possible. When I was about 13, I would occasionally go over to Lake Charles and see blues bands…just a skip across the Texas border into Louisiana. But really none of that led to Fertitta and McClintock’s vocal sound, but it sure gave us lessons in what was great!

DF: I would say that you did one of two things growing up in Beaumont, Texas…you either played sports or you played music…obviously Steven and I chose music…I can’t say that the music scene in Texas really shaped our sound…we were more influenced by Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, Doors, Beatles, Hendrix, Dan Fogelberg, Eagles, a shit load of groups mostly from every where else but Texas.

PEV: What was it like the first time Fertitta and McClintock stepped into a recording studio together?

SM: We never got to record together in Texas…it wasn’t until we got out to California AND already had our record deal that we got into the first studio together. I want to say it was Sunset Sound in Hollywood…but I could be wrong.

DF: Well all I can remember was hearing that sound that we knew we made in our live performances played back at us and hearing the magic of the blend come to life.

PEV: Tell us about the first ever, live Fertitta and McClintock performance?

SM: Boy…you are making me think! Holiday Inn off of Interstate 10 in Houston? I think that was it…a dumpy bar where we could practice and get tight. I remember they wanted country music and we had NONE!

DF: Hard to say it was so long ago but I can bet it must have been great.

PEV: Was there a certain point that you realized music was going to be a profession rather than a hobby?

SM: I think from the moment I first ever played in front of people I knew….in fact I never ever though of it as a hobby. It was always a career path for me with plans and goals.

DF: I knew music was going to be a profession very early on. Started playing guitar at age if 11 and writing and singing songs always imagining it was what I was going to do…music was like religion to me…its what I retreated to everyday after school in my bedroom…listening to records and picking out songs…trying to copy all the great music from the 60’s.

PEV: In the late 70s, after a bad music deal, Fertitta and McClintock as a group split and went there own ways. Did you think at that time that was the end of making music together?

SM: For sure…I never wanted to play with him again…and I think the feeling was mutual. I didn’t dislike David…I was just ready to move on.

DF: Yes, I never dreamed it would happen again

PEV: What can fans expect from your CD “After All This Time”?

SM: A great collection of songs…well written, well thought out lyrics, strong harmonies, interesting duo unison lines. Our thing is singing unison on lead lines…which creates it’s OWN sound…not my sound nor David’s…but both of us creating something new. We do it better than anyone I think.

DF: Well it’s produced in the retro style of the late 70’s very big…not necessarily what you would hear in one of our live performances…but we decided to make the record the way it would have been made back in ’79 when we were signed to make the album for Arista records…but the sound is still there and the songs…14 great songs

PEV: How is “After All This Time” different from other albums out today?

SM: Well…it is completely melodic…not a bad song on the CD…it has the vibe of the late 70’s/early 80’s but the sound quality of today. I know there are other CDS that have the same vibe…but no other duo doing what we are…and there are some great ones out there now.

DF: Great songs…great sound and it’s ours and there is only one Fertitta and McClintock.

PEV: What do you hope people can take away from “After All This Time” and tell us about the development of this CD?

SM: I hope they hear the sound we created long ago and “get it”. We have a pretty strong fan base in OC and when they come out to see us…they “get it”….and it feels great. That was one of the cool things about finishing this CD with Fred Mollin. He was our producer hired by Clive Davis back in 1978…Fred got it and new exactly what to do with us…28 years later.

DF: They can take away a CD that you can listen to over and over and never get tired of it…everyone always has favorite tracks from a CD…I have found that mine change on this CD from listen to listen….which frankly surprises me as I tend to be very critical

PEV: As a duo, tell us about the creative process behind your music?

SM: I write…David writes…and we write together…the creative process REALLY comes when we decide to DO one of our songs in the set…the vocal parts, the guitar parts…how they work together…that is the fun part for me. We do a few covers too for fun sometimes or to just shake it up a bit….and the harmonies and our “thing” we do is obvious in those songs as well.

DF: No creative process…its something that just happens for us…we do our practicing in front of an audience.

PEV: Not many groups can say they have been together for as long as Fertitta and McClintock. What do you think is the secret to retaining a positive and productive musical connection?

SM: 26 years apart…Ha! Well it’s true. We are fresh NOW because we never really got to finish what we started…so it is all brand new to us still…better than ever.

DF: Breaking up for 26 years…

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Fertitta and McClintock?

SM: Got me there…maybe that we are completely opposites. But isn’t every great partnership somewhat like that?

DF: That we are really in our 50’s…I know you probably thought that we were still in our 20’s.

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist, alive or deceased, who would it be and why?

SM: Irving Berlin…he could write anything. Second one would be Paul Simon or John and Paul from the Beatles…not that I had to tell you who they were…These guys were the best at what they did and proved it again and again.

DF: That is next to impossible to answer because there are so many…but if I don’t stop to think and say the first artist that come to my mind it would be Hendrix…why Hendrix?…do I really need to explain that?

PEV: What is the best part about playing live?

SM: It is when the parts we are singing create that magical third part harmony…making the sound even thicker and more rich…I love it when it happens and when the audience hears it…they don’t always know what just happened but they know they felt something. It is pretty cool for me.

DF: It can be magical…everything happens spontaneously and you get surprised all the time.

PEV: How has life on the road been for you? What is the best and worst parts about road life?

SM: Life on the road is just that…LIFE! You can make it good, bad, better or worse…it is all about the next gig…so how bad can it really be?

DF: Hell if I know…

PEV: What do all your friends and family back home think about your success?

SM: They love it…they are just as excited today as they were in 1978 when we got our first record deal with Arista. We played last November in our home town to a sold out audience and could do NO WRONG. We are heading back for a two week Texas tour again this November…I am really looking forward to it…Austin, Kerrviille, Houston, Dallas and Beaumont.

PEV: Between traveling and performing, what can we find each of you doing in your free time?

SM: I have no spare time…I am doing music all the time, raising two kids, producing, writing….busy with it all and loving it.

DF: Writing… as of late working on my new place I am trying to get ready to move into…making my way to the gym to swim and exercise.

PEV: Which city has been your best to perform in and why?

SM: Without a doubt…Newport Beach California…we honed our skills there at a time when people really wanted to hear something different and refreshing…I think we offered that.

DF: They all are good as far as I am concerned…it’s always fun to play back in our hometown because that’s like a high school reunion for us….but I love the audiences every where we play.

PEV: Is there an upcoming artist right now that you think we should all be listening to now?

SM: Yea…Fertitta and McClintock! I don’t know…I really like Tom Baxter from the UK…or Shiny Toy Guns from LA…both very different than us but one thing in common…good songs.

DF: Yes…Fertitta and McClintock

PEV: What do all your friends and family back home think about your success?

SM: They love it…they are just as excited today as they were in 1978 when we got our first record deal with Arista. We played last November in our home town to a sold out audience and could do NO WRONG. We are heading back for a two week Texas tour again this November…I am really looking forward to it…Austin, Kerrville, Houston, Dallas and Beaumont.

DF: Very, very jealous…just kidding….they thinks its great and long over due.

PEV: So, what is next for Fertitta and McClintock? SM: It is simple for us. We want to get this record heard, play more shows, make a few dollars from sales and licenses to pay back everyone and THEN make a new CD. The next one is going to be more acoustic with strings…maybe we can get Jimmy Webb to orchestrate it for us…that would be a lifelong dream for both of us. My hope is that we could use Fred Mollin again. Since recording us, Fred took the gig at Disney Records in LA as the VP of A&R…so he is a busy man…

DF: Promoting this CD and making our way back into the studio for a second album.

For more information on Fertitta & McClintock, check out http://www.FertittaAndMcClintock.com 

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