November 28th, 2009

It took me a long time to learn that if you want a woman in your life, you have to listen to her — patiently. I guess I’m still learning patience, but when I wrote this song I had very little — particularly when they’d start complaining — as they invariably did. “Love Is Zero” is a manifestation of my ingenious zero-tolerance relationship policy – which was obviously so successful seeing as how I’ve only been married three times.

Details: 1978 was a good year. I was living in Laurel Canyon, getting to know lots of people and learning lots of things. Recording engineering was one of those things. I’d been spending lots of time in high-line rooms like The Sound Factory, United Western, Producer’s Workshop, The Record Plant, Devonshire, and so on. But while I mostly watched and listened at those places, I didn’t really get my hands on a recording console until I met a guy named Steve Singer.

Steve was a songwriter who’d somehow put some money together and, with a partner, had just opened up a killer 24 track studio (all MCI) in Studio City called Excalibur. When a mutual friend took me by to visit one day, I met Steve and immediately tried to con him into giving me some studio time on spec. Steve was a cagey guy and wasn’t buying, but he did suggest we write some songs together and use his studio to record them. Bingo!

So we proceeded to write about 200 songs together over the next couple of years, several of which became top ten records in Europe. I also got to spend lots of time twiddling the knobs, which did much to improve my skills. (Steve: In case I’ve neglected to say so in the past — thank you)

In fact, I wrote “Love Is Zero” by myself. However, it was indeed recorded at Excalibur during that time, along with my crew of Excalibur regulars. We called ourselves the TrackRats, by the way, and even had silk-screened T-shirts made up that showed a reel of 2 inch, AMPEX 456 with a big rat bite taken out of it.

The TrackRats were: Mark Bensi; drums, Don Soraporu; bass, Steve Bach (from Stanley Clarke’s band); keyboards, I played acoustic and electric guitars. Mark, Don and I sang backgrounds. This song was recorded and mixed by me and Hayward Collins.

(PS: this version is from an old cassette, so forgive the background hiss)

Love Is Zero

Words & Music by Skip Adams

You are crazy
I am blue
Got me spinnin’, spinnin’
Don’t know what to do

One and one
May equal two
But baby you and me
Don’t equal you

Love Is Zero
Love Is Zero

You say you love me
Now that’s a lie
Like the politician’s dreams
This too must die

I say please
You say no
Tell me where’s a fool
Like Me to go?

(Repeat 2nd Verse)


Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “chp 8: Love Is Zero”

  1. James Adams says:

    I know that riff! Always thought it was one of the coolest ones in your bag.

    Wow, that studio team sounds really fun. Wish I had been there!

    “Like the politician’s dreams this too must die” is an awesome line.