The Early Years
In this chapter Ken looks at his childhood influences, his penchant for recording at an early age, and the steps leading to his entry into the world of music, thanks to one special girl on the tele.
We look at Ken’s arrival at EMI’s Abbey Road Studio and his ascension through the ultimate music recording bootcamp; the EMI training program. Along the way Ken describes the layout of the famed studio, how the training program works, how he barely avoided getting fired (twice), as well as his first meeting and first session with The Beatles.
Engineering The Beatles
Ken finally becomes a full fledged engineer and his baptism of fire is with, you guessed it, The Fab Four. In this chapter Ken describes working on songs for Magical Mystery Tour and the inside story behind the making of “Hey Jude.”
Recording The White Album
Never the ordeal that the press described, Ken takes us behind the scenes during the recording of The White Album and dispels many of the myths about “The Boys” during this period.
The White Album Epilogue
Faced with a deadline for the first time, Ken outlines the intensity and mad rush to finish The White Album on time. Along the way he lets us in on the never-before-told secrets to songs like “Blackbird,” “Back In The USSR,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
The Boys (And Girls) In And With The Band
After being asked the “What is he really like?” question innumerable times over the years, Ken puts it all on record about The Beatles and the people around them.
Engineering Other EMI Artists
EMI was more than just The Beatles, and Ken worked with all the artists that came through the studio during that period. In this chapter he relates working with Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, Procol Harem, among others.
I Finally Get Fired
Despite having the #1 album in the world, Ken’s relationship with management sours and he’s fired, only to be rehired again. But the writing is on the wall as he develops his exit strategy.
Trident - My New Home
Ken is hired at Trident Studios, one of the biggest independent studios in London, and immediately begins working with, you guessed it, The Beatles, on their various solo projects.
The Hits Keep Rolling - Or Not
Ken begins to work with some of the cream of the music scene, taking on projects with America, Jeff Beck, Harry Nilsson, The Rolling Stones and Mott The Hoople. Along the way he writes about the Trident studio ghost, the legendary Trident consoles, and the sessions with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and The Grateful Dead that came close but never came to pass.
Enter David Bowie
Ken describes his first meeting a none-too-famous David Bowie and his subsequent recording of his Man Of Words, Man Of Music and Man Who Sold The World albums. He then writes about his unforeseen entry into the world of production with Bowie’s Hunky Dory album.
Ken is thrust into the role of mixing Elton’s Madman Across The Water album, then heads to France to record Honkey Chateau.
Even before Hunky Dory is released, Ken and Bowie begin work on Ziggy Stardust. In this chapter Ken describes the making of the album, it’s subsequent success, and Bowie’s rise to stardom.
Bowie Post Ziggy
With Bowie and the Spiders riding high, Ken works on Lou Reed’s Transformer and his classic “Walk On The Wild Side,” then heads to New York to work on Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. But all is not well as cracks inside the band begin to show.
The End Of The Bowie Team
Bowie disbands the Spiders then heads to France to record Pinups with Ken, but the end of an era seems inevitable. They record the little-seen 1980 Floorshow together, but Ken is left fighting for royalties with Bowie's management, a battle that will go on for years.
Elton Take 2: Don't Shoot Me
Ken and Elton head to France again to record Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player, then head to Jamaica for an aborted attempt at recording Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road. While in Jamaica, Ken accidentally finds out why there's so much bass on reggae records.
Out of the blue, Ken is asked to leap genres to produce the progressive jazz of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and what becomes their seminal Birds Of Fire album. His work in the genre continues with Billy Cobham's Spectrum, but what becomes known as Mahavishnu's Lost Trident Sessions turn out to be an unpleasant
All That Jazz
Ken's recording technique brings a new kind of sound to progressive jazz, and he continues to work in that area on records with Billy Cobham, more Mahavishnu, and Stanley Clarke.
Ken initially rejects an offer to work with Supertramp but later reconsiders. Crime of the Century almost never gets off the ground, but after the go-ahead from the record label, it's decided to make this record as perfect as humanly possible.
Completing Tramp's Crime of the Century
Ken's falling out with his management has him leaving the Trident fold, which means that Crime has to be completed elsewhere. The album eventually becomes a break-through hit and a model for future record production.
Supertramp Take 2: Crisis, What Crisis?
Ken and Supertramp move to sunny Los Angeles to record the follow-up to Crime, but topping a big hit isn't always easy, nor is learning to cope with many unforeseen distractions. With Crisis, What Crisis also a success, Ken tries to come to terms with his mysterious breakup with the band.
Now permanently an Angeleno, Ken accidentally learns about the world of illegal substances with The Tubes, helps Kansas sort through a new lead singer and a bad contract, and enters the bizarre world of Devo.
All That Jazz Again
Ken continues to be in demand in the prog-jazz genre as he works on Stanley Clarke's classic School Days and watches Stan and Billy Cobham try to outplay one another, mixes one of the first quad albums, and works with a new Jeff Beck.
The Unspecified Genre
Ken talks about his time working with several bands that defy description; Happy The Man and The Dixie Dregs.
Through next door neighbor Frank Zappa, Ken meets the band that becomes Missing Persons. After handling their production, he agrees to professionally stretch out and become their manager.
Finally, A Record Deal
After a long struggle, Missing Persons finally signs a record deal and has an epic party to celebrate, one that makes the news world-wide for the wrong reason. But the band's first release, Spring Session M, becomes a hit.
Missing Persons: The Downfall
Ken learns a few painful management lessons, including losing the band for making it look too easy.
The Downside Of The Business
You win some and you lose some in this business, as Ken records a metal band under extenuating circumstances, does a different kind of production with the funky Level 42, and dabbles yet again in management.
Ken enters the world of superstardom again as he records with Duran Duran and gets a "worst record ever" to go along with his many "bests" along the way.
After 30 years, Ken reconnects with George Harrison to work on rereleasing his catalog. He moves into George's mansion, goes on a quest for the missing tape, and sees George off one final time.
The EpiK Epic
The idea for a new kind of drum sound library takes shape as Ken enrolls 5 trusted and talented friends from the past.
A Look At The Big Picture
Ken answers the questions most asked of him, reminisces on the one project that got away, shares his philosophy on business, recording and life, and sees his perfect final end.