I remember when R. Kelly threw a fire extinguisher down the hall @ChicagoTrax…

Ahh yes – those were the days! LOL.  I have a lot of great memories working with Rob(ert Kelly) – Yes, that’s what we called him in the studio – and yes he really does sound just like that!

I have had the fortunate experience to work with some of the best throughout my career – whether it was in Commercial Jingles or the Mainstream Record Industry – there is always another great story to tell!  For a long time, I was tracking, recording, editing, assembling, running for music superstar R. Kelly.  Rob is one of the most talented musician/singer/songwriters I have ever worked with in the studio – and that is saying something!  This guy doesn’t quit!  He comes in around 10pm and may stay until the next evening, its hard to tell!  Sometimes, he wouldn’t even show up at all!  He would book multiple rooms, so I may not see him that night… Well at least I got paid!  I never had any problem in this area, and I never had any problems with Mr. Kelly.  He is super fast in the studio, as am I!  He is quick to move song to song…so am I.  He gets ideas flying, and we may do 3 brand new songs in one night!

I’m not talking about a few lines of material over a beat, I’m talking about composing music on the spot – the man is a creative genius!  He can write as fast as we could track him to 2″ tape…Did you say 2″ tape? Yep!

That’s why I was brought in – to change their entire system over to a faster medium – the computer!  At first he was very reluctant, and everything was then backed up to 2″ tape – the faster I got them running, the less they used the tape!  At the time we were running Studio Vision Pro.

I could only work so much, and I could only do so many sessions, as I was also tracking commercials by day, at the same time…sleep? who needs it!!!  As Rob’s system became faster, he would end up tracking with whoever was there at the time…One night, I wasn’t there to set things up…uh oh!

He ended up working with a new engineer – virtually an intern who will remain nameless.  They worked on a project from about midnight to somewhere around 5am.  Perhaps there were breaks, interruptions, phone calls, etc.  As the night went on, the track began to take  shape (perhaps not as quickly as if I had done it LOL.)  Chorus sections were pasted out, song was assembled into some sort or  arrangement – the hook was written, and the song was grooving nicely…

then the computer crashed…




“Pull it back up,” said Mr. Kelly…

“I Don’t think I can,” said the unnamed engineer.

“What do you mean?” asked Rob.

“I don’t think i ever saved it…”


Now pause for a second…can you imagine being this engineer?  Can you imagine being the world-famous R. Kelly at this moment?  I think I may have shot this guy, if it was me, and I’m not much of a violent person…but…5 hours… AND NOT SAVING ONCE!  UH OH!

What happened next can only be described as frustration and fury exploding onto the closest thing he could find..The Fire Extinguisher!  And there it went, down the hall, barely missing the studio window as it reflected off the floor and finally ended up against the door to Studio D…W hoa!

So then the rumors flew..R Kelly flew off the handle! He went crazy!  He’s nuts!  Watch out for him!

Would YOU have been any less frustrated?  What is the moral of this story?  You be the judge – and remember this the next time your buddy gets mad at you for losing his stuff.

I guess this is why Horse-Drawn does sooo much Data Recovery!

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