"The first two weeks after I arrived, I found myself in a studio jamming with Jimi Hendrix, how cool was that!"

by Johnny Meza   

Billing himself as "the most famous musician you never heard of" Andy Cahan has toured and recorded with a venerable who's who of Rock from the 60's to the 90's. Working in the studio with the likes of The Turtles, Ringo Starr, Eric Carmen, Harry Nilsson, Linda Ronstadt, John Wesley Harding and Dr. John, Andy was the person who suggested to the two members of the band Dawnbreaker to change their name to Seals and Croft.Arriving in Los Angeles in 1968, Andy was swept in to the L.A. rock scene. "The first two weeks after I arrived, I found myself in a studio jamming with Jimi Hendrix, how cool was that!" Soon he was introduced to Flo and Eddie of the 60's pop group, The Turtles. "I met Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan at Cherokee Studios almost thirty-three years ago and worked with them first as a keyboardist and now as a musical director."The experience of many years performing on the road and countless hours in the recording studio had definitely honed Andy's musicianship, so in 1989 he started his business the Demo Doctor to assist songwriters and vocalists realize their dreams in his recording studio.With state of the art equipment and over 7,000 sounds available for sessions, Andy can programs drums and keyboards, arrange, produce and master tracks so they are CD ready. "I usually have the client bring in an example of a group or sound that they want to create and we go from there."

"Drums were my first instrument and when I was ten years old and my Dad taught me an Indian song on piano. I took one piano lesson in my life and I couldn't stand it, everything I do is self taught, I play by ear.""When I was thirteen I was into making monster movies. I had a Kodak 8mm camera that also recorded sound and I made movies like Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman and Revenge From Planet Four. I would use The Flying Dutchman Overture, The Rite Of Spring and all this classical music for my movie soundtracks.""Then all of a sudden the Beatles came out on The Ed Sullivan Show. Guess what happened to me, I said forget all that other music, I want to be on stage with all those babes screaming for me!" "The organ solo on Del Shannon's Runaway was the first organ solo I learned, I was also into Surf Music. I started writing songs everyday, they were all Beatlesque with different chord changes and if it wasn't for the Beatles I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today.""In high school I had two Surf bands called the Jaguars and The Tokays. I had a band called the Individuals and a band called The Euphorian Railway, which played crazy psychedelic music."

"In 1968 I drove a VW bus from my home town of New Rochelle, New York to L.A. because for me that was the happeningplace for music. I also knew a family friend who owned Pulsar Records which was a subsidiary of Mercury Records."   "Iwasbasically a gofer for the record company but I also played an electric harpsichord which I played through two Leslie speakers.One day Pulsar recording artist Graham Bond called me up and said bring your harpsichord, we're going to the studio and jam."  "I'm setting up my harpsichord and I feel something come in the room, I'm getting goose bumps and I turn around and it's Jimi Hendrix! Lowell George is on the flute, Mitch Mitchell is on drums, Jack Cassidy is on the bass and Noel Redding is in the booth with the engineer. I couldn't believe it, all this was happening two weeks after I moved to L.A.""Next, I played drums along side Buddy Miles and then I met Jimmy Carl Black of the Mothers of Invention and we started a group called Geronimo Black. We recorded an album for Uni Records in 1972 but the album bombed because it was basically a tax write off for them.""Through Jimmy Carl Black I met Flo and Eddie of The Turtles and joined their band. We did Starship tours, Doobie Brothers tours, Steven Stills tours and all the great tours. I also worked with Little Richard at the same time so I was constantly on the road for a three year period.""In 1973 I was musical director for the Grammys and it was the very first time that Little Richard and Chuck Berry appeared on stage together. I was the musical director of the American Bandstand twenty third anniversary also with Little Richard." "1975 found me recording albums with Flo and Eddie and The Turtles. One was called, Illegal, Immoral and Fattening, recorded live at the Roxy in Los Angeles and another one was called Moving Targets. Then we did a reggae album recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica using all of Bob Marley's musicians."   Andy was then hired to perform the music for the animated television shows, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears and G.I. Joe. "They were all done on a Casio keyboard! I also did a project with Ray Bolger, the straw man of The Wizard of Oz called The Magic Egg."   "During the 80's there was a lot of touring and also just hanging out with Grace Slick and Marty Ballin or playing backgammon all night with Steven Stills. The 90's is when I became good friends with Harry Nilsson and we would hang out together and work on recording projects."

Insights:

"There are a lot of aspiring singers and songwriters who don't know how to make a recording or musicians who have purchased equipment and can't make it sound right, I have the experience to help them and make it happen."

Andy Cahan has a new recording studio here in the Coachella Valley