Lee Hazen is a pioneering musician/engineer who was instrumental in some of the greatest rock 'n roll records to emerge from Florida in the '60s. His work with the Nightcrawlers represents some of the finest garage music ever made, in any state. We play a lot of Lee's recordings on Florida Rocks Again! and he dropped us a line today with the following reminiscence:
Thanks for notifying me of the airdates for your show. Have you considered offering CD's on a subscription basis ? I would love to hear the whole series of shows. It's been a long time since I've been back to Fla - 1992 was my last visit, but I consider my experience in Florida to be the foundation of my careeras a recording engineer which started in l964, the year I recorded The Nightcrawlers for the first time, and The Escorts Combo.
[Note: The Escorts were the earlier incarnation of the Daytona Beach garage legends the Allman Joys, Gregg and Duane Allman's mid-'60s teenage garage band. - JMD]
Had it not been for the kindness of Bob Quimby offering me work at The National Songwriter's Guild as a musician, singer and technician, who knows what direction I would have taken. A trip to Nashville with local singer and friend, Ted Merthe, made up my mind that I wanted to be an engineer and I started working towards my goal of working in Nashville.
A year at Criteria in 1965 and another year at KING in 1966 gave me a"track record" which got the attention of Glenn Snoddy in Nashville who had just build a new studio in East Nashville - Woodland Sound Studios. I often wonder how things might have turned out had I not been offered that job in Nashville. I think one thing still would have happened - I would have pursued my other goal of owning my own recording studio - in Florida.
Well, I reached that goal in l976 with the opening of "Studio by the Pond" here at my home by Old Hickory Lake near Hendersonville, TN. The studio and I are both retired but continue to exist (and I continue to drink beer). My two best friends returned to Ormond Beach in the mid 90's and continue to live and work in the area - Mike Stone and Jack (Stack A Track) Grochmal. Mike has the 24 channel MCI console from the Starday King Studio in Nashville,and Jack has a formidable amount of recording gear in his private studio at his home in Ormond by the Sea. Both of them are talented sound mixers and have been very much involved in music production over the years. Another person who was responsible for Bob Quimby hearing my recordings and offering me that first job is Betty Jayne (Stickles) Shawd. BJ sang on demos at the Guild for several years.
After I moved to Nashville, I helped her get to know some of the Background Singers and their groups. I think she would still be here singing on sessions had her mother not persuaded her to return to Daytona Beach. That's a real shame. Her husband, Larry Shawd, is a talented sound mixer and drummer. She operated her own Demo studio for a long time. Daytona has always been a great source of great musicians and performers.
I think that "The Martinique" night club should be treasured as the greatest showplace of talent in the area. It also happens to be the most exciting room that I've ever recorded in - including every recording studio I've ever worked in. I would LOVE to own that building and open a studio/live performance venue in it.
Have a great Holiday !