Just because we were able to record all the bands didn’t mean we were done with our work on this album. There was still plenty of work to do. Farley still had to master the audio, Mark started his work on making videos, the artwork for the album cover needed to be finished and everything needed to be sent to the pressing company.

I knew it could take anywhere between eight and twelve weeks to press an album, so it was extremely important to get the audio done as fast as possible. Farley didn’t waste any time getting this done. Before I knew it we were sitting at Skylark Recording Studio listening to the master versions and laughing at the banter the bands were having between takes.

We also had to figure out how to put the bands in order on the album. Like all albums, it needed a flow, and had to sound right listening to all the bands together. Due to the recording process we took with having an acoustic feel, the bands had a great similar sound that could easily be identified as being recorded live in the 97X studios.

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There was also a time restraint. With the overall running time on the album being at forty-four minutes, we had to make sure we hit the twenty two minute per side mark. I think we nailed it perfectly with Side A and Side B both having their own unique styles.

We also still hadn’t come up with a cohesive idea for an album cover. How do we represent the Quad Cities and 97X in one album cover? A picture of the Mississippi? The Rock & Roll Mansion? The last album which was put out in 1982 had a white cover with just the 97X logo and the XLP II logo. While a little boring to me, it was still powerful by stating only what needed to be said.

So, I had to go to a professional for help. I asked Danny O’Leary from Mrs. O’Leary’s Art what he thought and he had an excellent idea. Since it’s kind of a live album, the album could almost look like a road case and maybe the track listing could look like handwritten setlist. I instantly knew that this was the design I wanted and asked him to get to work. Within a day or so the design was done and we were ready to roll.

I submitted all the artwork and tracks to the presser and they assured me the albums would be in my hands by the end of August. I marked the date, it was May 14 and now all we had to do was wait.

With that I finally understood what Tom Petty meant when he said, “the waiting is the hardest part.” Those words were never any truer to me than now.

To be concluded...

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