All the sudden, the moment was upon us. There we were, approximately seven months from Dwyer and I’s initial idea to recreate the 97X-LP, and it was finally time to get the bands into the studio to record their songs. The bands had submitted their songs, and the listeners had voted on the top ten bands, there was just one thing left to do--record the album.

There’s no amount of planning that can go into predicting how a recording session would go, especially for a person as inexperienced in this sort of thing such as myself.

Farley 97X-LP

Our super sound engineer, Justin Farley from Skylark Recording, told me it would be best to try and record this entire album over one weekend. This would give a uniform sound between performers. If we were to try and spread it over two weekends we’d have to worry about something being set up differently the second time, thus giving those songs a different sound and feel as the songs recording previously.

Working with all the bands to find availability to come into the studio was painless, but having completely discounted any idea of a Friday recording, it was my decision to go ahead and approve seven bands on Saturday and the final three on Sunday. Maybe this was overzealous, but I believed that Farley and I could pull it off.

I asked my friend Mark, from The Lucky Workshop, if he wanted to come in and shoot some video. He blew us all away by staying all weekend and shooting video of each band that came through the 97X doors. With Goose stopping by during his busy schedule, he was able to get some interviews with some of the bands as well.

The morning and afternoon sessions were running pretty smoothly, but Saturday night ran long and it was almost midnight before we wrapped. Had we really been recording for sixteen hours? How the Hell did that happen?


Sunday morning was a little easier as we had front loaded 70% of the album into Saturday. Three more bands and we could be done. Beers were flowing which helped to provide the usual shenanigans that come from recording a project like this. I will give a hint, one of the bands included a train whistle at the end of their song. Was it an homage, or just pure luck that it was sitting in my workspace just waiting for someone to pick up and play with?

Miller Lite Logo

As the last band was arriving, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything was quickly coming to an end. We now had a chance to catch our breath.

Mark, Farley and I felt physically and emotionally exhausted but that didn’t stop us from celebrating a job well done. We had done it, successfully recorded 10 bands in two days. It took us about 28+ hours in the course of one weekend, but we did it.

As we celebrated with (another) beer, we took a few minutes to think back of all we'd accomplished over those hectic two days. We met and worked with so many great people, and laid down ten tracks that surely the Quad Cities would enjoy as much as we did. I think you can hear the fun and excitement we all had on the album.

The celebration was short-lived though, because now we had to begin the next phase. Mark was making videos with all the footage he shot, and Farley needed to start mastering the audio files which had to get to the press in time so we could have the discs ready for the 40th anniversary of 97X. We needed to send out the audio files to the presser no later than the first week of May.

Now I just had to sit back and let Farley do his magic and then send out the files. We got this, right?

To be continued...

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