Q : How was the first album with Tim followed by work with Frank Zappa?
A: Let me explain this a little. My first year properly in the business I played with & Mastin & Brewer, Zappa/Mothers, and Buffalo Springfield in that order. The first of these developed into Brewer & Shipley, another known name. Anyway, for the original Mastin & Brewer, one time Mastin did not show up for a gig at the “Whisky A Go Go” club. This made me have doubts, but our drummer Billy Mundy knew Zappa and recommended me. There, I really wanted to specialize in bass but Roy Estrada was already playing.
This meant that though I can be heard on all tracks for the “Absolutely Free” album, it is on rhythm guitar.
Don’t expect to find my name credited on the album, though. Frank had all my credits omitted from the cover because I moved on to Buffalo Springfield before it was released.
Q : So then, how did you come to pitch to Buffalo Springfield? If you wanted to focus on bass, why are only a few such tracks on each album ?
A : Buffalo Springfield had the same managers as Mastin & Brewer, I got to know them that way, then auditioned. Even taking into account the non-appearance of my credits on the Zappa album, I chose to make the move in order to focus in the area I wanted.
The lifespan of Springfield was just 2 years or so, during that time three albums were released, and the very nature of things meant most playing was live. Recordings were not done in dedicated fashion. Because production costs were not so astronomical as now, often just a couple of tracks were recorded after each tour, and not all tracks required bass. When there was enough material for an album, it was released, simple as that.
By the way, my first electric bass was a Rickenbacker longneck solid-body with a big head with a super De-Armond pickup, and I continued to use it well into my time with Springfield.