1. When/how did you first meet Gene?
Pretty early in the eighties but I don’t remember where or when. Most likely 1980-81 and something around a Boaz, JC Rose, Undercover or Lifesavors gig at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, or around Whitefield studios as those were my hangouts then. I know it was before Adam Again and Youth Choir existed as I remember Sim Wilson was playing with him and Shelly in a band I believe was called Martus. There were so many bands back then it’s hard to remember who was playing with who without a score card. Back then everyone just kind of knew everyone as we were all starting a movement of sorts without knowing it – so we all just sort of hung out or kept running into each other. I was more on a management, production, troublemaker end of things so I overlapped all the various camps and projects. Gene was working with a lot of the same people I knew and that pattern continued until his death.
2. What projects were you involved in with him?
If involved means hanging around watching my friends work and having lunches or watching TV – more than I can recall. If it means me actually doing something other than that – none. My position in the whole mix of things is best described by Joe Taylor, “whatever was going on Brian is just there” and that still holds true to this day. I happen to have been around a whole gang of extremely talented people who happened to be my friends. I got to hang out at the Broken office or the studio when Gene was recording projects with a ton of artists and albums, maybe I hit a button or moved a fader or played track sheet clerk during an Undercover, Lost Dogs, Boys Club thing… but to say I worked with Gene would be a real reach. I just hung out and I was really good at it.
3. How do you think Gene shaped and impacted the music scene?
He raised the bar for the types of music and the production quality in CCM with his own work and a lot of the stuff he and Joe Taylor released. He also recorded some unbelievably clean sounding tracks in the studio. His own music was poignant & great and I always love his stuff on the Adam Again records like No Regrets or River on Fire… just incredible. The stuff with the Lost Dogs is well known so that speaks for itself. He seemed to draw out the best in the people he worked with, even some of the most neurotic. He could be very disarming – like a little kid – and people really seem to find it hard to be mad at him, pretty hard to do in the music biz and life.
4. Three words that you would use to describe Gene, and why?
Smart, Eclectic and Tragic – you can interpret that as you see fit.
5. As a friend of yours, how did Gene influence you?
Just don’t take all the BS of so seriously, life goes on…..