Allan Holdsworth with recording engineer Robert Feist during the recording of the Metal Fatigue LP circa 1985


The first day I worked with Allan Holdsworth as a recording engineer, our session ran late into the evening. At about one a.m. I recorded copies of the day’s work, and we took off for home. In the car, I popped the tape into the cassette player and headed to a fast-food drive-through, and placed my order. As I sat waiting for my egg jack-muffin, listening to Allan’s solo, the reality and depth of what we had just recorded hit me. 

Somehow the technical details (keeping track sheets, making notes, recording, and watching and talking with Allan) distracted me enough that I didn’t quite get what happened, not in the broader sense. I’d heard Allan play many times but sitting there, waiting for my breakfast sandwich, listening to his solo—it struck me. There was a physical sensation to my reaction, a flash like a dream or a memory, something old combined with the future. The cassette sounded and felt much larger than the recording we’d just made.