Pete Manno and Robin Russo were both guitarists for Sacred Sword at different times. I knew Pete from working at the parking lot, and when he and Robin decided to put a band together, they asked me to play bass.
They were both very good guitar players, and both very different. Pete was technical, where Robin played more by feel. They complimented each other well.
On drums, they got Jim Paxson. Jim was, and still is, one of the best drummers I ever played with. His father was a drummer in a casino band at the time, and his mother is Sunnie Paxson, a jazz keyboardist who once recorded and played with Stanley Clarke. Jim is responsible for introducing me to jazz fusion, which would ultimately become my favorite form of music and would drastically change my playing style.
First up on vocals was Zack Bocelle, an excellent singer who I would end up working with more later.
The 5 of us practiced every night writing new material, and Jim set up a recording session for us in North Jersey. None of our songs had vocals yet, but still the date was set. So, after working a full day at the parking lot, I picked Zack up and the two of us set off in my truck for the two-hour drive to the studio. Zack had a cassette from one of our practices, so we just played that over and over so that he could write lyrics to the two songs we were recording. They ended up being Gettin' Ready and I'll Be Back Again.
The studio itself was at the top of this run-down office building. The accoustics were terrible. During recording of the rhythm track, I unveiled my new bass line for the break in Gettin' Ready. I knew it needed something, so I worked on it the night before, to be ready for the recording. Everyone was very happy with what I was playing, so after we finished up the rhythm track and some of the guitar work, I went into the hall and fell asleep on the floor for a couple of hours.
At about 2:00 am, Pete woke me up, excited with the vocals that Zack layed down, so I watched him and Robin do their guitar solos. We mixed it all down and left the studio just in time for me to go to work the next morning for my shift the following day. In all, I'm fairly happy with the recording. It was a rush job, so there are quite a few mistakes on it, and you can barely hear the bass line in the break I worked so hard on, but they're good songs.
In the end, though, Zack and Pete just couldn't make it work, and so Zack left (or was asked to leave, not sure) the band.