siteguide | news | touring | emg | history | the works | contact | home | search

The following document, culled from the archives at River Sound, dates from the making of Kamakiriad. It was supplied by studio manager Scott Barkham.

Yo Gary,

Check out this loyalty oath Donald and Walter made me sign today. They pressured me and I signed the thing and now I feel like a jerk. What I want to know is, who do these guys think they are, anyway? It's not like I haven't bent over backwards to make the studio a success, right? And now this...I've had it with these bastards, and with you too. I Quit. You guys can take your recording studio and blow it out your asses. I'm gonna go home now and get roaring drunk for the first time in my life. I may kill myself after that and if I do it will be your fault and theirs also. If not, I'm going to Law School where I'm sure I'll learn all kinds of fancy Latin names for the various crimes and perversions that you guys have perpetrated over the years.

Say hi to Judy for me.



I, Michael Scott Barkham, hereby acknowledge the following fundamental principals of my employment as the manager of River Sound:

1. My Lord and Master, my liege, my leader - my boss - is the one and only Donald Fagen. Unto him I do pledge my troth and my undying fidelity and servitude. My heels shall have wings in the service of his every need. No other shall rule my deeds and words but Him.

2. I shall always resist the various demagogic influences and temptations which are ever present in the music business in general and here at River Sound in particular. No more need be said.

3. When Lord Fagen is at work in the studio, the following conditions shall prevail:

a. There will be food and beverages available at all times.

b. David Dill shall be required to wear socks that match if at all possible.

c. All runners and assistants shall be referred to as "Tony" irrespective of their actual given names.

d. I will do all in my power to make sure that Donald's fruit salad is fresh and tasty, his bagel is not besmirched with excessive cream cheese, and that the stairs and hallways are free of animal medical waste and other unidentifiable schmutz, whatever its vile origins.

e. I will do everything in my power to insulate Donald from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as they manifest themselves on a daily basis here at River Sound, i.e., disputes between various employees, conflicts in studio time, endless Laura Nyro remixes, personnel shortages arising due to Walter Becker's endlesss personal errands and Roger Nichol's constant techno-bullying, demands for payment on various long overdue bills, the entire 3M nightmare, and so on.

4. I shall make it my business to ruthlessly ferret out and correct any "funny business" involved in the following areas: equipment rentals, billings to record companies, the allocation of scarce studio funds, and the handling of cash in particular. I shall be ever vigilant against such unscrupulous dealings, remembering always that my good name and sterling reputation in the music business and that of River Sound are inextricably linked, for now and always.

5. When possible, and without violating any of the above precepts, I shall in addition try to act in such a way as to preserve as much as possible the integrity of the various delusional systems of the other principal "partners" in the studio, i.e.., Gary Katz, Wayne Yurgelun and also the "silent" partners, including but not limited to the First National Bank of Pakistan, Barry "Joy Boy" Rubin and the Maranello Crime Family of Brooklyn, N.Y.

6. I shall make the results of my forthcoming blood test available to Donald, so that he may know that I am reverent and clean in thought and action, and worthy of my responsible position in his employ.

I understand clearly that there will be additions made to this oath as necessary and I shall cheerfully abide by whatever modifications and addenda Donald deems appropriate.

Michael Scott Barkham 11/10/91

siteguide | news | touring | emg | history | the works | contact | home | search