manager. So, my friend who was a roadie be- came friends with the Springfield and wound up going to work for them. They were record- ing and Richie and Jim Messina said “I won- der what it would sound like to add steel guitar to this record?” Well, my friend told them about me and that he could get me out there the next day. So that’s how it happened. My friend Miles called me and said ‘Hey, I’ve got you a session out here with Buffalo Springfield.” They were my favorite band in the whole world, so I was blown away. At the same time, he got me an audition for the In- ternational Submarine Band.

Oh, Gram Parsons. Yeah, I was supposed to audition to play steel in that band. But after I met with Jim and Richie we just clicked so I never auditioned for the Submarine band. Now, at the time Buffalo Springfield had actually broken up, so the three of us formed a new band. Our con- cept was, we wanted to have rock and roll songs, but use country instruments as the col- oring. So that’s what we began rehearsing and putting together. I was happy to work with Randy, I always felt like he was an amazing talent, and I always wanted to work with him. Then I called up the drummer I played with before, George Grantham, and that was the beginning of Poco.

So, Poco really kind of spearheaded that West Coast country rock move- ment. Poco predates the Eagles, right? Oh yeah, for sure. Glen (Frey) and J.D. Souther used to open for us at the Trouba- dour. Then when Randy Meisner left Poco he started the Eagles. I still get a lot of heat when I talk about what really happened back then. Mostly from people who weren’t there. When we were putting the band to-

gether, before Randy and George got in- volved, we played with a lot of different people. We rehearsed with Gregg Allman for


weeks. He wanted to be in the band. Gram Parsons came by and played for a while. He was an old friend of Richie’s. Gram told us, “I’d love to be in the band, but that guy Jim Messina is never gonna amount to anything. You have to decide if you want Jimmy or me.” Needless to say, Jim was an important part of the band so. . . So Gram left, and Crosby had been kicked out of the Byrds, and Chris Hill- man already knew Gram from the Submarine band days, so they had him join to replace Crosby. So, Gram told them they should in- corporate country and rock like we were doing. They already had a record deal. We had people talking to us, but we didn’t have a deal. They had the money behind them, so Sweethearts of the Rodeo got out before our first album. The critic from the L.A. Times came to our show and said we were the next big thing, and there was so much talk about us playing at the Troubadour – everyone was coming out to see us, from George Harrison to Waylon Jennings, Ricky Nelson. So, we had created a buzz, so when Gram went to them, they got in the studio before us. But there are haters out there who don’t want to believe it but that’s the truth. It was electric. You couldn’t even get in the door at our Trou- badour shows.

So, you influenced Gram too. Well, with Sweethearts of the Rodeo and

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