Bruce Swedien became a mentor and friend to me in Chicago when I was just starting my career. But it was by chance that we connected in L.A. I’d recently begun working as an assistant engineer at Westlake Studios when, one afternoon, Bruce and Quincy Jones walked in. They were there to make Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall. I got to assist them (pictured above).
We wound up working together for almost six years — on Quincy’s The Dude, for Lena Horne, on records for Rufus and Chaka Khan and Patti Austin and James Ingram and so many others. Quincy and Bruce just about owned the music business in those years, and I assisted on all those great records.
It was where I got my Ph.D. It was heaven…a heaven in which I was known as Big Julie. (Ask Quincy.)