And then the sun came out. I had my last drink on December 31, 1989 at 11:59:59 pm. And I didn’t have a drink the next day. And somehow it stuck. I started therapy. I was truly miserable – it took me two years to work my way out of the personal and financial messes I’d gotten myself into, and each step of the way felt as if I were crawling through glass.
In 1991 I started writing a few songs for a new album, but that was difficult too. But I had managed to keep all that great recording equipment I’d purchased back in ’88, so slowly but surely I started putting together drum tracks, and in 1991 Rob Dobbins and Tim Cupps and Joey Dobbins helped lay down the first tracks for the album, but it was taking forever. I wrote the first horn charts I’d ever written for two of the songs and was thrilled that they worked when they were recorded.
But I was still stuck. I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong. And then, one night in early 1993, sitting at the dinner table, staring at the recording console across the room – it dawned on me: I needed to use professional musicians! So I walked over to the console and erased every track of the project where I played an instrument I wasn’t very proficient at. And then I contacted a Musicians’ Contact Service and hired a couple of players – Randy Wolchek (who became a friend, played many live gigs with me and appeared on all five of my initial Trough Releases) on Keyboards and Mike Langeland on guitars – and paid old friend Jeff Album to come down to L.A. to play on some tracks - and before I knew it, the record was done!
All I needed now was the money to have the album mastered and pressed – and I had zero money to do that. That’s when I got a package in the mail from a couple dozen friends, who all had written checks that added up to just enough to pay to get the album out. On August 27, 1993 I picked up the first batch of CDs from the manufacturer and then drove to a meeting in downtown Los Angeles. After the meeting I pulled a copy of A Lust and a Longing out of my trunk and handed it to an attorney I had just been meeting with. And with that handoff, the album was released and Trough Records was born.