Glenn Morrow is a Hoboken, N.J., music treasure. He owns the influential 31-year-old Bar/None label (Yo La Tengo, They Might Be Giants, Feelies, dB’s, Of Montreal). His bands, such as the Individuals and “a,” have helped put the Mile Square City on the indie-rock map for equally as long. His latest project is Glenn Morrow’s Cry For Help, which has a new self-titled album. Morrow will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.
Morrow: My first brush with the music biz went like this: I went to a Todd Rundgren concert at a Jersey college in the middle of winter. As I was sitting in my mom’s Plymouth station wagon waiting for the doors to open, there was a knock on the window. This sophisticated girl in a long black dress with billows of curly hair told me she was a friend of Todd’s. She said she was waiting to get in herself and could she sit with me in my car? She was training to be a sound engineer at Secret Sound Studios. I knew that place from Todd’s album covers. In a matter of moments, she was laying all kinds of insider info on me. She’d been Moogy Klingman’s girlfriend, but he’d thrown her over and refused to put her on the guest list! Could I talk to the stage manager? His name was Rocket (or something like that); all I had to do was go to the stage, ask for him and tell him “_____” was outside. Moogy was so mean and Todd was the greatest and was encouraging of her interest in engineering. We talked about different albums. She told me the new stuff was really different—Utopia was sort of like Mahivisnu Orchestra! The album was just about to come out.
Looking back now from a more knowing vantage point I feel for this woman—stuck in a world that, to this day, is dominated by men. She had a Max’s Kansas City hipster look. I remember thinking she looked like Miss Christine on the liner sleeve of the Runt album with a shag haircut and diaphanous black dress. I went in and found “Rocket”—he rolled his eyes a little but let her in. She thanked me profusely. Even now, I still wonder: Did she become a recording engineer or was it too impossible to break into that world? That must have been a heady crew to be mixed up with. You can imagine what it was like for a woman at that time that wanted to be seen as an equal. Anybody know who she might be or what happened to her?