Vertical Horizon re-entered the studio for two days recently to record a version of “I Believe In Father Christmas,” originally recorded by prog-rock heroes Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The song will appear on a holiday release being readied by BMG. The track was produced by John Shanks, who is also overseeing the band’s next album, Go, due early next year from RCA.
The recording marks the first time that Vertical Horizon has recorded another artist’s tune. “It was a wonderful experience,” the band writes on its official website ( verticalhorizon.com). “We spend a great deal of time creating our own music, so it was fun to just blast through a song that we all have known and loved for years.”
As was the case with Go, “I Believe In Father Christmas” was recorded at Jim Henson Studios in Los Angeles. The storied facility, formerly home to A&M Records and Charlie Chaplin Studios before it, now produces the Muppets. It even boasts a giant Kermit statue that overlooks its main entrance.
However, the band revealed that that security on the lot was a little too intense for their liking. “We took some pictures of ourselves with Kermit and we weren’t allowed to let anyone see ’em,” Bassist Sean Hurley said.
Guitarist Keith Kane added, “Right, it was like, grab the camera, pull the film out.” Matt Scannell added, “Yeah, the Kermit police came from around the corner and beat the sh-t out of Ed.”
Drummer Ed Toth continued, “It was rough. The black eye’s not from rock ‘n’ roll, it’s from taking a picture of Kermit.”
Toth added that it’s time to fight back. “I would like to challenge Kermit to a boxing match with all the proceeds going to charity. And if anybody else, (Fred) Durst or (Scott) Stapp or any of those guys want to get on the bandwagon, that’s fine. But I want Kermit in the ring.”