Also weird, Dickinson says, was being back at Criteria, his first time there since the early-Seventies sessions for his solo album Dixie Fried. "The place was just full of ghosts. Every time I went into the bathroom Charlie Freeman was in there; he was out in the parking lot," Dickinson says. Freeman was a seminal session player in Memphis back in the Sixties and was the guitarist in the Dixie Flyers. "It was a good experience but it was weird. It's much smaller than I remember, which was strange because I was certainly a full-grown adult when I first went down there. Our room where the Dixie Flyers worked has been closed up. It's a tape library now, which is kind of fitting because we sort of wore it out."

As for Miami itself, Dickinson says it's changed a bit since he was last working here more than twenty years ago. "There's a lot more people there now than in 1970," he notes. "All of that high-rise shit on the beach is new. Miami in January and February is a great place to be, though. And the pink clouds -- I had forgotten that the clouds turn pink down there. There are pretty things there but there's just too many people. The mass of humanity is just too great."

-- By John Floyd

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