Zachary was eager to share his music on a national scale after securing a deal with Electra Records. However, a completed shrink-wrapped album isn’t automatically guaranteed to hit music store shelves. Listen to Zachary tell the interesting story about why his first record was released twenty years after it was recorded.
“I was the last human being to sign a record contract with Electra records. I loved Electra records because it was a little bit left of center. You know there were Tim Buckley, Judy Blue Eyes and all of these exotic artists who were never really main stream. But, I felt they were much more interesting than the mainstream artist at the time.”
“I went to New York City and had a friend that worked at a radio station. At midnight they stopped broadcasting so we went in the studio and I made this demo. I went door to door in New York City giving this reel to reel tape to record companies. Someone from Electra records called me back and said he wanted me to sign a contract and I said yeah man this is it. We signed the contract in 1971 and we were supposed to start recording in the fall.”
“By the time the record was finished the record company had become Warner Electra Asylum. The president of Electra at the time moved to California and an associate came out east to take over and had nothing to do with any of my people. I was a very cocky 21 year old and really felt I had been abandoned. I didn’t like these people and so I basically told them to go to hell and they thought that was great because they wanted to get rid of me anyway.”
“The record was recorded. There was an actual cover. There were 6,000 made shrink-wrapped and ready to ship and that’s when I said to hell with you guys I don’t like y’all and they said ok fine. It worked out well because it was the oil embargo and they needed all that vinyl anyway. The master tapes were stored in the vault at Electra in Columbus Circle.”
“I did this compilation for Rhino and I said man it’s a shame I can’t get my hands on this Electra record I did back in 1972. You guys own it anyway, y’all are Warner Brother. So they went to the vault in New York and came back and said sorry I couldn’t find the record, they probably just burned it. But he went back to check it out and there was this artist named Jonathon Richmond on Electra and Zachary Richard’s album was in his box. So they found it and released it and it was called High Times. The album came out on Rhino handmade series 20 years later and made for a pretty interesting story.”