Rock stars hit Colorado high notes at 8,300 feet |

Rock stars hit Colorado high notes at 8,300 feet

Allen BestVail, CO Colorado

NEDERLAND, Colorado Caribou Ranch was a storied place in its time. From country rocker Joe Walsh in 1972 to Christian singer Amy Grant in 1985, dozens of well-known musicians recorded at the studio. Chicago, Elton John, Carol King Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Rod Stewart, among several dozen others, recorded there.The studios popularity stems from its soothing mountain scenery but also its remote locations. It was located just east of the Continental Divide, halfway between the college town of Boulder and the ski town of Winter Park. Musicians tended to hunker down with their work, free of distractions.But there was also something else the thin air at 8,300 feet. You could sing an octave higher, says Jim Guercio, who founded and operated the recording studio. Rod Stewart, who recorded Tonights the Night, recorded at Caribou for that very reason. Could never hit the notes (at sea level), Guercio told the Rocky Mountain News, a Denver newspaper.Bass player Kenny Passarelli, who recorded with Elton John and Joe Walsh (Rocky Mountain Way), said that after a few recordings, other musicians came to associate Caribou with a particular sound they had not heard before.I was showing the band and everybody the control room, and you know what Elton said? He goes, Is this where (Rick Derringers) All American Boy was done? I said yes. He said, Thats the sound I want.Thin air wasnt a high note for everybody. Freddie King, the bluesman, who weighed 300 pounds, needed an oxygen mask. And John Lennon, who spent four days at the ranch performing backup on an Elton John recording also wanted hits of oxygen.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado Its called agritourism, this idea that farmers and ranchers can make some money off visitors. And if the idea has been around for decades, its getting new attention in the Yampa River Valley.The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that dozens of farm and ranch owners gathered recently to hear about how travel and agriculture could be intertwined. Duke Phillips explained why he chose to take on visitors the cattle on his ranch in the San Luis Valley could not alone pay his $100,000-plus lease, he said.Farmers were also told to think about cows differently, People come first theyre your cash cow, said Wayne Iacovetto. Whatever they want, you deal with.In the case of a retreat of Nike employees, that included shooting plastic deer with paint guns while riding snowmobiles, he said.

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