As a teenager, wanderlust had led Crystal (Crystal Ann Brelsford) to Sugarbush, Vermont, where she met and fell I love with Waddy Wachtel. When Twice Nicely moved to Los Angeles in 1968, she went along for the ride. For the brief period that the rock band was under the wing of Cowsills’ patriarch, William “Bud” Cowsill, Crystal worked a job in the Cowsills’ fan club office. Eventually, Wachtel began to rack up his fair share of groupies and Crystal grew disillusioned with the “openness” of their relationship. With two foster children in her care, she fled Los Angeles and attempted to start a new life in British Columbia. To remain there, Crystal married a Canadian citizen.
Rhys was determined to get Warren recorded again, this time at a major label. He sold half of his own publishing company to raise the $30,000 needed to stake his new protégé’s demo tapes. Rhys presented Warren with a handshake agreement that should a major record company offer a contract, Rhys could produce the final product. They had a deal, and the demos were booked for the cheap overnight hours at a local studio.
Elated at the opportunity, Warren immediately rounded up troops for the recordings. He retained his Everly Brothers lineup, with the exception of Gene Gunnels, who was swapped for Hollywood Central’s house drummer Eddie Ponder. Between Wachtel’s recent session friends and Rhy’s own networking in the music industry, a host of all-star cameo appearances made u the final demo tracks. T Bone Burnett, Lindsay Buckingham, Barry Cowsill, David Lindley, and Stevie Nicks all swung down to the studio to drink, party, and lend a hand. Both Phil and Don Everly showed support, although their cameos were recorded separately. Jackson Browne, who had slowly become one of Warren’s closest music companions and advocates, also visited the session. Enthusiastic at the new tunes that he heard, he became as adamant as ever in helping Warren land a solid contract.