Whether it’s simply being asked for his expert opinion or to work with someone on a single song, video or an entire album project, David Mobley, songwriter, producer and co-founder of the pop/rock group ‘Crosswindz’ has pretty much seen it all. With well over forty five years under his belt in the music industry, the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas based songwriter/producer
has either collaborated with, given opinions and/or advice to, personally interviewed, been interviewed by, funded projects or
simply hung out for the afternoon with many of the world’s top artists, actors, producers, engineers, and promoters, as well as some of the world’s AList movers and shakers.

Consort News Interview with DAVID.

Consort: When and how did you get started in the music and entertainment industry?

David:  ” That’s easy. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. It was the night The Beatles were on the old Ed Sullivan Show. A bunch of us kids had gathered around the TV at my house and were amazed and dumbfounded at what we saw and heard. I guess it touched the others in the room in a different way – but I knew at that moment that I was going to do what I saw The Beatles doing. I put together a full blown band within a few short months and played onstage at either our 4th or 5th grade talent show. The exact year escapes me but I think around 1964 or so?? We won that talent show – but we were horrible!!!! LOL!!!!”


C: What inspired you to become a music producer?

David “Ah – the perfect question to allow me to follow up on your first question! What inspired me to become a Producer boils down to two words: George Martin… Once I found out that The Beatles had this ‘behind the scenes guy’ who was doing the things he was doing – I just about fell out of my chair. I was blown away about the creativity and responsibility that was given to and expected from the Producer. The idea of putting a project or idea together and watching it all work was right up my alley. That same instinct followed me into the business world as well as the music industry.”

C: You’re versatility has landed you work in a variety of roles throughout the “show business” world, from music production to radio to motion picture to TV/Radio ads and so forth. What do you feel played a major role in your being successful in such a wide range of fields?

David: “I think ‘curiosity’ probably played the biggest role. I wanted to know what made everything tick… And I was never afraid of failing so I always dove straight in to each project with every ounce of energy I could muster up. On the other hand – that sometimes worked against me because boredom would set in and I would start looking for something new and different. But – I’m still glad I tried everything. It’s been a fun and wonderful 45 year run.”



C: At times, our personal lives/passions/dreams and our work lives may intertwine. Have you experienced any rewarding personal moments that were a result of one of your roles in the industry?

David: “Sure… Rewarding moments come in many forms. Sometimes it’s things like getting invited backstage to meet an Artist or band. Or calling someone up and easily getting a favor from a celeb… I’ve been fortunate many times to be recognized or remembered by Artists, managers and/or sound guys and get asked to attend or participate in a sound check or occasionally even get to be onstage pre-concert with the Artist. I own several businesses and attend many music and/or sporting events in different cities and it’s always nice when a celebrity remembers me by name or face. This has happened many, many times in Las Vegas at different events. But – I would like to add that I’ve never not once used any influence to get free concert tickets or merchandise. I always happily pay full price. These Artists make a living with their concerts and merchandise and I feel it’s a bit taboo and just plain wrong to ask to take away from someone’s living.”



C: What, or who, do you feel is your biggest or most memorable accomplishment as a producer?

David: “I suppose there are actually two answers to this question. My biggest accomplishment was mine and Cliff’s very first full studio album by Crosswindz . It was my first time Producing a full blown album from start to finish. Even though it was us – it was still to this day the most rewarding. I suppose it’s because that production confirmed that I could do it. The most memorable is when Levon Helm from ‘The Band’ over-heard something I was Producing and acknowledged how great it sounded and what a fine job I was doing. He even invited me up to New York to hang out with him and the rest of the guys in ‘The Band’. I reluctantly had to decline because of obligations – plus I wasn’t ready to leave home just yet – no money or car – lol. But that one incident blew me away for sure.”

C: How did you come to be involved in songwriting? Do you come from a musical background? Or, did you discover your passion for songwriting on your own and, if so, when did you make this discovery?

David: “No – I didn’t really come from any musical background that I know of. For whatever reason, I just had an irresistible love for it… I wrote my first song sometime around 1966 but it didn’t really have any impact on me – meaning the excitement of writing my own song. I was still very much interested in playing cover tunes in my little pop/rock band – and continued to do so until 1970. I got word from some friends at school that there was some new guy that had just moved there from out of state and was looking for someone that knew how to tune a guitar. My friends told him about me – so we hooked up after school at my house – I tuned his guitar – and while we were sitting there we simply started toying around with a song idea he had and before you know it – we had written something that this time did make impact on me. I had a whole new and refreshing view about writing versus playing onstage. My efforts immediately shifted to writing from that afternoon to this very day.”



C: In the beginning, did you take your songwriting seriously and plan to make a career out of it, or was it an emotional outlet of sorts?

David: “Well – early on in high school – I had many ‘wants’ and ‘interests’ swirling through my head about what I thought I wanted out of life. I suppose most everyone has that at that age. My Dad had a business and wanted me to be a part of it plus I was in sports and had received a scholarship to play baseball at a nearby major college. But music was always right there knocking on my door. It was very confusing. I ended up deciding that I would make my main living within the business world and do the music thing from the outside to see if I could possibly make a living as a songwriter/producer. There were already very scary stories about how up and down the music biz was and how many kids or young adults were rejected or disappointed after giving it a shot. This was during the huge ‘one hit wonder’ era so you could just imagine how it was. Successful and rich one day then broke and unknown the next. I’m still very glad that I somehow made the right decision to do it the way I did it. It has worked how brilliantly for me and I’m VERY lucky and thankful for that.”

C: What do you feel the real heart and soul of a song is comprised of?

David: “It’s different with every Artist, songwriter and Producer – but for me – it’s simply the song name and the hook. The name gets someone to want to at least listen to the song – to act as lure if you will. But the hook keeps them mesmerized and glued to it. Makes em want to hear it again – and then hopefully purchase it… A really good bridge never hurts. It gives the listener that special ‘something’ to look forward to while the rest of the song is evolving around it.”

David with Don Felder-Eagles

David with Don Felder-Eagles

C: Who are some of the artists you have worked with?

David: “That’s one of those questions I generally have a hard time answering since I’ve done things with so many different Artists and/or bands over the years in MANY different types of capacities. For instance – I hung around Caribou Studio in Colorado as often as I could back in the early 70’s when groups such as America, Earth, Wind & Fire, Joe Walsh, John Denver, Chicago and on and on was recording some very famous and well known albums. I would be behind the scenes helping the engineer or sometimes just giving opinions during takes or during mix-down. Other times I would work in the way of acting as Executive Producer (financial only) with many groups in and around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area where I lived. I’ve worked extensively with the bass player for Stevie Ray Vaughn over the years and have done many projects with him. Recently I Produced an album with John Nitzinger from Alice Cooper and Emerson, Lake & Palmer along with Dave Evans who founded AC/DC. That was a fun project. Two completely different styles but meshed together quite nicely… I then hooked up again with Dave Evans from AC/DC who wanted to record some songs I had written. What made this album so unique was that Dave had never recorded soft love ballads such as the ones I had written. He wanted the challenge to do an album completely away from the type of songs he had been recording since the early days of AC/DC. I was up for the challenge as well and we actually pulled off a winner. The album did very well. In fact – it’s still selling at a very nice pace as of today…. I’ve also worked with many Grammy Winning and very well known session Artists over the years that played on our Crosswindz albums as well as a few other albums I Produced for several Indie groups…. Most of these sessions took place in L.A. and/or Nashville.”

C: Is there a memorable experience with one of these artists that immediately comes to mind when you think of them?

David: “Easy answer. Watching the group “Chicago’ record. Although it’s been MANY years ago – 1973 and 1974 – I still remember watching them work. They were a rather large and complex group with complex songs. Just watching them go through sessions and piecing it all together always blew me away – and still does to this very day when I think back. They came out of Caribou Studio with a couple of GREAT albums. Many of those songs still make me tingle when I hear them on the radio knowing I was standing there behind the glass when they recorded them all those years ago.”

C: You’ve worked with a countless amount of talent and industry personnel, do you have a bucket list of those you have yet to work with? If so, who are they?

David: “I would have LOVED to have worked with or at least just be in the same room with The Beatles. Of course we now know that will never happen. Although I was in quite a few – I wish I could have been in the studio with many of those one hit or two hit wonder Artists and/or bands in the 70’s in some type of capacity. There was some REALLY great songs that came out of that era – especially early on. And these bands and singer/songwriters were all beginning to play their own instruments and not relying so much on session players like what happened throughout the 60’s. I hated the fact that the session player era along with the separate songwriter era was starting to end – but at the same time I was fascinated that Artists were talented enough to take matters into their own hands and write their own songs and then go into the studio and actually play on them.”

Jason Bonham from Led Zeppelin

David and Jason Bonham from Led Zeppelin

C: You are the co-founder, songwriter and producer of the band “Crosswindz”. Tell us a little more about this band.

David “Well ‘Crosswindz’ was simply a name change that my newly-founded songwriting partner (Cliff Turpin) and I came up with. We had simply gone by the songwriting and demo-recording name of Cliff and Dave. We didn’t much care for the name and was going to perform two of our most recent newly written songs onstage at a high school and regional talent show – which by the way we won hands down… Anyway – we needed to write something on the talent show sign-up sheet so we came up with ‘Crosswindz’ –and it stuck…. After those talent show stage performances – Crosswindz never took to the stage again. We became a songwriting and studio recording pop/rock rock band and developed a very nice fan following simply from the songs we released on what was then albums, 8 track tapes and later cassettes and finally CD’s.”

C: You are, have been, involved with various charities utilizing music. Can you tell us what they are/do and how you are involved? David: “I try to keep who and what I do charity wise as private as possible for obvious reasons – but I can safely say that there are several independent music schools in and around North Texas set-up to teach kids basic music theory as well as learning to play instruments. Nothing makes me happier than to be able to walk in and hand them a couple of new guitars or a gift certificate for a new drum kit, or sometimes just some good ole cash for whatever their needs might be at the time… Other times it nice to help fund a young individual that may not be able to afford it on their own. I’ve been in those shoes before so I know how it feels. I do what I can as often as I can.”

David Mobley and Aerosmith

David Mobley and Aerosmith

C: Can you share a rewarding moment due to your involvement with a charitable organization?

David: “Well – to expand a little more on what I mentioned above – it’s ALWAYS much more rewarding to see the looks on the kids faces when I walk in with actual instruments. Gift certificates and/or money helps a lot and is badly needed but obviously doesn’t generate the look on those kids faces when they see a couple of brand new shiny smoking hot guitars.

C: The music industry has changed in many ways from the 1970’s to today. From a producer and songwriter’s perspective, have any of these changes affected the way you perform your work, and how so?

David: “Oh sure… Regarding the songwriting field. There are many new pieces of really cool software and phone apps to give songwriters tips, ideas, song titles and inspirations to help expand one’s mind when trying to write something or running into writers block which happens to every songwriter I’ve ever known. And the user friendly, small digital recorders are perfect to carry around for those on the go ideas that pop into your head. Much easier than carrying around the old traditional pen and paper and trying to convey onto it the idea that you’re hearing in your head at that particular moment. In fact – the cell phones and apps of today practically have just about everything one needs to record ideas and write songs on the go. We had none of this back in the 70’s. We still got it done – it’s just much easier and more fun these days – in my opinion. Producing is a bit better for me obviously because of the experience I’ve gained over the years along with the technology that has made editing, mixing and mastering MUCH easier – but I normally leave most of that to the engineer to do and I lightly supervise and give my opinion or take as to what I hear. I still pretty much Produce the same way I did back then with stuff that technology can’t really replace – such as the pre-project face to face meetings with the Artist, the coaching and managing aspects of the projects – and the number one thing that technology could never, ever replace – and that’s my ears. To me – that’s everything. I may be wrong – but that’s how I feel. You have to stop the technology at some point in a project and let the human element finish up what the listener will hear in the end. Otherwise – we’re ALL just robots at that point – the music makers and the listeners both.”

Michael McDonald

David and Michael McDonald

C: Last but not least, do you have any tips to offer upcoming songwriters and/or producers?

David: “Two different types of people entirely. Some guys – like me for instance – can do both and love to do both. But most songwriters aren’t Producers and most Producers aren’t songwriters. If I had it to do over – and even though I love both equally – I would most likely pick one of the two fields and would work hard every single day to be the very best I could possibly be at that particular choice. It’s not easy wearing both hats. You really have to love whatever you choose to do in this music business if you plan on ever getting anywhere. And not to be negative by any means – but very few make it in this biz. It’s very rewarding if you can get some air under your wings and stay afloat long enough to actually make a living. But so, so very many are a hit sensation one minute and gone the next never to be heard from again. Just like in most professions – you have to stay positive, work hard, work smart, manage your money closely and always be thinking how to re-invent yourself. The world changes rapidly and one has to be able to adapt – sometimes at a moments notice. So always be aware of your surroundings, keep up with everything current there is to know about your profession – and if you do everything right – and keep a healthy and positive attitude – you will definitely give yourself the very best chance to succeed.”

For more details please check out: http://www.davidmobley.net


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