After the “Merryweather & Carey” days, Neil put together a new band, took them into Paramount Studios and cut some demos featuring Lynn Carey on lead vocals.
Neil saw a restaurant called “Mama Lion’s” while driving in downtown LA and took the name for the new band.
He played the demos for manager Ken Mansfield, ex A&R for Verve Records (later became Waylon Jennings manager). Ken signed the band to a management deal and played the tapes for Artie Ripp who signed them to his new label called “Family Productions” (Famous Music).
When the organ player severely injured his arm, Neil found a new keyboard player named Jim Howard (James Newton Howard) and, Mama Lion recorded their first album at the Record Plant with Artie Ripp called “Preserve Wildlife”.
Neil produced Mama Lion’s second album “Give It Everything I Got”.
Neil starts the James Newton Howard solo project.
Friend and fellow label mate Billy Joel played on some of Neil’s new songs. At one of the sessions, Neil records a demo for Billy of his song “Piano Man”.
Neil leaves Mama Lion, Mama Lion breaks up shortly thereafter in Paris, France.
Lynn Carey: vocals
Neil Merryweather: bass, backing vocals
James Newton Howard: organ, piano, Ionic synthesizer
Coffi Hall: drums and percussion
Alan Hurtz: electric and acoustic guitar
Produced by Neil Merryweather and James Vickers
Engineered by James E. Vickers, Craig Davis, Chuck Johnson, Bobby Ross
Album Design by Bill Levy
Photography by Hank Dunning