________________________________________________________________________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ S P E C T R O P O P ______________ ______________ ______________ ________________________________________________________________________ Most equipment designed for playing stereophonic records nay be used with perfect safety for playing normal 33 1/3 r.p.m. and 45 r.p.m microgroove records. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ There are 4 messages in this issue #32. Topics in this digest: 1. Ronnie in Seattle From: "Spector Collector" 2. Gary Usher on Carol Kaye From: "Ron Weekes" 3. Studio bass playing - 60s From: Carol Kaye 4. Re: In Crowd From: Carol Kaye ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Message: 1 Date: Sat, 09 Sep 2000 03:32:20 GMT From: "Spector Collector" Subject: Ronnie in Seattle Ronnie Spector, backed by a crack seven-piece band, played to a large and enthusiastic audience at the ironically named (given that it was the title of one of her ex-husband's singles) Bumbershoot Arts Festival, Sunday, September 3. Bumbershoot is a multi-stage festival, with about a dozen different music events (as well as other arts disciplines) going on simultaneously that takes place at Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle, every Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, someone had the bright idea to book her into the hockey arena there, so even though I'd guess that there were a couple thousand people in attendance, the hall was so huge that I fear that Ronnie may have had the impression that she didn't draw well. In the past, I've seen, for example, Ray Charles and an inspired Chris Isaak/Duane Eddy double bill at the arena during Bumbershoot, and they filled the place, but Ronnie's apparently for more rarefied tastes. But I digress. Here's the set list, in order: Here I Sit Is This What I Get for Loving You Do I Love You Say Goodbye to Hollywood So Young She Talks to Rainbows Chapel of Love I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine Baby, I Love You Walking in the Rain (The Best Part of) Breakin' Up You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory You Shouldn't Have Told Me (unsure of title; new song) Be My Baby and, as encores: Why Don't They Let Us Fall in Love I Can Hear Music Ronnie was wearing low-heel pumps, black gaucho pants laced up the front, and a sheer black top (not tucked in) over a lacy black bustier. She strutted the stage with lusty, self-assured sexuality, peppering her performance by teasingly lifting the front or back of the top from time to time to reveal a glimpse of the tightly covered naughty bits, or by pulling the neckline to the side to expose a bit o' bosom. I have no idea how this would've struck someone who'd never heard of her, but for me, she seemed to have a self-aware sense of humor and perspective, and was just having a good time playing on her image. Even her frequent crotch-grabbing seemed to fit in a strange kinda way. What do I know? It's HER, for cryin' out loud! I do believe I can be objective about her singing, however, and I'm happy to say that she was in very good, very strong voice. After hearing her live on that Wizard of Oz album, the live version of "I Wish I Never Saw the Sunshine" on the "...Rainbows" EP gave me some hope, but I was still worried that it was a fluke or studio sweetening. Not so; her entire range was forceful and in tune. "...Breakin' Up" was a particularly powerful highlight, and it was great to hear live versions of Ronettes tunes I'd not heard her do in concert before. I was lucky enough to get a chance to talk with Ronnie and her husband Jon before the show. They confirmed that sessions are underway for a new album and that tracks have been laid down with Keith Richards and Deborah Harry already. The song I listed above as "You Shouldn't Have Told Me" (?) is still a work in progress, and the one on which they're attempting to enlist David Bowie's aid, although he has yet to commit to the project. Slim Moon of Kill Rock Stars hasn't agreed to release it until he hears the tapes; it depends on the overall direction the music takes as the sessions progress. I had been assigned to interview Ronnie for local music newspaper The Rocket the only other time she'd been scheduled for a Seattle concert, but that February 1989 festival was snowed out and it never happened. I also collaborated on the sessionography at the end of her book, but we had never met before Sunday. I was so pleased that she and Jon knew who I was; they were really just the kindest, warmest, most sincere people. I told her that my friend and fellow discographer, Jay Lammy, had died of AIDS a few years ago, and she expressed genuine sympathy, sharing that her friend Clifford Terry (whom she talks about in her book) had too. I'd love to have more than ten minutes with her sometime, because other than that there's not much of note to report; we mostly talked about stuff like where I'd seen her perform before, their hotel elevator not working (they were on the 26th floor), and other things that'd bore list members but that showed a vulnerable, human side to my idol that I appreciated beyond measure. I just want everyone here to know that Ronnie, along with Jon, is as real and as generous - as well as talented, which you already know - as can be, and that my love for her is greater after Sunday night than it ever was, and I didn't think that was possible! Thank you for reading, Spectropoppers, and for your support of Ronnie's music. It was obvious to anyone in the audience that it means the world to her. David A. Young --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 2 Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2000 16:20:27 -0600 From: "Ron Weekes" Subject: Gary Usher on Carol Kaye Yesterday I received my copy of volume two of Stephen McParland's five volume biography on the musical career of Gary Usher. This volume covers Gary's involvement with the music industry from 1964 to 1966. In an interview with McParland, Usher talks about working with the Wrecking Crew. The only times he couldn't work with them was because Brian Wilson was working with them. I know Carol frequents this list a lot with her memories of those studio years. I would like to share with the list the great things that Gary Usher had to say about Carol. Usher says: "Carol Kaye (in particular) was in her late twenties, and had a family of her own, and you would never think she was a rock guitar player, but she was fantastic. She could read great, and I'd bring guys in and put her next to them, and they would kind of look down on her thinking, "You've got to be kidding putting me next to a woman playing surf music," yet she would blow them right away. She was a really good guitarist." Thanks again Carol for all the great music you have been a part of and the insights you share with us on this list. Ron Weekes The Surf and Hot Rod Sounds of Gary Usher Web Page http://geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Studio/8242 --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 3 Date: Sat, 09 Sep 2000 11:59:42 -0700 From: Carol Kaye Subject: Studio bass playing - 60s I tho't you'd all like to see a copy of a post I just did on my Message Board about studio work on bass in the 60s... when musicians were required to create their own instant arrangments (and later with arrangers, change their arrangements to make a hit happen better etc.). There is a book coming out by Russ Wapensky, and he assured us all recently this 10-year project was being wrapped up very very soon and into the printer (Greenwood Press) for publication by either the end of this year or 1st of 2001), that was meticulously researched through his researched through our mostly-very accurate Musicians' Union contract records (with the OK by our Federation/Union), and in certain cases, he did a TON of personal interviews also, with not only our group of studio musicians, but of our producers, our arrangers, different VIPs in the business to explain certain things about our recording business too (1945-1969). His was a labor of love, he's a highly trusted government employee, well-respected by us all as we've known him now for 10 years. Sometimes the contracts would read "guitars" with not even a mention of the elec. bass, not even as the commonly used "Fender Bass" term back then, and certainly the Dano bass guitar was considered a "guitar" (never a bass, it was always used as an adjunct ONLY to any bass on the date, if it was used at all). To solve who played what, Russ continuously over the years, sent us all tapes to decipher who played what, and I have to say, I haven't heard one word of descension (sp?) amongst us....we all agreed in our separate ways who played what. We know our own voices (instruments) on tapes, and we know for instance Bill Pitman's famous clicky Dano sound, apart from Barney Kessel's Dano sound and mine too (I played Dano quite a bit before I ever did on the elec. bass, played Dano for instance on "The In Crowd", Dobie Gray's hit etc.)....or Glen Campbell's solo or part different from Billy Strange's solos and parts (they were pretty similar in their rock solos)...and tapes were also distributed amongst the percussionists (at least 2-3 on most dates and on Phil Spector's dates, there were usually 4 of them)......so the line-up was named from those interviews, tapes, and any questions that Russ had about the nomenclature of the name list of the Musicians' Union contracts (these are much more accurate than the "studio sheets" that record companies used for "their credits"...). Sometimes a string bassist would be called (i.e. Jimmy Bond for instance) and would just sit there the whole date, as just the Fender Bass would be recording alone...yet the contracts would read "2 basses" or just "guitar and bass" ....so those things had to be cleared up and were but it took a LOT of time running these factors down, contract by contract, tune by tune by Russ Wapensky. Interestingly enough, he did it. And we're all proud, as finally.....after all these years, he's about to go to press. The English groups who came here to "record" (which was all our LA studio musicians), other groups who you tho't played on their own records, etc. and the two groups I know who did play on their records but added our bunch of studio musicians too: Frank Zappa (I played elec. 12-string on his 1st 2 albums) and The Ventures (bass), that was sorted out well too. The rest? Studio musicians did them, and now everyone can now have *the* definitive book on those credits....it will wake up the public to what happened back then. As you all know, I was first a studio guitarist for 5 years before I ever picked up the elec. bass (but did some on Dano bass guitar which to all of us is considered a "guitar", not a real bass, it was a "bass-guitar") from my years of mainly jazz playing in clubs, other arenas before that (over 1 year on the road with the big-band, mainly 1- nighters, hardly any day off 1954-55) etc. It was easy to create lines in the late 50s and early 60s on guitar. We were required to not only create a groove, but all the parts of a head arrangement (usually) at first. Sometimes there wasn't even a chord chart, we'd have to quickly write down the chords from listening to the song-writer (he/she'd either play guitar or piano), or a loosely-made demo....no problem, we were all highly experienced musicians with good ears. I did the guitar licks of that day, gritting my teeth (later) much of the time like the rest of the jazz guitarists on dates, so when I got to replace the missing bassist late 1963 at Capitol Records ( and no, I don't remember the tunes we cut that day, but one was a big hit), I got to play what I tho't bass players should be playing "on the bottom" of all that new rock and roll, and found it to be fun and easy to do ( haven't we all at first !). With Earl Palmer's suggestion, I straightened out my time which is necessary when you switch from one instrument to another (different techniques, different size strings, you play bass a LOT harder than you do guitar etc.), and voila , because Ray Pohlman was out of the recording scene coincidentally in 1964 (he was the musical conductor of the Shindig TV show), they needed bass players immediately . He had been doing practically all the hit dates on elec.bass back then since 1955 in LA - playing simple but effective lines, and playing normally with his thumb -- a nice guy, he was also a good arranger and studio backup singer. Everyone not only liked my "new" pick sound and feel and so I quickly was "it" on bass (if they couldn't get me, they'd ask the replacement bassist to get the "Carol Kaye" sound etc.), but also the lines I could invent. This was >from years and years of playing different styles of music with various combos and big bands since 1949.....thank God for the great experiences in playing fine jazz...plus, those recent years of recording sessions on guitar....that creativity paid off. Later on, the arrangers got good at arranging but still would hire our bunch of studio musicians to help create lines like we usually did. Note: we were called the "clique", didn't hear that term "wrecking crew" until Hal Blaine brought out his book of that title around 1990.... we were ALL independent of each other, there was NEVER any set rhythm section at all....and in fact, since Hal credits that with the Phil Spector bunch of studio musicians, interestingly enough, Phil used drummer Earl Palmer more than he used Hal on hit recordings, Earl even played on a few sides with the Beach Boys (but practically all the recordings of the Beach Boys did feature Hal Blaine on drums). Pretty soon, there was SO much work, those rock dates were turning into a blur by the mid to late 60s, and the soul dates I did were a welcome relief. I finally stopped recording altogether at the end of 1969, was so burned out and especially from rock and roll and went back to recording 8 mos. later only to do just a certain am't of record dates "I" wanted to do, turning down all the rest, and concentred mainly on the better music (and working conditions) of the movie-scores and TV film work I had already been doing much of the 60s......it simply was so much of an honor to work for the likes of Michel LeGrand, Dave Grusin, Jerry Goldsmith, Alfred Newman - Lionel Newman, David Rose, Billy Goldenberg, Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini, Benny Golson, and on and on, so many geniuses in music, but even then I finally got tired of recording altogether and went on the road with Hampton Hawes, this time playing bass with him to play some excellent jazz again (when I was voted #3 in the magazines on polls -- elec. bass jazz). So that's why I can't really remember the names of some of those rock tunes as there was SO MUCH recording (12-16-18 hours a day sometimes), you're just burned out but still doing your job (on 10-12 cups of coffee a day!) to help create good hit recordings back in the 60s. Usually I liked the rock and roll, but some...it finally got to me.....that's why I relished the good kinds of soul music, and good pop music. Sometimes it was a bit much. But the lines of all those styles of music are in my books ......thank God I can pass on those multi-styled lines to learning bass players...it was lucky I could invent and play in all styles of recorded music back then (or later, change the written arrangements to make the bass parts swing.....there's very very few, I can think of only two, who wrote fine bass parts: Ernie Freeman and David Blumberg). We all talk about "how did we do all those hours every day, every year in the studios", it's beyond us even. But we did it, and I think the creativity had a lot to do with it, plus we all PLAYED TOGETHER. And it was a new age of recording, nothing like it before and nothing like it since (unfortunately). Carol Kaye http://www.carolkaye.com/ --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 4 Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2000 09:48:10 -0700 From: Carol Kaye Subject: Re: In Crowd >From Michael G. Marvin: > You mentioned in one of your posts that you worked with > Dobie Gray on his 1965 hit "The In Crowd". The song > likes it was recorded at Gold Star, because it has that > distinctive echo. I wonder if it was done there? thanks. Yes, Michael, you're right, we did that at Gold Star. Gene Page wrote the arrangement and his brother, Billy Page, writer of that song, was in the booth at the time. I'm pretty sure that was Earl Palmer on drums....can't remember who else was on the date. But I remember playing the Dano on that one, I really liked the song. Dobie Gray has probably more data about it on his website (I have him on my Links Page), and we've communicated about it just a few weeks ago -- nice to hear from him - I always liked his singing (as well as Jewel Akens too). Dobie remembers me playing on that and other hits of his too.....that one was one I distinctly remembered as it was a good groove and I liked the song. It was fun to record. Carol Kaye http://www.carolkaye.com/ --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
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