________________________________________________________________________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________ S P E C T R O P O P ______________ ______________ ______________ ________________________________________________________________________ Devoting time and research to the development of sound recording ------------------------------------------------------------------------ There are 5 messages in this issue #49. Topics in this digest: 1. Re: Jackie DeShannon From: Carol Kaye 2. Re: Margo Guryan From: Jeff Cohen 3. Re: Kim Fowley, Phil Spector From: Carol Kaye 4. Wall Of Sound experiences. From: Carol Kaye 5. "The Wilson Project" Book Available Again Soon From: "Ron Weekes" ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Message: 1 Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 09:26:02 -0700 From: Carol Kaye Subject: Re: Jackie DeShannon Don't know if anyone here knows it. Jackie DeShannon's new CD is entitled "You Know Me" and is out on the Varese-Sarabande label. I was invited to the listening party at the former United Studio B (now "Ocean Way") and heard a lot of it. She's written a lot of new tunes, and they all sound great - good recording just out. Varese-Sarabande has long been a movie score record label but has branched out to include oldies and now is going into commercial recordings, a good label with huge distribution. She's singing better than ever, looks the same (I'm jealous, she didn't gain weight - looks just fabulous), and is appearing at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip here in W Hollywood on Oct. 28th at 9PM, going to be a biggie. There's a huge sign about her album near Tower Records where she signed autographs for a crowd of people on Oct. 6th. See you there. Carol Kaye http://www.carolkaye.com/ http://www.jackiedeshannon.com/ --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 2 Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 04:58:38 EDT From: Jeff Cohen Subject: Re: Margo Guryan Hey guys... Sorry for the brief intrusion but I thought this would be of interest to this list. Margo Guryan's 1968 album "Take a Picture" is being reissued this Tuesday, October 17th on Franklin Castle Recordings (in conjunction with Oglio Records). Margo's songs have been recorded by classic artists such as Claudine Longet, Astrud Gilberto, Mama Cass and Bobby Sherman as well as current artists including St. Etienne and Linus of Hollywood. The CD is a completely remastered version of the original album with 3 previously unreleased bonus tracks. It also includes lyrics, bio, and liner notes by Darian Sahanaja (Wondermints, Brian Wilson), Linus of Hollywood, David Bash and more. You can listen to sound clips now at www.franklincastle.net/margo.html. The CD will be available in stores on Tuesday, or you can order from Franklin Castle (www.franklincastle.net), Oglio Records (www.oglio.com) or Amazon (www.amazon.com) to name a few. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks, Jeff Cohen Franklin Castle Recordings www.franklincastle.net www.linusofhollywood.com --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 3 Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 09:03:03 -0700 From: Carol Kaye Subject: Re: Kim Fowley, Phil Spector Yes, Michael thank-you, sorry I should have corrected that - Kim Fowley, correct. So many names to keep track of, and I mis-spelled quite a few at first in my log too - you're so busy recording in the early 60s, it grew by leaps and bounds from one month to the next, and you're working for so many people, it was difficult to spell everyone's name just right. I didn't spell Jack Nitzsche's name right until the about the 80s. Victor, I'll send you an attachment of information about Phil Spector's ways of recording, what I saw when I worked for Phil back in the Gold Star days. Carol Kaye http://www.carolkaye.com/ --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 4 Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 09:47:50 -0700 From: Carol Kaye Subject: Wall Of Sound experiences. At first, when we recorded for Phil, we didn't wear earphones, which was the style of the day. And there were very few baffles set up too (temporary padded walls to isolate sounds), and of course we kept the volumes down low on our amps. The problem back then was the leakage of the drums, so naturally, there were always baffles around the drummer, and he muted his drums too (putting masking tape also across the cymbals, blankets inside the bass drum, handkerchiefs rolled up and taped on tom-toms, usually their wallet -- no they weren't 'fat' then -- on the snare drums, this was all for *sound*, not for real quieting of drums, the set of drums recorded better that way). Percussionists were usually next to the drums off to one corner. But Phil *always* played back his takes on first, little tiny speakers, the size of car-speakers. He wanted to make sure his records played well on the radio for people in their cars, and then he'd BLAST the booth with his playbacks as loud as he could with volume and echo.....we'd all have ringing ears from listening to his takes in the booth, whew. Then as we recorded for Phil more and more, he got the idea to have us all wear earphones, as he started to put more and more baffles up to isolate the guitars and keyboards as well. Mac Rabbenec would sometimes play the organ kind of loud (he'd get his own baffle), and the acoustic keyboards wouldn't stand a chance then, so they were isolated as well as the percussionists and drums even more. And the individual guitar players as well, as you see in pictures on my website. Hal Blaine and Earl Palmer, the drummers Phil alternately used, graduated to making their own paddings to put on their drums, and the bass drum all of a sudden shrunk, and they had special paddings for those heads too, and they still taped their cymbals. And we were using earphones then, and yes, there were many problems. At first, they couldn't be individually adjusted ("I can't hear myself", "I can't hear the guitars" "can't hear the bass" etc.), there was no echo put on at first. Then when the individual adjustments on earphones came in within a week or so, Phil was quick to put some echo in the earphones. There was so much echo in the earphones on the "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" date, that no-one was playing well together. Hence my story of bearing down on the acoustic Epiphone Emperor guitar (Phil loved that box), and grinding away with rhythmic 8th-notes trying to congeal the rhythm together.... It seemed to work, and Phil heard me playing hard, and put a double-time echo on me only, which made my rhythm come out to 16th notes, very subtle but it's there and we sort of settled in for a nice groove (think Ray Pohlman the bassist and Earl Palmer the drummer both asked Phil for "less echo" too, so they could play better together) and then the real take happened for the Righteous Bros., who were there singing but probably were added on later for the real vocal -- it cost 2x the am't to track in those days and Phil also watched the money meter. Anyway, that date I do remember, because I remember the problems of the rhythm section, and we all knew this song was going to be a biggie hit, the tune was tremendously good, and the Righteous Bros. were knocking our blocks off with the way they were singing.....we never heard white singers sing like that before. So by that year, yes, Phil was using echo in our earphones practically all the time, but to varying degrees as to how much we would complain about it...if there's too much echo in our phones, the beat is not well-defined, and we couldn't groove then, plus it would throw us off a little bit. So he kept the echo volume down quite a bit in our earphones upon request, depended upon could we stand it or not. But you sure heard it in the booth. Phil loved echo which we understood, it was his trademark sound. > Also (and this was discussed about six months ago but > I've lost that digest), how *loud* were these sessions, > particularly with Spector? Obviously, his music sounds > the best if you crank your stereo up to 11, and what you > get is an enormous, almost angry, wall of noise. Were > his sessions louder (decibel-wise) than other producers'? YOU BET! He was the loudest! No-one even came close. Brian Wilson yes, sometimes he would add echo when we'd record, but usually not - he'd put it on later. But at least Brian kept the play-back levels decently "normal", never really loud and he never did what Phil did: play it back on a "car-speaker" at all, that was a criteria of Phil's, that his hits sounded great on car-speaker-sized speakers on the radio. With Brian, usually no, he didn't have us work recording "with echo" and as to the amount of Phil's recordings actually "recorded with echo", common sense said he didn't too much (you'd have to ask Larry Levine, he'd have the correct answers on this)....you always add echo *later*, that was the custom. It's a bear to record with echo, as you can't take it off later, so I'm assuming he played everything back "with echo", but kept adding it on and/or taking it off temporarily in the booth. Phil loved the sound of the Gold Star echo, which I understand speaking to other recording engineers was sort of a "dirty-sounding echo", I don't know, just repeating what they said... I have the utmost respect and admiration for the genius of Dave Gold who masterminded the system there at Gold Star, everyone in Hollywood did and does also...he's a great guy btw, so is Stan Ross, his partner and first engineer for Phil for awhile. The Gold Star echo ran right through the women's rest room -- if I took a break and they were playing it back, they'd ask me not to flush the toilet.... Producers were sort of "alone" in the booth, trying all sorts of things, especially Phil and Brian. We'd hear all kinds of wild things in our earphones as they'd try this or that to the music. Really had nothing to do with us, but we usually heard all the experimentation. Sometimes the studio musicians would sit and wait 10-20 min. at a time and instead of listening to all what they were doing in the booth, we'd take our earphones off and kibbitz in the room during that time, always waiting for them to get done with experimenting and we'd go on then. Your time is not your own, but sometimes there was time to take a quick hike to the bathroom, but usually you waited right there in the studio throughout any experimentation with sounds Phil would do. So to answer your question, yes, Phil would normally record with echo in our phones, but the am't varied with how much we'd complain. And I suspect it wasn't the same echo, maybe it was, but I doubt it - he probably added it on again later when mastering. Or maybe cut with some slight echo and add more on later, that makes sense too. Phil loved echo, no doubt about it. Brian worked a different way. Phil was a showman, he'd always love to have an audience in the booth -- he'd get off on everyone being awed at his producing, including us studio musicians....we had a great admiration for him and he knew it, he respected us too, altho' he'd sometimes playfully pick on someone, sometimes a little too hard. Brian would sometimes have his wife and sister-in-law in the booth, but that's it. He loved to work alone with Chuck Britz at his side to assist if he needed it, sometimes, but he loved to toy around with everything himself. There were a few moments of that, then we'd go for a take, then change the music, then he'd toy around with sounds, or come out in the studio and play a different feel he wanted us to try, things like that. Phil had some music charts (arrangements or chord charts are called "charts"), and this got more complex as the years rolled by, written arrangements. We'd add to these charts mainly our ideas and he'd yea or nay them, or a few times would give us his ideas of how the parts should be interpreted. Brian wanted only his ideas, but sometimes would listen to others, especially Hal Blaine who got to play what he wanted to play. Sometimes the guitar players too, but Brian was more in charge speaking as a composer/arranger there. Phil depended upon arranger Jack Nitzsche and input from the musicians a lot more altho' he had some definite good musical ideas sometimes too. As did Sonny Bono a little later, altho' Sonny got some great arrangements from Harold Batiste, whose ideas were revolutionary.....he's totally an underrated arranger, his ideas saved many a plain tune that Sonny and Cher wanted to do. But we still "donated" our lines and licks within the parameters of Harold's terrific arrangements. I don't remember Sonny recording with echo however. And FYI, I've always thought that Sonny was a totally underrated producer too, he was great in the booth, almost as great as Phil and Brian. Hope this answers your questions. Carol Kaye http://www.carolkaye.com/ http://www.experience.org PS. I do explain all this about Phil's use of echo on one of the video segments showing each week at this Experience Music website - now archived in the EMP museum in Seattle which also features bass sounds they had me record for them. ---------------------------------------------------- PS. About the differences in sounds between today and the 60s when it comes to the Phil Spector "wall of sound" sounds.....no-one can successfully duplicate the specter of all the LEAKAGE of sounds too (the closest I ever heard anyone do it was the Matthew Sweet CD of "In Reverse" which we cut at the old Western Studio 2, and my amp was miked, it was all analog and of course there was plenty of leakage too there -- Matthew was really trying hard to duplicate the Spector sound and that's the only sounds I heard that came very very close -- his CD is well-liked out there, sold very well in the last year) --- we all played pretty loud in the room there at Gold Star Studios, and in spite of the baffles and all, we leaked everywhere into each others' mikes. I think that's the real "Wall Of Sound" you're hearing - leakage. Somehow Phil managed to get us all on the record somewhere there, even my acoustic guitar track is there on "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", altho' buried until you hear the montuno part of the bridge where you hear me play the bassline with Ray Pohlman.....trying to keep the beat from "sinking" which it almost wanted to do - the tune was slow. It was a good balance between everyone's idea of where the groove lay. Carol --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- Message: 5 Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 17:27:46 -0600 From: "Ron Weekes" Subject: "The Wilson Project" Book Available Again Soon I know many of you have had a difficult time finding copies of Stephen McParland's "The Wilson Project" and "Tape 10" books. One lister told me he saw a copy of TWP go for $90 at eBay. Ouch!!! For those of you willing to wait, Stephen will be reprinting both books in one volume. They'll be available sometime early next year. Posted below is a notice I got from Stephen that provides more information on the book. I'll keep ya'll posted! Landlocked in Idaho! Ron Weekes www.garyusher.com ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ DUE FOR RE-RELEASE EARLY 2001 ...... THE WILSON PROJECT TAPES 1-10 This 232 page book brings together the acclaimed 1993 book, THE WILSON PROJECT, telling the story of the struggle encountered by Gary Usher in his attempt to provide a creative musical atmosphere for his old friend, Brian Wilson, then encumbered by the shadow of Dr. Eugene E. Landy, and BRIAN WILSON TAPE #10, the briefly available and limited issue that brought the story to its end, complete with reproductions of various documents, court depositions, memorabilia and handwritten lyrics. Now as the one book, THE WILSON PROJECT TAPES 1-10 is an insightful look at the dealings that prevailed during the mid to late '80s that eventually led to the release of BRIAN WILSON, the Beach Boy leader's first solo LP issued by Sire Records in July 1988. THE WILSON PROJECT TAPES 1-10 is based on a 10 audio cassette diary maintained by Gary Usher during the "ordeal" and captures the day by day interaction, the creative out-pourrings and the problems faced by Usher and Brian Wilson as they struggled to produce a foundation upon which Wilson could be re-introduced to contemporary music. THE WILSON PROJECT TAPES 1-10 exposes the total control exercised by "the good doctor" over his patient. It also concerns the battles that ensued for Brian's well-being and musical soul. It is a story that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that FACT is STRANGER than fiction. THE WILSON PROJECT TAPES 1-10, besides the main story, includes full recording particulars and a total of five appendices to expose the full INSIDE story; a sad melancholy tale with humour, drama and all the machinations of a Shakespearean play. DUE OUT IN EARLY 2001 www.garyusher.com/cmusic.html --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]-------------------- End
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