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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: c-man on January 22, 2019, 05:25:24 AM



Title: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 22, 2019, 05:25:24 AM
How many here think the "steel guitar" on "Little Pad" sound suspiciously like an electro-Theremin, or maybe a Mellotron/Chamberlin setting with the pitch knob manipulated (a la the slide guitar on the early version of "Strawberry Fields Forever")?  The "backing track" version on Sunshine Tomorrow is revelatory.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: SBonilla on January 22, 2019, 06:21:50 AM
How many here think the "steel guitar" on "Little Pad" sound suspiciously like an electro-Theremin, or maybe a Mellotron/Chamberlin setting with the pitch knob manipulated (a la the slide guitar on the early version of "Strawberry Fields Forever")?  The "backing track" version on Sunshine Tomorrow is revelatory.

The attack of the plectrum on the string is very clear. I believe it to be a steel guitar.
Wasn't Brian under pressure to record this record and get it out, pronto? Brian often created special sounds by way of instrument combinations. Would he and the engineer have burned up studio time trying to emulate a steel guitar sound on another instrument?

Btw, the backing track is beautiful in its minimalism.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 22, 2019, 08:37:57 AM
That is definitely a lap steel guitar. No doubt on this one. As stated, you can hear the attack as the next phrase is started when the string is struck.

What's just as interesting is that to my ears, I think you can hear on this specific track the cut-and-paste process of splicing tape and reusing the same "takes" for different sections of the same songs, as described by Jim Lockert in that famous quote where he spoke about the "marathon" mixing session which was done to finish the album.

That lap steel part/phrase shows up three times on the final track. If you listen close, it's the same piece of audio spliced and copied three times to create the full track. Brian overdubbed different parts onto the same splice...just for fun let's call it a "sample".

So basically what we're hearing is the 1967 fully analog precursor to digital sequencing and modern recording via DAW programs like ProTools or Cubase, where instead of playing tracks fully through or getting into summing and splicing after the fact, you'd get one section and do the analog tape splicing and copying version of the digital "copy and paste" process to make a full track.

If you listen for it, specifically the backing tracks on Smiley and WH, you can hear it applied both albums, various tracks. It's pretty cool to think this primitive process which seemed to add stress to finishing the mixing for Jim Lockert later became perhaps one of the major functions and killer apps of digital recording programs like ProTools. And it's as easy as copy and paste today.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: bossaroo on January 22, 2019, 12:01:16 PM
it's Al Vescovo most likely on a pedal steel


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: B.E. on January 22, 2019, 12:08:45 PM
What's just as interesting is that to my ears, I think you can hear on this specific track the cut-and-paste process of splicing tape and reusing the same "takes" for different sections of the same songs, as described by Jim Lockert in that famous quote where he spoke about the "marathon" mixing session which was done to finish the album.

My memory needs refreshing...could someone post or provide a link to Lockert's comments?


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 22, 2019, 12:22:27 PM
it's Al Vescovo most likely on a pedal steel

Well, you would think, but he's not listed on the AFM contract for "Hawaiian Song" (which became part of "Little Pad"). Meaning, if he got paid, it wasn't through the AFM like the Beach Boys were.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 22, 2019, 12:36:08 PM
it's Al Vescovo most likely on a pedal steel

Was thinking the same thing, however no pedals are used to play this 8 bar phrase. Its basic non-pedal single string on this cut.

I'm sure one of the band members could play it, however....the touch and intonation are dead on perfect, the way a pro steel player would play it.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: B.E. on January 22, 2019, 01:04:52 PM
What's just as interesting is that to my ears, I think you can hear on this specific track the cut-and-paste process of splicing tape and reusing the same "takes" for different sections of the same songs, as described by Jim Lockert in that famous quote where he spoke about the "marathon" mixing session which was done to finish the album.

My memory needs refreshing...could someone post or provide a link to Lockert's comments?

If anyone else is interested in reading them - I found a previous post by guitarfool2002, thanks!

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,16052.msg388193.html#msg388193 (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,16052.msg388193.html#msg388193)



Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 22, 2019, 04:03:40 PM
it's Al Vescovo most likely on a pedal steel

Was thinking the same thing, however no pedals are used to play this 8 bar phrase. Its basic non-pedal single string on this cut.

I'm sure one of the band members could play it, however....the touch and intonation are dead on perfect, the way a pro steel player would play it.

I'm sure it's one of the guys, otherwise why would the name of Vescovo or another pro not appear on the AFM contract, when the Boys' names do?  All they'd have to do is rent a lap steel (or buy one, or borrow one), figure out the spots to slide to for each note, and mark those, then get one good take, then have Jimmy make tape copies and splice them together. Probably Carl did the playing, but maybe Brian. I tend to think Brian played a lot of parts on the Smiley tracks, due to recording with an 8-track, and the at-home nature of the sessions.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 22, 2019, 07:34:18 PM
it's Al Vescovo most likely on a pedal steel

Was thinking the same thing, however no pedals are used to play this 8 bar phrase. Its basic non-pedal single string on this cut.

I'm sure one of the band members could play it, however....the touch and intonation are dead on perfect, the way a pro steel player would play it.

I'm sure it's one of the guys, otherwise why would the name of Vescovo or another pro not appear on the AFM contract, when the Boys' names do?  All they'd have to do is rent a lap steel (or buy one, or borrow one), figure out the spots to slide to for each note, and mark those, then get one good take, then have Jimmy make tape copies and splice them together. Probably Carl did the playing, but maybe Brian. I tend to think Brian played a lot of parts on the Smiley tracks, due to recording with an 8-track, and the at-home nature of the sessions.

Oh no doubt, like I said one of the band members (also thinking Brian or Carl) could have played it. But what the Sunshine Tomorrow backing track showed - and it was a beautiful surprise - was just how well played and well executed that 8-bar steel phrase really was. Whoever played it, the part as heard on the track is impeccable.

Playing a non-pedal or pedal steel part perfectly isn't an easy chore. Just listen to the phrasing and the way the notes gliss and the pitches bend continuously...it's flawless, and the intonation is flawless too. It would be a part which you'd expect a pro like Al Vescovo or Red Rhodes (choosing the two bigger names who worked with the Beach Boys in the late 60's) to execute...so if it were one of the Beach Boys, they did a fantastic job.

It's not just about the notes, it's as much how you play the notes with all the inflections. With steel guitar, and using the bar, it's not just taping off where the bar needs to be like they did on the Electro-Theremin, it has a lot to do with having to get the bar exactly right to have that kind of perfect intonation, and with glisses like this, it can be tough. It's like hearing Jaco play fretless bass, then hearing a lesser player - The differences jump out, and it's all technique and feel.


Speaking of Electro-Theremin, I also have been asking and wondering for years why they hired Paul Tanner to play that octave sweep on "Wild Honey" when one of the Boys could easily have done that on their own road version of the Electro-Theremin.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: DonnyL on January 22, 2019, 09:57:53 PM
So did Tommy Tedesco really play the ukulele on "Little Pad"?


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 23, 2019, 09:06:05 AM
So did Tommy Tedesco really play the ukulele on "Little Pad"?

If he did, he wasn't paid for it through the union. There are an AFM contracts for "Hawaiian Song" and for "Little Pad" itself, but the only non-Beach Boy or BB associate (engineer or contractor) listed is Chuck Bergohofer, who contributed upright bass to what became part of "She's Goin' Bald".  He's also listed on the contract for the alternate "With Me Tonight" several days earlier.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 23, 2019, 10:56:42 AM
They say "everything old is new again"...Well, check out these links and quotes from almost exactly 13 years ago, discussions on this board about this same topic. Link first, then quotes:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,950.msg22301.html#msg22301 (http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,950.msg22301.html#msg22301)


Little Pad:  Brian at piano, presumably Chuck Berghoffer is on there somewhere, and per Brian, Al Vescovo.  Carl on Uke?

Gettin' Hungry:  Organ, sounds like Brian on Bass to me, guitars, maybe finally both Al and Carl?

Whistle In:  Piano, hard to tell who is on bass.  Sounds like whoever it is that plays a lot on Wild Honey and Friends.  But it could be anybody really.

Seems like Brian played about everything to me.  I really don't think Al or Dennis had a lot to do, other than sing.

Really?  Brian said Al Vescovo is on "Little Pad"?  When and where was that?  BTW, Vescovo's not on the AFM sheet.  Neither is Berghoffer.
To me, the electric bass on "Gettin' Hungry" sounds like it's played with a pick...therefore probably not Brian.   More likely Al Jardine IMO.
For "Whistle In", the AFM sheet lists only Brian and Carl (and engineer James Lockert and contractor Diane Rovell), so I'm thinking Brian on piano, Carl on bass.

C-Man


Quote
Brian said Al Vescovo is on "Little Pad"?  When and where was that? 

Damned if I remember.  I should have saved it.  It was a fairly contemperaneous interview, I think, where the interviewer asked Brian to talk about Smiley Smile a little bit.  I'll dig around to see if I can find the reference - however, Brian may very well have been confusing Little Pad with Diamond Head.

There are sessions for "hawaiian song" on several days, I was under the impression according to Badman that Berghoffer was present at the July 21 session.  Not that I can really hear any String Bass on Little Pad.

Quote
For "Whistle In", the AFM sheet lists only Brian and Carl (and engineer James Lockert and contractor Diane Rovell), so I'm thinking Brian on piano, Carl on bass.

That would certainly make sense...I just feel a little more panache in the little descending lines than I'm familiar with Carl having on bass.



That was an interview from the earlier part of the 90's, where I can verify without any doubt that Brian DID credit Al Vescovo with playing lap steel on "Little Pad". The whole interview was posted once on this board a few years ago, so it probably still exists in full somewhere. Brian says a few lines about various Smiley tracks, nothing shocking - but interesting since he rarely talked about Smiley Smile's tracks. And why bother to plant seeds of doubt with Brian's memory on this topic of Little Pad? I don't understand that - give Brian at least some credit that he'd remember if Al Vescovo played steel guitar on Little Pad! ::).

I had the full interview but I lost it - all I have are a few random quotes.

Here's another quote from that interview that many folks seem to forget when discussing the origins and history of Fall Breaks:

FALL BREAKS...
BW:That was sort of a song about a cold winter scene. We tried to paint a picture of winter and then spring, but we called it fall. The idea was that it went to spring, late summer and then broke in the winter, We used the "Woody Woodpecker" theme because it was descriptive to us of spring and summer.





Quote
And why bother to plant seeds of doubt with Brian's memory on this topic of Little Pad?

Just considering all the angles.  The steel on Little Pad seems basic enough for one of the Boys to handle, plus no Al on the AFMs.  I tend to believe that Al was there, as to me the Steel seems nuanced enough to be a pro.  But you kind of have to remain eternally sceptical of all possibilities in the "session credits" line of "work."

Too many angles?  :)

Not to sound cheeky here, but I doubt the Boys could have tuned the steel guitar the proper way without asking someone, let alone have played such a smooth and as you said "nuanced" slide part that remained perfectly in tune. That's the real bear on that instrument - intonation.

On a related note, the octave-slide "Theremin" line on the song Wild Honey sounds simple enough that I could teach any non-musician how to play it on Mike's "Ribbon Controller" in 30 minutes. Yet, they called in Paul Tanner, the pro,  to do that part. Probably for similar reasons as they called Vescovo to play that steel on Little Pad. ;)


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 23, 2019, 11:00:11 AM
Ok, now the request...and keep in mind it hasn't been found as far as I know but someone just has to have a copy of this interview:

It's what I mentioned in that Feb 2006 discussion, an interview with Brian Wilson where he discusses Smiley Smile, and goes track by track. I only had available a few quotes from the larger piece, like the Fall Breaks description...but the rest sadly is lost and has been lost since a hard-drive crash years ago.

So does ANYONE have a transcript of this specific BW interview where he talks about Smiley Smile? It is - if our memories were correct in 2006 and correct in late January 2019 - the source for Brian crediting Al Vescovo for that steel guitar part on Little Pad.

Someone has to have it saved...


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: bossaroo on January 23, 2019, 11:32:03 AM
I corresponded with Al Vescovo briefly before he passed away. he said it was him on Little Pad.

as for lap steel vs. pedal steel, Al was almost exclusively a pedal steel player. by the mid/late 60s most guys who started on lap steel had switched to pedals. you can play pedal steel without ever hitting a pedal, and for something as simple as the part on Little Pad, there would be no reason to use a pedal. even on Diamond Head there is no discernible use of pedals, it's a Hawaiian/lap steel sound he's going for... but he's most definitely using a pedal steel on that one too.

I could have sworn it was Lyle Ritz on the ukulele for Little Pad.



Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 23, 2019, 11:40:37 AM
I corresponded with Al Vescovo briefly before he passed away. he said it was him on Little Pad.

as for lap steel vs. pedal steel, Al was almost exclusively a pedal steel player. by the mid/late 60s most guys who started on lap steel had switched to pedals. you can play pedal steel without ever hitting a pedal, and for something as simple as the part on Little Pad, there would be no reason to use a pedal. even on Diamond Head there is no discernible use of pedals, it's a Hawaiian/lap steel sound he's going for... but he's most definitely using a pedal steel on that one too.

I could have sworn it was Lyle Ritz on the ukulele for Little Pad.



Very cool! I thought it was Lyle aka "Ukulele Lyle" Ritz on the track too but could be wrong. (PS - Anyone unfamiliar with his solo recordings, check out Lyle's catalog of jazz uke albums and recordings...Besides being a studio bass legend, he's regarded as one of the best uke players if not a pioneer for bringing the jazz idiom to the instrument).

What a lot of guys would do in the studio if asked for a "Hawaiian" sounding part, and they had a pedal steel, would be to simply use their C6 neck and copedant on the pedal steel and as you say, not engage any of the pedals since that's not the sound being asked for - However, there were and are times when an authentic lap steel sound and feel are required, and they can simply pull out an old Epiphone, Gibson, Rick, or Fender Stringmaster as needed for those sounds and tones.

There are no pedals used on Little Pad or Diamond Head, obviously. What's interesting is if it were a pedal steel played on C6 or some equivalent, or if it truly were a lap steel heard on the tracks.

RIP Al, he was a virtuoso.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: bossaroo on January 23, 2019, 12:01:13 PM
all due respect, i'd challenge you or anyone to do a blindfold test and tell the difference between a vintage lap vs. pedal steel, tone-wise. they can both be played like a lap steel and there is no discernible difference in the sound they make.

Al is using pedals on Diamond Head, just not in the way we're used to hearing. the pedals on C6 pedal steel are used primarily for getting different chords. we are used to hearing the other neck, tuned to E9 in most cases, where the pedals are used more for melodic bends and licks.

that's why the pedal steel on Cottonfields (played by Red Rhodes) sounds so different than Al's steel on Diamond Head. Red is on the E9 neck, Al on C6.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 23, 2019, 12:43:14 PM
all due respect, i'd challenge you or anyone to do a blindfold test and tell the difference between a vintage lap vs. pedal steel, tone-wise. they can both be played like a lap steel and there is no discernible difference in the sound they make.

Al is using pedals on Diamond Head, just not in the way we're used to hearing. the pedals on C6 pedal steel are used primarily for getting different chords. we are used to hearing the other neck, tuned to E9 in most cases, where the pedals are used more for melodic bends and licks.

that's why the pedal steel on Cottonfields (played by Red Rhodes) sounds so different than Al's steel on Diamond Head. Red is on the E9 neck, Al on C6.


I'd take that challenge. It has much to do with the pickups. I can hear a Fender Stringmaster's tone versus an Emmons, let's say. I used to own a 1940 Epiphone lap that had a very distinct pickup and sound...different from 40s Fenders and Ricks.

I also have an early 70's MSA 12 string (tuned extended E9) and a 70's Sho Bud LDG tuned E9 with a slight knee lever mod of my own..when you know the tone, you can hear it. Like a strat versus a Paul.

Anyhoo...

You don't hear Al doing any of the pedal moves people normally associate with pedal steel on these Hawaiian tracks. That was my point. As you said, what Red played on E9 is more associated with what people think of with pedal steel.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: DonnyL on January 23, 2019, 02:42:27 PM
*Al Jardine posted on Instagram the other day that Tommy Tedesco played ukulele on "Little Pad".

Seems like maybe the sheets are wrong for some of these sessions? Seems odd that Al and Brian would have such specific memories about this track that are wrong.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: wjcrerar on January 23, 2019, 03:10:03 PM
Was there actually any more to Hawaiian Song? Or was it just an early working title for Little Pad under which that one section was recorded?


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 23, 2019, 05:26:52 PM
*Al Jardine posted on Instagram the other day that Tommy Tedesco played ukulele on "Little Pad".

Seems like maybe the sheets are wrong for some of these sessions? Seems odd that Al and Brian would have such specific memories about this track that are wrong.


Who knows...I wish the session tapes were revealing, but they apparently aren't (so I'm told). All I can say is, if Tedesco and Vescovo were on those Smiley sessions, they weren't paid through the union, the way the Boys and Bergofher were, and it makes no sense to pay those two differently.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 23, 2019, 06:23:59 PM
In the case of Little Pad, both Brian Wilson and Al Vescovo have said in interviews that Al was on the session - That's pretty strong evidence for both of the two most key members involved in that session to confirm the same answer.

Perhaps the missing names on the AFM sheets could be a case of paying under the table? It's the most plausible and simple way perhaps to explain the omissions. Tax-free money in pocket.

As far as Tommy Tedesco playing uke, according to Al Jardine...This one I'm not outright disputing Al because we really don't have any audio evidence or otherwise, but I just assumed for years it was "Ukulele Lyle" Ritz playing the part, since he was a virtuoso ukulele player first, and second he seemed to be a lot closer to Brian's sessions and played more of them especially in 65-66-67 than did Tommy. But again, who knows short of more info. And not that it's evidence to back anything up with Little Pad, but less than a year later Brian called in both Lyle and Al Vescovo to play on another of his Hawaii themed tracks.

I will say too that Lyle's fame was as a jazz uke player, and the chords played on Little Pad have some pretty juicy jazz voicings versus someone not as well versed in playing jazz on the instrument.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 23, 2019, 08:54:24 PM
In the case of Little Pad, both Brian Wilson and Al Vescovo have said in interviews that Al was on the session - That's pretty strong evidence for both of the two most key members involved in that session to confirm the same answer.

Perhaps the missing names on the AFM sheets could be a case of paying under the table? It's the most plausible and simple way perhaps to explain the omissions. Tax-free money in pocket.


Not to doubt Brian and Mr. Vescovo, but this "paying under the table" doesn't really make sense. In order for them to have been paid under the table, Brian and the Boys would've had to fork over the funds themselves. At the time, they were involved in a lawsuit with Capitol, so I can't imagine why they would be willing to pay for studio musicians' time themselves, rather than allowing Capitol to foot the bill. I'm still thinking there must be a different answer...


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 23, 2019, 09:05:26 PM
I could be wrong, but I thought the lawsuit was settled by the time they were recording the Smiley album.

Edit: yes, the lawsuit filed earlier in 1967 was settled by Capitol by July 1967 which is how Brother Records was the label for the Heroes single, etc. Capitol distributing Brother was part of the settlement.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 23, 2019, 09:11:05 PM
I could be wrong, but I thought the lawsuit was settled by the time they were recording the Smiley album.

Don't know the exact date - Wikipedia only says the lawsuit was launched by the group in February, and was resolved by the time "Heroes And Villains" was released as a single in July. "Little Pad" was tracked in June.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 23, 2019, 09:15:02 PM
I only threw the possibility of being paid under the table out there as a possibility, and it could have been just that. The band by summer 1967 was still making a lot of money from Good Vibrations and the other successes they were having in 1966 including the tours. there was definitely no shortage of funds  if they did want to pay people to play on their records


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 24, 2019, 08:36:59 AM
I only threw the possibility of being paid under the table out there as a possibility, and it could have been just that. The band by summer 1967 was still making a lot of money from Good Vibrations and the other successes they were having in 1966 including the tours. there was definitely no shortage of funds  if they did want to pay people to play on their records

Yeah, but again, I don't know why they would, if they could get Capitol to do it. If they wanted it to be tax free, they could "gross it up" by adding overtime or doubles to reach whatever net payout the guy wanted, and still ensure a pension contribution.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 24, 2019, 09:30:45 AM
I agree, it's odd and doesn't add up. Especially when Brian and Al Vescovo said it was Vescovo on the session. But one thing to consider is that I don't think the band was lacking money in 1967, considering their spending on various projects including the temporary home studio, which turned into building the fully functional home studio by 1968; the Spring '67 Euro tour which saw them bring not only a group of additional musicians but have a private plane to ferry them around, the various other tours and dates which had them carting around one of the better live sound systems in use at that time, the formation of a label, and a trip to Hawaii in August to record 2 shows which also cost them a boatload of money. If I'm not mistaken, most of these ventures were funded by the band, right? I think one of the misconceptions is that the year 1967 was a "lean" year financially for the band, but looking more closely they did have a lot more in their coffers to spend (personally and in a group business sense) because of the successes of 1966 going into '67 paying off like dividends, not to mention the settling of the lawsuit. Not saying they *did* pay for musicians off the books, but the money was there if they wanted to.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: lance on January 25, 2019, 11:45:21 AM
I only threw the possibility of being paid under the table out there as a possibility, and it could have been just that. The band by summer 1967 was still making a lot of money from Good Vibrations and the other successes they were having in 1966 including the tours. there was definitely no shortage of funds  if they did want to pay people to play on their records

Yeah, but again, I don't know why they would, if they could get Capitol to do it. If they wanted it to be tax free, they could "gross it up" by adding overtime or doubles to reach whatever net payout the guy wanted, and still ensure a pension contribution.
Could have it simply been on a spontaneous whim by the hardly patient Brian and he paid him out of pocket because he really didn't care too much about bureaucracy and so on?


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 25, 2019, 12:27:01 PM
I only threw the possibility of being paid under the table out there as a possibility, and it could have been just that. The band by summer 1967 was still making a lot of money from Good Vibrations and the other successes they were having in 1966 including the tours. there was definitely no shortage of funds  if they did want to pay people to play on their records

Yeah, but again, I don't know why they would, if they could get Capitol to do it. If they wanted it to be tax free, they could "gross it up" by adding overtime or doubles to reach whatever net payout the guy wanted, and still ensure a pension contribution.
Could have it simply been on a spontaneous whim by the hardly patient Brian and he paid him out of pocket because he really didn't care too much about bureaucracy and so on?

That doesn't really match up with what we know about all the other sessions Brian produced. For instance, Billy Strange was called in at the last minute to do a 12-string guitar overdub on "Sloop John B." on a day the music stores were closed, requiring a phone call to the owner to come down and open the store so that a 12-string and amp could be purchased; Billy relates that Brian handed him a wad of cash for the session, and let him keep the guitar & amp - yet, an AFM contract for that session was STILL filled out and submitted, so that Strange could also get his Capitol pay and pension contribution. Likewise for the Tommy Tedesco mandolin overdub on the "Cantina" version of "H&V":  Tedesco was called in toward the end of a five and a half hour vocal session, at 10:00pm, and his services were only required for 45 minutes - yet he was paid by-the-book, by the label through the Union (perhaps he was also given cash, like Strange was, but he was definitely paid $130 by Capitol from the Boys' recording budget).  I can't imagine the same wouldn't have been done for Al Vescovo and whoever played the uke on "Little Pad", if they were indeed session pros, especially since an AFM contract for that session was being filed anyway. Why not just add their names?


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: SBonilla on January 25, 2019, 01:00:37 PM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 25, 2019, 01:27:06 PM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: metal flake paint on January 25, 2019, 01:40:40 PM
The January 1995 edition of Record Collector features an interview with Brian where he talks about 3 Smiley tracks in particular, one of them being "Little Pad"

RC: Who played the beautiful steel guitar on that?

BW: It was Al Vescobo [sic] he was a great steel player. His house burned down about 10 years ago, but it was made of wood, so it was no wonder!


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: SBonilla on January 25, 2019, 01:52:27 PM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 25, 2019, 02:12:49 PM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: SBonilla on January 25, 2019, 02:50:53 PM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
Yes, I wondered about that part, as well. I was trying to determine if it was a tuned percussion instrument, it doesn't sound like one. It could be an organ sound. hmmmm


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 26, 2019, 08:34:29 AM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
Yes, I wondered about that part, as well. I was trying to determine if it was a tuned percussion instrument, it doesn't sound like one. It could be an organ sound. hmmmm

Actually, I was thinking of the repeating "tick-tock" two-note percussive bit behind the "Sure would like to have a little pad in Hawaii" part...THAT'S what I think could be a Baldwin tempo setting. I guess the part you're referring to is the marimba-like sound behind the steel guitar? That, to me, sounds like a piano doctored with making tape to make it sound like a marimba...


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: SBonilla on January 26, 2019, 09:16:58 AM
Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
Yes, I wondered about that part, as well. I was trying to determine if it was a tuned percussion instrument, it doesn't sound like one. It could be an organ sound. hmmmm

Actually, I was thinking of the repeating "tick-tock" two-note percussive bit behind the "Sure would like to have a little pad in Hawaii" part...THAT'S what I think could be a Baldwin tempo setting. I guess the part you're referring to is the marimba-like sound behind the steel guitar? That, to me, sounds like a piano doctored with making tape to make it sound like a marimba...
No, I had the same part in mind.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: guitarfool2002 on January 26, 2019, 09:51:44 AM
The Baldwin HT2R home theater organ had a percussion sound available which was 'Temple Block'. The real temple block percussion would produce the clip-clop sound, so if possible someone with a Baldwin HT2R organ could be tracked down and asked to run through the sounds like that "temple block" setting.

I think those percussion sounds were only available on the optional slide-out drawer looking unit that some Baldwins had...I believe Brian's had this option too but I'll have to dig into some photos to confirm. If anyone sees it, it's a little box on the player's right just underneath the manuals of the organ, and I believe you could also assign the sounds to be controlled via the footpedals (?)

I think you guys nailed the origin of that clip-clop sound as the Baldwin. Great call.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: c-man on January 26, 2019, 10:32:10 AM
So, if it is indeed Al Vescovo playing the steel guitar on "Little Pad", that was likely his first session with Brian. Meaning, he was probably located and booked through a call to the Union (by Diane, who was acting as Brian's union contractor at the time). That, in turn, would mean (beyond the shadow of a doubt in my mind) that the proper paperwork was indeed filed to cover both Vescovo's participation and that of whoever played the ukulele (assuming that the uke was not played by one of the Boys). Finally, we can conclude that said paperwork must be missing, since everything else from those sessions seems to be accounted for.

And that does seem somewhat plausible - although sessions for each of the Smiley songs seem to be well documented by corresponding AFM contracts and/or Capitol Popular Session Workseets, there nonetheless IS an incongruous gap where the paperwork for a June 27 session might be missing. Essentially, starting June 3, it appears that the group would work for a stretch of between 3-5 days, then take 3 days off. The exceptions to this rule would seem to be June 4 (when it appears that no session was held - either that, or that day's paperwork - likely for a "Vegetables/With Me Tonight" session - is also missing), and the period right before and right after the Fourth Of July holiday, when they worked 6 days straight (IF, in fact, there was a session on June 27), then took 4 days off (including the holiday) before returning to work just 2 days, then resuming the normal schedule by taking 3 days off, followed by a stretch of working 5 days straight to finish the album.

Examining the "modular" fashion in which some of the Smiley songs seem to have been pieced together, and then comparing them to the AFM contracts, can be revealing. We already know that some sessions logged as "Vegetables" were actually for "With Me Tonight" (the latter song considered at some point to be part of the former), and it now appears to me that what was logged initially as "The Hawaiian Song" produced not only pieces of what became "Little Pad", but also a piece of what became "She's Goin' Bald" (namely, the section where the following lyrics are sung: "You're too late mama, ain't nothin' upside you're head"). My reasoning here is that one outside musician - upright bassist Chuck Berghofer - was employed for the June 21 session, logged as "Hawaiian Song - Insert", and the 2017 release of the "Little Pad" backing track on Sunshine Tomorrow reveals that the deep bass on that part of the song is, in fact, an upright. My theory, therefore, is that this piece, originally intended as part of whatever "Hawaiian Song" was going to be, was ultimately siphoned off for "She's Goin' Bald", and the other piece intended for "Hawaiian Song" (and this was likely just a working title for a concept Brian had) - tracked on June 19 with vocals added on the 20th - was incorporated into "Little Pad", along with new pieces recorded under the title "Little Pad In Hawaii" on the 27th (if my theory about missing paperwork is true) and the 28th.

Now - in this theory of mine, the June 27 session was obviously for the "steel guitar/marimba" part of the song (let's call it "Part Two"), while the June 28 session was for the song's opening part (where they sing "If I only had a little pad in Hawaii" in a jokey, laughing, perhaps stoned fashion - let's call it "Part One"), while "Part Three" is the strummed ukulele track behind Carl's wordless vocal (linked to "Part Two" by a fingernsap interlude), and "Part Four" is the organ/"tick-tock" percussion part. The final running order, then, is "Part One" (June 28) - "Part Two" (June 27, if there is missing documentation) - "Part Three" (June 19-20) - "Part Four" (June 28), followed by repeats of Parts Two, Three, Four, and Two, in that order. The only slight hiccup in this theory is that the strummed ukulele track ("Part Three") is from the first "Hawaiian Song" session on June 19th, and the only names on that AFM contract are Al, Brian, Carl, Dennis, and Diane - meaning, there is no evidence that a sessionman like Lyle Ritz or Tommy Tedesco was brought in to play the uke, as has been suggested or stated. Doesn't mean it didn't happen at some point, but obviously not on that date! And, if so, that's more missing paperwork!


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: SBonilla on January 26, 2019, 11:18:37 AM


 "Part Three" is the strummed ukulele track behind Carl's wordless vocal


It's a thick sound. Too thick.  It sounds like two ukuleles playing different chord inversions . They could have been tracked together or there was overdubbing.
Anyone?


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: wjcrerar on January 26, 2019, 11:37:37 AM
I don't know if this has much bearing on the dates for the theory, but on Unsurpassed Masters you can hear Brian slate the second and third parts of She's Goin' Bald as "Section 2" and "Section 3", and that third part is so closely musically related to the Speeches half I'd be really surprised if it was originally meant for a different song. Then again Brian doesn't say what they're sections of, so I guess it might be possible. The 'Hawaiian Song' ukulele part is also in F# after all. Just I can't see the piano track for Section 2 of SGB being meant for anything other than the goofy spoken part before vocals were added, and both that and Section 3 sound like they're being recorded at the same session.


Title: Re: Steel Guitar on Little Pad
Post by: wjcrerar on February 07, 2019, 09:54:17 AM
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