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Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: aeijtzsche on February 26, 2006, 12:19:26 PM



Title: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 26, 2006, 12:19:26 PM
I'm sure you regulars are more than tired of me bringing my love of this man's playing, but I can't help it.  I nominate him as the official thirteenth Beach Boy.  His bass contributions to the Beach Boys catalog are immense, important, and divinely inspired.  Thank you, Ray, wherever you are!

His Discography with the Beach Boys, corrections, additions and revisions welcome and hoped for:

Ray Pohlman on Fender Bass except where noted

Speculative early credits (this is where a lot of help is needed):

The Surfer Moon
Our Car Club



Fun Fun Fun
The Warmth of the Sun
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
I Do
Wendy
Hushabye
Don't Back Down
Possibly Drive-In
Don't Hurt My Little Sister
Help Me Ronda
Dance Dance Dance On Danelectro 6-string bass
Kiss Me, Baby
Girl from New York City
Wouldn't It Be Nice Probably acoustic guitar, maybe Dano Bass
I'm Waiting for the Day Possibly on guitar for some of the track, definitely on Bass for the tag
God Only Knows On the lone Fender bass on the song, IMO
I Know there's an Answer
Here Today
I Just Wasn't Made for these Times
Good Vibrations Verses
Look
Heroes and Villians gotta be on there somewhere?
I Love to Say Da Da

Participated in some Wild Honey and Friends sessions, I'm not clear on which he did, which Ron Brown did, etc.

I do not believe Ray is present on 20/20, possibly making it the first Beach Boys LP he didn't appear on since Surfer Girl, depending on if he played at all on the Christmas Album, which despite the Ultimate Christmas Liners, I'm unsure of.


This Whole World
Deirdre
Tears in the Morning
All I Wanna Do Completely speculative, no documentation, but it just sounds like Ray to me.
When Girls get Together

Palisades Park
Blueberry Hill

I think that's it...please tell me if it's not!

Again, I just did this as a tribute to a great, great bass player who is vastly under-rated.




Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Surfer Joe on February 26, 2006, 03:24:15 PM
From your list, which is full of great bass playing, the first one that jumps right out at me is "Good To My Baby"- it just doesn't get any better than that.

A low bow to a great musician.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 26, 2006, 03:56:31 PM
(http://www.utstat.utoronto.ca/mikevans/hroberts/photos/Roberts-Tedesco-Pohlman-Ritz)


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 26, 2006, 04:00:39 PM
Oh my gawd!  Where did you find that and why in the name of cecil b demille have you kept it from me!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!!!??!?!??!??!?!?!


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 26, 2006, 04:03:12 PM
I typed Ray Pohlman into Google's image search, just now. I wanted to find one of his great 'stache, but that's all I could find. It was the first one!


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on February 26, 2006, 04:03:41 PM
Which one is Ray?


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 26, 2006, 04:05:22 PM
Far right.  Looks like he's playing a Dano bass.  This picture is so fucking rad.  I generally google 40-75 members of the wrecking crew every week...but I guess I picked the wrong time to take a week off.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 26, 2006, 04:05:27 PM
"Howard Roberts, Tommy Tedesco, pianist unknown, Ray Pohlman, Lyle Ritz taken by trombonist Tommy Sheppard and thansk to Mitch Holder."


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Mitchell on February 26, 2006, 04:06:35 PM
Far right.  Looks like he's playing a Dano bass.  This picture is so fodaing rad.  I generally google 40-75 members of the wrecking crew every week...but I guess I picked the wrong time to take a week off.

If you're happy, I'm happy! I got your back on this one.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: NimrodsSon on February 26, 2006, 04:08:55 PM
Does anyone know what studio this is? That big mirror on the left would be VERY distracting when playing the piano and, I imaginge, any other instrument.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 26, 2006, 04:11:31 PM
I'm not familiar with the studio.  It looks pretty big, and the mirror is unfamiliar, I'd rule out Gold Star, definitely not Western 3.  I don't know if one of studios in United had a mirror.  A was huge and B was pretty big too.  Still are.

The Pianist is Al De Lory, and I should have said "far right, in the foreground."  Lyle is the actually the farthest right on String bass.

Quote
If you're happy, I'm happy! I got your back on this one.

I'm very happy.  Between this and Mr. Boyd posting another tracksheet, it's been a nice day.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 03:38:42 AM
I'm starting to think that it's just two pianos side by side rather than a mirror in that picture.  The lids both seem to be leaning in the same direction.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Evenreven on February 27, 2006, 04:50:13 AM
Hmm... You may be right. Wouldn't there be a reflection of De Lory too if it really were a mirror?


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 27, 2006, 09:58:32 AM
"Howard Roberts, Tommy Tedesco, pianist unknown, Ray Pohlman, Lyle Ritz taken by trombonist Tommy Sheppard and thansk to Mitch Holder."

Take note of the "thanks to Mitch Holder" credit. Check out who Mitch Holder is - he's the "Tommy Tedesco" or "Howard Roberts" of the 70's, 80's, and 90's and beyond. One of LA's first-call session guitarists who we've all heard on TV and movie soundtracks. He even has a Gibson guitar which he used primarily for session work called the Gibson ES-357, which other musicians have called the "ES-Mitch"!

Plus, for years he was the younger one of the guitarists who played on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" with Doc and the band - Bob Bain, another session cat from the 50's and 60's, was the other primary guitarist.

So how does all of this tie into the photo?

Mitch Holder studied with and was a close friend of Howard Roberts, shown in the photo. Howard began taking Mitch, his student, to session dates in the 60's. And through those sessions, Mitch began working the "second tier" of Hollywood session work at places like Gold Star in the 60's: While Roberts was cutting the big records and working the name dates, Mitch would be cutting the soundalikes and demos with folks like Stan Ross in the smaller rooms, and working his way up the ladder, learning the job.

By the time Roberts and Tedesco cut back on their record dates, it was their students like Mitch Holder, Michael Deasy, and guys like Larry Carlton who started taking the dates, having been introduced to the scene by their "teachers".

So a great source of research information and historical photos would be those students of the original players...guys like Mitch Holder who had access to the players and the photos like the one shown above of his teacher, Howard Roberts, at work.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 12:17:36 PM
Ho-Rob.  Shame I wasn't around to have Ray take me under his wing.  Thanks for that info Craig.  I know Mitch Holder but didn't know the Ho-Rob connection.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Jason on February 27, 2006, 12:27:23 PM
Ray Pohlman's good, but he ain't no John Entwistle. Sorry, man.

In all seriousness, he was a fine session player. They were all pretty fine. They were paid to be fine. At least he's not a bitch like Carol Kaye is.  :D


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 01:39:42 PM
Quote
the first one that jumps right out at me is "Good To My Baby"- it just doesn't get any better than that.

Whoops, That was actually Carol, and Good to my Baby has been deleted from the list.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Surfer Joe on February 27, 2006, 01:56:58 PM
Really?  I had thought for some reason that "Help Me, Rhonda" (single version) was the first one she played bass on.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 02:04:15 PM
She's said that, yeah.  But she's on the contract for "Good."  Which would actually be the first time she appeared on a Beach Boys record at all.  She'd worked with Brian before, but not on an actual BB date, I believe.



Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Surfer Joe on February 27, 2006, 02:10:27 PM
She didn't play guitar on any of the earlier stuff? Another surprise...Can't trust either of you two anymore!

Substitute "God Only Knows" then, off that list- a highly influential performance.  I think it may be the signature Beach Boys bass line that everyone tries to imitate.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 02:12:16 PM
Quote
She didn't play guitar on any of the earlier stuff?

Not for the Beach Boys.  Yes for Brian, the Honeys, etc... but I'm pretty sure her entry into the Beach Boys catalog was with GtmB.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 02:15:59 PM
Quote
Substitute "God Only Knows" then, off that list- a highly influential performance.  I think it may be the signature Beach Boys bass line that everyone tries to imitate.

Keep in mind that the GOK credit is a highly contentious issue for a lot of people, I got banned from her board twice over it.

The issue is that she claims the Fender Bass line, and originally siad that Ray was not there at all.  However, he's clearly evident on the session tape, Brian calls him by name and asks him to play with a good pick sound, which Ray does immediately after on Bass.

So Carol called her friend Russ Wapensky, AGD got involved, and Carol eventually changed to saying Ray was on the contract so he must have been on Guitar.  But we know from the tape he's on bass.

Furthermore, in her notes on Pet Sounds in the PS Box booklet, she claims she was on Fender and Ray was on Dano, which is possible, except that I don't hear three basses on the track.  Although I've made myself insane listening to that session for three basses.

Another problem is that there IS guitar on the track, and whoever is playing that guitar seems to be unaccounted for - unless it's Carol.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Surfer Joe on February 27, 2006, 02:18:14 PM
Well, it was an audacious entry- but then there wouldn't have been many inauspicious places to begin in 1964-5 ("Amusement Parks, USA", maybe?).

Tried to send you a private message on the Leaf book, but it was unclear whether it went through.  In short, happy to help there; the problem is that although it's full of pictures, they're small, and at least in the '85 edition, not well reproduced.  There's a lot of good stuff, though.  The thing to do would be to try to go back to the sources.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Surfer Joe on February 27, 2006, 02:25:56 PM
Quote
Substitute "God Only Knows" then, off that list- a highly influential performance.  I think it may be the signature Beach Boys bass line that everyone tries to imitate.

Keep in mind that the GOK credit is a highly contentious issue for a lot of people, I got banned from her board twice over it.

The issue is that she claims the Fender Bass line, and originally siad that Ray was not there at all.  However, he's clearly evident on the session tape, Brian calls him by name and asks him to play with a good pick sound, which Ray does immediately after on Bass.

So Carol called her friend Russ Wapensky, AGD got involved, and Carol eventually changed to saying Ray was on the contract so he must have been on Guitar.  But we know from the tape he's on bass.

Furthermore, in her notes on Pet Sounds in the PS Box booklet, she claims she was on Fender and Ray was on Dano, which is possible, except that I don't hear three basses on the track.  Although I've made myself insane listening to that session for three basses.

Another problem is that there IS guitar on the track, and whoever is playing that guitar seems to be unaccounted for - unless it's Carol.

That's a real service to scholarship.  I wish there was a way to settle the question definitively and finally.  In slight defense of Carol, I can easily imagine how aggravating it is when personal memories- which can be very treacherous things- are contradicted by people who were toddlers at the time, or not born yet.  We are usually not scholars of our own lives, and probably never the best ones.  The eyewitness vs. the criminologist (or historian)- each has an important place.

When I was an animator in California, I did a lot of research talking to Golden Age animators, and I learned about this stuff.  I got "first hand" stories on legendary artists who had died before the speaker got into the business.  They were absolutely certain of these memories, but they were actually repeating things they had been told or even had read.  And I never, ever corrected them.

My Dad will never give up his claim that Elvis' "Hound Dog" was played at his fraternity parties...in 1952.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 02:29:57 PM
Quote
In slight defense of Carol, I can easily imagine how aggravating it is when personal memories- which can be very treacherous things- are contradicted by people who were toddlers at the time, or not born yet.

Oh, absolutely.  I thought I was very gentle in prodding her memory, but she felt otherwise.  I don't blame her at all.  It is pretty ridiculous for somebody who was 15 years from being born when GOK was recorded to say "But Ray was there!"  Of course, in a sense, I was at that session, as I have access to 40 minutes of session tape from it that Carol does not.

Still, to see that session with my own eyes... Mphfff.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Surfer Joe on February 27, 2006, 02:40:54 PM
Quote
In slight defense of Carol, I can easily imagine how aggravating it is when personal memories- which can be very treacherous things- are contradicted by people who were toddlers at the time, or not born yet.

Oh, absolutely.  I thought I was very gentle in prodding her memory, but she felt otherwise.  I don't blame her at all.  It is pretty ridiculous for somebody who was 15 years from being born when GOK was recorded to say "But Ray was there!"  Of course, in a sense, I was at that session, as I have access to 40 minutes of session tape from it that Carol does not.

Still, to see that session with my own eyes... Mphfff.

That's why you just give her a very wide zone of tolerance- and I'm sure you did.  Of course you're right and you know it and history will ultimately record the correct- or best- answer.  I think you and I share a kind of respect and reverence for these people who participated in greatness.  It's not at all like Gene Landy claiming to have produced "Eve Of Destruction".

I see old episodes of "The Critic" or "Futurama", done just twelve and eight years ago, and sometimes I can't recall which sequences I laid out or storyboarded.  Forty to eighty hours of time spent on drawings, and now I can't always, for sure, tell you which ones I did.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 27, 2006, 06:50:03 PM
Ho-Rob.  Shame I wasn't around to have Ray take me under his wing.  Thanks for that info Craig.  I know Mitch Holder but didn't know the Ho-Rob connection.

You're very welcome, I'm more than happy to be able to share and discuss information like this with other people who are interested in this type of discussion.

I have a few more tidbits of info on Howard Roberts and his students, but I'll have to get more of it together. I still think these students may hold more info than you'd find perhaps anywhere else.

Case in point: Guitar players should recognize the name "Wolf Marshall". He's the king of guitar transcriptions and book/video guitar instruction, from its absolute peak in the 80's until the present day. He was one of Howard Roberts' students and friends as well, and is one of the foremost experts on guitar history and playing techniques of famous players and famous recordings...

Well, anyway...Wolf Marshall has Howard Roberts' famous black guitar, the over-customized guitar Ho-Rob played most often in the studio, and the one heard on hundreds of recordings. I have a photo of him with the guitar - and I'm sure, like Mitch Holder, he might have a story or two to tell and perhaps a photo or two to share. ;) One thing he can do is tell exactly how to nail Ho-Rob's ultimate, unreal  jazz tone from his "...Dirty Guitar Player" album.

(PS I also saw the whereabouts of Al Casey's guitar, or what someone claimed was Casey's guitar which he used on some famous dates...but that's for another thread.)


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 27, 2006, 06:56:21 PM
Craig, does that thingy to Ray's left kind of low next to the chair look like a mic to you?

And more importantly, what was with the all the bad 80's hair on the covers of some of my Wolf Marshall transcription magazines?


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 27, 2006, 08:20:06 PM
Craig, does that thingy to Ray's left kind of low next to the chair look like a mic to you?

And more importantly, what was with the all the bad 80's hair on the covers of some of my Wolf Marshall transcription magazines?

It does look like a mic to me - I think I've seen that model before, but damned if I know what it's called. I think it may be an Altec of some kind - I'm sure Stephen would know if you point him this way!

It's curious that there seems to be an empty guitar chair, stand, and chair-doubling-as-amp-stand right where that mic would be. Whose seat was that I wonder?

And about Wolf Marshall and the 80's - I thought he was pure metal for the longest time, from his books and magazine appearances. That was what sold as an image I guess, so I'm sure it was no accident. So it was quite a surprise to find out the "rest of the story" about him, and how he was more of a jazz player who had studied with the greats like Roberts (and Kessel, too, I believe) and who used his amazing ear for music to make a very comfortable living!

You have to check out some of his writings on getting the classic tones on guitar - he's the source of how I knew Lennon used flatwounds on his acoustic to get all those unique acoustic tones on his White Album era tracks like "Across The Universe"...not that I'd borrow that same technique or anything... ;)


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: Jeff Mason on February 27, 2006, 08:37:20 PM
Quote
She didn't play guitar on any of the earlier stuff?

Not for the Beach Boys.  Yes for Brian, the Honeys, etc... but I'm pretty sure her entry into the Beach Boys catalog was with GtmB.

Carol claimed in the PS Sessions book that it was guitar on Fun Fun Fun, and that is one claim I never saw a reason to doubt.  (her playing SUSA as she claimed later?  No).  You have a specific reason for doubting that one, Josh?


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 06:24:08 AM
Quote
You have a specific reason for doubting that one, Josh?

She's not on the contract.


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 08:57:36 AM
http://www.coutant.org/bk5a.html

I think that's our mystery mic.  What do you think?


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 28, 2006, 09:39:02 AM
http://www.coutant.org/bk5a.html

I think that's our mystery mic.  What do you think?

Good work! That sure looks like the same one, especially looking at the stand/mount. The session photo is a little blurry as you enlarge it, but I'd say that's the same mic. I wonder if that was placed there to capture some room sound, or whether that was meant for the empty chair/position to Ray's left? What's odd to me is how they have the guitar amps pointed directly at the metal music stands, and assuming they're mic'ed up directly in front...considering how many people cover metal music stands with towels or some type of material when recording vocals, for example, to avoid reflections it seems a little strange to have the speakers projecting right at those metal stands. But the results speak for themselves.

Now let's try to buy one of those RCA BK-5B's, shall we? ;)


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 09:50:30 AM
Quote
I wonder if that was placed there to capture some room sound, or whether that was meant for the empty chair/position to Ray's left? What's odd to me is how they have the guitar amps pointed directly at the metal music stands, and assuming they're mic'ed up directly in front...considering how many people cover metal music stands with towels or some type of material when recording vocals, for example, to avoid reflections it seems a little strange to have the speakers projecting right at those metal stands. But the results speak for themselves.

To my perception, it seems like up until a certain point the recording culture was completely different than what it is now...duh, right?  But beyond the obvious things, I think there are certain things that were the "professional" standard in the 60s that would be looked at as amateurish, lo-fi, or "ghetto" by all but the poorest members of the audio recording community.

I mean, putting Amps on chairs so the player could monitor themselves seems like something I would do for my High School band rehearsals, not something a world-class recording studio would do.

But before headphones, it worked.  I've also seen amps sitting on pianos and organs behind the players at head height.

There doesn't seem to be the "prissy" attention to things like picking up reflections from music stands.  I think numerous people have commented on the extremely "casual" placement of mics at Brian's sessions, and I'm sure he wasn't alone.

I don't know, I'm just musing, I might be totally wrong.  I'm still trying to figure out how to describe things that maybe can't be described.

Quote
Now let's try to buy one of those RCA BK-5B's, shall we? Wink

Let me take care of my 666 first... ???


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: guitarfool2002 on February 28, 2006, 10:09:24 AM
I appreciate what you're saying and agree, sure, but part of me also says that the negative impact of sticking any mic between an amp like a Fender Bassman or a Vibroverb (amps which are still used and remain virtually unchanged, electronics-wise, almost 50 years later) and a metal music stand would be the same in 1965 as it would be in 2006. If you hit certain notes though that amp, you'd still get some unwanted reflections and all of that hitting the mic and affecting the sound, besides the possible rattle from the music stand.

But as I said, and you hinted at, you can't argue with the results. Then, it seemed to be more of a human process, both from the musician and the engineering staff. That one Sloop track just kills me, where Brian says something about the flutes, and the solution is how and where the musician(s) were standing in relation to the microphone rather than an electronics fix. Likewise, those accordians resonating on Wouldn't It Be Nice - that's purely organic, and you couldn't duplicate enough of the actual process working in harmony in that exact room under those exact conditions to capture the same effect.

So having those three guitarists sitting in a row like that - it goes to my concept of using guitars like a horn section, where the "first chair" of that guitar section would set the pace and the volume for his players, and they'd all blend in. And they were better able to blend in on their own to acheive that level of ensemble playing, leaving the engineer with not much more to do than put up a mic in the best place to capture that ensemble sound, like a horn section.  It's probably a hangover of the big-band scene all those folks came from, and just a different mindset of recording multiple guitar parts as a section rather than as pieces.

I'd be curious in todays modern recording - if you had two flute players playing a unison line, and something wasn't right, would the immediate instinct of the engineer be to reach for some type of electronic/digital soultion with the equipment, or try to reposition either the microphone or the musicians?

There may be part of the answer, I don't know.



Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 10:23:02 AM
Quote
I'd be curious in todays modern recording - if you had two flute players playing a unison line, and something wasn't right, would the immediate instinct of the engineer be to reach for some type of electronic/digital soultion with the equipment, or try to reposition either the microphone or the musicians?


I don't think two musicians play at the same time anymore.  They'd just have the one flautist double the line, right?   ;) ??? :'(


Title: Re: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread
Post by: aeijtzsche on February 28, 2006, 10:25:37 AM
Quote
but part of me also says that the negative impact of sticking any mic between an amp like a Fender Bassman or a Vibroverb (amps which are still used and remain virtually unchanged, electronics-wise, almost 50 years later) and a metal music stand would be the same in 1965 as it would be in 2006.

So yeah, what we're both probably getting at is, why didn't the engineer care about that possibility, since the photographic evidence clearly shows, at least in this case, it wasn't a concern.

Craig, do you know if Howard was using Fender amps like most people for his 60s sessions, or was he using the Bensons he used for his solo jazz stuff?