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Author Topic: The Stephen Desper Thread  (Read 422913 times)
king of anglia
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« Reply #125 on: January 09, 2006, 09:55:52 AM »

Right. This works:

http://s43.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1JG4MB9O88JA913UQJJX964QG9

H, did you get that tape echo?
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« Reply #126 on: January 09, 2006, 11:27:55 AM »

No, it won't extract for me.
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king of anglia
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« Reply #127 on: January 09, 2006, 11:38:14 AM »

Turd. One last time:

'66 Tape echo:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3HQ9FE77QOQ0N1TK1MAJMPPLZM

'66 Tape echo 2:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3BWEB1LFA4XCR2F6WBCOVSZ9NM

EMT 1:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3TKMP10IPOP8S28IW8MRQN01BC

EMT 2:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1KB00UJTRBYCK10UHZIPQSIMA9

EMT 3:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=3UK2A55KF0GF31G50HSL79DU8R

EMT 4:
http://s46.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=10M0ONKSUGTT40QH573H6CGRZT


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Jaco
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« Reply #128 on: January 09, 2006, 01:00:38 PM »

I have a question for Mr Desper about:
Our Prayer (Brian Wilson 'SMiLE' 2004) and
Our Prayer (Beach Boys, Recording date: 4 October, 1966. Additional vocals recorded fall 1968 (for 20/20))

By accident (I was testing all kinds of 'inbuilt' effects from a small mixing pannel, while I played a just a cd) I put Plate Reverb on Brian's "Our Prayer" version, and the sound  became almost the same as the released 20/20 version from the Beach Boys!
Conclusion: The 20/20 version is done with plate reverb effects?

(Not that it doesn't matter but if I should describe the difference in sound with words: 1968: warm, orange-brown; 2004: fresh, white blue)
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #129 on: January 09, 2006, 02:37:32 PM »

I have a question for Mr Desper about:
Our Prayer (Brian Wilson 'SMiLE' 2004) and
Our Prayer (Beach Boys, Recording date: 4 October, 1966. Additional vocals recorded fall 1968 (for 20/20))

By accident (I was testing all kinds of 'inbuilt' effects from a small mixing pannel, while I played a just a cd) I put Plate Reverb on Brian's "Our Prayer" version, and the sound  became almost the same as the released 20/20 version from the Beach Boys!
Conclusion: The 20/20 version is done with plate reverb effects?

(Not that it doesn't matter but if I should describe the difference in sound with words: 1968: warm, orange-brown; 2004: fresh, white blue)

  You know that's one detail I just can't recall.  But it is certainly a possibility.  ~swd
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« Reply #130 on: January 10, 2006, 07:28:47 AM »

Mr Desper, I just looked into your great reports about the recordings of "Sunflower" and "Surf's up" from your book. I hope this question hasn't been already asked, but what would you say how much of the instruments (except strings and horns) were played by the Beach Boys themselves? Were there alot of studio musicians? And what about the way the individual BBs worked. I kinda doubt that Dennis had written arrangements for the musicians like Brian had(at least from what Carol Kaye said). How did they tell or show the musicians what to play? Maybe all that is answered in that book, since I'm not through yet, but these question burned so much, that I had to ask. Hope you don't mind....
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #131 on: January 10, 2006, 08:10:14 AM »

Stephen, I re-read your book the other night and found myself with another question about something.

You mention that Bruce's lead vocal on "Deirdre" is processed through a "vocal blender."

What is that, and what exactly does it do to the signal?
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« Reply #132 on: January 10, 2006, 08:53:16 AM »

The "Deirdre" at the start of the track is possibly the greatest sound i've ever heard.
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« Reply #133 on: January 10, 2006, 10:21:49 AM »

Stephen, I re-read your book the other night and found myself with another question about something.

You mention that Bruce's lead vocal on "Deirdre" is processed through a "vocal blender."

What is that, and what exactly does it do to the signal?
I believe that reads vocal bender ; a device that introduces a slow harmonically related warble. ~swd 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2006, 10:23:33 AM by Stephen W. Desper » Logged
Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #134 on: January 10, 2006, 11:46:26 AM »

Comment to author --
Mr Desper, I just looked into your great reports about the recordings of "Sunflower" and "Surf's up" from your book. I hope this question hasn't been already asked, but what would you say how much of the instruments (except strings and horns) were played by the Beach Boys themselves? Most all. Daryl Dragon played others, percussion mostly by BB. Moog by me or Paul Beaver. Were there alot of studio musicians? Not compared to previous sessions. And what about the way the individual BBs worked. See book section on "Producer Styles." I kinda doubt that Dennis had written arrangements for the musicians like Brian had(at least from what Carol Kaye said).Dennys arrangements were done, very ably, by Daryl Dragon. Other members hired union arrangers. Brian worked with studio side man who wrote their parts on-the-fly.   How did they tell or show the musicians what to play? Most used the piano. Brian used piano or usually just sang what he wanted to each player who then wrote his own chart.  You can see this style on his "Making of What I Really Want For Christmas" if you can still view it on offical website. Maybe all that is answered in that book, since I'm not through yet, but these question burned so much, that I had to ask. Hope you don't mind.... Ask again after you finish the book.

Here's a story . . .

A rather large horn session was booked at (if I remember correctly) Western 3 Studios for a 10 AM downbeat.  I arrived two hours early to set up the studio chairs, mics and headphones and to get a rough mix to work with.  Diane Revelle was there to meet the musicians.  Half-hour to downbeat the horn players started to arrive and set up. No Brian. By 9:55 they were tuning up and I was pulling a mix, adjusting reverbs, and checking headphone feeds.  No Brian.  At 10:00 AM the clock started and the room was "on-the-clock."  A three hour session had started.  No Brian.  Diane (Brian's then sister-in-law) called Marilyn to see where Brian was.  The answer came back, he was still asleep!  The studio is ready. Song is up on the multi-track. Headphone mixes all adjusted. The session will cost around $3,500 whether they just jam on the other side of the glass or actually put some tracks down.  Although Western and Beverly Hills are both on Sunset Blvd, they are at opposit ends of the strip.  By the time Brian gets up, gets dressed, and manages to drive through morning LA traffic down Sunset strip, the session will be over.  I get Brian on the phone. Brian says, "Steve, I blew it!"  I said, "Let's not worry about that now.  Let's figure out how to get something out of this session.  Any ideas?"  Brian comes back, "I'll do it over the phone."  I responded, "That just might work.  All the parts you're adding are fairly straight forward, harmonically. Right?"  He says, "Yes.  Get the phone out in the studio and I'll hum them the parts."  Me, "then I'll play it back over the phone and you should be able to tell if the take is good.  Brian, "OK, call me back."  Me, "Ten minutes -- tops!  We're on the clock!"  I got a phone brought in from the lobby and found a long cord to run from the control room jack, through the sound lock and out to the studio.  OK.  Called Brian back.  I play the song once.  The phone gets passed around the studio as I see each musician take pen in hand and fill out the manuscript paper on their music stand.  All these sidemen have worked with Brian before and knew to bring paper and pencil with them. As the phone is passed around each musician starts rehearsing his part and the room begins to fill with harmonies as Brian tells each horn player his part over the phone.  Finally he's done "arranging" the first song.  The telephone comes back into the control room.  We make a take. I have one ear to the phone and the other listening to the monitors. We don't get through it because Brian stops to correct parts.  I hold the phone up to the talk-back mic and Brian gives corrections into the studio.  The musicans talk back to Brian over their microphones and Brian hears them over the phone via the monoitor speakers. We make another take.  This one to the end.  Brian wants another take right away making still a few more suggestions over the talk-back.  One more take.  We make a playback which Brian hears over the phone in his bedroom.  He OK's it!!  On to the next song.  We get three or four songs done this way with only 1/2 hour overtime.  Later that day Brian hears the tracks over proper playback equipment and thinks eveythng just great.  But, gets a lot of feedback from the guys -- not to do it that way again, but I think it did happen again. I don't recall what the songs were or if the tracks were ever used in the final version.  I just remember this as one of those unforgettable bizarre Brian events. 
~swd

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« Reply #135 on: January 10, 2006, 11:52:58 AM »

Amazing! Too bad you don't recall the songs, but that's another great story. I admire your ability to work with what you're given and find a way to get the job done.
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« Reply #136 on: January 10, 2006, 11:59:08 AM »

Great Brian story and thank you for the answers Mr Desper!
I imagine "Sail on sailor" was done in a similar way....
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #137 on: January 10, 2006, 12:27:25 PM »

Hey Rocker,

There are a few AFM sheets that indicate a few of the songs from Sunflower had session men at the house, beyond the Dragons.  I don't think there are any for Surf's Up that have survived, or maybe they stopped bothering to fill those out at that point.

Now, of course the paperwork for sessions is notoriously vague, and often innaccurate, but still it was important in making sure people got paid, so I tend to give them a lot of credence.  In the case of Sunflower, it's not like there were so many Beach Boys sessions that somebody's payment might have gotten mixed up and subsequently got tacked on to a session that they actually had no part in.  However, don't take these as absolute fact.  And certainly Steve's recollections have to factor in as well.

AFM SHEET #96164
At My Window (Titled Raspberries Strawberries on the sheet)

Diane Rovell
James Burton
David Cohen
Carl Fortina
Mort Klanfer
Stanley Levey
Jay Migliori
David Sherr

AFM SHEET #96165
This Whole World

Diane Rovell
David Cohen
Jerry Cole
John Conrad
Dennis Dragon
Gene Estes
Ray Pohlman

AFM SHEET #109700
Tears in the Morning

Carl Wilson
Ronald Benson
Hal Blaine
Daryl Dragon
Carl Fortina
Ray Pohlman

AFM SHEET #UNKNOWN and INCOMPLETE
It's About Time

Earl Palmer
Dennis Dragon
Carl Wilson
Daryl Dragon

That's it as far as sheets for sessions at the house go, at least as far as sheets I'm in possesion of.  There were a few big string and horn overdubs in staggered sessions at the house as well that there are AFM sheets for, actually.
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« Reply #138 on: January 10, 2006, 12:31:12 PM »

Amazing story there.

Being that the musicians had all worked with Brian before, were they understanding of the circumstances?

Also, was this a case of Brian simply oversleeping (like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry lets the Marathon Runner sleep at his house...and he oversleeps by hours) or a sign of something else going on?
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« Reply #139 on: January 10, 2006, 12:35:15 PM »

Comment to HerosandVillains --

Being that the musicians had all worked with Brian before, were they understanding of the circumstances?  As long as they are being paid, they're up for anything.    

Also, was this a case of Brian simply oversleeping (like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry lets the Marathon Runner sleep at his house...and he oversleeps by hours) or a sign of something else going on? Brian's sleep schedule was all screwed up at that time in his life.  It was a simple mix up.  ~swd
« Last Edit: January 10, 2006, 12:37:34 PM by Stephen W. Desper » Logged
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« Reply #140 on: January 10, 2006, 12:43:44 PM »

@ aeijtzsche :
Thank you. Very interesting read. James Burton....hmm. As an Elvis-fanatic, it would be cool if he really played on this one while also being Elvis' lead-guitarist.
Thanks again...
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #141 on: January 10, 2006, 12:44:32 PM »

James Burton also played Dobro on Cabinessence.
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« Reply #142 on: January 10, 2006, 12:48:20 PM »

James Burton also played Dobro on Cabinessence.

Are you kidding? Why don't I know about those stuff? Are you talking 'bout the Smile-version or was it overdubbed in the 20/20 sessions?
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #143 on: January 10, 2006, 12:52:17 PM »

He played on the original '66 backing track.
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« Reply #144 on: January 10, 2006, 12:56:25 PM »

Wow, that's really a cool thing. Thank you so much for the information!!
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #145 on: January 10, 2006, 04:35:54 PM »



AFM SHEET #96164
At My Window (Titled Raspberries Strawberries on the sheet)

Diane Rovell
James Burton
David Cohen
Carl Fortina
Mort Klanfer
Stanley Levey
Jay Migliori
David Sherr

AFM SHEET #96165
This Whole World

Diane Rovell
David Cohen
Jerry Cole
John Conrad
Dennis Dragon
Gene Estes
Ray Pohlman

AFM SHEET #109700
Tears in the Morning

Carl Wilson
Ronald Benson
Hal Blaine
Daryl Dragon
Carl Fortina
Ray Pohlman

AFM SHEET #UNKNOWN and INCOMPLETE
It's About Time

Earl Palmer
Dennis Dragon
Carl Wilson
Daryl Dragon

That's it as far as sheets for sessions at the house go, at least as far as sheets I'm in possesion of.  There were a few big string and horn overdubs in staggered sessions at the house as well that there are AFM sheets for, actually.

You spark old memories.  Thanks    ~swd
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« Reply #146 on: January 10, 2006, 04:49:43 PM »

Mr. Desper, that's a wonderful anecdote!
I had posed a question below about Surf's Up. Someone on this board (or earlier incarnation) had mentioned that you had tried to synchronize the 1st part of the Brian piano demo for Surf's Up with the instrumental track (i.e., instead of Carl supplying the vocals to pt. 1 of Surf's Up, the Brian vocals from the demo would have been dubbed down and synched to the instrumental recording of pt. 1). Is this true? Did it sound okay? If so, did the BB's prefer that Carl sing the part?
Thanks,
Arthur
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« Reply #147 on: January 10, 2006, 05:43:08 PM »

GREAT story, Mr. Desper. Honestly, your presence on this board is invaluable. I enjoy your stories more than you'd believe--not to mention the technical info!
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« Reply #148 on: January 10, 2006, 05:51:35 PM »

Great story, again.
And people said Brian was phoning it in after a certain point. Now we know that to be literally true!
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« Reply #149 on: January 11, 2006, 06:49:36 AM »

Mr. Desper, that's a wonderful anecdote!
I had posed a question below about Surf's Up. Someone on this board (or earlier incarnation) had mentioned that you had tried to synchronize the 1st part of the Brian piano demo for Surf's Up with the instrumental track (i.e., instead of Carl supplying the vocals to pt. 1 of Surf's Up, the Brian vocals from the demo would have been dubbed down and synched to the instrumental recording of pt. 1). Is this true? Did it sound okay? If so, did the BB's prefer that Carl sing the part?
Thanks,
Arthur
All this was discussed earlier on this thread. ~swd
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