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671922 Posts in 27044 Topics by 3973 Members - Latest Member: Tante September 22, 2021, 09:58:36 PM
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Author Topic: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits  (Read 8633 times)
Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2021, 04:39:11 PM »

There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

You're hearing several other instruments overlapping, but not a second horn.

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

It literally can't be.  It is not physically or metaphysically possible.
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« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2021, 05:37:34 AM »

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

Sounds like the French horn is playing the call and response to a line played on strings and clarinet.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2021, 06:38:35 AM »

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

Sounds like the French horn is playing the call and response to a line played on strings and clarinet.

It's alto flutes. 
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Greg Parry
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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2021, 08:35:25 AM »

Yes, definitely a flute, or flutes.

I have some discreet tracks from GOK which I pulled from the 5.1 mix and subjected to further treatment.

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg


The third is the same bass track but from earlier in the session where the staccato idea is suggested. Again this is completely dry

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA
« Last Edit: August 16, 2021, 08:41:42 AM by Greg Parry » Logged
Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2021, 09:36:13 AM »

Yes, definitely a flute, or flutes.

I have some discreet tracks from GOK which I pulled from the 5.1 mix and subjected to further treatment.

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg


The third is the same bass track but from earlier in the session where the staccato idea is suggested. Again this is completely dry

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA

Those 5.1 stems have always been very useful -- and yes, earlier in the thread we discuss a little bit the oddness of giving the bass its own track, while it's not exactly quiet on the the rhythm track either.  It is great to hear Jay's Clarinet so clearly on the flourish!  And hearing everything dry is such a great indicator of how much magic goes into producing a track.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2021, 09:42:09 AM »

Yes, definitely a flute, or flutes.

I have some discreet tracks from GOK which I pulled from the 5.1 mix and subjected to further treatment.

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg


The third is the same bass track but from earlier in the session where the staccato idea is suggested. Again this is completely dry

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA

Those 5.1 stems have always been very useful -- and yes, earlier in the thread we discuss a little bit the oddness of giving the bass its own track, while it's not exactly quiet on the the rhythm track either.  It is great to hear Jay's Clarinet so clearly on the flourish!  And hearing everything dry is such a great indicator of how much magic goes into producing a track.

Assuming that that bass track is the input from just one mic, it's pretty a pretty remarkable document.
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Greg Parry
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« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2021, 09:47:34 AM »

For Pet Sounds' 60th, they really need to just release the multitracks.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2021, 09:54:09 AM »

For Pet Sounds' 60th, they really need to just release the multitracks.

Well, I couldn't agree more, and if any album has the cachet to justify doing such an invasive release, it's probably Pet Sounds, whose production values have been lauded pretty much since it came out.  It fits the narrative and is not really that much a of a leap beyond the track and vocal only mixes.  Plus, it's really about the only new way to put the material out at this point.

And I can think of a few select discrete multis that they could use, if they didn't want to do a big multitrack dump, that would illustrate very enlightening new things.  This bass track is one of them.  The dry track from Caroline, No is another.  Pretty much all the horn-only tracks would be eye-opening because you'd again, hear more how things sounded to the players in the room.
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« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2021, 03:23:28 AM »

Yes, definitely a flute, or flutes.

I have some discreet tracks from GOK which I pulled from the 5.1 mix and subjected to further treatment.

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFBrjMY0F-mI13ebw

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg


The third is the same bass track but from earlier in the session where the staccato idea is suggested. Again this is completely dry

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFDCBN008-u8ZTKhA

Those isolations are great!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 03:29:54 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
thebaron
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« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2021, 05:47:31 PM »

There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

You're hearing several other instruments overlapping, but not a second horn.

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

It literally can't be.  It is not physically or metaphysically possible.

Listening again to the end of take 19 where they mess up the tag, the horn does indeed keep playing the same line over and over again. So I was wrong. Amazing how all that reverb can deceive the ears.
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thebaron
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« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2021, 05:53:47 PM »

The first clearly demonstrates it is a flute on the fade playing in round with the French horn

Ah, that's what I must be hearing, why it sounds a little different each round. Thanks for the audio files.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2021, 06:23:03 PM »

There were absolutely NO overdubs on this magnificent recording, other than the vocals - however, the tag was spliced in from a separate take.

It always sounded like the french horn had to be overdubbed on that tag if there wasn't a 2nd horn present in the session, alternating playing the same line one after another. It actually sounds impossible to play without being overdubbed or a 2nd horn player present.

If you mean the melodic "withouuuut" part being played in rounds at the end - that's a horn and a woodwind (although the reverb does make it sound like two horns!). All the instruments are live without a single doubt

It's hard to hear on anything but Take 20 of the backing track on UM, but each alternating round does sit differently in that stereo mix...and on all mixes the "2nd" horn has more reverb.

If Brian can overdub the same harpsichord on "You Still Believe in Me", why not the same horn on this...

You're hearing several other instruments overlapping, but not a second horn.

You can literally hear one still playing the last note while the other horn starts. That isn't reverb either.

It literally can't be.  It is not physically or metaphysically possible.

Listening again to the end of take 19 where they mess up the tag, the horn does indeed keep playing the same line over and over again. So I was wrong. Amazing how all that reverb can deceive the ears.

This track is one of the most reverb and tape-slap drenched of them all -- I think the isolated bass track really shows that these things didn't produce themselves -- and it also shows how many decisions Chuck and Brian had to make at the outset to make it all turn out right.

No overdubs, it's all done at at once, mixed on the fly.  Pretty remarkable.  This track also goes to show the power of mixing with mic proximity, an art that is utterly lost now.  It's satanically difficult to work out the woodwind line up in part because the clarinets are way back from their mic, so the flutes get the majority of the coverage from that mic, and thus also get the reverb.  But you can also hear on that bass track how the bass mic is getting a lot of horn.  So it's almost like some of these sources are miked in stereo, in a sort of indirect way.  It adds depth and thank goodness we can hear the clarinet so well on that isolation or I never would have been able to put money on what it's playing there.  Still wouldn't!
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thebaron
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« Reply #37 on: August 18, 2021, 10:52:54 AM »

The second is what I presume is the solo bass track from the 4 track tape. Interestingly enough, some of the other instruments WITHOUT REVERB are also on this track, so you get to hear what the musicians would have heard in the room, without any effects. I have low cut the bass and boosted the track so you can hear it more clearly. The most enlightening is the woodwind flourish on the final verse which can be heard dry. There is another lower part which can't really be heard in the finished track.

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AtR_5dVRo40RgYFCwDY5Ey59gm3xKg

I was really curious what the room mic leakage would sound like bathed in chamber reverb and multi-tap delay (yes, I know, a lot of the instruments shouldn't be on that delay, but we don't have the luxury), so I tried it:

https://sndup.net/85jz

Pretty close to the finished product, almost completely transforming the dry sound.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 10:57:54 AM by thebaron » Logged
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« Reply #38 on: August 18, 2021, 04:35:10 PM »

It delights me to no end listening to these isolated tracks. Particularly with Pet Sounds era backing tracks since so much is revealed on the bass and horn tracks that's normally completely buried or barely even picked up by the mics at all.

I Just Wasn't Made for These Times immediately comes to mind since you can actually hear what the piano's playing. I still can't quite tell with certainty the difference between the piano and harpsichord, though I think I have an idea.
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« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2021, 11:13:05 AM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2021, 11:27:35 AM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

They were very likely 12-16 oz paper dixie-style cups, perhaps one of each, although the pitch varies widely no matter what size they are.  A normal drumstick actually works fine -- it's actually kind of a little rimshot you have to do to get the definition on it.  
« Last Edit: August 21, 2021, 11:32:01 AM by Joshilyn Hoisington » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2021, 12:32:21 PM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

They were very likely 12-16 oz paper dixie-style cups, perhaps one of each, although the pitch varies widely no matter what size they are.  A normal drumstick actually works fine -- it's actually kind of a little rimshot you have to do to get the definition on it.  

Didn't Hal also say - and I think I've heard other session players mention it too - that they'd get these orange drink containers from the studio vending machines that were more like cardboard milk containers?

I remember having a similar discussion some time ago, and I don't recall if any photos of these orange drink containers that were apparently so popular with the musicians have ever shown up. If anything you see more of the regular glass soda bottles at the sides of various musicians in the photos.

Besides, of course, Brian and the egg nog at Western. Grin
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2021, 12:42:56 PM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

They were very likely 12-16 oz paper dixie-style cups, perhaps one of each, although the pitch varies widely no matter what size they are.  A normal drumstick actually works fine -- it's actually kind of a little rimshot you have to do to get the definition on it.  

Didn't Hal also say - and I think I've heard other session players mention it too - that they'd get these orange drink containers from the studio vending machines that were more like cardboard milk containers?

I remember having a similar discussion some time ago, and I don't recall if any photos of these orange drink containers that were apparently so popular with the musicians have ever shown up. If anything you see more of the regular glass soda bottles at the sides of various musicians in the photos.

Besides, of course, Brian and the egg nog at Western. Grin

I think you went down the drink container rabbit hole, too Craig, but I sure as heck spent a very strange couple of months learning about the history of aseptic containers for potable beverage liquids in pursuit of figuring out what those damned things were.

Impossible really to know for sure, but there are two pretty solid facts:

1.  Aseptic plastic drink containers were not commercially available until the late 60s - about 68.  Some commercial applications apparently could hold potable beverage in plastics before that, but certainly you couldn't get a plastic bottle from a store.

2.  Vending machines generally sold beverages either in glass bottles or dropped a Dixie cup and dispensed liquid therein.

So all we can really state categorically is that they weren't plastic bottles.  I think if you are willing to spend a couple box on a pack of 12oz dixie cups and experiment with them (I bought about $50 worth of cups of various manufacture to test a wide range) with various sticks (again, I found regular drumsticks actually work fine, though I auditioned a number of mallets and percussion strikers) you'll find that you get that clop sound.  And of course, you have to either imagine it, or add some reverb and tape slap to really realize the effect.

Anyway, plenty of evidence of paper cups in relation to Hal,

to wit:



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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2021, 01:11:52 PM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

They were very likely 12-16 oz paper dixie-style cups, perhaps one of each, although the pitch varies widely no matter what size they are.  A normal drumstick actually works fine -- it's actually kind of a little rimshot you have to do to get the definition on it.  

Didn't Hal also say - and I think I've heard other session players mention it too - that they'd get these orange drink containers from the studio vending machines that were more like cardboard milk containers?

I remember having a similar discussion some time ago, and I don't recall if any photos of these orange drink containers that were apparently so popular with the musicians have ever shown up. If anything you see more of the regular glass soda bottles at the sides of various musicians in the photos.

Besides, of course, Brian and the egg nog at Western. Grin

I think you went down the drink container rabbit hole, too Craig, but I sure as heck spent a very strange couple of months learning about the history of aseptic containers for potable beverage liquids in pursuit of figuring out what those damned things were.

Impossible really to know for sure, but there are two pretty solid facts:

1.  Aseptic plastic drink containers were not commercially available until the late 60s - about 68.  Some commercial applications apparently could hold potable beverage in plastics before that, but certainly you couldn't get a plastic bottle from a store.

2.  Vending machines generally sold beverages either in glass bottles or dropped a Dixie cup and dispensed liquid therein.

So all we can really state categorically is that they weren't plastic bottles.  I think if you are willing to spend a couple box on a pack of 12oz dixie cups and experiment with them (I bought about $50 worth of cups of various manufacture to test a wide range) with various sticks (again, I found regular drumsticks actually work fine, though I auditioned a number of mallets and percussion strikers) you'll find that you get that clop sound.  And of course, you have to either imagine it, or add some reverb and tape slap to really realize the effect.

Anyway, plenty of evidence of paper cups in relation to Hal,

to wit:





Yes indeed! I remember some of those details, and I did go down that rabbit hole too. Along with the similar search for bagged potato chip brands in SoCal in 1965-66... Grin

I didn't mean plastic though, but rather the cardboard milk carton type of packaging - I know those were in chilled vending machines by the 60's, as there were milk machines that dropped those cartons alongside the dairy's orange drink or other offerings. So when Hal mentioned orange drink, that's what triggered my thoughts because we know those existed in the milk cartons too. 

The cups as seen in the Hal photo were also used probably more often for coffee from the "hot" vending machines, and we know those musicians drank gallons of the stuff back then. I don't recall as many machines dropping a cold drink poured into a cup as much as they did the cold drinks in cartons.

But yes, if the sound can be replicated using one of those cups, we used to call them "Dixie Cups" as a generic term, that's the shortest line to an answer. It was Hal's comment about "orange juice" that led to so many more possibilities, especially when you factor in those orange drinks Hal and others said they'd drink often, and those came in milk cartons in the older machines. I remember seeing them locally in the 80's
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thebaron
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« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2021, 06:03:30 PM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

I thought about this the other day, and the only thing I think that would make that high pitched sound would be something solid like Tupperware...which existed at the time. But maybe I'm overthinking.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2021, 06:11:37 PM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

I thought about this the other day, and the only thing I think that would make that high pitched sound would be something solid like Tupperware...which existed at the time. But maybe I'm overthinking.

I'll do a demonstration sometime.  It's surprising that a paper cap can do it, but it is pretty much dead on.
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« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2021, 07:26:11 PM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

I thought about this the other day, and the only thing I think that would make that high pitched sound would be something solid like Tupperware...which existed at the time. But maybe I'm overthinking.

I'll do a demonstration sometime.  It's surprising that a paper cap can do it, but it is pretty much dead on.

I think the plastic orange juice cup thing is probably just a bad recollection then. Like how Billy Strange doesn't even remember the Sloop John B overdub session right (from the comment by his son Jerry Strange on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDvQHIJqoaA).
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2021, 07:36:31 PM »

Do we know what the orange juice cups looked like? or a modern equivalent? These cups were played with drum sticks? Seems too heavy. I always assumed xylophone sticks, chop sticks, etc - something lighter.

I thought about this the other day, and the only thing I think that would make that high pitched sound would be something solid like Tupperware...which existed at the time. But maybe I'm overthinking.

I'll do a demonstration sometime.  It's surprising that a paper cap can do it, but it is pretty much dead on.

I think the plastic orange juice cup thing is probably just a bad recollection then. Like how Billy Strange doesn't even remember the Sloop John B overdub session right (from the comment by his son Jerry Strange on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDvQHIJqoaA).

Yeah, it's just some random attempt at recollection Hal did the best to remember after many years away from the session.  I have no doubt that Hal used plastic cups and bottles when they hit the market.  A lot of those little details have just been accepted instead of challenged or at least investigated.  I'm skeptical about the coke cans stories, too, for example.

As for the Sloop story, I pointed out some problems I had with the received wisdom in this thread a couple years ago: http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,26763.0.html
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« Reply #48 on: August 21, 2021, 09:27:55 PM »

But in the case of Billy Strange and the Sloop overdub, Billy himself did remember exactly what happened and told the story to Guitar Player magazine in 1993, which can be seen at that link. It was Billy's son who contradicted the story details and claimed his dad didn't remember, while anyone who read the magazine article from 93 will see exactly what Billy remembered and recounted. Sometimes the most practical or pragmatic approach to these questions is the correct answer, in this case it's Billy telling his story of that exact session in detail which his son claims he didn't remember. Huge red flag, right there.
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« Reply #49 on: August 22, 2021, 06:53:57 AM »

But in the case of Billy Strange and the Sloop overdub, Billy himself did remember exactly what happened and told the story to Guitar Player magazine in 1993, which can be seen at that link. It was Billy's son who contradicted the story details and claimed his dad didn't remember, while anyone who read the magazine article from 93 will see exactly what Billy remembered and recounted. Sometimes the most practical or pragmatic approach to these questions is the correct answer, in this case it's Billy telling his story of that exact session in detail which his son claims he didn't remember. Huge red flag, right there.

Yes, but why privilege Billy's memory over his son's?  Even in '93 it's still 30 years post hoc.
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