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671923 Posts in 27044 Topics by 3973 Members - Latest Member: Tante September 22, 2021, 11:35:43 PM
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Author Topic: God Only Knows Instruments/Credits  (Read 8635 times)
Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #50 on: August 22, 2021, 06:58:57 AM »

And also, again, my point is not that it didn't happen that way.  Only that it might not have happened exactly that way, and that the guitar might have been a different guitar, and that the circumstances might have been a little different.
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« Reply #51 on: August 22, 2021, 07:04:38 AM »

Here's a slightly different telling of it from Billy:  https://youtu.be/jghWshehIuk?t=141

Here it's the same story except he recalls it being a Gibson, and says nothing about it being an overdub.

The most troubling thing about this story is still the assertion that he didn't have a 12-string and that nobody did.  If you take the part about it being the overdub session away, it would sound a little more likely, but of course, if you say "no one" had a 12-string then, and Brian had to get Billy a 12-string, he would've had to get a 12-string for Jerry Cole also.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #52 on: August 22, 2021, 07:27:53 AM »

Here's a slightly different telling of it from Billy:  https://youtu.be/jghWshehIuk?t=141

Here it's the same story except he recalls it being a Gibson, and says nothing about it being an overdub.

The most troubling thing about this story is still the assertion that he didn't have a 12-string and that nobody did.  If you take the part about it being the overdub session away, it would sound a little more likely, but of course, if you say "no one" had a 12-string then, and Brian had to get Billy a 12-string, he would've had to get a 12-string for Jerry Cole also.

But of course, we know Jerry Cole likely owned a 12-string as early as March and April 1965 for Let Him Run Wild and California Girls.  I recently found an interesting comment from Al Casey that I think is slightly off, but contains some interesting truth:

Al Casey: "... [I had] a 1961 Guild Starfire that was converted to an electric 12-string...I didn't like the sound [of Rickenebackers], so I had this Guild sitting in my closet.  The interesting thing is that after I had that done Lou Morell and Carol Kaye liked my guitar so well they went out and bought new Guild Starfires and had them converted ... six months laster there was a Guild Starfire 12-string."

I think that Carol had her Guild T-100 (Not really a starfire) converted well before Casey came to town, but nevertheless, it is interesting how guitarists were converting before the manufacturers caught up.

To tie it back to GOK -- GOK ends up being one of the few songs that we likely know exactly what electric 12-string is on the track, because Carol is known to have used her Guild for all her electric 12 work.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #53 on: August 22, 2021, 10:48:32 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.

If the question is do I weigh Billy Strange's account of what happened over his son's, I would say yes. The memorable events tend to remain vivid, and the question I asked in the previous thread is still what I'd ask now, why would Billy speak in such specific detail about this if his son's comments that Billy didn't remember it are to be believed? Do these guys remember playing random sessions from 1965, or do they remember the ones where something out of the ordinary happened? I'd lean toward the latter, and in this case Billy walked out with cash, new gear, and a strong memory of playing on what became a legendary track. His son would have been around 10 when this happened, if this were testimony in a court case, whose account would be weighted more than the other? My opinion, it would be the primary subject versus an eyewitness who was a minor at the time.

I wouldn't think Billy would have made up those details if he didn't remember it.

As far as guitar brands and types, I give more of a pass on those things. What I would like to know is how does one transform a 6 string neck and headstock into a 12 string. That, to me, seems mechanically impossible so I would like to see photos and descriptions of how that was done.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #54 on: August 22, 2021, 10:58:01 AM »







In the case of Carol's conversion, it looks more or less like Milt Owen just kinda refilled the original tuner holes and then stuffed 12 in there.  Unfortunately I don't have my Sound Explosion book with me which has some better photos of the instrument.
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« Reply #55 on: August 22, 2021, 11:09:00 AM »

My issue is the standard headstock on those instruments is not long enough to fit 6 pegs to a side, as it was only designed for 3 to a side. That instrument neck does not look like a modified 6 string factory neck. If anything I'd think they could put a 12 string acoustic neck into a 6 string body but even then the scale and measurements would be all out of whack.

One of those things where it looks like something other than what was described.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #56 on: August 22, 2021, 11:17:50 AM »

Since the headstock still has a Guild decal, I'm assuming it's at least partially the original headstock.  I'm aware of some other conversions where the tech has extended the original headstock rather than replaced it.

Quote
One of those things where it looks like something other than what was described.

I'm a little confused as to what you're getting at?  Do you think that both Al Casey and Carol are misremembering that they got their guitars converted and that the guitar seen in these photos is...what, faked?
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #57 on: August 22, 2021, 11:23:08 AM »

For context on Carol's side, here's what she's had to say about it over the years:

From her facebook:

"I also had a custom elec. 12-string guitar made out of an ordinary Guild T-100D 6-string elec. guitar (by repairman ace Milt Owen - he replaced pickups at my request, and fitted in the extra 6 strings on the headstock - it was a thin neck and played good). "

"The Guild CE-100D 6-string elec. guitar that Milt Owen switched over to be an elec. 12-string guitar too had some hot pickups - I had him put in hot pickups too for potent biting elec. 12-string sounds. This was before elec. 12-string guitars were manufactured. And that's the sounds of the elec. 12-string guitar you hear on the Sonny & Cher records and some other recordings too."

From vintage guitar:

"I turned a Guild electric into a 12-string electric before they ever made electric 12-strings for studio work."



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« Reply #58 on: August 22, 2021, 12:32:06 PM »

I'm just saying from a mechanical perspective, the modifications described do not seem to match what would be physically possible. The headstock of a 3 on the side 6 string cannot accommodate 6 tuning pegs. And there wouldn't be enough strength to hold the tension of 12 strings if you glued an extension to the top of a headstock. Not saying it didn't happen but I'm challenging how it was done, as mechanically it doesn't add up.

Maybe a guitar luthier could offer a more professional opinion, because to me it seems like they could have more easily and durably modded a 12 string neck to fit onto that 6 string body. Easiest solution in my opinion.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #59 on: August 22, 2021, 01:08:48 PM »

I don't think it's as troublesome as you think it is.  I'm not a luthier but I have seen skilled guitar technicians reattach an entire headstock snapped off a neck, and there are plenty of videos on youtube about how to do that or how to extend or expand existing headstocks for various reasons.  The headstock on my Guild Starfire VI is fairly roomy -- I think could accommodate 4 a side on there without issue, and you can clearly see that the pegs are crammed in there pretty tight on Carol's guitar, so it would not be a very big deal to add just enough to accommodate two more per side.

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« Reply #60 on: August 23, 2021, 06:25:10 PM »









That's the headstock of a 1961 T-100D on top, a 1962 T-100D with Waverly tuning machines next, an early 60's T-100, and a '63 Starfire on the bottom.

I hope those images come through!

That's part of the mechanical issue I was wondering about before. Besides the structural issues of a headstock being able to handle the added tension of a 12-string, because that's a major weakness in Gibson 12-strings that have a tendency to crack like Carl Wilson's did repeatedly, I'm just curious how they managed to fit all those tuning machines onto the back of a standard Guild neck no matter which brand they used. Once you drill the holes, you still have the size of the actual tuning machines to fit in. And also how to maintain the structural integrity of the instrument, not to mention how to accommodate all the strings on a standard neck width and still have the spacing correct enough.

Again, not saying it wasn't done by drilling extra holes, etc, but I'm definitely very intrigued by how it was accomplished, and I'm sure other guitar luthiers would be as well. To me the shortest distance between the request and the finished job would be to drop an existing 12-string neck onto a 6 string body and shave it down at the heel to fit, along with the obvious mods to the bridge and pickups.

But I'm seriously intrigued how they fit 12 tuning pegs onto that headstock, any of those shown above, given the spacing necessary and the size of those tuning machines.

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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #61 on: August 23, 2021, 07:08:50 PM »

Pictures came through great.

I think it looks like Milt used Gibson tuners for Carol's conversion, which have a little smaller footprint than some other tuners, but it would certainly still be a very tight fit even with an extension.  I know that a lot of people that have done extensions or repairs will often add some sort of volute to reinforce the headstock/neck join--I feel like there's a photo of the back of the guitar in that Sound Explosion book that is at my other home now, that may show whether Milt added some voluting back there.

I think doing an extension would ultimately be easier than putting a new neck in -- Guild hollowbodies are all set-neck instruments, and of course Guild would not have had an electric 12-string neck sitting around because they didn't manufacture them.  Plus, the way Carol references it makes it sound like it was the original neck.  Perhaps Milt was able to use a Guild acoustic 12 headstock on the existing neck which come to think of it seems like the easiest all-around option. 

See https://reverb.com/item/11837117-gibson-sg-standard-12-string-with-hsc-2013-white?utm_campaign=Trogly&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=partnerstack for an example of a guitar that has had its original 6-string headstock replaced with a 12, supported with a volute.

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« Reply #62 on: August 23, 2021, 07:16:35 PM »





Yes! That one, with the tuning pegs linked together as a set of 6. But on that Gibson, look at how long that headstock is - Much longer than a standard SG. It has to be to accommodate those pegs and keep the spacing correct.

I think replacing the Guild 6-string headstock with a 12-string headstock might be the easiest way to do it, like the guy who did that SG you linked to above. Maybe not the whole neck, but just the headstock. But then would the stock neck width of a Starfire or a T-100 be wide enough for 12 strings?

I'm just fascinated by how this was done! Like I said in earlier posts, it doesn't seem possible, surely not practical, but there are the photos as evidence.
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« Reply #63 on: August 24, 2021, 07:12:51 AM »

It seems like Carol did not hold on to the instrument, which is a shame.  I have no idea what became of Al Casey's stuff after he died, other than the Elvis guitar, which keeps going to auction every so often.  Maybe Carol's guild will turn up someday.  I check reverb for T-100 and CE-100 12-strings every week just in case it were to go up there.  I'm trying to get in touch with Ray Pohlman's family to make sure they hold on to Ray's bass -- these things should be kept track of!

I think if the SG neck is wide enough, a Starfire neck would be fine.  Carol notes that the neck "played good" in any case.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2021, 07:16:35 AM »

Incidentally, for those who care about such things, here is what Carol's guitar looked like pre-conversion:

https://reverb.com/item/42867182-1965-guild-t-100d-hollowbody-electric-blonde-clean-and-all-original



In addition to the 12-string conversion, Carol notes that Milt Owen put in some humbuckers for "potent, biting sounds" -- sounds you can hear on I'm Waiting for the Day and God Only Knows!
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #65 on: August 24, 2021, 06:30:10 PM »

Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!
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« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2021, 08:32:58 AM »

Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!

Or...Brian used the smaller Studio 3 specifically to get that tightly-packed, bleeding into other microphones sound...
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2021, 05:30:15 PM »

Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!

Or...Brian used the smaller Studio 3 specifically to get that tightly-packed, bleeding into other microphones sound...

Who can know?
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« Reply #68 on: August 30, 2021, 11:05:02 AM »

Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!

Or...Brian used the smaller Studio 3 specifically to get that tightly-packed, bleeding into other microphones sound...

Who can know?

It seems like it would have been less expensive than other studios too, so he wouldn't get bugged so much about spending 3 hours plus overtime on just one backing track.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2021, 12:02:01 PM »

Totally unrelated note:

It's fun to imagine Western 3 being packed for the GOK session.  Here's some footage of the Mamas and Papas rehearsing a session in 3 with the four of them plus seven studio musicians, 11 total.  Now imagine that same space but with 18 folks crammed in there.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q3mL3QhfKY

I think it was a missed opportunity in Love and Mercy to pare down the number of musicians so much for some of those recreated sessions.  Would have been really eye opening to see them all stuffed in there.  It's gotta be the limit, and indeed, I'm surprised they didn't use Studio 2.  But I guess you booked what you booked!

Or...Brian used the smaller Studio 3 specifically to get that tightly-packed, bleeding into other microphones sound...

Who can know?

It seems like it would have been less expensive than other studios too, so he wouldn't get bugged so much about spending 3 hours plus overtime on just one backing track.

I can't imagine there would be any substantive cost differential between 2 and 3.
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