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652834 Posts in 26087 Topics by 3718 Members - Latest Member: CarlWilsonfan101 December 10, 2019, 06:45:50 PM
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Author Topic: Beach Boys Gear  (Read 26186 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: January 09, 2006, 06:22:12 PM »

The Beatles got their own book, about their equipment:



So recently I've been thinking about cataloging the Beach Boys' gear, for fun.  You know.

But Before I begin, is anybody besides me actually interested in this topic?
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Reverend Joshua Sloane
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2006, 06:25:04 PM »

Very much so.

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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2006, 06:28:52 PM »

thermin, brian's organ from hawaii, piano in the sand, denny's drums; more interesting than beatles stuff.
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2006, 08:03:42 PM »

Comment to aeijtzsche --

Sounds like a good project for you.  Let me know if I can help you.  Get in touch with Steve Korthof.  He'll know more about their early gear than anyone else.
  ~swd
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nosticker
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2006, 08:25:23 PM »

The Beatles got their own book, about their equipment:



So recently I've been thinking about cataloging the Beach Boys' gear, for fun.  You know.

But Before I begin, is anybody besides me actually interested in this topic?

I'm very into it.  I've read Beatles Gear several times.  Truth be told, on other websites, my name is "equipment dork".


Dan
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Emdeeh
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2006, 08:43:04 PM »

I'm interested, especially about all the guitars they used.
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mike thornton
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2006, 10:17:17 PM »

always interested. great topic/project, long overdue.
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Daniel S.
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2006, 10:51:17 PM »

Very interested.  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2006, 11:48:57 PM »

I'm interested, especially about all the guitars they used.

If you have any questions or photos with Beach Boys-related guitars to identify, post 'em and we'll take a shot at ID'ing them!

A book sounds like a good idea, but where do you stop with the research? How many people out there would want to know what kind of bass was used on the 1995 tour, for example, versus how many would want information on what organ stop is heard on Good Vibrations? The beautiful thing about the Beatles Gear book was the limited time period he had to focus on - 10 years or so with the Beatles with almost-near-mythical instruments made famous by the four band members, versus 4-5 decades of various "Beach Boys" formations, some more vital (and more interesting) than others. And would you include the instruments of the session players who played on many of their hit recordings in place of the Beach Boys as a band?

I'd buy the book, definitely. And if I ever find out the story of Kessel's mandolin-guitar hybrid, I hope to get a credit in the "special thanks to..." section. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2006, 01:03:09 AM »

I have a copy of the Guitar Player magazine from 1976(?) with a Carl interview in it. I could probably scan it if needed. Also, I have a friend who has played a Les Paul jr and a Telecaster (Paisley tele - I've never seen a photo of Carl playing it before) which belonged to Carl. He has some memories of those guitars and a few others.
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2006, 04:50:08 AM »

Great topic. I also am very interested in the different instruments they used...
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2006, 06:16:41 AM »

Go for it!
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2006, 06:54:34 AM »

there was a whole thread of the instruments that the Beach Boys & Brian used on the "old" board.
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2006, 07:02:01 AM »

So recently I've been thinking about cataloging the Beach Boys' gear, for fun.  You know.

But Before I begin, is anybody besides me actually interested in this topic?
Not only interested, but I think you should write a book about it. Seriously. You can and you should. I'd buy it.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2006, 07:08:17 AM »

OK, let's do it.

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JRauch
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2006, 07:14:33 AM »

I would be very interested in a list of ALL instruments that were used on SMiLE.
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2006, 08:36:44 AM »

I'd read that book.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2006, 08:44:24 AM »

Well, unless somebody that reads this is a rather philanthropic publisher, I doubt there will be a book, but hoefully a nice eArticle.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2006, 09:10:01 AM »

I would be very interested in a list of ALL instruments that were used on SMiLE.

If you mean the Smile sessions from 1966-67, unfortunately I think such a list may be impossible. Trying to find the makes and models of instruments used on those sessions would mean finding out what instruments the session players brought into the studio...and folks like myself and Josh have been trying to piece that information together for several years with limited success. There just aren't enough photos and too many fading memories.

The best sources I've found were the Jasper Dailey studio photos (probably the best firsthand source of all), and various interviews/articles like the 1995 "Guitar Player" Beach Boys article. But even that article only had information like "I usually used a Telecaster for rock sessions back then..." Wink Not enough detail!

For the 2004 Smile sessions, though, it shouldn't be quite as hard...
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2006, 09:31:03 AM »

Craig, I think the best way to approach the session musician angle, for Smile 66 or anything throughout the Beach Boys 60s career, would be to have a section devoted to the general practices of the session musicians.  Like you say, it's impossible to be terribly specific; it's not like the Beatles where many of the actual instruments used are in museums.  I think it would be possible to get a pretty accurate "typical guitar player arsenal."  It could be a fun challenge though.

 
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2006, 09:32:03 AM »

BTW, I would love to see the Carl Wilson "guitar player" interview.
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Evenreven
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2006, 09:41:52 AM »

Well, unless somebody that reads this is a rather philanthropic publisher, I doubt there will be a book, but hoefully a nice eArticle.
Well, of course the Beatle interest is greater, but still... Why not? For me, a Beach Boys Gear book would be much more interesting than a Beatle gear book. Hopefully there's an abundance of philanthropic publishers on smileysmile.net this instant.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2006, 11:17:29 AM »

Craig, I think the best way to approach the session musician angle, for Smile 66 or anything throughout the Beach Boys 60s career, would be to have a section devoted to the general practices of the session musicians.  Like you say, it's impossible to be terribly specific; it's not like the Beatles where many of the actual instruments used are in museums.  I think it would be possible to get a pretty accurate "typical guitar player arsenal."  It could be a fun challenge though.

 

This is true - the general practices would be one way of approaching the topic, but even with that it's just too bad more of those musicians didn't document (or at least reveal) as many specifics as someone like Tommy Tedesco. When the time is right, I'd like to compile his full run of Guitar Player "Studio Log" columns, where he listed every instrument he used on various sessions that were the 'spotlight' of each month. I'll have to scan over at some point and see if he ever featured a Beach Boys session.

And the challenge I've found is that those guys as standard practice might cart over a dozen instruments to any given session (and get paid cartage fees by the union, of course...). So an interview like the Guitar Player "Wrecking Crew" spot might have them saying "I played a Telecaster..." but that is only one part of the story.

The whole revelation about Al Casey's red Hagstrom guitar being spotted by a producer and used by Elvis on the '68 Comeback illustrated this issue to me in a big way...I think that article said Casey had a full arsenal of guitars in rolling cases, including the Hagstrom, which he'd have delivered to the studios. I don't know if anyone, including guys like Casey himself, ever made note of the full setup.

If there is a genuine interest in getting that kind of information on the session players, the sources will be tough but may be available. In comparison, the guitars played by Al and Carl on stage, for example, are relatively easy to research.

keep me posted on what kind of info you might need from that area...
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2006, 12:26:52 PM »

Comment to aeijtzsche  --

You will find most of the remaining guitars that were used for early recordings such as the "Surfer Girl" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" period still at Alan Jardine's Red Barn Studio at Big Sur, CA.  Suggest you ask on Alan Boyd's thread and get details from him.  Al Jardine knows the history of each instrument. Most are up in a loft to the right of the control room over an isolation booth.  Some road-used guitars are not in cases and hanging on hooks up on the wall. Carl's estate may have some other instruments, that is, contact his children. Also with regard to Denny's drums -- his kids may know. I don't think the company has anything in storage. I believe Bruce and Mike have all new or use their band members for instrumention. Mark L. will know where Brian's white Baldwin organ is located. Many specialized instruments were rented for sessions so their history is only known by people like Steve Korthof. The chopped white Hammond B3 was sold many years ago. 
~swd   
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2006, 12:31:34 PM »

Steve, those are all great suggestions.  This could turn out to be much more "serious" and "official" than I original intended.  Which is exciting.

Still, no book offers rolling in...   Wink
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