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651416 Posts in 26032 Topics by 3713 Members - Latest Member: ficuswhisperer October 21, 2019, 07:00:34 AM
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Author Topic: Beach Boys Gear  (Read 22854 times)
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #100 on: September 17, 2019, 08:27:29 AM »

GREAT eye, there, Hey Jude! That is an autograph, and that does indeed tie it all together. Wow, I never spotted that autograph until you mentioned it.

You're right on the money, the Hard Rock and other venues do collect autographed instruments to display, and many of them were not owned or used by the person who autographed them. You'll see a lot of Squier Strats autographed by various rockers, or other similar guitars, which they put on display and which the average tourist would have no clue of the difference unless they played guitar.

So yes, that's what the mystery Carl guitar seems to be: It's a knockoff which someone had Carl autograph, and which was either bought at auction by the Hard Rock buyers (I'd dig that job...spending their money on rock memorabilia...) or sold to the franchise. Cool stuff.

FYI, the display is the Hard Rock hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. They have a full Beach Boys wall, as you'll see in these links I'm posting.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but is that a bathrobe hanging top left in the one photo, of the kind Brian wore often in the 70's? It even has a "BW" monogram on it! Hmm...any details on that?

LINKS:
https://www.tripadvisor.com.ar/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g3176298-d1076311-i40963020-Hard_Rock_Hotel_Casino_Punta_Cana-Bavaro_Punta_Cana_La_Altagracia_Provin.html

https://www.maritimetravel.ca/_uploads/images/agent-gallery/2694/00004503.jpg?a=fIB|800-800

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« Reply #101 on: September 17, 2019, 01:00:05 PM »

There is still the question of what kind of guitar it is, though. As I'm somewhat of a guitar enthusiast, I'm curious about this now. Even if it's a cheap knock-off.  LOL
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« Reply #102 on: September 18, 2019, 10:59:39 AM »

The maker of that guitar could be anyone - There was a time in the 60's and 70's when the demand was so high that factories in Japan would crank out these knock-offs sometimes in a few big production runs and not have any brand or label attached to them. The same factory could have produced guitars with 10 different maker names applied to them by the time they hit the US retailers or wholesalers. Unless someone did put a brand name label on the headstock or elsewhere, 50 years later these no-names show up and people have to guess or take it apart to see any stamps or production marks inside the neck joint, body, etc.

I'll say again, I've never seen a tailpiece like the one shown in that photo. I'm sure someone could see that and ID it as coming from a particular factory - Japanese or otherwise - But that tailpiece is unlike any I've seen on even the more common off-brand guitars. And having no label on the headstock and no distinct features anywhere else makes it very tough to ID unless someone else has the same model with that tailpiece and can ID it.

The bottom line on many of these is that they were cheap guitars, and today they have very little collectible value because they're not very good players to begin with, and never were. Most of the value on these off-brand guitars comes from either having a very famous player seen using one (look at Jack White, Cobain, Jimmy Page and his Danelectro/Silvertones, etc.) or the rare cases when these budget imports actually had a cool sound and were playable guitars...or had a cool design or style to them.

The knock-offs that were quality guitars have a higher value, like the Ibanez "Lawsuit" models when they were producing very good quality copies of Gibsons in the 70's which got them sued. Or ones that actually play and sound good.

So the one in that case, on display in Punta Cana, I'd *guess* was a knock-off made in Japan but unless someone can ID it from that tailpiece and headstock shape, or take it out of the case to take it apart to find production marks or stamps, it could have come from any number of factories. There are a lot of mystery guitars made in Japan which have no markings at all and no one knows what they are.
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« Reply #103 on: September 18, 2019, 07:26:25 PM »

Is it me, or did So play this same guitar at the July 1984 Washington show? At least it looks very similar to me, from seeing a picture on Facebook.
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« Reply #104 on: September 19, 2019, 06:23:33 AM »

Is it me, or did So play this same guitar at the July 1984 Washington show? At least it looks very similar to me, from seeing a picture on Facebook.

Al played a sunburst Gibson ES-335 (or very similar) at the DC '84 gig:



Similar to that generic guitar only in that it's a semi-hollow body double cutaway guitar with a burst finish. But Al's playing the real deal here, and you can also see plenty of differences. It's clearly a Gibson, it has gold hardware, and Al's guitar has a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. Al's guitar here is generally relatively similar to Carl's main guitar of the 80s and 90s, his ES-335.

I actually wonder if Al is playing one of Carl's other guitars (or vice versa back then), as Carl is seen with a similar guitar (Gibson sunburst with black pick guard, gold hardware with Bigsby, etc.) way back in 1971 at Central Park  and other early 70s gigs here:





Al didn't deviate a ton from his white Strat by the early 80s; he wasn't regularly seen with this Gibson guitar in the 80s, but on occasion Al and Carl popped up with different guitars for a variety of reasons.
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« Reply #105 on: September 19, 2019, 09:20:53 AM »

Something I learnt recently is that there's no high-hat on most Beach Boys records, supposedly. BW doesn't/didn't like the sound and instructed Dennis/Hal accordingly

Now you mention it... That's fascinating! Thanks, UEF.

I rather think Spector was no fan of hi-hats either. He certainly went to town with the tape echo on Ringo's hi-hat on "Let It Be". Grin
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« Reply #106 on: September 19, 2019, 09:43:29 AM »


Al didn't deviate a ton from his white Strat by the early 80s; he wasn't regularly seen with this Gibson guitar in the 80s, but on occasion Al and Carl popped up with different guitars for a variety of reasons.

Al playing a white Les Paul Custom for the grammies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN-39diW00Y
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« Reply #107 on: September 19, 2019, 11:52:18 AM »


Al playing a white Les Paul Custom for the grammies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mN-39diW00Y

They used all Gibson gear when they did the Grammy gig; apparently they had an endorsement deal (or pending endorsement deal?) with Gibson for the tour.  One noted BB commentator even insisted there was *zero* chance Al or anyone would appear on stage during C50 with any Fender gear. But apparently, at some point prior to the beginning of the actual tour, Al and Dave both decided they wanted to use Fender gear, and whatever deal or pending deal with Gibson was scuttled and Al and Dave played Strats and Jaguars/Jazzmasters, etc.

I lean towards a Les Paul, humbucker sound myself, but there's no question a good hunk of BB material needs that bright Fender sound, and above all else, the guys in the band should play whatever gear they're actually comfortable playing.

Reminds me of watching the doc on the 2005 Cream reunion. They apparently initially dug out all their old equipment, and Clapton was going use his old ES-335 and Jack Bruce is old EB-0 Gibson bass, and they were going to use huge Marshall amp stacks and all of that like they did back in 1968, the idea being the "look" of the thing as much as the sound. Then they apparently decided instead to just use the gear they liked using in 2005, and just did that. Clapton played Strats, Bruce played his Warwick bass and sometimes an EB-1 bass, and they used their then-modern amp rigs and all of that. I wouldn't have minded Clapton bring out something with humbuckers for some of the songs, but ultimately I admire that they just used what they wanted to and were comfortable with.
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« Reply #108 on: September 19, 2019, 11:57:51 AM »

Al *did* (and maybe still does; more on that in a moment) have a nice '56 Les Paul that he played mostly in the early 70s (it appears as I recall at least as late as 1976 on stage).



In 2013 there was a weird slightly cryptic report from Al saying his '56 Les Paul was "missing" (the blurb put out certainly made it sound like he was trying to say it was stolen without actually saying the word "stolen") and was looking for it back. I never heard if he ever managed to get it back.
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« Reply #109 on: September 19, 2019, 12:19:52 PM »

Is it me, or did So play this same guitar at the July 1984 Washington show? At least it looks very similar to me, from seeing a picture on Facebook.

Al played a sunburst Gibson ES-335 (or very similar) at the DC '84 gig:



Similar to that generic guitar only in that it's a semi-hollow body double cutaway guitar with a burst finish. But Al's playing the real deal here, and you can also see plenty of differences. It's clearly a Gibson, it has gold hardware, and Al's guitar has a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. Al's guitar here is generally relatively similar to Carl's main guitar of the 80s and 90s, his ES-335.




I don't know if Al is playing Carl's guitar or if it was his own. Here's a better picture of Carl's:







BTW I found another one that wasn't mentioned in this thread, I believe. It's Carl with an Emperador E-200:



Source: https://reverb.com/item/1441156-emperador-e-200-1969-beach-boys-carl-wilson-model
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 12:24:06 PM by Rocker » Logged

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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 #110 on: September 19, 2019, 12:25:15 PM »

I think the Carl sunburst in that pic is an ES-345; note the extra tone selector switch above the four main knobs, and also the alternate split parallelogram inlay on the neck. 
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« Reply #111 on: September 19, 2019, 12:28:17 PM »

I think the Carl sunburst in that pic is an ES-345; note the extra tone selector switch above the four main knobs, and also the alternate split parallelogram inlay on the neck.  


Yeah, I saw that only after I posted the picture. Thanks for the correction.


Here's a pic of Carl's own E-200 "on display at the Hard Rock Café in Miami" (according to the link in my above message.






And is Al playing an ES-125 here?

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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 #112 on: September 19, 2019, 01:31:40 PM »

Al *did* (and maybe still does; more on that in a moment) have a nice '56 Les Paul that he played mostly in the early 70s (it appears as I recall at least as late as 1976 on stage).



In 2013 there was a weird slightly cryptic report from Al saying his '56 Les Paul was "missing" (the blurb put out certainly made it sound like he was trying to say it was stolen without actually saying the word "stolen") and was looking for it back. I never heard if he ever managed to get it back.
Why on earth is Mike holding an accordion?
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« Reply #113 on: September 19, 2019, 05:42:02 PM »


And is Al playing an ES-125 here?



No, that is a Gibson ES-225T, the first slim hollowbody model Gibson produced. You can spot the 225 by the odd placement of the P-90 pickup, sitting alone in the center rather than close to the neck or bridge, and also by the cutaway. Also note that odd trapeze tailpiece/bridge assembly - That was designed by Les Paul, and was on those initial early runs of the Les Paul models, those early goldtops where that huge tailpiece didn't work so well...but on a slim hollowbody archtop, they fit just fine.

Al is playing probably the most common configuration (and sunburst color) seen on those 50's ES-225 models. They were only made from 55-59 or so.
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« Reply #114 on: September 20, 2019, 03:01:19 AM »

GREAT eye, there, Hey Jude! That is an autograph, and that does indeed tie it all together. Wow, I never spotted that autograph until you mentioned it.

You're right on the money, the Hard Rock and other venues do collect autographed instruments to display, and many of them were not owned or used by the person who autographed them. You'll see a lot of Squier Strats autographed by various rockers, or other similar guitars, which they put on display and which the average tourist would have no clue of the difference unless they played guitar.

So yes, that's what the mystery Carl guitar seems to be: It's a knockoff which someone had Carl autograph, and which was either bought at auction by the Hard Rock buyers (I'd dig that job...spending their money on rock memorabilia...) or sold to the franchise. Cool stuff.

FYI, the display is the Hard Rock hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. They have a full Beach Boys wall, as you'll see in these links I'm posting.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but is that a bathrobe hanging top left in the one photo, of the kind Brian wore often in the 70's? It even has a "BW" monogram on it! Hmm...any details on that?

LINKS:
https://www.tripadvisor.com.ar/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g3176298-d1076311-i40963020-Hard_Rock_Hotel_Casino_Punta_Cana-Bavaro_Punta_Cana_La_Altagracia_Provin.html

https://www.maritimetravel.ca/_uploads/images/agent-gallery/2694/00004503.jpg?a=fIB|800-800



More on the bathrobe. I assume it’s this one donated in London. Second link has front and back.

https://www.gettyimages.co.nz/detail/news-photo/brian-wilson-donates-a-signed-bathrobe-to-the-hard-rock-news-photo/566790411

http://www.sonic.net/~dsktracy/bbstuff/Clothing/pages/Property%20of%20Brian%20Wilson%20bathrobe%20%28front%29.html

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« Reply #115 on: September 20, 2019, 03:57:26 AM »


And is Al playing an ES-125 here?



No, that is a Gibson ES-225T, the first slim hollowbody model Gibson produced. You can spot the 225 by the odd placement of the P-90 pickup, sitting alone in the center rather than close to the neck or bridge, and also by the cutaway. Also note that odd trapeze tailpiece/bridge assembly - That was designed by Les Paul, and was on those initial early runs of the Les Paul models, those early goldtops where that huge tailpiece didn't work so well...but on a slim hollowbody archtop, they fit just fine.

Al is playing probably the most common configuration (and sunburst color) seen on those 50's ES-225 models. They were only made from 55-59 or so.


Thank you!
I wonder where Al got this from. I never saw any of the Boys with that kind of guitar. Carl is playing a twelve-string accoustic, which also didn't happen too often on stage, I believe.


BTW here's an episode of Guitar Of The Day by Norman's Rare Guitars featuring an ES-225T

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubfFjB5KSnA


Is aeijtzsche still on board? Maybe we should update the list.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 03:58:28 AM by Rocker » Logged

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 #116 on: September 20, 2019, 06:25:30 AM »

Thank you!
I wonder where Al got this from. I never saw any of the Boys with that kind of guitar. Carl is playing a twelve-string accoustic, which also didn't happen too often on stage, I believe.


BTW here's an episode of Guitar Of The Day by Norman's Rare Guitars featuring an ES-225T

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubfFjB5KSnA


Is aeijtzsche still on board? Maybe we should update the list.

I can't speak to this particular gig, but in some cases the guys just used random guitars; perhaps borrowed from another group or maybe even rented. Back then it seemed to happen occasionally if their gear didn't make it to the next gig, or perhaps if they were traveling to some one-off gig or last minute gig (perhaps something for charity, etc.).

Even in more recent years, you'll sometimes see Al playing a random guitar (often a standard American Strat) where it seems he's doing a one-off gig and the promoter or whomever is paying for or arranging the gig provided the instruments.

Al's not doing too many one-off solo gigs outside of Brian's band or the "Storytellers" shows anymore, but in the previous 10-15 years when he's played with the Surf City All Stars and the Endless Summer Band and things like that, I think he has probably had a boilerplate tour rider that simply asks for a standard American Strat to be provided.









I'm not familiar with every guitar Al currently owns so I can't say all of these guitars are not his and are provided by the gig, but I'm thinking many if not most of them are.
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« Reply #117 on: September 20, 2019, 07:29:10 AM »

That's probably a good idea! I guess I'm just stuck too deep in my innocent fantasy that you just pick up your guitar, plug in and play.  Grin

We'd need to take a look into Red Barn.
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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 #118 on: September 20, 2019, 08:30:49 AM »

Al *did* (and maybe still does; more on that in a moment) have a nice '56 Les Paul that he played mostly in the early 70s (it appears as I recall at least as late as 1976 on stage).



In 2013 there was a weird slightly cryptic report from Al saying his '56 Les Paul was "missing" (the blurb put out certainly made it sound like he was trying to say it was stolen without actually saying the word "stolen") and was looking for it back. I never heard if he ever managed to get it back.
Why on earth is Mike holding an accordion?

I believe this photo is taken from a tv appearance to promote Tears In The Morning, hence Bruce on lead vocal mic. There's quite a prominent accordion section in the recording, and getting Mike to mime the part was probably easier & cheaper than getting a session guy in.
Also (pedant) I think it's actually a concertina Mike is (not) playing.
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« Reply #119 on: September 20, 2019, 11:40:53 AM »

I believe this photo is taken from a tv appearance to promote Tears In The Morning, hence Bruce on lead vocal mic. There's quite a prominent accordion section in the recording, and getting Mike to mime the part was probably easier & cheaper than getting a session guy in.
Also (pedant) I think it's actually a concertina Mike is (not) playing.

Yep, it definitely seems to be one of those shows where they mimed (no apparent amps, Bruce not playing anything, etc.), and one of those cases where there are a bunch of photos of the TV gig, but the actual footage from the TV show either isn't extant or isn't circulating.

It was used for the initial "Live in London" cover:

[
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« Reply #120 on: September 20, 2019, 11:46:48 AM »

Forgot to mention this TV appearance was from November 18, 1970 on "Top of the Pops" in the UK:



They mimed to "Tears in the Morning" indeed; I'm curious if there's any chance they did any other numbers. Was it typical to just do one song on TOTP at that time?

Also funny that they went to the trouble to have Mike playing something that seemed to vaguely match the recording, yet Carl and Al just play two electric guitars and Bruce doesn't have any sort of keyboard or organ or piano.
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« Reply #121 on: September 20, 2019, 11:51:53 AM »

I believe this photo is taken from a tv appearance to promote Tears In The Morning, hence Bruce on lead vocal mic. There's quite a prominent accordion section in the recording, and getting Mike to mime the part was probably easier & cheaper than getting a session guy in.
Also (pedant) I think it's actually a concertina Mike is (not) playing.

Yep, it definitely seems to be one of those shows where they mimed (no apparent amps, Bruce not playing anything, etc.), and one of those cases where there are a bunch of photos of the TV gig, but the actual footage from the TV show either isn't extant or isn't circulating.

It was used for the initial "Live in London" cover:

[

This is utterly fascinating, and surprisingly relatively rarely discussed.

We know that Mike mimed sax in the videos for Kokomo and Problem Child, but at least sax was an instrument Mike actually had some experience in actually playing. In this case, it's miming an instrument he (presumably?) didn't play beforehand.  Which makes me wonder if somebody had to teach him how to hold it or even pretend play it, or if he just looked at some photos and winged it.

Curious if anybody can chime in with some sort of list of all of the instruments the band has mimed over the years. We know they mimed to their early guitar-based hits on TV, but actually getting an unusual instrument (which they had little or no experience with) to pretend play is pretty funny to me (perhaps not too unusual for the time though, although Problem Child was 1990!)
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« Reply #122 on: September 20, 2019, 12:44:16 PM »

Well, they "mimed" to this in 1987; I somehow doubt they were able to actually do it:

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« Reply #123 on: September 20, 2019, 01:02:28 PM »

Here's Al in a relatively rare instance playing a Rickenbacker (maybe/probably Carl's?) on stage in 1988 (for the gig taped for that "Full House" episode):

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« Reply #124 on: September 20, 2019, 02:56:20 PM »

The interesting thing about that Getty images TOTP photo is that you can see cables emerging from both Al's & Carl's guitars, which makes me think that this might have been a live vocal/partial instrumentation performance to a prerecorded backing track. It wasn't uncommon to hide amplifiers away from tv performance spaces back then, in order to help with audio isolation (and also maybe because amps aren't particularly attractive things to look at on tv).

 I've just checked Keith Badman's book: "18th november: Top of the Pops live vocal over new backing track "Tears In The Morning" broadcast colour Nov 19th". I know that book isn't 100% reliable, but either way we'll probably never really know, as this episode of TOTP was erased many years ago. Breaks your heart, doesn't it?

PS: yes, generally bands only played one title on the show, although there are exceptions (there was a short lived "album spot" circa 1970, during which bands played 2-3 selections from their latest LP).
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