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636589 Posts in 25453 Topics by 3621 Members - Latest Member: rickyroma August 20, 2018, 11:25:48 PM
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Author Topic: The BBs trying to ape Jimi Hendrix-style guitar in the late '60s on Bluebirds  (Read 313 times)
CenturyDeprived
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« on: August 01, 2018, 11:09:28 AM »

It's always struck me as a bit odd how the band seemingly consciously tried to copy the late '60s guitar sounds of artists like Jimi Hendrix on "Bluebirds Over the Mountain".

While I like this song, and I kinda dig the guitar sounds on it, I can imagine that at the time it must have come across as a slightly clunky and obvious attempt to be "hip" and sound like the cool kids. It does feel a bit like the band was trying way too hard. Especially since it was a one-off type of sound on just that one song, although songs like "All I Want to Do" get into this territory a bit too.

Did people (including hardcore fans of the band during the wilderness era) also feel that way at the time (that the band was trying a little too hard)? I don't want to compare it to a song like "Summer in Paradise", but I think there's a comparison to be made for the band trying to dip their toe into a largely unrelated genre just in a somewhat desperate attempt to be "cool". But like I said, I kinda dig it anyway.

And whose idea was it to go for this guitar sound? I believe Ed Carter plays on "Bluebirds", but somebody in the band presumably had to be driving those types of decisions to attempt to merge that Hendrix screeching guitar sound with The BBs.

Also - supposing "Bluebirds" had been a big hit; would we have gotten a whole followup album of The BBs trying to sound like Hendrix?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 11:22:12 AM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
Jim V.
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 01:51:51 PM »

It's always struck me as a bit odd how the band seemingly consciously tried to copy the late '60s guitar sounds of artists like Jimi Hendrix on "Bluebirds Over the Mountain".

While I like this song, and I kinda dig the guitar sounds on it, I can imagine that at the time it must have come across as a slightly clunky and obvious attempt to be "hip" and sound like the cool kids. It does feel a bit like the band was trying way too hard. Especially since it was a one-off type of sound on just that one song, although songs like "All I Want to Do" get into this territory a bit too.

Did people (including hardcore fans of the band during the wilderness era) also feel that way at the time (that the band was trying a little too hard)? I don't want to compare it to a song like "Summer in Paradise", but I think there's a comparison to be made for the band trying to dip their toe into a largely unrelated genre just in a somewhat desperate attempt to be "cool". But like I said, I kinda dig it anyway.

And whose idea was it to go for this guitar sound? I believe Ed Carter plays on "Bluebirds", but somebody in the band presumably had to be driving those types of decisions to attempt to merge that Hendrix screeching guitar sound with The BBs.

Also - supposing "Bluebirds" had been a big hit; would we have gotten a whole followup album of The BBs trying to sound like Hendrix?

I can totally dig what you are trying to say here, and in fact have basically thought the same thing before.

And I think we have to remember who was the driving force to in what I assume was a somewhat desperate attempt to sound "hip" or "current"....

....and that would be one Mr. Bruce Johnston.

I personally don't think any of the other guys (at that time) would've conceived of anything as obvious of a trend hopper as that one. Bruce's thing a lot of the time, to be honest, was to take somebody else's sound and do a copycat version of it. So of course when given the chance with The Beach Boys, he tried to hop aboard the "heavy guitar" train meshed with a Mike Love lead vocal.

And to be honest, I kinda dig it. But it seemed to me at least, to be a bit of a pander to an audience that likely wouldn't be into their stuff.
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JK
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2018, 01:57:38 PM »

I didn't feel that way at the time. Just that the Boys were pushing at the envelope--again. I've loved that song from the get-go.

I'm not sure Hendrix is the right comparison. It sounds to me closer to the likes of Paul Kossoff of Free...
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the captain
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2018, 02:40:33 PM »

The earthier Holland-era sound seemed like a similarly unnatural fit to me.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2018, 03:27:25 PM »


And to be honest, I kinda dig it. But it seemed to me at least, to be a bit of a pander to an audience that likely wouldn't be into their stuff.

I think the "pander" term is spot on. It almost feels like this was an attempt to win over the specific people they'd missed the boat on at Monterey Pop. I imagine they'd been bumming out over their inability to win over any of those people as their popularity continued to plummet. Maybe one of the 1st examples of blatant trend jumping that they did. (Again, I kinda like it anyway!)

And I like it just because I'm a hardcore fan, and it's interesting (and the guitar work is cool), but I feel like most people who'd have heard the song in '69 would have felt it was the Boys trying way too hard to win over people who, like you pointed out, wouldn't be into their stuff anyway.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 03:28:55 PM by CenturyDeprived » Logged
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