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Author Topic: Barney Kessel WIBN Mandolin Found AND Sold Nov 10th...But the mystery deepens...  (Read 2845 times)
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #50 on: December 05, 2018, 11:09:05 AM »


My ears are telling me loud and clear he's playing a 12 string guitar *on those session tapes*.

But how do you account for the fact that Barney is clearly struggling with intonation and fretting throughout this session? I don't think that would be the case with a regular 12-string electric guitar (whether amp'd or not), and I'm not aware of any 12-string acoustics with cutaways being around in those days (and it would be impossible to play without a cutaway).

I separate this into two categories, and both will perhaps never have a definitive answer.

First is the mechanical/technical side: A lot of 12 strings (electrics) have pretty bad intonation above the 10th fret, even worse above the 12th or 14th. That includes the esteemed Rickenbacker, which can be a nightmare to intonate and play in tune despite the cost of these guitars. Imagine Barney having a Danelectro with a shoddy bridge, and yes Barney did have a selection of Danelectro guitars as did many of the session players. A lot of them got them fixed by having a more stable bridge replacing the stock wooden Danelectro bridge because the intonation was an issue. But that's pure speculation.

Next is the one I've struggled with for many years after hearing these raw session tapes play out:

Barney Kessel is and was one of the most respected (and best) jazz guitarists of all time. He was an "original" Wrecking Crew member dating back to the early to mid 50's when there was no "Wrecking Crew", and he maintained his profile as a jazz heavyweight constantly finishing in the top of jazz polls and performing regularly on some of the most popular and respected jazz albums and recordings. Jobim credited his work with Julie London for helping "invent" Bossa Nova with Barney's chord inversions and accompaniment style with Julie...all the guitarists around Jobim were literally obsessed with Barney's playing and from their work trying to learn his chord style, they developed Bossa Nova.

I could go on with his accomplishments, but Barney was a musician who other LA session guitarists would seek out for guitar lessons. Simply put, he was one of the best in the business alongside names like Bob Bain, Tommy, etc...working the LA scene.

So to hear him struggle on take after take with what isn't really a complex part...I've never been able to rectify that with Barney's skill as a musician.

It is one piece of the puzzle that simply does not fit. Barney could play and read anything, yet maybe he was having an off day with WIBN because he's missing the part and trying to rehearse it dozens of times over the course of these tapes. It just isn't like Barney Kessel if that makes sense.

Sounds like great support to the idea that he was playing some unusual instrument!
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« Reply #51 on: December 05, 2018, 11:18:31 AM »


My ears are telling me loud and clear he's playing a 12 string guitar *on those session tapes*.

But how do you account for the fact that Barney is clearly struggling with intonation and fretting throughout this session? I don't think that would be the case with a regular 12-string electric guitar (whether amp'd or not), and I'm not aware of any 12-string acoustics with cutaways being around in those days (and it would be impossible to play without a cutaway).

I separate this into two categories, and both will perhaps never have a definitive answer.

First is the mechanical/technical side: A lot of 12 strings (electrics) have pretty bad intonation above the 10th fret, even worse above the 12th or 14th. That includes the esteemed Rickenbacker, which can be a nightmare to intonate and play in tune despite the cost of these guitars. Imagine Barney having a Danelectro with a shoddy bridge, and yes Barney did have a selection of Danelectro guitars as did many of the session players. A lot of them got them fixed by having a more stable bridge replacing the stock wooden Danelectro bridge because the intonation was an issue. But that's pure speculation.

Next is the one I've struggled with for many years after hearing these raw session tapes play out:

Barney Kessel is and was one of the most respected (and best) jazz guitarists of all time. He was an "original" Wrecking Crew member dating back to the early to mid 50's when there was no "Wrecking Crew", and he maintained his profile as a jazz heavyweight constantly finishing in the top of jazz polls and performing regularly on some of the most popular and respected jazz albums and recordings. Jobim credited his work with Julie London for helping "invent" Bossa Nova with Barney's chord inversions and accompaniment style with Julie...all the guitarists around Jobim were literally obsessed with Barney's playing and from their work trying to learn his chord style, they developed Bossa Nova.

I could go on with his accomplishments, but Barney was a musician who other LA session guitarists would seek out for guitar lessons. Simply put, he was one of the best in the business alongside names like Bob Bain, Tommy, etc...working the LA scene.

So to hear him struggle on take after take with what isn't really a complex part...I've never been able to rectify that with Barney's skill as a musician.

It is one piece of the puzzle that simply does not fit. Barney could play and read anything, yet maybe he was having an off day with WIBN because he's missing the part and trying to rehearse it dozens of times over the course of these tapes. It just isn't like Barney Kessel if that makes sense.

Sounds like great support to the idea that he was playing some unusual instrument!


That line could be drawn, yes. But my ears after revisiting those tapes and zeroing in on the specific track times you posted told me a different story. Nothing in the between-take noodling, practicing, and tuning suggested proof that he was playing something other than a 12-string guitar of some kind. I heard the smoking gun of tuning that G-string, and listening further through the session it all sounded like he was playing a regular 12-string.

This is what I've been struggling with since my posts on page 1. If there were something concrete to hear on those actual tapes, something that could ostensibly go to court if you will as hard evidence versus circumstantial, after-the-fact, or speculation, I'd be more confident in agreeing with what I was told personally and what apparently went through the vetting process at Heritage Auctions regarding the instrument.

But the elephant in the room is that the tapes do not - to my ears - have anything of the sort. What is frustrating too is that Brian names several players by name on the session, yet never mentions "Barney" or "Jerry" unless there is more tape of this session that didn't make it to SOT or the PS box set collections.
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« Reply #52 on: December 05, 2018, 11:30:10 AM »


That line could be drawn, yes. But my ears after revisiting those tapes and zeroing in on the specific track times you posted told me a different story. Nothing in the between-take noodling, practicing, and tuning suggested proof that he was playing something other than a 12-string guitar of some kind. I heard the smoking gun of tuning that G-string, and listening further through the session it all sounded like he was playing a regular 12-string.


But you just said that the noodling, practicing, and tuning DO suggest there is something odd about why one of the great guitarists of all time would struggle so much to play a lick that I, one of the worst guitarists of all time, could play left-handed.

Did you listen to my second video?  I recorded it with the mic that comes with stock apple earbuds on terrible software, and at times it sounds pretty electric-guitar-y.  Is it that inconceivable that a mandolin could sound very much like an electric guitar if recorded properly and washed in reverb?  I'm no expert in the history of temporary pick-ups, but my guess is acoustic purity was not the hallmark of such devices.

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« Reply #53 on: December 05, 2018, 11:31:43 AM »

Well, to me, there's a big difference in the sound of the two 12-strings on that session tape, aside from one being amped electrically and the other possibly being mic'd acoustically - and that is the resonance on the dominant guitar, which to my ears is consistent with that of a small, curved body (a la "mandolin").
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 11:32:43 AM by c-man » Logged
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« Reply #54 on: December 05, 2018, 11:35:02 AM »

That's just it--it sounds woody.  It sounds ever-so-slightly off.  Smart, musical people have thought the instrument was anything from a harp to a calliope. 

It's the simplest, best explanation!
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« Reply #55 on: December 05, 2018, 11:40:51 AM »

Pro - extended, downtuned mandolin:

1.  Oral tradition that it was a mandolin, or strange guitar.
2.  Barney's widow?
3.  LAM Production team had full access to great resources and concluded it was a mandolin.
4.  Brian is known for trying strange things.
5.  Barney struggles to play it despite being one of the greats.
6.  It sounds strange enough that it's taken us this long to get to this point.
7.  It sounds strange enough that musicians have misidentified it as non-guitar-like instruments.
8.  It has a bright, woody timbre.
9.  Auction house risked a blow to their reputation by claiming it as such.
10.  My quick experiments prove that stringing a mandolin in such a way works just fine and doesn't take very long to set up.


Con -

1.  It doesn't really sound like what we think of when we think of a mandolin (e.g. bluegrass recordings)
2.  It'd take some extra effort to string that way, probably at Brian's insistence.
3.  We can't be 100% sure of the pick-up situation, despite assuming it was plugged in to the board all these years.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 11:43:42 AM by aeijtzsche » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2018, 11:52:07 AM »

It could sound off just the same because of the design of 12-string guitars as of early 1966. These were not designed to play above the 12th fret, yet here is a part which reaches the 17th fret.

It was the open G string tuning and the tuning throughout that reignited the doubts about what this instrument was. Added to what I've already mentioned with the octave string, and all other sounds that are 100% hallmarks of any 12-string guitar.

That's all I'm saying: There is reasonable doubt. There is no solid, concrete proof or evidence on the tapes we're listening to which could prove what instrument is played. In legal terms, let's say something like this were in a court case. Being able to come close to reproducing the sound or activity in question is not "evidence" that would hold up in court, in fact in perhaps 99.9% of court scenarios if one side were able to recreate something after the fact for the court, it still isn't valid evidence that the recreation elements are what was in play in the original scenario being decided in court.

If there were more proof as in audio on the tapes, I'd be all in.

Consider I've been holding fast to what was told to me about this instrument for a number of years - In spite of debates that it was a detuned 12-string, a Bellzouki, or some other option. I did the mandolin video of my own to offer some possibility that we could be hearing a mandolin like Barney's on the track, acoustic, in light of comments suggesting it may not have been.

But hearing the actual session tapes as I did revisiting them yesterday after not listening closely for years gives a different impression, one which perhaps a number of guitarists or authorities in the field may also say "it sounds like a 12-string" after hearing the between-take audio.

I think perhaps the inclusion of Barney holding that 12-string mandolin in the PS Sessions booklet may have inadvertently created a false impression among a lot of fans who saw it and thought this is both a photo of Barney at the actual session and that this is the exact instrument he played. That photo appeared 22 years ago to the general public, and I think perhaps that became something that it was not - Proof that Barney used that on WIBN.

As it stands right now, there is nothing on the tapes that could be used as solid proof that Barney is playing something other than a 12-string. Everything so far is speculation, or after-the-fact reverse engineering that could be done in any similar scenario but which ultimately is just speculation.

And that's also part of my frustration.
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« Reply #57 on: December 05, 2018, 11:58:17 AM »


As it stands right now, there is nothing on the tapes that could be used as solid proof that Barney is playing something other than a 12-string. Everything so far is speculation, or after-the-fact reverse engineering that could be done in any similar scenario but which ultimately is just speculation.

And that's also part of my frustration.

Likewise, there is nothing on the tapes that could be used to prove that Barney is playing a 12-string guitar.  I just don't understand your categorical resistance to the idea that it could maybe, possibly be a mandolin tuned like a 12-string guitar and made to sound a lot like a 12-string guitar through a pick-up and some processing, which is a really, really simple potential answer to the "mystery"--but you won't even countenance it.
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« Reply #58 on: December 05, 2018, 12:04:54 PM »

There is reasonable doubt. There is no solid, concrete proof or evidence on the tapes we're listening to which could prove what instrument is played. In legal terms, let's say something like this were in a court case. Being able to come close to reproducing the sound or activity in question is not "evidence" that would hold up in court, in fact in perhaps 99.9% of court scenarios if one side were able to recreate something after the fact for the court, it still isn't valid evidence that the recreation elements are what was in play in the original scenario being decided in court.

Technically, such a recreation IS evidence.  It's up to a jury to decide how persuasive it is in relation to the case.  And in a civil case, all you need is a preponderance of evidence--it's a much lower standard!

Sorry, lawyer, here.
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« Reply #59 on: December 05, 2018, 12:14:47 PM »

There is reasonable doubt. There is no solid, concrete proof or evidence on the tapes we're listening to which could prove what instrument is played. In legal terms, let's say something like this were in a court case. Being able to come close to reproducing the sound or activity in question is not "evidence" that would hold up in court, in fact in perhaps 99.9% of court scenarios if one side were able to recreate something after the fact for the court, it still isn't valid evidence that the recreation elements are what was in play in the original scenario being decided in court.

Technically, such a recreation IS evidence.  It's up to a jury to decide how persuasive it is in relation to the case.  And in a civil case, all you need is a preponderance of evidence--it's a much lower standard!

Sorry, lawyer, here.

Ok - So where is the evidence on the tapes that this is something other than a 12-string guitar being played? That's what has been sticking in my mind. Recreating or coming close to the sound decades later isn't evidence of that sort, especially where it seems nothing on the actual session tapes seems to be that level of proof. If the notion were introduced that Barney was struggling with the part, therefore it must be because he was struggling with an unusual instrument, the rebuttal could be simply what if Barney was having an off day or not feeling well? Or if the tapes were the primary evidence, someone could raise the issue that nowhere on the tapes is it heard that "Barney" is named as the player of the part being dissected. Enough could be made for either case, right?

Just to clarify, again, for quite a few years I have been saying this hybrid mandolin instrument is what was played because of firsthand info and whatnot. Yet, after hearing the tapes, it calls it into question because of some basic issues including what is heard on the tapes, and the design of the instruments in question. What I thought was case closed because of what was told to me doesn't seem as cut-and-dry after hearing the tapes where it all played out in 1966 at Gold Star.
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ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #60 on: December 05, 2018, 12:18:00 PM »

To me, the rounded, woody resonance of the thing is evidence of it being something other than a standard 12-string guitar.
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« Reply #61 on: December 05, 2018, 12:22:55 PM »


As it stands right now, there is nothing on the tapes that could be used as solid proof that Barney is playing something other than a 12-string. Everything so far is speculation, or after-the-fact reverse engineering that could be done in any similar scenario but which ultimately is just speculation.

And that's also part of my frustration.

Likewise, there is nothing on the tapes that could be used to prove that Barney is playing a 12-string guitar.  I just don't understand your categorical resistance to the idea that it could maybe, possibly be a mandolin tuned like a 12-string guitar and made to sound a lot like a 12-string guitar through a pick-up and some processing, which is a really, really simple potential answer to the "mystery"--but you won't even countenance it.

I've already explained the reasons why - To sum it up further, "time is money" when large group sessions like this were held, and it defies common sense to think that in order to get a sound of a 12-string for a part, a player like Barney Kessel doing a pop date in early 1966 would go through at least 4 or more extra steps to "prepare" an instrument *specifically designed* to sound like a mandolin to instead sound like a 12-string guitar versus simply grabbing a 12-string guitar. Keeping in mind, too, that this is the same Brian Wilson who around the same time period bought and paid for a new Fender 12-string guitar and brand new amp and had it delivered to the studio on an off-day so the player he hired could add a 12-string overdub to the existing Sloop John B tracks.

But disclaimer, that is also speculation on my part - And it's speculation in reverse to suggest this is what Barney did simply because a recreation with restringing a mandolin came close in the year 2018. At the end of the day, they're both speculation short of hearing proof on those tapes.
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ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #62 on: December 05, 2018, 12:26:15 PM »

To me, the rounded, woody resonance of the thing is evidence of it being something other than a standard 12-string guitar.

The earlier Bellzouki I believe was a semi-hollow guitar, as are most Danelectros. The "wings" are mostly hollow which is why they're so light, and it does produce this different kind of tone as a result (hard to describe without physically playing one in person). Not saying that as evidence either way, but just for clarification. It would be instructional to get a vintage early-mid 60's Bellzouki to demo the part for comparison. Unfortunately I do not have one.  Grin
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ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #63 on: December 05, 2018, 12:26:37 PM »

There is reasonable doubt. There is no solid, concrete proof or evidence on the tapes we're listening to which could prove what instrument is played. In legal terms, let's say something like this were in a court case. Being able to come close to reproducing the sound or activity in question is not "evidence" that would hold up in court, in fact in perhaps 99.9% of court scenarios if one side were able to recreate something after the fact for the court, it still isn't valid evidence that the recreation elements are what was in play in the original scenario being decided in court.

Technically, such a recreation IS evidence.  It's up to a jury to decide how persuasive it is in relation to the case.  And in a civil case, all you need is a preponderance of evidence--it's a much lower standard!

Sorry, lawyer, here.

Ok - So where is the evidence on the tapes that this is something other than a 12-string guitar being played? That's what has been sticking in my mind. Recreating or coming close to the sound decades later isn't evidence of that sort, especially where it seems nothing on the actual session tapes seems to be that level of proof. If the notion were introduced that Barney was struggling with the part, therefore it must be because he was struggling with an unusual instrument, the rebuttal could be simply what if Barney was having an off day or not feeling well? Or if the tapes were the primary evidence, someone could raise the issue that nowhere on the tapes is it heard that "Barney" is named as the player of the part being dissected. Enough could be made for either case, right?

Just to clarify, again, for quite a few years I have been saying this hybrid mandolin instrument is what was played because of firsthand info and whatnot. Yet, after hearing the tapes, it calls it into question because of some basic issues including what is heard on the tapes, and the design of the instruments in question. What I thought was case closed because of what was told to me doesn't seem as cut-and-dry after hearing the tapes where it all played out in 1966 at Gold Star.

Do you suddenly lose your ability to play easy guitar parts when you're feeling bad?  Even if it's Jerry Cole, Even if it's Bill Pitman or Ray Pohlman, none of them would have a problem playing that part.

The best evidence that it's not a 12-string is that it doesn't sound like a 12-string guitar.  Every attempt I've heard by anybody to play that figure on a Fender XII or any other 12-string guitar does not sound anything like what's on the tapes.

To me, the rounded, woody resonance of the thing is evidence of it being something other than a standard 12-string guitar.

Agreed.


Craig (C) - in a nutshell, summarize your best arguments for why it is not a downtuned mandolin.
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« Reply #64 on: December 05, 2018, 12:27:59 PM »


As it stands right now, there is nothing on the tapes that could be used as solid proof that Barney is playing something other than a 12-string. Everything so far is speculation, or after-the-fact reverse engineering that could be done in any similar scenario but which ultimately is just speculation.

And that's also part of my frustration.

Likewise, there is nothing on the tapes that could be used to prove that Barney is playing a 12-string guitar.  I just don't understand your categorical resistance to the idea that it could maybe, possibly be a mandolin tuned like a 12-string guitar and made to sound a lot like a 12-string guitar through a pick-up and some processing, which is a really, really simple potential answer to the "mystery"--but you won't even countenance it.

I've already explained the reasons why - To sum it up further, "time is money" when large group sessions like this were held, and it defies common sense to think that in order to get a sound of a 12-string for a part, a player like Barney Kessel doing a pop date in early 1966 would go through at least 4 or more extra steps to "prepare" an instrument *specifically designed* to sound like a mandolin to instead sound like a 12-string guitar versus simply grabbing a 12-string guitar. Keeping in mind, too, that this is the same Brian Wilson who around the same time period bought and paid for a new Fender 12-string guitar and brand new amp and had it delivered to the studio on an off-day so the player he hired could add a 12-string overdub to the existing Sloop John B tracks.

But disclaimer, that is also speculation on my part - And it's speculation in reverse to suggest this is what Barney did simply because a recreation with restringing a mandolin came close in the year 2018. At the end of the day, they're both speculation short of hearing proof on those tapes.

How does it defy common sense!?!?  It took me 5 minutes and this is Brian Wilson.


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« Reply #65 on: December 05, 2018, 12:30:14 PM »

Scenario:

Brian: Hi Barney, thanks for playing today.

Barney: I'm getting paid to, so...

Brian:  Did you learn your part?

Barney: Yes.  *plays it*

Brian: Hey do you have that mandolin you used the other day on that session?

Barney: It's in my trunk.

Brian: could you play this part on it?

Barney: Well, not really, I'd have to tune it down and replace a string.

Brian: Yeah, ok, but, you could do that right?

Barney: well, I guess I could.

Brian: Let's make it.
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« Reply #66 on: December 05, 2018, 12:40:29 PM »

I'm going with my ears strictly on the session tapes, which is what was proposed back on page 1. If arguing speculation is what we're doing, it could go forever because the proof thus far is not on the tapes we're examining. On the session tapes, I do not personally hear anything that would not or could not be played on a regular 12-string guitar and no audio smoking guns to say it was not, in fact the tuning of the instrument during the sessions sounds like it could be a 12-string guitar in regular tuning. In the other corner, I have what was told to me and what the Kessel family said about it. Being able to recreate an approximation of something decades later is not proof of how something was created originally. So I'm weighing the session tapes more heavily if we're going for audio proof alone. And the audio tapes so far are not offering anything definitive to suggest it wasn't a 12-string guitar all along, other than speculations about Barney messing up the part and what some may hear as the woody tone quality of the instrument.
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ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #67 on: December 05, 2018, 12:45:35 PM »

I'm going with my ears strictly on the session tapes, which is what was proposed back on page 1. If arguing speculation is what we're doing, it could go forever because the proof thus far is not on the tapes we're examining. On the session tapes, I do not personally hear anything that would not or could not be played on a regular 12-string guitar and no audio smoking guns to say it was not, in fact the tuning of the instrument during the sessions sounds like it could be a 12-string guitar in regular tuning. In the other corner, I have what was told to me and what the Kessel family said about it. Being able to recreate an approximation of something decades later is not proof of how something was created originally. So I'm weighing the session tapes more heavily if we're going for audio proof alone. And the audio tapes so far are not offering anything definitive to suggest it wasn't a 12-string guitar all along, other than speculations about Barney messing up the part and what some may hear as the woody tone quality of the instrument.

Well, I guess that's the end of it then.  I still don't understand your seemingly irrational inability to even acknowledge the simplest answer, but you're clearly not open to thinking outside the box here. (I am good-naturedly baffled, friend).  I challenge you to find any 12-string that sounds like that, and when you do, let me know.  Otherwise, I will be over here rejoicing in the knowledge that I finally know with reasonable certainty what was played on the WIBN intro after so many years of uncertainty.
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« Reply #68 on: December 05, 2018, 01:00:21 PM »

That's just it--it sounds woody.  It sounds ever-so-slightly off.  Smart, musical people have thought the instrument was anything from a harp to a calliope. 

It's the simplest, best explanation!
I always thought it sounded like a harp, with a guitar "doubling" the riff.
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« Reply #69 on: December 05, 2018, 03:27:41 PM »

My opinion:

The instrument is acoustic, not electric/plugged in.

The instrument has some octave sounds.

Possible guess (I know this will be controversial):

Bellzouki unplugged, close miked. This easily could have happened (Barney was practicing, BW liked the unplugged sound and went for that, everyone forgot later and assumed it was the mandolin, etc. Ösomething like that).


I'm told Bellzoukis are relatively easy to play high up the neck, yet Barney struggles and struggles with this instrument...

If he's playing it in the way I imagine, it's pretty high up there, past where the body meets the neck (which would become more difficult on a bolt-on neck).

But this brings up an interesting point: he struggles to play it. I would think this would be relevant regardless of instrument -- he would be familiar with playing his instruments. Any chance it is not Barney after all, or is that not a possibility?

Worth noting is a Bellzouki was designed a sort of 12-string/mandolin hybrid, and was based on a bouzouki, which is similar to a mandolin. In my experience, Danelectro guitars sound pretty "woody" unplugged.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 04:16:00 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #70 on: December 05, 2018, 03:40:15 PM »

My opinion:

The instrument is acoustic, not electric/plugged in.

The instrument has some octave sounds.

Possible guess (I know this will be controversial):

Bellzouki unplugged, close miked. This easily could have happened (Barney was practicing, BW liked the unplugged sound and went for that, everyone forgot later and assumed it was the mandolin, etc. Ösomething like that).


I'm told Bellzoukis are relatively easy to play high up the neck, yet Barney struggles and struggles with this instrument...

If he's playing it in the way I imagine, it's pretty high up there, past where the body meets the neck (which would become more difficult on a bolt-on neck).

But this brings up an interesting point: he struggles to play it. I would think this would be relevant regardless of instrument -- he would be familiar with playing his instruments. Any chance it is not Barney after all, or is that not a possibility?

Worth noting is a Bellzouki was designed a sort of 12-string/mandolin hybrid, and was based on a boukouki, which is similar to a mandolin. In my experience, Danelectro guitars sound pretty "woody" unplugged.

In theory, it could be any of the guitarists on the session, Barney, Jerry Cole, Ray Pohlman, or Bill Pitman.

Jerry has taken credit for playing on the intro, and Barney has been credited in the third person by Brian.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 03:40:51 PM by aeijtzsche » Logged
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« Reply #71 on: December 05, 2018, 04:35:55 PM »

My opinion:

The instrument is acoustic, not electric/plugged in.

The instrument has some octave sounds.

Possible guess (I know this will be controversial):

Bellzouki unplugged, close miked. This easily could have happened (Barney was practicing, BW liked the unplugged sound and went for that, everyone forgot later and assumed it was the mandolin, etc. Ösomething like that).


I'm told Bellzoukis are relatively easy to play high up the neck, yet Barney struggles and struggles with this instrument...

If he's playing it in the way I imagine, it's pretty high up there, past where the body meets the neck (which would become more difficult on a bolt-on neck).

But this brings up an interesting point: he struggles to play it. I would think this would be relevant regardless of instrument -- he would be familiar with playing his instruments. Any chance it is not Barney after all, or is that not a possibility?

Worth noting is a Bellzouki was designed a sort of 12-string/mandolin hybrid, and was based on a boukouki, which is similar to a mandolin. In my experience, Danelectro guitars sound pretty "woody" unplugged.

In theory, it could be any of the guitarists on the session, Barney, Jerry Cole, Ray Pohlman, or Bill Pitman.

Jerry has taken credit for playing on the intro, and Barney has been credited in the third person by Brian.

Technically, we should say that the intro is played by both Barney AND Jerry, since it's a two-part piece. When Barney's name was mentioned to Brian back in '96, he immediately praised him for playing the intro to WIBN, and made special note of his "ringy-ding" guitar.
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« Reply #72 on: December 05, 2018, 04:47:37 PM »

This reminds of another interesting thing to throw in with all this:

When Jerry played on someone's cover of WIBN and didn't even get the notes right, let alone the sound.

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

Great example of a guitar not sounding even in the ballpark of the original.
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« Reply #73 on: December 05, 2018, 05:22:28 PM »

My opinion:

The instrument is acoustic, not electric/plugged in.

The instrument has some octave sounds.

Possible guess (I know this will be controversial):

Bellzouki unplugged, close miked. This easily could have happened (Barney was practicing, BW liked the unplugged sound and went for that, everyone forgot later and assumed it was the mandolin, etc. Ösomething like that).


I'm told Bellzoukis are relatively easy to play high up the neck, yet Barney struggles and struggles with this instrument...

If he's playing it in the way I imagine, it's pretty high up there, past where the body meets the neck (which would become more difficult on a bolt-on neck).

But this brings up an interesting point: he struggles to play it. I would think this would be relevant regardless of instrument -- he would be familiar with playing his instruments. Any chance it is not Barney after all, or is that not a possibility?

Worth noting is a Bellzouki was designed a sort of 12-string/mandolin hybrid, and was based on a bouzouki, which is similar to a mandolin. In my experience, Danelectro guitars sound pretty "woody" unplugged.

Yes, "woody" and as I mentioned they are almost all semi hollow, so the danelectro models in general have a different tone plugged in and unplugged and are lightweight due to them being mostly hollow. I'm pretty sure the original teardrop shape Bellzouki was semi hollow. And, the original had the octave and normal strings reversed like a Rickenbacker.
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ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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« Reply #74 on: December 05, 2018, 05:28:15 PM »

Regarding Barney having problems with playing the intro phrase,  whether it was unfamiliar instrument issues or having a bad day or whatever...

Hal Blaine was messing up his entrances and transitions all over that session, and his intro was as basic and simple as Brian repeatedly sang it for him on the talkback. "Bom.....ba-bum" and Hal kept messing it up.

And it cannot be said Hal was playing an unfamiliar instrument.  Smiley
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ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
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