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Author Topic: Steel Guitar on Little Pad  (Read 1982 times)
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2019, 09:15:02 PM »

I only threw the possibility of being paid under the table out there as a possibility, and it could have been just that. The band by summer 1967 was still making a lot of money from Good Vibrations and the other successes they were having in 1966 including the tours. there was definitely no shortage of funds  if they did want to pay people to play on their records
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« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2019, 08:36:59 AM »

I only threw the possibility of being paid under the table out there as a possibility, and it could have been just that. The band by summer 1967 was still making a lot of money from Good Vibrations and the other successes they were having in 1966 including the tours. there was definitely no shortage of funds  if they did want to pay people to play on their records

Yeah, but again, I don't know why they would, if they could get Capitol to do it. If they wanted it to be tax free, they could "gross it up" by adding overtime or doubles to reach whatever net payout the guy wanted, and still ensure a pension contribution.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2019, 09:30:45 AM »

I agree, it's odd and doesn't add up. Especially when Brian and Al Vescovo said it was Vescovo on the session. But one thing to consider is that I don't think the band was lacking money in 1967, considering their spending on various projects including the temporary home studio, which turned into building the fully functional home studio by 1968; the Spring '67 Euro tour which saw them bring not only a group of additional musicians but have a private plane to ferry them around, the various other tours and dates which had them carting around one of the better live sound systems in use at that time, the formation of a label, and a trip to Hawaii in August to record 2 shows which also cost them a boatload of money. If I'm not mistaken, most of these ventures were funded by the band, right? I think one of the misconceptions is that the year 1967 was a "lean" year financially for the band, but looking more closely they did have a lot more in their coffers to spend (personally and in a group business sense) because of the successes of 1966 going into '67 paying off like dividends, not to mention the settling of the lawsuit. Not saying they *did* pay for musicians off the books, but the money was there if they wanted to.
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2019, 11:45:21 AM »

I only threw the possibility of being paid under the table out there as a possibility, and it could have been just that. The band by summer 1967 was still making a lot of money from Good Vibrations and the other successes they were having in 1966 including the tours. there was definitely no shortage of funds  if they did want to pay people to play on their records

Yeah, but again, I don't know why they would, if they could get Capitol to do it. If they wanted it to be tax free, they could "gross it up" by adding overtime or doubles to reach whatever net payout the guy wanted, and still ensure a pension contribution.
Could have it simply been on a spontaneous whim by the hardly patient Brian and he paid him out of pocket because he really didn't care too much about bureaucracy and so on?
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2019, 12:27:01 PM »

I only threw the possibility of being paid under the table out there as a possibility, and it could have been just that. The band by summer 1967 was still making a lot of money from Good Vibrations and the other successes they were having in 1966 including the tours. there was definitely no shortage of funds  if they did want to pay people to play on their records

Yeah, but again, I don't know why they would, if they could get Capitol to do it. If they wanted it to be tax free, they could "gross it up" by adding overtime or doubles to reach whatever net payout the guy wanted, and still ensure a pension contribution.
Could have it simply been on a spontaneous whim by the hardly patient Brian and he paid him out of pocket because he really didn't care too much about bureaucracy and so on?

That doesn't really match up with what we know about all the other sessions Brian produced. For instance, Billy Strange was called in at the last minute to do a 12-string guitar overdub on "Sloop John B." on a day the music stores were closed, requiring a phone call to the owner to come down and open the store so that a 12-string and amp could be purchased; Billy relates that Brian handed him a wad of cash for the session, and let him keep the guitar & amp - yet, an AFM contract for that session was STILL filled out and submitted, so that Strange could also get his Capitol pay and pension contribution. Likewise for the Tommy Tedesco mandolin overdub on the "Cantina" version of "H&V":  Tedesco was called in toward the end of a five and a half hour vocal session, at 10:00pm, and his services were only required for 45 minutes - yet he was paid by-the-book, by the label through the Union (perhaps he was also given cash, like Strange was, but he was definitely paid $130 by Capitol from the Boys' recording budget).  I can't imagine the same wouldn't have been done for Al Vescovo and whoever played the uke on "Little Pad", if they were indeed session pros, especially since an AFM contract for that session was being filed anyway. Why not just add their names?
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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2019, 01:00:37 PM »

Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.
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c-man
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2019, 01:27:06 PM »

Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
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« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2019, 01:40:40 PM »

The January 1995 edition of Record Collector features an interview with Brian where he talks about 3 Smiley tracks in particular, one of them being "Little Pad"

RC: Who played the beautiful steel guitar on that?

BW: It was Al Vescobo [sic] he was a great steel player. His house burned down about 10 years ago, but it was made of wood, so it was no wonder!
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SBonilla
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« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2019, 01:52:27 PM »

Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?
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c-man
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« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2019, 02:12:49 PM »

Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
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« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2019, 02:50:53 PM »

Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
Yes, I wondered about that part, as well. I was trying to determine if it was a tuned percussion instrument, it doesn't sound like one. It could be an organ sound. hmmmm
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c-man
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« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2019, 08:34:29 AM »

Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
Yes, I wondered about that part, as well. I was trying to determine if it was a tuned percussion instrument, it doesn't sound like one. It could be an organ sound. hmmmm

Actually, I was thinking of the repeating "tick-tock" two-note percussive bit behind the "Sure would like to have a little pad in Hawaii" part...THAT'S what I think could be a Baldwin tempo setting. I guess the part you're referring to is the marimba-like sound behind the steel guitar? That, to me, sounds like a piano doctored with making tape to make it sound like a marimba...
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SBonilla
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« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2019, 09:16:58 AM »

Are there other Capitol era sessions where there are instruments on a recording that can not be attributed to anyone on the session paperwork?

During the Brother Studios era, I know of two non-union people, who spent hours (one spent the major portion of a day) doing overdubs on a Dennis song, who were not paid at all.

Not that I can think of, other than in the case of "Surfin' U.S.A.". Frank DeVito was paid in cash by Murry, and he was not listed on the AFM contract. That contract is stamped as received and paid months after the session, so it was likely backdated at that time. But by the time of the Smiley Smile sessions, they had an official session contractor in Diane, so I highly doubt this was any kind of oversight. There are a few cases where we have a contract for a basic tracking session, but not the string or horn overdub - that kind of thing. So it's possible that there is a missing contract in this case, but not that likely, since we seem to have a complete set otherwise.

By the Brother Studios era, and Dennis' songs in particular, things were a bit different...
You know, I listened back to that portion of the track. I suspect that the steel guitar and marimba were overdubs. When that section starts it just those two instruments, then. at about the 'and of 1' of the second bar, you can hear another track being faded in.  It's a bass playing a syncopated version of the melody in the high register and an organ(?). The steel and marimba parts mask the other, more syncopated variation of the melody - not that that means anything. But, it is curious.

Were there any other sessions around that time that featured a marimba and a steel guitar (or a musician who could double on one)? If it was an overdub session, could the contract info have been submitted under a different title?

No, nothing else from the Smiley sessions fits that description, and the only outside musician paid through the Union for services during that era was Chuck Berghofer. It's possible that the segment in question is a leftover from the SMiLE days, but Vescovo is not listed on any of those contracts either. I've been wondering if that two-note marimba sound was a rhythm setting on Brian's Baldwin?
Yes, I wondered about that part, as well. I was trying to determine if it was a tuned percussion instrument, it doesn't sound like one. It could be an organ sound. hmmmm

Actually, I was thinking of the repeating "tick-tock" two-note percussive bit behind the "Sure would like to have a little pad in Hawaii" part...THAT'S what I think could be a Baldwin tempo setting. I guess the part you're referring to is the marimba-like sound behind the steel guitar? That, to me, sounds like a piano doctored with making tape to make it sound like a marimba...
No, I had the same part in mind.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #38 on: January 26, 2019, 09:51:44 AM »

The Baldwin HT2R home theater organ had a percussion sound available which was 'Temple Block'. The real temple block percussion would produce the clip-clop sound, so if possible someone with a Baldwin HT2R organ could be tracked down and asked to run through the sounds like that "temple block" setting.

I think those percussion sounds were only available on the optional slide-out drawer looking unit that some Baldwins had...I believe Brian's had this option too but I'll have to dig into some photos to confirm. If anyone sees it, it's a little box on the player's right just underneath the manuals of the organ, and I believe you could also assign the sounds to be controlled via the footpedals (?)

I think you guys nailed the origin of that clip-clop sound as the Baldwin. Great call.
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« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2019, 10:32:10 AM »

So, if it is indeed Al Vescovo playing the steel guitar on "Little Pad", that was likely his first session with Brian. Meaning, he was probably located and booked through a call to the Union (by Diane, who was acting as Brian's union contractor at the time). That, in turn, would mean (beyond the shadow of a doubt in my mind) that the proper paperwork was indeed filed to cover both Vescovo's participation and that of whoever played the ukulele (assuming that the uke was not played by one of the Boys). Finally, we can conclude that said paperwork must be missing, since everything else from those sessions seems to be accounted for.

And that does seem somewhat plausible - although sessions for each of the Smiley songs seem to be well documented by corresponding AFM contracts and/or Capitol Popular Session Workseets, there nonetheless IS an incongruous gap where the paperwork for a June 27 session might be missing. Essentially, starting June 3, it appears that the group would work for a stretch of between 3-5 days, then take 3 days off. The exceptions to this rule would seem to be June 4 (when it appears that no session was held - either that, or that day's paperwork - likely for a "Vegetables/With Me Tonight" session - is also missing), and the period right before and right after the Fourth Of July holiday, when they worked 6 days straight (IF, in fact, there was a session on June 27), then took 4 days off (including the holiday) before returning to work just 2 days, then resuming the normal schedule by taking 3 days off, followed by a stretch of working 5 days straight to finish the album.

Examining the "modular" fashion in which some of the Smiley songs seem to have been pieced together, and then comparing them to the AFM contracts, can be revealing. We already know that some sessions logged as "Vegetables" were actually for "With Me Tonight" (the latter song considered at some point to be part of the former), and it now appears to me that what was logged initially as "The Hawaiian Song" produced not only pieces of what became "Little Pad", but also a piece of what became "She's Goin' Bald" (namely, the section where the following lyrics are sung: "You're too late mama, ain't nothin' upside you're head"). My reasoning here is that one outside musician - upright bassist Chuck Berghofer - was employed for the June 21 session, logged as "Hawaiian Song - Insert", and the 2017 release of the "Little Pad" backing track on Sunshine Tomorrow reveals that the deep bass on that part of the song is, in fact, an upright. My theory, therefore, is that this piece, originally intended as part of whatever "Hawaiian Song" was going to be, was ultimately siphoned off for "She's Goin' Bald", and the other piece intended for "Hawaiian Song" (and this was likely just a working title for a concept Brian had) - tracked on June 19 with vocals added on the 20th - was incorporated into "Little Pad", along with new pieces recorded under the title "Little Pad In Hawaii" on the 27th (if my theory about missing paperwork is true) and the 28th.

Now - in this theory of mine, the June 27 session was obviously for the "steel guitar/marimba" part of the song (let's call it "Part Two"), while the June 28 session was for the song's opening part (where they sing "If I only had a little pad in Hawaii" in a jokey, laughing, perhaps stoned fashion - let's call it "Part One"), while "Part Three" is the strummed ukulele track behind Carl's wordless vocal (linked to "Part Two" by a fingernsap interlude), and "Part Four" is the organ/"tick-tock" percussion part. The final running order, then, is "Part One" (June 28) - "Part Two" (June 27, if there is missing documentation) - "Part Three" (June 19-20) - "Part Four" (June 28), followed by repeats of Parts Two, Three, Four, and Two, in that order. The only slight hiccup in this theory is that the strummed ukulele track ("Part Three") is from the first "Hawaiian Song" session on June 19th, and the only names on that AFM contract are Al, Brian, Carl, Dennis, and Diane - meaning, there is no evidence that a sessionman like Lyle Ritz or Tommy Tedesco was brought in to play the uke, as has been suggested or stated. Doesn't mean it didn't happen at some point, but obviously not on that date! And, if so, that's more missing paperwork!
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« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2019, 11:18:37 AM »



 "Part Three" is the strummed ukulele track behind Carl's wordless vocal


It's a thick sound. Too thick.  It sounds like two ukuleles playing different chord inversions . They could have been tracked together or there was overdubbing.
Anyone?
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« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2019, 11:37:37 AM »

I don't know if this has much bearing on the dates for the theory, but on Unsurpassed Masters you can hear Brian slate the second and third parts of She's Goin' Bald as "Section 2" and "Section 3", and that third part is so closely musically related to the Speeches half I'd be really surprised if it was originally meant for a different song. Then again Brian doesn't say what they're sections of, so I guess it might be possible. The 'Hawaiian Song' ukulele part is also in F# after all. Just I can't see the piano track for Section 2 of SGB being meant for anything other than the goofy spoken part before vocals were added, and both that and Section 3 sound like they're being recorded at the same session.
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« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2019, 09:54:17 AM »

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