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652033 Posts in 26054 Topics by 3716 Members - Latest Member: Smile_Essence1 November 11, 2019, 05:03:45 PM
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Author Topic: Revisiting the Sloop John Billy Strange guitar gift story  (Read 1168 times)
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2019, 11:35:37 AM »

Here's something interesting I found on a youtube video I just happened across trying to find an instrumental track of Sloop John without the overdub(s) (since my BBs hard drive is not with me right now).  Jerry Strange, Billy's son had commented on it.  From 8 months ago, so about February 2019:

Quote from: Jerry Strange
There seems to be a lot of stories that aren't true. I was the son that was there at United Western Studios late December 1965.  I was 10yrs old. I went with my dad and watched him mix a Nancy Sinatra song he had been working on.
I met Loren Green, the father from the TV show “Bonanza.”
It was one of my favorite westerns on TV, and starred Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts, and Loren Green.
Although it was real exciting meeting Mr. Green, I was a little freaked out when I saw that he was bald.  Up until that day had never realized that any men wore wigs.  I'm sure after that there must been more than a few men who thought to themselves, why is this weird kid staring at my head?
As we were leaving and walking to the car a man screamed Billy.  
It was Brian Wilson from the Beach boys.  My dad had played guitar on their new album called “Pet Sounds” and he wanted to know if my dad could play a session while he was there. He wanted dad to try "Sloop John B" a new way.
I carried in dad’s 12 string Mosrite from the car. He originally used a Gibson 12 string that Brain bought him.
There I was sitting in on a recording session with the Beach boys as my dad played guitar on the song “Sloop John B.” This was a great day.  After the session, they came out to show my dad and I a couple of their new cars.  
In the parking lot were two of the coolest cars I've ever seen. A Brown Aston Martin DB5 and a red Jaguar XKE roadster. I don’t remember whose car was whose but that was the day I became a car nut.
I don't think dad even remembered that day until I reminded him. But it was a very special day to me!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 11:36:03 AM by aeijtzsche » Logged
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2019, 11:40:57 AM »

Also, what do we think the first overdub....is?  Did he just double the exact part from the basic track?  And then added the higher part six months later?
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wjcrerar
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« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2019, 11:52:06 AM »

Wow, nice find! No idea what to make of the story now but... nice!

The first overdub is pretty much just a double to thicken the sound isn't it? It's right out there in the first couple of attempts before Brian ducked it back in the mix. Since it was superimposed directly to the mono instrumental during the dubdown to the new 4-track, I guess that means it's missing in the stereo mix?

Edit: Yeah, not in the stereo mix. It's some subtle extra jangle on top of the original parts.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 12:36:05 PM by wjcrerar » Logged
c-man
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« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2019, 12:56:44 PM »

Also, what do we think the first overdub....is?  Did he just double the exact part from the basic track?  And then added the higher part six months later?

Yeah, the first overdub was a double of the original 12-string part, and the second overdub is the same part played a third interval higher.

Truly, GREAT find on that youtube vid!  Helps clear up the mystery - apparently Billy merged his memory of Brian giving him the Gibson 12-string with this memory of overdubbing "Sloop" with a Mosrite 12!
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2019, 01:47:52 PM »

Clear up the mystery? How? Lol. Billy's son contradicted the story his dad told repeatedly, and told it with the same details every time. Like the gifted Fender amp and guitar, not a Gibson. And barely anyone played a Gibson electric 12 string in 1965...

We can't just dismiss what Billy said based on his son's retelling, right?

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« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2019, 02:00:03 PM »

And unless Billy got a prototype,  the first 12 string electric from Mosrite was available in 1966. The one prototype we do have evidence of was owned by Glen Campbell, and he's seen playing it on an October 1965 Shindig broadcast.

So the Mosrite info...doesn't quite add up unless Billy got a prototype from Semie Moseley in 65.
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2019, 03:03:58 PM »

I could try to invite Jerry here?
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2019, 03:13:49 PM »

I could try to invite Jerry here?

Well sure, but there are some pretty obvious contradictions in his reply beyond the guitar issues...like saying Billy had played on the new album Pet Sounds and *then* played on Sloop, when obviously Sloop was recorded and came out before Pet Sounds.

Is it just me or do you see the problems in his retelling of the story? I hate to be that person to call it out, but it doesn't line up with things we know are true, and with details about the guitars and whatnot which his father had spoken of specifically.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 03:14:59 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2019, 03:32:03 PM »

Yeah, there are issues with the story, but he was pretty young so it's not surprising that there would be some details amiss.  Nevertheless, he was there, and I'm sure he'd have some interesting things to say.  Maybe he remembers Billy getting his hands on an early Mosrite Mark XII -- there were definitely a few specimens floating around in '65 and regardless of whether Billy had it in time to play on Sloop it'd be interesting if he was an early owner.  Also interesting to consider a Gibson XII, which, as you say, seems to have had zero cachet with studio folks.  I wonder if Jerry remembers (again, rightly or wrongly) the circumstances of Brian (allegedly) giving that to Billy.  What Electric 12 was Gibson doing then?  Was the 335-XII out by 65?  I've seen some 66 and 67 specimens for sale.

Anyway, yeah, Jerry could be interesting to talk to but I wouldn't want to bring him here to have his memories systematically challenged by us berserker detail junkies.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2019, 03:44:21 PM »

My thoughts are the same on bringing someone in and putting contradictions on the table. But when things don't line up, it's fact versus memory.

The first Gibson electric 12 was on the 335 body, but they were flawed in design as Carl Wilson among others found out.

The Mosrite 12 wasn't out until 66, so if Billy had one it was a prototype like Glen had on Shindig in Oct 65.
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2019, 03:44:47 PM »

Apropos of little, I found this cool picture of Billy recording with a Mosrite six-string:

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-nancy-sinatra-and-billy-strange-in-a-recording-studio-in-1966-133318296.html

Sorry I can't embed it.  Love the guitar and the 545.

Between Billy's relationship with Mosrite (in that he played them in the studio) and his reputation as an acoustic 12 specialist, it wouldn't be so far fetched that he and Glen could've got Mark XIIs pretty early.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 03:45:15 PM by aeijtzsche » Logged
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2019, 03:47:26 PM »

What year did Gibson put out the 335 XII?

It'd be interesting for someone to do a timeline of initial electric 12-string offerings.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2019, 03:52:37 PM »

I agree,  if he had one it was a prototype due to his status as a player of 12 strings, like Glen.

I'm going to guess it was late 1965 or 1966 for Gibson? I dont think I've seen many, if any 65's out there but I could be wrong.

I think the Danelectro was the first one, and the bandwagon started after Harrison and McGuinn played them on number one hits.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 03:54:12 PM by guitarfool2002 » Logged

"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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« Reply #38 on: October 24, 2019, 01:54:55 PM »


And, guitarfool2000, didn't you once mention on a similar thread some time ago that there's a chance Wallichs' was actually closed on Wednesdays? If so, Billy's recollection may have been wrong about the day of the week, but correct in regards to the store being closed...

Guitarfool2002  Smiley

I may have, but I honestly don't remember. If I did, I'd go back and say I was mistaken...and here's why. From what I heard, Wallichs was open 6 days a week through late nights, to accommodate their customers who would be out late lol. They stayed open until I believe at least 2am, Monday through Saturday.

Here's the kicker: the one day they closed early was Sunday. As of 1966 I think they closed Sunday at 6 pm. So *that* would line up with Billy's account of having to call Glenn Wallich himself to open the shop to get that Fender gear since they were closed...and that would back up that all this happened on a Sunday.

Interesting to note, according to Allison Martino, people have said Frank Zappa worked there for a time in 1965. What if Zappa was involved in Brian's order?  Shocked
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"All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals - to make music that makes people happier, stronger, and kinder. Don't forget: Music is God's voice." - Brian Wilson
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