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655266 Posts in 26178 Topics by 3725 Members - Latest Member: suitable_rasberry February 19, 2020, 12:01:56 AM
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Author Topic: 1 player, 2 keyboards: Help Me, Rhonda and electric pianos  (Read 499 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: January 31, 2020, 10:20:01 AM »

Question:

Has anybody seen or read any photo or reference to a mid 60s recording session where a keyboard player has played two different keyboards simultaneously?  Larry knechtel references playing two different *manuals* on the B3, and Iíve come to suspect that the keyboard rhythm on Help me, Rhonda is a similar two-handed deal done by one player to achieve the low, pulsing rhythmic signature.  (Iíll demonstrate when thatís feasible)

Thoughts?
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c-man
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2020, 09:45:54 AM »

Interesting observation, though I wonder why the track sheet notation would space the two keyboard instruments out so that it reads:

3 - Billy S (guitar) - elect piano - saxes - HohnerĒ

If both keyboards were played by the same guy, I'd think they'd be just written as "pianos", or at least written next to each other. Since "elect piano" and "Hohner" are separated by "saxes" by the engineer or whoever wrote this, it would make more sense that they were played by different people, possibly on different sides of the studio (although I think the tendency was for like-type instruments to be grouped together physically).

Nonetheless, "interesting observation" as I say!
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2020, 05:05:10 PM »

Interesting observation, though I wonder why the track sheet notation would space the two keyboard instruments out so that it reads:

3 - Billy S (guitar) - elect piano - saxes - HohnerĒ

If both keyboards were played by the same guy, I'd think they'd be just written as "pianos", or at least written next to each other. Since "elect piano" and "Hohner" are separated by "saxes" by the engineer or whoever wrote this, it would make more sense that they were played by different people, possibly on different sides of the studio (although I think the tendency was for like-type instruments to be grouped together physically).

Nonetheless, "interesting observation" as I say!

Well, that's fair point, although to an engineer, an input is just another input.  Could be that's how it shook out on the inputs and he just went down the console when writing on the box.

I just can't think of any other way to get that sound, and it'd be tough to coŲrdinate, even for very tight musicians, the on and off beat playing.

Also, of course, this tape box is v damning evidence that the Sloop John 12-string story is wrong unless Billy S was just borrowing 12-strings for a year until Brian gave him one...
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c-man
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2020, 10:14:35 PM »

You may be on to something - since there's an acoustic piano designated on Track 1, and since Brian (unlike Phil) hardly ever employed more than two keyboardists for one session - not even on Pet Sounds (the only such time that comes to mind is the first SMiLE version of "Wind Chimes") - and since Brian himself is directing the session from the control room and not the studio floor - it's a good call that there may have been only two keyboard players on the track: one playing the acoustic piano on Track 1, and another playing both the Wurlitzer and Hohner Pianet (if that's what they are) on Track 3.

1 - piano - bass - Fender Bass - Drums - Guitar
2 - ukes - percussion
3 - Billy S (guitar) - elect piano - saxes - Hohner

Man, I wish we had that AFM sheet!
« Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 10:15:25 PM by c-man » Logged
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2020, 05:03:50 PM »

Sometimes I wonder if the person writing that down was just confused and meant "Hammond" because there's a lot about it that sounds very organy.  Of course we have the in between take electric piano noodling which confirms at least one electric piano.

While We are on the subject of HMRh, two things:

Any evidence that Carol is on bass other than her saying so?

And also, I sorta doubt it was him on HMRh, but here's a young Tommy playing a uke just like the uke players on the Rhonda Sesh!  (Forgive the Hulu markings)

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c-man
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2020, 09:12:01 AM »

<<Any evidence that Carol is on bass other than her saying so?>>

Well, she mentioned that track as the first time she played bass on a BBs session (which of course, it wasn't, but perhaps it was their first hit single on which she played bass), and that was in a 1983 Guitar Player magazine article IIRC (I have the actual magazine somewhere, but I'd have to dig for it). This was a cover story on "women who rock" or something similar. This was a good decade or more before her memories of such things began to be called into question, so that may give it some weight.

A few years back I encountered an online article where Don Randi recalled certain details of the "Rhonda" tracking session, in particular some details about the Universal/Radio Recorders studio where they recorded that. From this, I learned that the track was cut not at the main Radio Recorders location on 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, nor around the corner at the famous "annex" facility, but rather at the studio's recently-acquired Sunset Highland Division at 1441 North McCadden Place  - soon to be known as "TTG Studio" (for "Two Terrible Guys"). For some reason, I can't locate that online article now, and I don't remember if he said anything about the personnel on the session - if so, it wasn't anything that I didn't already know from other sources, so I'm not sure if he specifically mentioned Carol's participation or not. But, maybe someone else can find that article and see!  Smiley
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JK
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 10:51:57 AM »

A few years back I encountered an online article where Don Randi recalled certain details of the "Rhonda" tracking session, in particular some details about the Universal/Radio Recorders studio where they recorded that. From this, I learned that the track was cut not at the main Radio Recorders location on 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, nor around the corner at the famous "annex" facility, but rather at the studio's recently-acquired Sunset Highland Division at 1441 North McCadden Place  - soon to be known as "TTG Studio" (for "Two Terrible Guys"). For some reason, I can't locate that online article now, and I don't remember if he said anything about the personnel on the session - if so, it wasn't anything that I didn't already know from other sources, so I'm not sure if he specifically mentioned Carol's participation or not. But, maybe someone else can find that article and see!  Smiley 

I had a good look around for your article (googling every possible permutation) but could find nothing.

Maybe in-house detective Pretty Funky can come up with the goods. Otherwise I fear it's been pulled.
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 06:19:39 PM »

<<Any evidence that Carol is on bass other than her saying so?>>

Well, she mentioned that track as the first time she played bass on a BBs session (which of course, it wasn't, but perhaps it was their first hit single on which she played bass), and that was in a 1983 Guitar Player magazine article IIRC (I have the actual magazine somewhere, but I'd have to dig for it). This was a cover story on "women who rock" or something similar. This was a good decade or more before her memories of such things began to be called into question, so that may give it some weight.

A few years back I encountered an online article where Don Randi recalled certain details of the "Rhonda" tracking session, in particular some details about the Universal/Radio Recorders studio where they recorded that. From this, I learned that the track was cut not at the main Radio Recorders location on 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, nor around the corner at the famous "annex" facility, but rather at the studio's recently-acquired Sunset Highland Division at 1441 North McCadden Place  - soon to be known as "TTG Studio" (for "Two Terrible Guys"). For some reason, I can't locate that online article now, and I don't remember if he said anything about the personnel on the session - if so, it wasn't anything that I didn't already know from other sources, so I'm not sure if he specifically mentioned Carol's participation or not. But, maybe someone else can find that article and see!  Smiley

I doubt this is what you read, Mr. Slowinski, but this is all I could find for Don Randi's recollections.

https://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2015/11/13/45229/in-youve-heard-these-hands-pianist-don-randi-chron/
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DSalter
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 08:25:30 PM »

The Guitar Player Magazine article that c-man is referring to is the March, 1983 issue.

In it Carol says "The first hit I did with them on bass was "Help Me Rhonda"".

(see attached)
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