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Author Topic: Lovely interview with Lyle Ritz  (Read 950 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: April 15, 2020, 10:28:32 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md4P3xlbUGY

This just popped up on 4/15, but the interview was filmed in 2008, so I don't know if it's been around before.  Nice to hear Lyle talk, with some new little tidbits about working with Brian.  May Lyle rest in peace.
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SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 04:09:31 AM »

Always great to see more things like this, Lyle's my fave of Brian's revolving bass players. I'm surprised I've still never seen him talk about going up to Brian's house for the Friends album sessions because he's all over that thing.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2020, 07:22:59 AM »

Yeah, I guess nobody ever asked him about it in an information gathering capacity.
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2020, 07:10:45 PM »

This popped up on my feed as well, I literally watched it right away! That Musicians Hall Of Fame channel has some terrific interviews, and they've been opening up their archives recently to post older clips like Lyle's, which has been fantastic.

Lyle's comments about Brian Wilson and how he worked should be essential viewing for fans of the band. Seriously. When you hear how Lyle talks about Brian, repeatedly calling him a genius, you see the respect he had for Brian. The clincher for me was how Lyle started out describing how Brian's sessions would run long because he had to go around to the musicians and tell them what he wanted them to play, because he wasn't skilled as a copyist who could just knock these parts out on paper and hand them to the players. But when Lyle describes Brian's method, you can tell as a trained jazz musician, Lyle was in awe at how Brian had all that music, full arrangements, in his head and was able to deal out the parts on the spot without needing a score. It was all in his head, and he could sing or tell the players what he wanted them to play.

*That* is a gift and talent from a musician untrained, in their early 20's, to be able to communicate complex arrangements that way. If it took a few extra hours, the musicians all got paid and the results were worth the extra time.

Agreed - Great to hear Lyle speaking at length like this, and check out some of the other clips on the HOF channel. Some great stuff.
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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
Debbie KL
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2020, 03:01:48 PM »

Thanks so much - that is glorious! Oddly, when I moved to Kansas City from LA so that my husband could be closer to his family and I could be closer to mine, I didn't expect any celebrity contacts. But we had a new neighbor who shared a dog with us (long story) - who was abandoned and this sweet woman adopted and fed him, as did I later. We didn't even know that her brother-in-law was Lyle Ritz until they had to leave town for his funeral. As far as their personal stories go, Lyle was a very sweet, spiritual guy, and it shows in his music.
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juggler
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2020, 09:12:14 PM »

As someone who loves listening to the tracking sessions of the Pet Sounds/Good Vibrations/Smile era, I hold in special awe the musicians who played on those tracks.  I listen to that stuff, and just think, "I can scarcely believe that this music exists and I'm fortunate enough to be listening to it right now."

What must it have been like to have been playing those sessions?   What was it like to be in the studio with Brian Wilson and playing upright bass on 'Good Vibrations' or 'Wonderful' or 'Fire' in 1966?  Did the musicians realize that they were witnesses to (and participants in) a kind of magic that was unlike anything that came before or would come after?   The short answer to that seems to be, yes, most of them do, almost to a man (or woman in the case of Carol K), absolutely realize that they were part of something very special and say as much in interviews. 
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Crow
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2020, 12:22:59 PM »

Wow what a great interview and a nice man
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2020, 12:37:41 PM »

As someone who loves listening to the tracking sessions of the Pet Sounds/Good Vibrations/Smile era, I hold in special awe the musicians who played on those tracks.  I listen to that stuff, and just think, "I can scarcely believe that this music exists and I'm fortunate enough to be listening to it right now."

What must it have been like to have been playing those sessions?   What was it like to be in the studio with Brian Wilson and playing upright bass on 'Good Vibrations' or 'Wonderful' or 'Fire' in 1966?  Did the musicians realize that they were witnesses to (and participants in) a kind of magic that was unlike anything that came before or would come after?   The short answer to that seems to be, yes, most of them do, almost to a man (or woman in the case of Carol K), absolutely realize that they were part of something very special and say as much in interviews. 

Very interesting comments! Yes, the players overall I think realized they were doing something both different and special during a lot of these tracking sessions. Some were cynical, though, and in their working methods of doing session after session sometimes 7 days a week, they didn't think as much of it while the tracks were going down on tape. But - as Lyle also alludes to in his interview - once they heard the final product, especially with Brian's vocal arrangements added, they heard where he was going from the initial ideas he was recording with them, and then they heard/saw how not only good but also innovative Brian's productions were when all the parts had been added and the track was mixed.

I hear from a lot of these musicians that the sessions in general during 66-67 were coming in so frequently they often didn't remember exactly what they played on until they heard it on the radio. Or, until they got the album.
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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
Bicyclerider
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2020, 09:44:10 AM »

Interesting that Lyle mentions how restless and how it  drove Hal crazy to have to sit there for hours not doing anything while Brian went over the parts with the musicians.  Especially when it seems Brian was closer to Hal than any of the other musicians.
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