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Author Topic: Danelectro 6 on BBs records - a video introduction  (Read 1436 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: May 11, 2020, 09:57:25 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzJP0WoxvDI

Hey all.  Breaking out of the track-by-track sequence here to talk specifically about the slightly unusual instrument that is the Danelectro 6-string bass.  It shows up quite a bit from 64-67, and I thought it would be useful to show it off in its own video, and to talk about the difficulties of identifying when an electric bass is a Fender or when it's a Dano.  Sometimes it's easy--but not always.

But the Beach Boys' recorded oeuvre would assuredly sounds noticeably different if Brian had not discovered this bass.  Hope you enjoy it.

I definitely welcome your thoughts!  Especially people who own and have played both kinds of basses.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 06:41:52 AM by aeijtzsche » Logged
SaltyMarshmallow
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2020, 03:16:53 AM »

Dano bass is love, Dano bass is life

I'd never really questioned I Just Wasn't Made for These Times before, but wow, yeah, what you played sounds pretty similar! I genuinely can't tell with Let Him Run Wild after hearing those back to back.

To add to the chronology, I think Carl might have gotten a Dano (or a Fender VI) in 1968. He plays a 6-string bass on Passing By, sounds like there's one on the early All I Wanna Do, there's a very subtle one strummed like a guitar on Do It Again, more strumming with a fuzz pedal on Can't Wait Too Long and Never Learn Not to Love, and regular fuzz bass on Never Learn Not to Love again, Walkin' and the early All I Want to Do.

In 1969 there was Break Away and Celebrate the News... any others beyond that?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 03:20:20 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2020, 05:06:27 AM »

Dano bass is love, Dano bass is life

In 1969 there was Break Away and Celebrate the News... any others beyond that?

How about the Sunflower "All I Wanna Do"? Jimmy Bond played upright bass on the basic track, but the AFM contract has him paid for 2 doubles. Listening through headphones, I hear the clacky sound of what might be a Dano, along with a Fender. Thoughts?
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2020, 06:12:55 AM »

Dano bass is love, Dano bass is life

In 1969 there was Break Away and Celebrate the News... any others beyond that?

How about the Sunflower "All I Wanna Do"? Jimmy Bond played upright bass on the basic track, but the AFM contract has him paid for 2 doubles. Listening through headphones, I hear the clacky sound of what might be a Dano, along with a Fender. Thoughts?
Could be, it's very plucky. I'm sure there's more than one bass there but the tracksheet only seemed to indicate one which probably means some bouncing together. Did Jimmy Bond play electric bass sometimes too? I thought he was just a string bass guy.

I remember Desper saying something about putting a mic on the strings as well as the amp for more of an attack... not sure which part that could factor into.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 06:14:40 AM by SaltyMarshmallow » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2020, 06:49:50 AM »

Dano bass is love, Dano bass is life

In 1969 there was Break Away and Celebrate the News... any others beyond that?

How about the Sunflower "All I Wanna Do"? Jimmy Bond played upright bass on the basic track, but the AFM contract has him paid for 2 doubles. Listening through headphones, I hear the clacky sound of what might be a Dano, along with a Fender. Thoughts?
Could be, it's very plucky. I'm sure there's more than one bass there but the tracksheet only seemed to indicate one which probably means some bouncing together. Did Jimmy Bond play electric bass sometimes too? I thought he was just a string bass guy.

I remember Desper saying something about putting a mic on the strings as well as the amp for more of an attack... not sure which part that could factor into.

Yeah, Jimmy and Lyle both played electric bass quite a bit in the late '60s/early '70s - probably felt they had to adapt to the times!
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2020, 06:55:21 AM »

Great video! The Dano bass is an overlooked part of BW and The BBs sound.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2020, 06:56:37 AM »

Dano bass is love, Dano bass is life

In 1969 there was Break Away and Celebrate the News... any others beyond that?

How about the Sunflower "All I Wanna Do"? Jimmy Bond played upright bass on the basic track, but the AFM contract has him paid for 2 doubles. Listening through headphones, I hear the clacky sound of what might be a Dano, along with a Fender. Thoughts?
Could be, it's very plucky. I'm sure there's more than one bass there but the tracksheet only seemed to indicate one which probably means some bouncing together. Did Jimmy Bond play electric bass sometimes too? I thought he was just a string bass guy.

I remember Desper saying something about putting a mic on the strings as well as the amp for more of an attack... not sure which part that could factor into.

Yeah, Jimmy and Lyle both played electric bass quite a bit in the late '60s/early '70s - probably felt they had to adapt to the times!

I think I heard/read somewhere that Bond got out of the business pretty early.  He may have even pulled back in 65, because all of a sudden Lyle becomes the favoured son and Jimmy falls of the Beach Boys map for a good few years.
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2020, 11:12:27 AM »

This is a fantastic video -- in fact, got me thinking to when I made a bunch of recordings with 6-string Dano + regular bass (posted an example in the "Smiley Smilers Who Make Music" forum FYI).

Also got me thinking about the bass sounds. I always assumed a lot of these examples were just Fender ... but now I'm wondering. "Let Him Run Wild" in particular does sound like Dano, but it's being doubled by I assume a string bass. How many basses are on the track? Have is been floated that maybe Fender and Dano are doubling on any tracks?

OH - I also noticed your Dano has the metal bridge. I had one like that, and the wooden bridge ones sound better/more authentic IMO). I think the individual saddles is a modern change but not sure.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 11:15:05 AM by DonnyL » Logged

aeijtzsche
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2020, 11:21:30 AM »

This is a fantastic video -- in fact, got me thinking to when I made a bunch of recordings with 6-string Dano + regular bass (posted an example in the "Smiley Smilers Who Make Music" forum FYI).

Also got me thinking about the bass sounds. I always assumed a lot of these examples were just Fender ... but now I'm wondering. "Let Him Run Wild" in particular does sound like Dano, but it's being doubled by I assume a string bass. How many basses are on the track? Have is been floated that maybe Fender and Dano are doubling on any tracks?

OH - I also noticed your Dano has the metal bridge. I had one like that, and the wooden bridge ones sound better/more authentic IMO). I think the individual saddles is a modern change but not sure.

Hey, yeah - I'm glad you hear what I'm talking about.  LHRW has string bass and electric, yeah.  And there are a few tracks that for sure have Fender and Dano (see my DHMLS vid, for example.)  But I think it's important to throw our preconceptions out the window for a lot of this stuff -- an attitude I learned from trying to figure out what people were playing on music from 300 years ago!!!

The wooden bridges were stock for a while.  According to Carol, who of course tends to be a bit of an absolutist, everybody changed that bridge out immediately, but I'm sure a lot of them just left it and accepted the instrument as it was.  But a wooden bridge would take a little bit of the metal off it which would definitely sound a little better, tone-wise, if not tune-wise.

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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2020, 11:32:48 AM »

This is a fantastic video -- in fact, got me thinking to when I made a bunch of recordings with 6-string Dano + regular bass (posted an example in the "Smiley Smilers Who Make Music" forum FYI).

Also got me thinking about the bass sounds. I always assumed a lot of these examples were just Fender ... but now I'm wondering. "Let Him Run Wild" in particular does sound like Dano, but it's being doubled by I assume a string bass. How many basses are on the track? Have is been floated that maybe Fender and Dano are doubling on any tracks?

OH - I also noticed your Dano has the metal bridge. I had one like that, and the wooden bridge ones sound better/more authentic IMO). I think the individual saddles is a modern change but not sure.

Hey, yeah - I'm glad you hear what I'm talking about.  LHRW has string bass and electric, yeah.  And there are a few tracks that for sure have Fender and Dano (see my DHMLS vid, for example.)  But I think it's important to throw our preconceptions out the window for a lot of this stuff -- an attitude I learned from trying to figure out what people were playing on music from 300 years ago!!!

The wooden bridges were stock for a while.  According to Carol, who of course tends to be a bit of an absolutist, everybody changed that bridge out immediately, but I'm sure a lot of them just left it and accepted the instrument as it was.  But a wooden bridge would take a little bit of the metal off it which would definitely sound a little better, tone-wise, if not tune-wise.



Ah ... yeh I'm definitely out of the loop -- which might be beneficial in some ways, as I always based most of my opinions on listening Smiley

So - I would say for sure Dano on "Let Him Run Wild". I think the string bass + Dano combo sounds a lot like a Fender might in places. But it definitely sounds like a Precision in places. Which is why I wonder if there is a possibility there are *THREE* basses. But it's too "slinky" to not have a Dano in there IMO. That said, in the mono mix, I always heard this as a flatwound/Fender sound w/ highs up on amp. I had to listen to Stack-O-Tracks to hear it differently just now.

I think Today (especially) and Summer Days are pretty dark-sounding (I like that sound a lot), but it makes the Dano sound like a Fender in my mind. "I'm So Young" is a good example. I would have thought Fender but assuming it's Dano now.

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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2020, 11:33:49 AM »

TBH the easiest way to figure it out is trying to determine if it's Flatwound or Roundwound strings maybe?
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2020, 11:41:09 AM »

... one I've always been pretty certain on is "Here Today" being Fender.

I also believe there is spring reverb on the original mono mix somewhere  - which I do not believe is coming from a guitar amp as recorded.

Listen at 1:46-1:48 for that last not before the break:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m65Q4YuSFE

... on the mono you can hear the spring "boing".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-aCa-liYfs

... on the "Stack" version, it's missing.


Which, incidentally -- not related to this topic of course -- suggests that a spring was used somewhere in the mix. Something I've been fascinated by is what studios used a spring in the '60s. I know the Rascals' "Groovin" had one of those Fisher spring units.

This is another reason why I prefer using the mono mixes as the gold standard for listening for parts -- even though it's very challenging. I remember when folks were trying to determine who sang what on "Aren't You Glad" ... there are things on the mono that are different. Multi-tracks were changed after the fact in some cases, things were added on mixdown, etc ...
« Last Edit: May 12, 2020, 11:43:09 AM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2020, 11:50:51 AM »

Another amazing vid, thanks for these!
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2020, 12:05:15 PM »

This is a fantastic video -- in fact, got me thinking to when I made a bunch of recordings with 6-string Dano + regular bass (posted an example in the "Smiley Smilers Who Make Music" forum FYI).

Also got me thinking about the bass sounds. I always assumed a lot of these examples were just Fender ... but now I'm wondering. "Let Him Run Wild" in particular does sound like Dano, but it's being doubled by I assume a string bass. How many basses are on the track? Have is been floated that maybe Fender and Dano are doubling on any tracks?

OH - I also noticed your Dano has the metal bridge. I had one like that, and the wooden bridge ones sound better/more authentic IMO). I think the individual saddles is a modern change but not sure.

Hey, yeah - I'm glad you hear what I'm talking about.  LHRW has string bass and electric, yeah.  And there are a few tracks that for sure have Fender and Dano (see my DHMLS vid, for example.)  But I think it's important to throw our preconceptions out the window for a lot of this stuff -- an attitude I learned from trying to figure out what people were playing on music from 300 years ago!!!

The wooden bridges were stock for a while.  According to Carol, who of course tends to be a bit of an absolutist, everybody changed that bridge out immediately, but I'm sure a lot of them just left it and accepted the instrument as it was.  But a wooden bridge would take a little bit of the metal off it which would definitely sound a little better, tone-wise, if not tune-wise.



Ah ... yeh I'm definitely out of the loop -- which might be beneficial in some ways, as I always based most of my opinions on listening Smiley

So - I would say for sure Dano on "Let Him Run Wild". I think the string bass + Dano combo sounds a lot like a Fender might in places. But it definitely sounds like a Precision in places. Which is why I wonder if there is a possibility there are *THREE* basses. But it's too "slinky" to not have a Dano in there IMO. That said, in the mono mix, I always heard this as a flatwound/Fender sound w/ highs up on amp. I had to listen to Stack-O-Tracks to hear it differently just now.

I think Today (especially) and Summer Days are pretty dark-sounding (I like that sound a lot), but it makes the Dano sound like a Fender in my mind. "I'm So Young" is a good example. I would have thought Fender but assuming it's Dano now.



Early in the session on LHRW, on the very low-quality Capitol Punishment boot, Howard Roberts playing an archtop (maybe through an amp?) tries to double Carol on the elec bass, be it dano or fender, but ends up abandoning that idea after several takes.  Otherwise, personnel wise, it only works out to one electric and one upright being possible in the end.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2020, 12:05:29 PM »

TBH the easiest way to figure it out is trying to determine if it's Flatwound or Roundwound strings maybe?

Definitely.
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2020, 12:10:30 PM »

... one I've always been pretty certain on is "Here Today" being Fender.

I also believe there is spring reverb on the original mono mix somewhere  - which I do not believe is coming from a guitar amp as recorded.

Listen at 1:46-1:48 for that last not before the break:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m65Q4YuSFE

... on the mono you can hear the spring "boing".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-aCa-liYfs

... on the "Stack" version, it's missing.


Which, incidentally -- not related to this topic of course -- suggests that a spring was used somewhere in the mix. Something I've been fascinated by is what studios used a spring in the '60s. I know the Rascals' "Groovin" had one of those Fisher spring units.

This is another reason why I prefer using the mono mixes as the gold standard for listening for parts -- even though it's very challenging. I remember when folks were trying to determine who sang what on "Aren't You Glad" ... there are things on the mono that are different. Multi-tracks were changed after the fact in some cases, things were added on mixdown, etc ...

Back when I first started really getting into Pet Sounds, in the 90s, my Uncle made me a cassette dub of Pet Sounds (and tacked I'm So Young on the end so I always associate it with PS now...) and one thing that immediately caught my ear was the Here Today bass line.  At the time, I'd listen to it and think it was electric guitar with amp spring reverb.  So not only was I shocked to later find out it was bass up there, but I was also weirded out that there was not spring reverb on the tracking session or the remixes.

So, that is to say, yes, I agree with you that not only did they add effects at mixdown, but they also used spring reverb.  Again, it's good to abandon our preconceived ideas.  I'm not sure what units were available then aside from guitar tanks.  The AKG BX series would not be out quite yet by then.  But in any case, we have to believe that they were using chambers, plates, and springs -- not only live, but at mixdown.
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2020, 03:21:31 PM »

... one I've always been pretty certain on is "Here Today" being Fender.

I also believe there is spring reverb on the original mono mix somewhere  - which I do not believe is coming from a guitar amp as recorded.

Listen at 1:46-1:48 for that last not before the break:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m65Q4YuSFE

... on the mono you can hear the spring "boing".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-aCa-liYfs

... on the "Stack" version, it's missing.


Which, incidentally -- not related to this topic of course -- suggests that a spring was used somewhere in the mix. Something I've been fascinated by is what studios used a spring in the '60s. I know the Rascals' "Groovin" had one of those Fisher spring units.

This is another reason why I prefer using the mono mixes as the gold standard for listening for parts -- even though it's very challenging. I remember when folks were trying to determine who sang what on "Aren't You Glad" ... there are things on the mono that are different. Multi-tracks were changed after the fact in some cases, things were added on mixdown, etc ...

Back when I first started really getting into Pet Sounds, in the 90s, my Uncle made me a cassette dub of Pet Sounds (and tacked I'm So Young on the end so I always associate it with PS now...) and one thing that immediately caught my ear was the Here Today bass line.  At the time, I'd listen to it and think it was electric guitar with amp spring reverb.  So not only was I shocked to later find out it was bass up there, but I was also weirded out that there was not spring reverb on the tracking session or the remixes.

So, that is to say, yes, I agree with you that not only did they add effects at mixdown, but they also used spring reverb.  Again, it's good to abandon our preconceived ideas.  I'm not sure what units were available then aside from guitar tanks.  The AKG BX series would not be out quite yet by then.  But in any case, we have to believe that they were using chambers, plates, and springs -- not only live, but at mixdown.

The Fisher SpaceXpander was one that I know for a fact was used in some studios. I believe there was also a Fairchild spring unit. But I would suspect studios would have custom made them too.
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2020, 03:22:21 PM »

Fairchild 658:

https://reverb.com/item/32719367-fairchild-model-658-reverbertron-dynamic-spring-reverb-system-38910?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_fGXmq6v6QIVQgPnCh0c2w2SEAQYASABEgKqu_D_BwE&merchant_id=112143084&pla=1&utm_campaign=6481936488&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2020, 05:20:44 PM »

Those are both really cool units.
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2020, 06:09:44 PM »

Dano bass is love, Dano bass is life

In 1969 there was Break Away and Celebrate the News... any others beyond that?

How about the Sunflower "All I Wanna Do"? Jimmy Bond played upright bass on the basic track, but the AFM contract has him paid for 2 doubles. Listening through headphones, I hear the clacky sound of what might be a Dano, along with a Fender. Thoughts?
Could be, it's very plucky. I'm sure there's more than one bass there but the tracksheet only seemed to indicate one which probably means some bouncing together. Did Jimmy Bond play electric bass sometimes too? I thought he was just a string bass guy.

I remember Desper saying something about putting a mic on the strings as well as the amp for more of an attack... not sure which part that could factor into.

Yeah, Jimmy and Lyle both played electric bass quite a bit in the late '60s/early '70s - probably felt they had to adapt to the times!

I think I heard/read somewhere that Bond got out of the business pretty early.  He may have even pulled back in 65, because all of a sudden Lyle becomes the favoured son and Jimmy falls of the Beach Boys map for a good few years.

A lot of it was supply and demand. Jimmy Bond got into film/TV/soundtrack work as well as arranging (and playing) for other artists throughout the 60's - so as his demand and work in those other areas increased his availability to be on-call for Brian (and others) decreased. And prior to that, he was well-known in jazz circles as one of the better upright players especially after he migrated to the West Coast in the late 50's/early 60's when "West Coast Jazz" was at its peak. For awhile in LA there were only a few on-call upright bassists as we've discussed before, and Lyle even mentioned how much work he got after being known as an upright bassist who could cut it on sessions in LA, in his Musicians HOF interview.

So he was busy with other artists and pursuits, and as mentioned Lyle Ritz by a certain time had become Brian's go-to standup bass player anyway after Jimmy perhaps became less available to book.

As a musician Jimmy himself didn't get out of music totally until the 70's and after, when he began rehabbing properties and selling high-end real estate, and also became a preacher.

Quite a guy and quite a musician. But he remained active throughout the 60's, just not as active with the BB's sessions.
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2020, 06:59:26 PM »

I didn't know he became a preacher!
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« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2020, 07:02:47 PM »

Very interesting stuff, thanks!
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2020, 05:34:34 AM »

Jimmy Bond is on more of the late '60s/early '70s Beach Boys records than you might think...from Friends, he's on the title track and the outtake "Our Happy Home". From 20/20, he's on "Be With Me" and "I Went To Sleep" (as well as "Cabinessence", cut two years earlier). From Sunflower, he's on "Deirdre", "It's About Time", "All I Wanna Do", and "Forever". He's also on "Break Away", "Celebrate The News", and "Loop de Loop". And years later, he turns up as part of the string section on Pacific Ocean Blue!
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2020, 10:03:34 AM »

Finally, after years of reading about Danelectro basses - mainly on this board - I know how they look like!  Cheesy
I knew that picture of Elvis but didn't know it was a Danelectro he was playing. After getting an idea of it's sound through this video I now believe that the intro to 1960s "Elvis is back" album's "Like a baby" is played by a Danelectro. The sound seems to line up with what you showed in the video.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkIx9TLjNZo
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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2020, 10:47:35 AM »

Jimmy Bond is on more of the late '60s/early '70s Beach Boys records than you might think...from Friends, he's on the title track and the outtake "Our Happy Home". From 20/20, he's on "Be With Me" and "I Went To Sleep" (as well as "Cabinessence", cut two years earlier). From Sunflower, he's on "Deirdre", "It's About Time", "All I Wanna Do", and "Forever". He's also on "Break Away", "Celebrate The News", and "Loop de Loop". And years later, he turns up as part of the string section on Pacific Ocean Blue!

There’s a double bass in It’s About Time? I learn something new every day on this board.
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