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Author Topic: The Ray Pohlman appreciation thread  (Read 7211 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: February 26, 2006, 12:19:26 PM »

I'm sure you regulars are more than tired of me bringing my love of this man's playing, but I can't help it.  I nominate him as the official thirteenth Beach Boy.  His bass contributions to the Beach Boys catalog are immense, important, and divinely inspired.  Thank you, Ray, wherever you are!

His Discography with the Beach Boys, corrections, additions and revisions welcome and hoped for:

Ray Pohlman on Fender Bass except where noted

Speculative early credits (this is where a lot of help is needed):

The Surfer Moon
Our Car Club



Fun Fun Fun
The Warmth of the Sun
Why Do Fools Fall in Love
I Do
Wendy
Hushabye
Don't Back Down
Possibly Drive-In
Don't Hurt My Little Sister
Help Me Ronda
Dance Dance Dance On Danelectro 6-string bass
Kiss Me, Baby
Girl from New York City
Wouldn't It Be Nice Probably acoustic guitar, maybe Dano Bass
I'm Waiting for the Day Possibly on guitar for some of the track, definitely on Bass for the tag
God Only Knows On the lone Fender bass on the song, IMO
I Know there's an Answer
Here Today
I Just Wasn't Made for these Times
Good Vibrations Verses
Look
Heroes and Villians gotta be on there somewhere?
I Love to Say Da Da

Participated in some Wild Honey and Friends sessions, I'm not clear on which he did, which Ron Brown did, etc.

I do not believe Ray is present on 20/20, possibly making it the first Beach Boys LP he didn't appear on since Surfer Girl, depending on if he played at all on the Christmas Album, which despite the Ultimate Christmas Liners, I'm unsure of.


This Whole World
Deirdre
Tears in the Morning
All I Wanna Do Completely speculative, no documentation, but it just sounds like Ray to me.
When Girls get Together

Palisades Park
Blueberry Hill

I think that's it...please tell me if it's not!

Again, I just did this as a tribute to a great, great bass player who is vastly under-rated.


« Last Edit: February 27, 2006, 01:38:38 PM by aeijtzsche » Logged
Surfer Joe
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2006, 03:24:15 PM »

From your list, which is full of great bass playing, the first one that jumps right out at me is "Good To My Baby"- it just doesn't get any better than that.

A low bow to a great musician.
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Mitchell
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2006, 03:56:31 PM »

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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2006, 04:00:39 PM »

Oh my gawd!  Where did you find that and why in the name of cecil b demille have you kept it from me!?!?!?!??!?!?!!!!!??!?!??!??!?!?!
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Mitchell
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2006, 04:03:12 PM »

I typed Ray Pohlman into Google's image search, just now. I wanted to find one of his great 'stache, but that's all I could find. It was the first one!
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Adrian
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2006, 04:03:41 PM »

Which one is Ray?
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2006, 04:05:22 PM »

Far right.  Looks like he's playing a Dano bass.  This picture is so fucking rad.  I generally google 40-75 members of the wrecking crew every week...but I guess I picked the wrong time to take a week off.
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Mitchell
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2006, 04:05:27 PM »

"Howard Roberts, Tommy Tedesco, pianist unknown, Ray Pohlman, Lyle Ritz taken by trombonist Tommy Sheppard and thansk to Mitch Holder."
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2006, 04:06:35 PM »

Far right.  Looks like he's playing a Dano bass.  This picture is so fodaing rad.  I generally google 40-75 members of the wrecking crew every week...but I guess I picked the wrong time to take a week off.

If you're happy, I'm happy! I got your back on this one.
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2006, 04:08:55 PM »

Does anyone know what studio this is? That big mirror on the left would be VERY distracting when playing the piano and, I imaginge, any other instrument.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2006, 04:11:31 PM »

I'm not familiar with the studio.  It looks pretty big, and the mirror is unfamiliar, I'd rule out Gold Star, definitely not Western 3.  I don't know if one of studios in United had a mirror.  A was huge and B was pretty big too.  Still are.

The Pianist is Al De Lory, and I should have said "far right, in the foreground."  Lyle is the actually the farthest right on String bass.

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If you're happy, I'm happy! I got your back on this one.

I'm very happy.  Between this and Mr. Boyd posting another tracksheet, it's been a nice day.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2006, 04:13:16 PM by aeijtzsche » Logged
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2006, 03:38:42 AM »

I'm starting to think that it's just two pianos side by side rather than a mirror in that picture.  The lids both seem to be leaning in the same direction.
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Evenreven
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2006, 04:50:13 AM »

Hmm... You may be right. Wouldn't there be a reflection of De Lory too if it really were a mirror?
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2006, 09:58:32 AM »

"Howard Roberts, Tommy Tedesco, pianist unknown, Ray Pohlman, Lyle Ritz taken by trombonist Tommy Sheppard and thansk to Mitch Holder."

Take note of the "thanks to Mitch Holder" credit. Check out who Mitch Holder is - he's the "Tommy Tedesco" or "Howard Roberts" of the 70's, 80's, and 90's and beyond. One of LA's first-call session guitarists who we've all heard on TV and movie soundtracks. He even has a Gibson guitar which he used primarily for session work called the Gibson ES-357, which other musicians have called the "ES-Mitch"!

Plus, for years he was the younger one of the guitarists who played on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" with Doc and the band - Bob Bain, another session cat from the 50's and 60's, was the other primary guitarist.

So how does all of this tie into the photo?

Mitch Holder studied with and was a close friend of Howard Roberts, shown in the photo. Howard began taking Mitch, his student, to session dates in the 60's. And through those sessions, Mitch began working the "second tier" of Hollywood session work at places like Gold Star in the 60's: While Roberts was cutting the big records and working the name dates, Mitch would be cutting the soundalikes and demos with folks like Stan Ross in the smaller rooms, and working his way up the ladder, learning the job.

By the time Roberts and Tedesco cut back on their record dates, it was their students like Mitch Holder, Michael Deasy, and guys like Larry Carlton who started taking the dates, having been introduced to the scene by their "teachers".

So a great source of research information and historical photos would be those students of the original players...guys like Mitch Holder who had access to the players and the photos like the one shown above of his teacher, Howard Roberts, at work.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2006, 12:17:36 PM »

Ho-Rob.  Shame I wasn't around to have Ray take me under his wing.  Thanks for that info Craig.  I know Mitch Holder but didn't know the Ho-Rob connection.
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Jason
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2006, 12:27:23 PM »

Ray Pohlman's good, but he ain't no John Entwistle. Sorry, man.

In all seriousness, he was a fine session player. They were all pretty fine. They were paid to be fine. At least he's not a bitch like Carol Kaye is.  :D
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2006, 01:39:42 PM »

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the first one that jumps right out at me is "Good To My Baby"- it just doesn't get any better than that.

Whoops, That was actually Carol, and Good to my Baby has been deleted from the list.
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Surfer Joe
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2006, 01:56:58 PM »

Really?  I had thought for some reason that "Help Me, Rhonda" (single version) was the first one she played bass on.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2006, 02:04:15 PM »

She's said that, yeah.  But she's on the contract for "Good."  Which would actually be the first time she appeared on a Beach Boys record at all.  She'd worked with Brian before, but not on an actual BB date, I believe.

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Surfer Joe
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2006, 02:10:27 PM »

She didn't play guitar on any of the earlier stuff? Another surprise...Can't trust either of you two anymore!

Substitute "God Only Knows" then, off that list- a highly influential performance.  I think it may be the signature Beach Boys bass line that everyone tries to imitate.
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2006, 02:12:16 PM »

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She didn't play guitar on any of the earlier stuff?

Not for the Beach Boys.  Yes for Brian, the Honeys, etc... but I'm pretty sure her entry into the Beach Boys catalog was with GtmB.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2006, 02:15:59 PM »

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Substitute "God Only Knows" then, off that list- a highly influential performance.  I think it may be the signature Beach Boys bass line that everyone tries to imitate.

Keep in mind that the GOK credit is a highly contentious issue for a lot of people, I got banned from her board twice over it.

The issue is that she claims the Fender Bass line, and originally siad that Ray was not there at all.  However, he's clearly evident on the session tape, Brian calls him by name and asks him to play with a good pick sound, which Ray does immediately after on Bass.

So Carol called her friend Russ Wapensky, AGD got involved, and Carol eventually changed to saying Ray was on the contract so he must have been on Guitar.  But we know from the tape he's on bass.

Furthermore, in her notes on Pet Sounds in the PS Box booklet, she claims she was on Fender and Ray was on Dano, which is possible, except that I don't hear three basses on the track.  Although I've made myself insane listening to that session for three basses.

Another problem is that there IS guitar on the track, and whoever is playing that guitar seems to be unaccounted for - unless it's Carol.
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Surfer Joe
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« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2006, 02:18:14 PM »

Well, it was an audacious entry- but then there wouldn't have been many inauspicious places to begin in 1964-5 ("Amusement Parks, USA", maybe?).

Tried to send you a private message on the Leaf book, but it was unclear whether it went through.  In short, happy to help there; the problem is that although it's full of pictures, they're small, and at least in the '85 edition, not well reproduced.  There's a lot of good stuff, though.  The thing to do would be to try to go back to the sources.
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« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2006, 02:25:56 PM »

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Substitute "God Only Knows" then, off that list- a highly influential performance.  I think it may be the signature Beach Boys bass line that everyone tries to imitate.

Keep in mind that the GOK credit is a highly contentious issue for a lot of people, I got banned from her board twice over it.

The issue is that she claims the Fender Bass line, and originally siad that Ray was not there at all.  However, he's clearly evident on the session tape, Brian calls him by name and asks him to play with a good pick sound, which Ray does immediately after on Bass.

So Carol called her friend Russ Wapensky, AGD got involved, and Carol eventually changed to saying Ray was on the contract so he must have been on Guitar.  But we know from the tape he's on bass.

Furthermore, in her notes on Pet Sounds in the PS Box booklet, she claims she was on Fender and Ray was on Dano, which is possible, except that I don't hear three basses on the track.  Although I've made myself insane listening to that session for three basses.

Another problem is that there IS guitar on the track, and whoever is playing that guitar seems to be unaccounted for - unless it's Carol.

That's a real service to scholarship.  I wish there was a way to settle the question definitively and finally.  In slight defense of Carol, I can easily imagine how aggravating it is when personal memories- which can be very treacherous things- are contradicted by people who were toddlers at the time, or not born yet.  We are usually not scholars of our own lives, and probably never the best ones.  The eyewitness vs. the criminologist (or historian)- each has an important place.

When I was an animator in California, I did a lot of research talking to Golden Age animators, and I learned about this stuff.  I got "first hand" stories on legendary artists who had died before the speaker got into the business.  They were absolutely certain of these memories, but they were actually repeating things they had been told or even had read.  And I never, ever corrected them.

My Dad will never give up his claim that Elvis' "Hound Dog" was played at his fraternity parties...in 1952.
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2006, 02:29:57 PM »

Quote
In slight defense of Carol, I can easily imagine how aggravating it is when personal memories- which can be very treacherous things- are contradicted by people who were toddlers at the time, or not born yet.

Oh, absolutely.  I thought I was very gentle in prodding her memory, but she felt otherwise.  I don't blame her at all.  It is pretty ridiculous for somebody who was 15 years from being born when GOK was recorded to say "But Ray was there!"  Of course, in a sense, I was at that session, as I have access to 40 minutes of session tape from it that Carol does not.

Still, to see that session with my own eyes... Mphfff.
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