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Author Topic: Beach Boys Gear  (Read 57634 times)
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« Reply #200 on: May 19, 2021, 07:38:34 PM »

Check out "Carvin", now named "Kiesel", instead of Charvel and you'll find some closer body styles and headstocks to what Carl is playing. That body style on Carl's axe is wider and has a much different cut (especially on that ballooned-out upper bout) than the Charvel-Jackson designs ever had. I'm going with this guitar as custom build unless word comes back that it was a Carvin, the features don't line up with Charvel/Jackson and there does not appear to be a marking on that headstock where both Charvel and Jackson had a very identifiable name or logo on their models, and Carvin had their name on their axes too.
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« Reply #201 on: May 20, 2021, 06:41:28 AM »

Carvin did/does indeed have some very similar body styles with the single cutaway Telecaster-knockoff style.

I think it's totally plausible that Carl's guitar was a custom job, though I think it's possible it was a custom hodge podge of pre-existing parts rather than made from scratch. That ballooned-out upper portion of the body is indeed pretty distinct (the most distinct thing about whatever Carl is playing anyway), so that would be kind of an odd thing to copy from a Carvin (or Charvel or Jackson) guitar if one were making a guitar from scratch. Though it's possible someone commissioned a full custom job based on pieces they liked from other guitars.

It's actually surprising that, given the nearly 40 years Carl spent touring, there aren't more perplexing guitar cases like this. Al and Carl didn't go wild with guitar swap-outs over the years, which is of course why when they *did* pop up with something weird like this Carl guitar in the 90s, it stands out so much.

And because Carl didn't swap guitars out super often, and because the band was never a guitar-heavy band in concert with a bunch of different tones and styles, it's difficult to get a strong handle on what Carl "liked" in his guitars. We know *which* guitars he liked, but we know less about *why* he liked them. We know he loved that old "Old Yeller" Strat, but not so much why. We also don't know why he didn't use it very long on tour (late 70s through 1980 was about it). It was a very valuable guitar all on its own without any BB provenance, so maybe Carl didn't want to risk losing it or damaging it?
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« Reply #202 on: May 20, 2021, 07:17:07 AM »

Gotta say: Great research, guys!
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« Reply #203 on: May 20, 2021, 01:53:00 PM »

Carvin did/does indeed have some very similar body styles with the single cutaway Telecaster-knockoff style.

I think it's totally plausible that Carl's guitar was a custom job, though I think it's possible it was a custom hodge podge of pre-existing parts rather than made from scratch. That ballooned-out upper portion of the body is indeed pretty distinct (the most distinct thing about whatever Carl is playing anyway), so that would be kind of an odd thing to copy from a Carvin (or Charvel or Jackson) guitar if one were making a guitar from scratch. Though it's possible someone commissioned a full custom job based on pieces they liked from other guitars.

It's actually surprising that, given the nearly 40 years Carl spent touring, there aren't more perplexing guitar cases like this. Al and Carl didn't go wild with guitar swap-outs over the years, which is of course why when they *did* pop up with something weird like this Carl guitar in the 90s, it stands out so much.

And because Carl didn't swap guitars out super often, and because the band was never a guitar-heavy band in concert with a bunch of different tones and styles, it's difficult to get a strong handle on what Carl "liked" in his guitars. We know *which* guitars he liked, but we know less about *why* he liked them. We know he loved that old "Old Yeller" Strat, but not so much why. We also don't know why he didn't use it very long on tour (late 70s through 1980 was about it). It was a very valuable guitar all on its own without any BB provenance, so maybe Carl didn't want to risk losing it or damaging it?

Replying to the line in bold, there is something really fascinating about Carl Wilson and his choice of guitars, and at least in the period of the late 80's and 90's, we actually do have a clue as to what Carl was looking for in a guitar. I'm going to link a thread I did from some research back in 2012 (sorry, the photos are watermarked and unavailable to expand due to that host changing protocol since '12) :

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,14847.0.html

We all know Carl got a "tribute" signature model Rickenbacker, basically the model and design he played in the 60's. But Carl and Rickenbacker also collaborated on a true signature model and design that apparently only made it to two prototype builds, which are still at the Rickenbacker offices. You'll see a handful of photos I grabbed at that link, but here is one showing both guitars:



What struck me *immediately* on these was the modern features and design of Carl's own namesake guitars. They're far from vintage-styled, yet I think most of assume Carl was more of a vintage-type player because of what he played on stage for so long, and what he's associated with.

Yet, when he designed and chose the features and hardware on his own guitar with Rickenbacker, look at what he went with. That's a modern tremolo system on both examples, the electronics and pickups are modern (not toaster-tops), and the whole vibe of the design is sleek and modern for that era.

Not to requote the entire post from 2012, but what happened is Carl became too ill to complete the collaboration with Rickenbacker, and the story is that his family eventually took over the collaboration and that's how the Carl Wilson Rickenbacker turned into a vintage reissue versus a truly new, modern design.

And as far as I know, those are the only two prototypes that exist, and barely anyone knows that Carl was actively working with Rickenbacker like this, and that they actually did two builds for him.

So I'd have to say Carl was perhaps more progressive in terms of his guitar preferences than a lot of us may have thought or still think, again due to his use of his vintage guitars on stage for decades with The Beach Boys. I wonder where he would have been going with either the band's music or perhaps with more solo projects down the road if he was going to be associated with such a modern signature model guitar that really doesn't say "vintage" in many ways based on those prototypes. It is a cool guitar, especially the more deluxe model with the white binding and the more ornate fretboard inlays (like the difference between a Rick 330 and 360).



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« Reply #204 on: May 21, 2021, 05:56:28 AM »

It would be a nice tribute to Carl's legacy if that Rick would be released with only necessary adjustements.
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #205 on: May 21, 2021, 06:53:12 AM »

Keep in mind that if a guitar company is going to release a signature model for general sale, they also have to look at the marketability of it. Not just in terms of the name attached to it, but whether folks are going to want that look and those design features.

I'm not sure in the present day that those Carl Rickenbacker designs (which, ironically, tend to more resemble that Carvin/Charvel/Jackson model we've been trying to ID than they resemble any sort of "classic" Ricky look) would be hugely desirable based on the look and features.
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« Reply #206 on: May 21, 2021, 06:55:58 AM »

Another very short term Carl guitar selection was the black Les Paul he's seen playing at the Wembley 1980 show:

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« Reply #207 on: May 21, 2021, 07:00:44 AM »

Some late era Carl Strat action, from 1994 (in infamous El Camino gig where Brian is watching from the wings) and then 1996 (also infamous Baywatch episode):



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« Reply #208 on: May 21, 2021, 07:27:33 AM »

Some late era Carl Strat action, from 1994 (in infamous El Camino gig where Brian is watching from the wings)


Never heard of that. What was infamous about it? And why would Brian not come out for at least a song or two? They played "Forever" during that show according to Eric's site. But I guess it was a Stamos performance.

https://members.tripod.com/~fun_fun_fun/8-6-94.html



Carl did play a strat from time to time in the 90s, mostly on the closing songs, I belive. I wasn't aware of that until somebody pointed that out to me (possibly on this messageboard).


EDIT: You're of course correct regarding the Rick. If there's no chance it would sell, nobody would get it out. But apart from the Carl connection, it might be just a great guitar. So you have to wonder if that wouldn't be a reason.



EDIT 2: There's some footage of the El Camino show:

Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2U92iv-Atw

Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH-tgec97eA


You can see Carl with that "Carvin" guitar during "Hawaii" and "Do it again"
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #209 on: May 21, 2021, 08:15:09 AM »

Justyn Wilson uses that sunburst Strat nowadays, a gift from his Dad.
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« Reply #210 on: May 21, 2021, 09:07:14 AM »

Rickenbacker in the 90's was going for a more updated, modern style on some of their new lines and designs. Their solidbody designs like the 620 and 650 in the 1990's - plus some new color options - were going for more modern players and tastes. They also had a 700 line of acoustics. I was a Rickenbacker fanatic at the time, and would go from music store to music store asking about them. In doing so, I scored a big wall poster with their full line of guitars, as well as a bunch of smaller posters and literature...but no one, and I mean no one, had the actual guitars for sale. They were damn hard to find much less buy. The only 620/650 I saw was years later in a pawn shop, and I should have bought it but didn't have the funds at that time.

So that Carl Wilson signature model that was in the works in the mid-90's actually fit into Rickenbacker's push to offer more modern designs, but as with so much else in the guitar world, buyers seem to want the vintage classics and classic designs. I think that alone tells us why they did the Carl tribute model as a reissue of the 60's design, that's one of the main guitars Carl was associated with for a lot of musicians, and that's what had more of a chance of selling to those musicians.

But I do like the cut and design of the unused Carl model, even though some of the features being from the 90's are by now a little out of date, like the tremolo system (change a string on THAT! lol) and the electronics.

What's also unusual to me is why Carl never went back to playing Rickenbacker 12-strings after the 60's, and not to take away from his various Gibsons/Epiphones/etc, but those Gibson 335-style 12-strings had a bad habit of being prone to breaking around the headstock and neck, and I know at least one of Carl's if not several had to be repaired for that exact reason through the years of touring.
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« Reply #211 on: May 21, 2021, 11:41:07 AM »

I think that was the first thing most big fans thought when they announced the Carl Rickenbacker signature model - has he used one since like 1965?

They even did a promo poster with an 80s shot of Carl (which I believe used one of Emdeeh's photos) where they had to remove the guitar Carl was playing and paste in a Rickenbacker into his hands:



Nice photo; lame photochop.

A less glamorous but more apt signature model would have been a replica of his natural Gibson ES-335 that is the guitar you most see him with from the late 70s through to 1997.
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« Reply #212 on: May 21, 2021, 02:27:44 PM »

Another very short term Carl guitar selection was the black Les Paul he's seen playing at the Wembley 1980 show:



I think that Les Paul got played more by Al and Eddie than Carl, even though it was technically owned by Carl.
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« Reply #213 on: May 21, 2021, 06:53:21 PM »

I think that was the first thing most big fans thought when they announced the Carl Rickenbacker signature model - has he used one since like 1965?

They even did a promo poster with an 80s shot of Carl (which I believe used one of Emdeeh's photos) where they had to remove the guitar Carl was playing and paste in a Rickenbacker into his hands:



Nice photo; lame photochop.

A less glamorous but more apt signature model would have been a replica of his natural Gibson ES-335 that is the guitar you most see him with from the late 70s through to 1997.

Curiously, here’s Carl playing a Rickenbacker in 1996 on a TV appearance.


https://youtu.be/V791W96hMD8
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« Reply #214 on: May 22, 2021, 02:41:45 AM »

I think that was the first thing most big fans thought when they announced the Carl Rickenbacker signature model - has he used one since like 1965?

They even did a promo poster with an 80s shot of Carl (which I believe used one of Emdeeh's photos) where they had to remove the guitar Carl was playing and paste in a Rickenbacker into his hands:



Nice photo; lame photochop.

A less glamorous but more apt signature model would have been a replica of his natural Gibson ES-335 that is the guitar you most see him with from the late 70s through to 1997.

Curiously, here’s Carl playing a Rickenbacker in 1996 on a TV appearance.


https://youtu.be/V791W96hMD8



Nice catch! There's also a TV performance of "California dreamin'" from '86 with Carl playing a Rick, but since that one was playback to the original recording, I guess it doesn't mean as much.
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #215 on: May 26, 2021, 02:21:03 AM »

Some late era Carl Strat action, from 1994 (in infamous El Camino gig where Brian is watching from the wings) and then 1996 (also infamous Baywatch episode):



Carl is playing that as of yet still unknown guitar and later on a strat during this show's encore:


The Beach Boys at the Illinois State Fair August 11th, 1996 Springfield, IL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t97PSJ1Lzp8


This isn't a bad copy of a pro shot concert, is it? The camera work looks better than amateur stuff.
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #216 on: May 26, 2021, 07:20:58 AM »

Some late era Carl Strat action, from 1994 (in infamous El Camino gig where Brian is watching from the wings) and then 1996 (also infamous Baywatch episode):



Carl is playing that as of yet still unknown guitar and later on a strat during this show's encore:


The Beach Boys at the Illinois State Fair August 11th, 1996 Springfield, IL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t97PSJ1Lzp8


This isn't a bad copy of a pro shot concert, is it? The camera work looks better than amateur stuff.

That particular video seems to be someone in the audience with a camcorder aiming their camera at one of the big jumbo video screens. So you're seeing a pro-shot video feed, but through the lens of a camcorder, and without in-line audio.

Back in the 90s with the limited quality of SD consumer-grade camcorders, shooting a show this way may have been better than shooting directly on stage. The main problem with old videos like this that I've seen is that often they aren't actually able to stabilize the camera when shooting the jumbo video screen, so you end up with a crooked picture that isn't fully zoomed in.

My favorite inexplicable video like this is one I remember for eons ago where someone shot one of George Harrison's 1991 Japan shows from the audience, but zoomed the camera in and out to the beat of the songs. Unwatchable.
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« Reply #217 on: May 26, 2021, 10:47:59 AM »

I heard back from Billy. He checked with some other folks who would know what Carl was playing, and they couldn't identify the guitar. So Billy thinks it might be an independent luthier's work.
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« Reply #218 on: May 27, 2021, 02:16:06 AM »

I heard back from Billy. He checked with some other folks who would know what Carl was playing, and they couldn't identify the guitar. So Billy thinks it might be an independent luthier's work.


Neat, thank you!
Carl must've been quite fond of this guitar since he used it regularly.
Billy should come over here, he certainly could add a lot  Smiley






That particular video seems to be someone in the audience with a camcorder aiming their camera at one of the big jumbo video screens. So you're seeing a pro-shot video feed, but through the lens of a camcorder, and without in-line audio.




I guess you're right. I should've thought of that. IIRC we had the same question about the '75 Seattle show a couple of years back (although I don't remember if we ever came to a conclusion on that one).
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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #219 on: May 28, 2021, 07:27:49 AM »


I guess you're right. I should've thought of that. IIRC we had the same question about the '75 Seattle show a couple of years back (although I don't remember if we ever came to a conclusion on that one).

The Seattle '75 show is shot from the audience, essentially functioning the way camcorder videos in later years do: Single angle from the audience, with off-line sound.

The likelihood of a simple fan walking into the venue in December 1975 with a videotape rig is pretty low; there wouldn't have been any small camcorder-type equipment to bring in. It had to have been at least somewhat cumbersome. It's clearly shot on a tripod or some similar device.

I've always guessed that Seattle '75 video was shot by some sort of press/news crew, either for a local station or freelance or something like that. There are a number of videos of BB shows, especially the 80s and later like this; where the local news was allowed in to shoot video, but they were not given any sort of pro video or audio feed, so they just shoot it with their own cameras from the audience with ambient concert sound. Typically a news crew would just shoot a few minutes of footage or capture b-roll from throughout the show. The unique aspect of the Seattle '75 show is that it's the entire show uncut (more or less; it's been a million years since I watched most of it).
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« Reply #220 on: May 28, 2021, 09:01:10 AM »

I heard back from Billy. He checked with some other folks who would know what Carl was playing, and they couldn't identify the guitar. So Billy thinks it might be an independent luthier's work.

That's what I was thinking all along, although what made it more confusing was when the possibility of it being a Carvin was raised by Billy. Carvin was essentially a custom-build company where instead of shipping thousands of their guitars to retailers, they would have buyers select all the features they wanted on a guitar from the neck to body to pickups and colors and sell direct to the buyers. And it was essentially a custom build, even though they used templates for the various components and base models.

So my thought was it *could* be a Carvin where Carl chose all the features, yet no other Carvins I've seen have the same body shape and cut as Carl's guitar, even though some Carvin designs have a similar headstock.

And it goes back to the "Hamburguitar" which George Harrison was first seen playing in Anthology and those reunion videos, had I not seen a story in Vintage Guitar magazine about Bernie Hamburger and his custom built guitars, I would have been guessing along with many at that time what exactly George was playing. With a custom build, no one outside the builder and the customer and their inner circles would guess who did the work unless it got mentioned in an interview or if the builder was more well-known in general...like Rick Turner who did Lindsey Buckingham's unique, primary guitar back in the 70's, or even Brian May's handbuilt "Red" guitar which he and his dad built from scratch. They're such unique designs, unless you know who built them, you don't know!  Smiley

Maybe/hopefully some more info will come out on Carl's white guitar from the 90's. It's certainly an interesting instrument.
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« Reply #221 on: May 29, 2021, 04:27:25 PM »

New gear question: Is it documented through photos or otherwise when the group first adopted the Minimoog as their synth of choice? Reason I ask is there's footage of Daryl Dragon at the Crystal Palace Bowl in June '72 using an ARP 2600, and I'm wondering if that's the one they may have taken to Holland to use in the studio. (Tracksheets do always refer to 'Moog', but so do they consistently use 'Mellotron' in place of Chamberlin, so that's not necessarily reliable)
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« Reply #222 on: May 30, 2021, 10:29:41 AM »

New gear question: Is it documented through photos or otherwise when the group first adopted the Minimoog as their synth of choice? Reason I ask is there's footage of Daryl Dragon at the Crystal Palace Bowl in June '72 using an ARP 2600, and I'm wondering if that's the one they may have taken to Holland to use in the studio. (Tracksheets do always refer to 'Moog', but so do they consistently use 'Mellotron' in place of Chamberlin, so that's not necessarily reliable)

Who's around that would remember this, I wonder
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« Reply #223 on: May 30, 2021, 12:24:33 PM »

New gear question: Is it documented through photos or otherwise when the group first adopted the Minimoog as their synth of choice? Reason I ask is there's footage of Daryl Dragon at the Crystal Palace Bowl in June '72 using an ARP 2600, and I'm wondering if that's the one they may have taken to Holland to use in the studio. (Tracksheets do always refer to 'Moog', but so do they consistently use 'Mellotron' in place of Chamberlin, so that's not necessarily reliable)

Who's around that would remember this, I wonder

They were definitely using the MiniMoog by the mid-'70s Brother Studio era - beyond that, as far as nailing down a more specific date...there's a closeup of Dennis playing what I think is a MM on the inside spread of the In Concert double album...if so, then we can say at least by mid-late '73.
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« Reply #224 on: May 30, 2021, 06:25:51 PM »

Another very short term Carl guitar selection was the black Les Paul he's seen playing at the Wembley 1980 show:



I think that Les Paul got played more by Al and Eddie than Carl, even though it was technically owned by Carl.

Carl and Al both playing different guitars there then normal . Rare for 1980. Al owned a black Les Paul as well . He played it frequently and a few years ago it was missing /stolen . He was very upset about it and I don’t know if he ever got it back .
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