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Author Topic: Al, Y-Day at the Hollywood Bowl, and a mysterious Gibson SG...  (Read 4938 times)
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« Reply #75 on: January 30, 2021, 11:37:39 AM »

Yeah if you read Peter guralnick’s definitive two volume Elvis biography you might recall that he discusses that when Elvis played in Houston in early 1970 he was baffled when he came to rehearsal and saw monitors onstage. The young promoters were astounded that he had never used them-meaning these 1970 shows were apparently the first time Elvis and his band could ever hear themselves onstage while they were playing. Elvis was quite excited that day by this.



Which leads to Scotty Moore's famous line, that they where the only band that was literally directed by an ass  Grin

Regarding the Beach Boys' early live recordings, I'm a big fan of those. The Brian-years are rocking and quite impressive if you listen to the Sacramento and Chicago recordings and imo those could've been released without a lot of after work. 
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


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.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #76 on: January 30, 2021, 11:50:20 AM »

Yet, having heard quite a lot if not all of the available live recordings by The Beatles, I have not heard a concert where they sound like anything but a tight live band. And that to me is amazing, not just because of how lax they became to live performances, but also because they couldn't hear themselves unless it was a tightly-controlled TV appearance or something they rehearsed for knowing it would be filmed. Even the shows with all the screaming, audience recordings and whatnot, you can hear a pretty tight performance coming through even if they said they didn't care and couldn't hear each other.

At some point after hearing more and more live recordings of them from 64-66 than had been available decades ago, I used that example to show that underneath all of the fame and legend at heart they were a great f**king rock band. And if the (sadly) few examples we have of the Beach Boys playing live in their original lineup are any indication, so were they.

I don't know how these bands did it without being able to hear themselves or each other, I really don't. And I'm sure there are many shows that were never recorded where the quality of the performance was sub-par, but the ones we do have show a pretty fierce rock band (Beatles and Beach Boys) doing their thing and delivering energetic rock and roll that was miraculously in tune for the most part.
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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
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« Reply #77 on: January 30, 2021, 12:15:40 PM »


At some point after hearing more and more live recordings of them from 64-66 than had been available decades ago, I used that example to show that underneath all of the fame and legend at heart they were a great f**king rock band. And if the (sadly) few examples we have of the Beach Boys playing live in their original lineup are any indication, so were they.

I don't know how these bands did it without being able to hear themselves or each other, I really don't. And I'm sure there are many shows that were never recorded where the quality of the performance was sub-par, but the ones we do have show a pretty fierce rock band (Beatles and Beach Boys) doing their thing and delivering energetic rock and roll that was miraculously in tune for the most part.


Yes! Thank you! I've said this from time to time, the Boys with Brian were great as a live group (judging from the know performances). After Brian left, it seems, they sounded very shaky on the older stuff ("I get around" is terrible), but good on the newer stuff from "Pet Sounds" and "Good Vibrations". Possibly Bruce had not yet adjusted to Rock'n'Roll bass, I don't know. But the striped shirt years with Brian are still very enjoyable.
The live band during the 60s is a fascinating topic anyway.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2021, 12:36:33 PM by Rocker » Logged

a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


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.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #78 on: February 01, 2021, 09:21:18 AM »

Yeah if you read Peter guralnick’s definitive two volume Elvis biography you might recall that he discusses that when Elvis played in Houston in early 1970 he was baffled when he came to rehearsal and saw monitors onstage. The young promoters were astounded that he had never used them-meaning these 1970 shows were apparently the first time Elvis and his band could ever hear themselves onstage while they were playing. Elvis was quite excited that day by this.

Yeah if you read Peter guralnick’s definitive two volume Elvis biography you might recall that he discusses that when Elvis played in Houston in early 1970 he was baffled when he came to rehearsal and saw monitors onstage. The young promoters were astounded that he had never used them-meaning these 1970 shows were apparently the first time Elvis and his band could ever hear themselves onstage while they were playing. Elvis was quite excited that day by this.



Which leads to Scotty Moore's famous line, that they where the only band that was literally directed by an ass  Grin

Regarding the Beach Boys' early live recordings, I'm a big fan of those. The Brian-years are rocking and quite impressive if you listen to the Sacramento and Chicago recordings and imo those could've been released without a lot of after work. 

As a massive fan of both Elvis Presley (love that quote from Scotty) and The Beach Boys, it makes me wonder when The Beach Boys first had monitors? Or if guitarfool and Ian know when monitors became common, to judge how strong the young promoters’ reaction to Elvis’ comment in Houston in 1970 was?
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« Reply #79 on: February 02, 2021, 05:23:42 AM »

Yeah if you read Peter guralnick’s definitive two volume Elvis biography you might recall that he discusses that when Elvis played in Houston in early 1970 he was baffled when he came to rehearsal and saw monitors onstage. The young promoters were astounded that he had never used them-meaning these 1970 shows were apparently the first time Elvis and his band could ever hear themselves onstage while they were playing. Elvis was quite excited that day by this.



Which leads to Scotty Moore's famous line, that they where the only band that was literally directed by an ass  Grin

Regarding the Beach Boys' early live recordings, I'm a big fan of those. The Brian-years are rocking and quite impressive if you listen to the Sacramento and Chicago recordings and imo those could've been released without a lot of after work. 

Not to mention their rendition of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" from the early '64 Australian tour...man, that kicks booty!
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« Reply #80 on: February 02, 2021, 10:35:53 AM »

Yeah if you read Peter guralnick’s definitive two volume Elvis biography you might recall that he discusses that when Elvis played in Houston in early 1970 he was baffled when he came to rehearsal and saw monitors onstage. The young promoters were astounded that he had never used them-meaning these 1970 shows were apparently the first time Elvis and his band could ever hear themselves onstage while they were playing. Elvis was quite excited that day by this.

Yeah if you read Peter guralnick’s definitive two volume Elvis biography you might recall that he discusses that when Elvis played in Houston in early 1970 he was baffled when he came to rehearsal and saw monitors onstage. The young promoters were astounded that he had never used them-meaning these 1970 shows were apparently the first time Elvis and his band could ever hear themselves onstage while they were playing. Elvis was quite excited that day by this.



Which leads to Scotty Moore's famous line, that they where the only band that was literally directed by an ass  Grin

Regarding the Beach Boys' early live recordings, I'm a big fan of those. The Brian-years are rocking and quite impressive if you listen to the Sacramento and Chicago recordings and imo those could've been released without a lot of after work. 

As a massive fan of both Elvis Presley (love that quote from Scotty) and The Beach Boys, it makes me wonder when The Beach Boys first had monitors? Or if guitarfool and Ian know when monitors became common, to judge how strong the young promoters’ reaction to Elvis’ comment in Houston in 1970 was?


That is a tough answer to pin down, because like a lot of technology at that time it not only developed so fast, but it also was somewhat regional. Meaning, one company or studio or venue in, say, New York may have had some of the new technology (or a home-brew version of it) while other areas did not, or chose not to use it. It's like multitrack recording - While the Beach Boys were recording to 3-track machines, then 4-track, there was already an 8-track machine at Atlantic in New York which had been running for 5+years, and when engineers were trying to figure out how Motown was getting that sound, by 1964 or so they also had set up an 8-track system. Meanwhile The Beatles were stuck on 4-track recording at Abbey Road up until 1968, and at that time engineers in the states were already trying to get 16-track setups developed.

Apply that same development timeline to stage monitors and that's why it's so tough to pin down.

Specific to Elvis, if you see photos of his '69 live shows in Vegas, I do not see any on-stage monitors. If someone does, please chime in! So not only was Elvis out of the touring game more or less since he joined the Army, over a decade ago, but also by being out of the game he would not have seen the developments like stage monitoring because he wasn't seeing these different venues. He played Vegas in '69 who didn't have monitors, then goes to a venue in  Texas a year later who did have them...Yes, that's totally plausible that these were the first ones Elvis had used, and he would be that surprised and happy to see them. It plays in with the whole regional topic too, where a venue in Texas had in '70 what a casino theater in '69 did not.

I also don't think it was standard across the industry how engineers and venues rigged up monitors. Most acts were not traveling with a sound reinforcement crew and mixing team like they soon would do. It relied on each venue, for the most part, how the band would run through a PA in-house. It was surprising to read that The Beatles on at least one tour stop in '66, their final tour, actually had stage monitors...but that seemed to be only for one venue. That solved the problem of them not being able to hear each other. But they quit touring so it didn't carry forward into their live touring afterward because by then they were done with the road after that tour and focused on the studio.

Regarding The Beach Boys - The person to ask is Stephen Desper who set up their own PA/live sound rig. He would know when the band started using on-stage monitors.

I've heard others say the first they recall seeing something in regular use on a live stage/tour involved Neil Young in the late 60's, but I haven't seen other details to back that up beyond saying Neil's live shows had a floor wedge monitor setup early in the game. But it wasn't until the 70's when the industry as a whole seemed to get on board with standard setups for on-stage monitoring and mixing a separate mix for the band due to advances in the technology and adaptation of those things through companies who were dedicated to serving the live touring industry and providing road setups, like Clair Bros. Then of course there was Bear Owsley and that behemoth system he designed for The Dead around '74, which was short-lived but almost ridiculous in scope along the lines of Howard Hughes and the Spruce Goose...yet those who heard it and used it say it was magnificent in terms of the quality of sound for the audience and band members despite all the obvious issues of such a massive setup. 

I hope that answers the questions somewhat, or leads to more answers. Here's an article which sheds a little more light on the topic, but does get a few of the dates wrong unfortunately: https://www.prosoundweb.com/hear-at-last-a-history-of-stage-monitoring/

And I'm sure Stephen could provide more info specific to the Beach Boys.

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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
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« Reply #81 on: February 02, 2021, 11:11:57 AM »

Yeah if you read Peter guralnick’s definitive two volume Elvis biography you might recall that he discusses that when Elvis played in Houston in early 1970 he was baffled when he came to rehearsal and saw monitors onstage. The young promoters were astounded that he had never used them-meaning these 1970 shows were apparently the first time Elvis and his band could ever hear themselves onstage while they were playing. Elvis was quite excited that day by this.

Yeah if you read Peter guralnick’s definitive two volume Elvis biography you might recall that he discusses that when Elvis played in Houston in early 1970 he was baffled when he came to rehearsal and saw monitors onstage. The young promoters were astounded that he had never used them-meaning these 1970 shows were apparently the first time Elvis and his band could ever hear themselves onstage while they were playing. Elvis was quite excited that day by this.



Which leads to Scotty Moore's famous line, that they where the only band that was literally directed by an ass  Grin

Regarding the Beach Boys' early live recordings, I'm a big fan of those. The Brian-years are rocking and quite impressive if you listen to the Sacramento and Chicago recordings and imo those could've been released without a lot of after work. 

As a massive fan of both Elvis Presley (love that quote from Scotty) and The Beach Boys, it makes me wonder when The Beach Boys first had monitors? Or if guitarfool and Ian know when monitors became common, to judge how strong the young promoters’ reaction to Elvis’ comment in Houston in 1970 was?




Specific to Elvis, if you see photos of his '69 live shows in Vegas, I do not see any on-stage monitors. If someone does, please chime in! So not only was Elvis out of the touring game more or less since he joined the Army, over a decade ago, but also by being out of the game he would not have seen the developments like stage monitoring because he wasn't seeing these different venues. He played Vegas in '69 who didn't have monitors, then goes to a venue in  Texas a year later who did have them...Yes, that's totally plausible that these were the first ones Elvis had used, and he would be that surprised and happy to see them. It plays in with the whole regional topic too, where a venue in Texas had in '70 what a casino theater in '69 did not.





I can't add a lot, but you can find some info about Elvis' stage setup on wiki's site dedicated to Presley's engineer Bruce Jackson:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Jackson_%28audio_engineer%29#Elvis_Presley


His brother Gary wrote a book about Bruce's years with Elvis on the road. It's available on Follow That Dream. Possibly there's more information about those technical things.
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a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


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.

- Jack Rieley
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« Reply #82 on: April 16, 2021, 06:46:43 AM »

Man I love this thread. Thank you all for the attention to details, the searching of photos, and the sharing with the rest of us!
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« Reply #83 on: April 19, 2021, 01:23:36 PM »

This is the fun stuff, I agree. And it's cool because the information being dug up and offered is *new*, and not just a rehash of discussions we had here years ago. There was also a cool one a few years back about Al playing an unusual Gibson guitar on stage in the 60's, and in researching it and asking around about that guitar I was able to learn a lot that I never knew before in the process. Always fun and worth it.
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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
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