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Author Topic: Don Randi  (Read 1616 times)
DSalter
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« on: April 05, 2021, 07:07:19 PM »

An excellent, nearly 90 minute, new interview with Don Randi.

https://youtu.be/cEAm_RrmQwQ

His recollection of the dates of certain Beach Boy sessions is sometimes off, but I think you'll enjoy. 
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juggler
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2021, 07:43:31 AM »

That's a fun interview.  Thanks for posting.   Glad to see Don doing so well at 84.   Yeah, he's way off with respect to various points of BB history (regarding Help Me Rhonda, Murry's death, etc.) but he deserves a pass.  He's an ace pianist who played on our favorite tracks.    His anecdote about his Good Vibrations session nap is priceless, and it's great to hear that word of it trickled to Brian who even called him to verify.   

I've mused before about the "Wrecking Crew" and other studio musicians who played on those peak-Brian 1964-67 sessions: did they have any sense or appreciation at the time of the special magic in which they were participating or was it just another ho-hum gig no different than scoring another peanut-butter commercial?   It's always heartening to see how many of them truly did (and do) get it, speaking glowingly of Brian's sessions during that period.  This is clearly true of Don and is/was also true of Hal Blaine, Lyle Ritz, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell and even the not-always-charming Carol Kaye. 

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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2021, 11:50:48 AM »

I had a heart attack and barfed when I read the title of this thread, thinking that Don had passed away...  Thank God he didn't!
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2021, 08:11:17 PM »

I had a heart attack and barfed when I read the title of this thread, thinking that Don had passed away...  Thank God he didn't!

ditto  Shocked
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sloopjohnb72
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2021, 08:32:45 PM »

That's a fun interview.  Thanks for posting.   Glad to see Don doing so well at 84.   Yeah, he's way off with respect to various points of BB history (regarding Help Me Rhonda, Murry's death, etc.) but he deserves a pass.  He's an ace pianist who played on our favorite tracks.    His anecdote about his Good Vibrations session nap is priceless, and it's great to hear that word of it trickled to Brian who even called him to verify.   

I've mused before about the "Wrecking Crew" and other studio musicians who played on those peak-Brian 1964-67 sessions: did they have any sense or appreciation at the time of the special magic in which they were participating or was it just another ho-hum gig no different than scoring another peanut-butter commercial?   It's always heartening to see how many of them truly did (and do) get it, speaking glowingly of Brian's sessions during that period.  This is clearly true of Don and is/was also true of Hal Blaine, Lyle Ritz, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell and even the not-always-charming Carol Kaye. 


It really depends. I have never heard Bill Pitman say anything positive about Brian's music; he seems to be dismissive of any and all pop music.
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juggler
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2021, 12:05:00 AM »

It really depends. I have never heard Bill Pitman say anything positive about Brian's music; he seems to be dismissive of any and all pop music.

You're absolutely right.  I've seen interviews with Bill wherein he's said that it was all business for him.  He'd show up, play what they wanted and get the hell out.  He didn't even know what song Brian was working on and didn't care.   You see Bill all over the studio candid pics from the Smile sessions, sitting in the booth with Brian, playing next to Carl, playing next to Carol & Ray, etc. etc.   I believe that Bill has said that he had his people always take Brian's bookings, though, because they lasted so long and paid so well.    So, yes, Bill is a counter-example.  He IS the guy for whom a Pet Sounds/Smile-era session was just another ho-hum gig no different than scoring another peanut-butter commercial. He didn't find the music interesting then and still doesn't.  It was just a job and nothing more.   And that's okay too, and doesn't take anything away from Bill's enormous talent in any way.   Perhaps that level of detachment is part of what made Bill so good at his job?  Extremely talented people occasionally look at other people's works of staggering genius and see nothing special.  IIRC, Verdi thought that Beethoven's 9th symphony was mediocre at best.  Was Verdi wrong?  Most of his peers would disagree with him, but that doesn't take anything away from his own prodigious talent.   And aside from all that, Bill deserves a pass based on his age.   Making it to 101 is freaking awesome.

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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2021, 05:59:45 AM »

I had a heart attack and barfed when I read the title of this thread, thinking that Don had passed away...  Thank God he didn't!

Yeah, me too!
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c-man
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2021, 06:05:41 AM »

It really depends. I have never heard Bill Pitman say anything positive about Brian's music; he seems to be dismissive of any and all pop music.

You're absolutely right.  I've seen interviews with Bill wherein he's said that it was all business for him.  He'd show up, play what they wanted and get the hell out.  He didn't even know what song Brian was working on and didn't care.   You see Bill all over the studio candid pics from the Smile sessions, sitting in the booth with Brian, playing next to Carl, playing next to Carol & Ray, etc. etc.   I believe that Bill has said that he had his people always take Brian's bookings, though, because they lasted so long and paid so well.    So, yes, Bill is a counter-example.  He IS the guy for whom a Pet Sounds/Smile-era session was just another ho-hum gig no different than scoring another peanut-butter commercial. He didn't find the music interesting then and still doesn't.  It was just a job and nothing more.   And that's okay too, and doesn't take anything away from Bill's enormous talent in any way.   Perhaps that level of detachment is part of what made Bill so good at his job?  Extremely talented people occasionally look at other people's works of staggering genius and see nothing special.  IIRC, Verdi thought that Beethoven's 9th symphony was mediocre at best.  Was Verdi wrong?  Most of his peers would disagree with him, but that doesn't take anything away from his own prodigious talent.   And aside from all that, Bill deserves a pass based on his age.   Making it to 101 is freaking awesome.



Damn, he's THAT old? Good for him. Yeah, in one in-depth interview from about twenty years ago, Bill dismissed Brian's music as simple four-chord stuff, very uninteresting in his opinion, but mentions the food that was catered in, and how they always ate great at Brian's sessions! The only pop session he spoke positively of in that interview was the one he did for Steely Dan; since he's not credited on any of their albums, I'm assuming the fruits of that remain unreleased. By the time of Aja, the Dan were notorious for cutting a song multiple times with different lineups until they got a version they were completely satisfied with.
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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2021, 07:54:36 AM »

Perfect opportunity for me to spread this v v dank meme I created:

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Joshilyn Hoisington
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2021, 08:38:54 AM »

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Greg Parry
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2021, 10:10:16 AM »

Being unimpressed at a Smile session. Its the new cool.
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jwoverho
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2021, 01:04:17 PM »

I've mused before about the "Wrecking Crew" and other studio musicians who played on those peak-Brian 1964-67 sessions: did they have any sense or appreciation at the time of the special magic in which they were participating or was it just another ho-hum gig no different than scoring another peanut-butter commercial?   It's always heartening to see how many of them truly did (and do) get it, speaking glowingly of Brian's sessions during that period.  This is clearly true of Don and is/was also true of Hal Blaine, Lyle Ritz, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell and even the not-always-charming Carol Kaye.

From what I can gather, many of the session musicians would cancel other dates if they had the opportunity to work for Brian as they found it interesting musically and really liked Brian.

I wish I could find the interview footage of Leon Russell talking about Brian. Leon said that the term genius gets thrown around a lot in music, but that in Brian's case, he was in a league of his own. Leon was VERY complimentary of Bri. High praise coming from someone of Leon's talents.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 01:07:15 PM by jwoverho » Logged
patsy6
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2021, 06:05:29 PM »

Perfect opportunity for me to spread this v v dank meme I created:



These are hilarious, Joshilyn! Thanks for sharing!
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juggler
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2021, 07:46:48 PM »

I wish I could find the interview footage of Leon Russell talking about Brian. Leon said that the term genius gets thrown around a lot in music, but that in Brian's case, he was in a league of his own. Leon was VERY complimentary of Bri. High praise coming from someone of Leon's talents.

It's in Denny Tedesco's Wrecking Crew documentary, starts around 3:00 in this excerpt:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd9986j9pYo

And, yes, it's a great tribute by Leon.   And also nice comments from Hal, Carol, Tommy & Glen.

And even Bill P. makes a  brief cameo commenting about Brian working on something "for three months but Capitol was picking up the tab."
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