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martinwilbury

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Everything posted by martinwilbury

  1. Tim Conway

    Truly one of the greats who was, also, from (as in born, raised, and started career) the Cleveland area.
  2. Fantasy Recording Sessions

    Difficult topic ... it looks like most of the ground has been covered ... might want to bring in Leonard Bernstein to do arranging. As an aside, I seem to recall that Hal Blaine (Wrecking Crew - "Be My Baby") was the drummer in one of Eric's sessions during the brief time he was a solo artist on Epic between Cyrus Erie and Raspberries.
  3. We're Havin' A Party

    Since its Christmas ... this photo is actually from a Christmas party. It was at Wally's house in 1971 or, maybe, '72. Eric, Jim & Dave are obvious in the picture but Wally (standing about where the photographer was) was busy distributing the presents that had been stacked under the tree behind him. Regarding the black turtleneck that Eric is wearing ... it was actually a holdover from Sounds of Silence and was part of an alternate band outfit for when we didn't want to wear ties (see the 'Live At Brush High School' outfits). Unless Eric jumps in, that's about as accurate a description as you're going to get because that's me sitting on the floor behind Dave and that's all I can remember at the moment. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!
  4. The End Of An Era

    Truly the end of an era. Although I haven't posted often, I've continued to check and see what's up. My thanks and appreciation to Bernie for the love and effort he's always put into this site. May your life be good.
  5. Eric on Bass

    I was researching Hofner's and this popped up in Google. Regarding the photograph ... it is faded. Wally only owned 1 'V' and it is/was black. The guitar Dave is playing was black (It was mine and I lent it to him). Eric's bass was way darker (the outer edge of the sunburst was a really dark brown).
  6. 2nd Album vs. 1st

    Queen II (where they had their own time in the studio to do what the wanted) surpassed Queen (where they were recording in unbooked, after hours studio time) and is considered by some to be Queen's best album.
  7. IWBWY from HBO's "Vinyl"

    It occurs to me that we should not be too hard on this production. (1) The production values and technology between a 1970's top 40 record and a 2016's television show are somewhat different. (2) Probably MOST IMPORTANT is that the writers and producers of Vinyl appear to be acknowledging Raspberries place in musical history. I think we should applaud the effort.
  8. IWBWY from HBO's "Vinyl"

    Good comment by Bernie. Wally can be disarmingly complex and difficult to cover. Other people can play his stuff but it just isn't the same (sort of like covering Jimi Hendrix ... you can play it but it doesn't really sound like Hendrix - aside, I'm not comparing Wally to Hendrix or vice versa - two completely different entitiies).
  9. IWBWY from HBO's "Vinyl"

    I like the Leo Sayer concept ... I don't usually comment on this stuff but I thought a studio produced cover was pretty interesting. My initial senses/observations are: (1) Ruess did a pretty good job of covering Eric's phrasing and intonation (Eric can be difficult to sing). (2) Production methods and values may be the cause but the instrumental lacks the urgency conveyed in the original. (3) Other than Ruess' vocal, they completely missed the boat (no pun intended) on the bridge. The 'muted' flag pattern on guitar lost the hyped up sense of urgency in the original,
  10. "Nights in White Satin"

    A final note ... 'Nights in White Satin' was dropped from Raspberries' repertoire when John Aleksic left and the band played 3-man until David S. joined
  11. "Nights in White Satin"

    PART 2 of the, sort of, ‘Nights in White Satin’ saga (rounded out with some minor digressions) … Fast forward … when talking about material at Raspberries’ inception, the discussions went something like this … Can’t transfer any of the Cyrus Erie material or Raspberries becomes “Son of Cyrus Erie”. How about the Beatles? Can’t do the Abbey Road medley ... but, if you think of the record industry in terms of a cycle … you get updated, improved covers of earlier material together with new songs approximately every 8 years. Think of it in terms of Frank Sinatra circa 1948, Elvis circa 1956, and Beatles circa 1964 … a new cycle might surface around 1972 … hmmm. In the end, the only Cyrus Erie song (that they were playing when they disbanded) to make it into Raspberries was ‘Nights in White Satin’. The instrumentation was the same, Wally sang lead, and Eric, Jim B., and John Aleksic (original bass player) sang backup. There’s a Raspberries antidote pertaining to ‘Nights in White Satin’ (referenced by Jim B. when he and Eric were doing an interview at the inception of the reunion … Eric was talking about early Raspberries venues and material and Jim chimes in with “… and Nights in White Satin”). VERY early (before Raspberries started playing at the Agora) they did a show at the Plato. Both the Agora and the Plato were large, college venues that served alcohol, which was a change from the Hullabaloo venues. In addition, while people in the Hullabaloo venues knew of and would recognize members of Raspberries, at the Agora and Plato the band members were virtually unknown (eg: neither the band or the audience knew what to expect). So … Raspberries played its set in this uncharted venue and closed with ‘Nights in White Satin’. At the end of the song there was dead silence (I mean REALLY dead, you could hear a pin drop, silence) and the band started thinking, “uh, oh … ” at which point the entire room erupted into a rather lengthy period of applause, cheers and whistles. Then, as the band was leaving the stage, Jim (in his typical low key fashion) said, “That seemed to go well.”
  12. "Nights in White Satin"

    I just saw this topic and thought I’d provide some context … PART 1 of the, sort of, ‘Nights in White Satin’ saga (rounded out with some minor digressions) … In early to mid-1968 someone brought the single of ‘Nights in White Satin’ to a Cyrus Erie rehearsal and said, “We should figure out how to do this.” LOTS of laughter. Subsequently, the band figured out how to do ‘Tuesday Afternoon’ and then it was a short leap to playing ‘Nights in White Satin’. On the two (2) Moody Blues songs, Wally sang lead and Eric, Michael McBride, and Bob McBride sang backup. Eric used a mini-Farfisa organ (on top of the piano) with an Echoplex (a small box with a loop of recording tape that you could set the interval of time between the recording and automatic playback) for the string parts and the flute solo. No one outside the band would believe that there was such a simple setup for the strings and flute so Dan Ladanyi (Manager) put together a small box with colored lights and switches (that did absolutely nothing but turn the colored lights on and off). When it came time to do the strings or flute, Eric would kick a couple switches and the colored lights would flash and interested people in the audience would go, “Ooh, yeah … a Mellotron”. Cyrus Erie opened a Jeff Back Group show (the Group included Rod Stewart and Ron Wood) and Jeff Beck did make the comment that Cyrus Erie played ‘Nights in White Satin’ better that the Moody Blues. People would actually come to see Cyrus Erie just to hear them play the Moody Blues songs, the Who and Small Faces medley’s, the Abbey Road medley, and ‘Tin Soldier’.
  13. Cyrus Erie recordings...

    Maybe not so great a memory ... I was reflecting on this post and, not recalling a big ‘A’ on the original acetates, think the original demos and acetates were done at Cleveland Recording and that the acetate that George has was made later. Regarding the rehearsal tapes, I don’t think they are what Brian would expect. I seem to recall that they were recorded on a two-track tape player and they were pseudo-demos that were more of a reality check to confirm if certain songs sounded the way we thought they did. For example, somewhere in this forum Bernie posted Cyrus Erie playing “Where Were You When I Needed Youâ€. Two items that were evident from the recording were (1) the vocal blend sounded the way we thought it did and (2) I needed a lot more treble on my guitar … digression … In the infamous New Year’s Eve gig mentioned elsewhere in this forum … Eric and I not only didn’t own any guitars, we also didn’t own any guitar amps and were using the departed musicians’ amps that were still at the rehearsal site (hence, their consternation when it looked like we were going to start smashing stuff). Bob had begun using my bass equipment (Gibson EB2 and a 200w Sunn Coliseum – loved that amp) and Don Landanyi obtained a Fender Dual Showman with 15†speakers for my use. I was using the same amp settings as I previously used on my Twin Reverb (that had 12†speakers) and, as became evident after listening to “Where Were You When I Needed Youâ€, the larger Dual Showman speakers eliminated all the ‘highs’ and my guitar came out without any, or extremely little, treble. … undigress … Finally, the string parts in “Nights In White Satin†were played on less than the Farfisa organ people think of. They were played on a Farfisa “min-compact†organ that sat on top of the electric piano. Anecdotally, in support of Brian’s observation, Jeff Beck commented that Cyrus Erie played the song better than the Moody Blues.
  14. Cyrus Erie recordings...

    The songs George is referring to were both recorded, and the acetates cut, at Audio Recording. The Painter is not an Eric song, I think it was presented to us by Frank Gary, and I think it was subsequently recorded and released by a Cleveland group named 'Damnation of Adam Blessing'. Sparrow is an Eric song and, unlike the single release that the producers made perkier and added "La La's" to, the demo version was a tad slower and more ballad. The middle section George refers to is ... I'm not sure what to call it but it makes sense when you hear it ... instead of an instrumental solo section (which is about where it occurs in the song), it is a somewhat elaborate harmony vocal section that transitions (to the best of my recollection) to the song's bridge before the song moves to the chorus.
  15. Jazz Chords?

    Great post and I've been toying with adding to it. Generally, IWTBWY aside and if I'm not mistaken, the "pinky slap" is actually on the 5th string if you are playing an A bar chord on the fifth fret — the chord being played is actually an A7 (bar chord with a raised pinky) – when you "slap" the pinky down (in the A chord example) on the 7th fret of the 5th string, you get the first note of a Chuck Berry flag pattern and a very cool rhythm guitar part (think "Brown Sugar"). If you want a full Chuck Berry flag patter, you "slap" the pinky 7th fret — 8th fret — 7th fret, in rhythm. Most people play this pattern using only the 6th and 5th strings but you can get a wider rhythm using the whole fret board. Jazz chords — the Dm7 brings to mind one of my favorite jazz/rock chord sequences. Relative to Dm7, the sequence would be Cmaj7 / Dm7. This sequence has been most often used in a different key as Amaj7 / Bm7. I first noticed it when I learned to play Simon & Garfunkle's "Punky's Dilemma" but really learned to appreciate it while playing Ricky Lee Jones' "Chuck E's In Love". Also, a rather cool, but neglected, chord sequence is the opening chords of "Love Is A Beautiful Thing" on The (Young) Rascals second album — (E / A6) (E / Em7). Finally, no one should forget that jazz and blues (precurser to rock before folk and skiffle) have the same roots.
  16. Musician appreciation

    OK ... Johnny Colla from Huey Lewis and the News (please note that I made an error earlier ... the clip for both guitar & sax should read "Hip to be Square"). Johnny Colla is in a grey suit. Also, as a bit of trivia, the full horn section is Tower of Power ... both groups were Bay Area bands. For guitar – Boys are Back in Town
  17. Musician appreciation

    Hmm ... looks like Marvin's intent has been co-opted by the Rascals but there could be worse topics (I may try to look up how to imbed You Tube videos, later, and try to insert the Johnny Colla clips). Brian may be right in our playing "Come On Up". It's from the 2nd Rascals album and, actually, the guitar solo is not dissimilar to the solo on "Ain't Gonna Eat Out my Heart" (changing notes on the 'B' string with an open 'E' on top). The open 'E' was used quite a lot during that musical period. I remember watching Wally's hands, while he was still in the Choir, and realizing that it was the "trick" to the opening of "Substitute". That led to the realization that Townsend used it quite often (solo to "Can't Explain" and the riff in "I Can See For Miles"). If we did play it, it would have been in the couple of months after the notorious 1st gig on New Year's Eve when we were all grabbing songs played in prior bands in order to fill out sets. By the time Wally joined the band (I think late-March or early-April) we had already started dropping songs and replacing them with more current material (notably, quite a few (recently available in America) Small Faces songs). The above clip of Mickey's Monkey/Lovelights is great and adds to the demonstration of how good the Rascals were live. The album cut I referred to earlier is about a 1:30 longer, Felix starts on the right bar (thus Eddie sings the backup lines in the right place -- the above clip says something about the lack of on-stage monitors during this period), the organ solo's are more dominent (and hot), and there is a bass (its interesting how much the dynamic punch of Dino Danelli's bass drum fills the void of not having a bass guitar live -- I'm also still trying to figure out if Felix had bass pedals on his Hammond).
  18. Musician appreciation

    Great idea for a thread. I’ve given this some thought and have confined candidates to individuals who are not front men (ie: Billy Preston is ineligible). Dino Danelli is tough to compete with but I considered several people such as John Deacon from Queen and Sugar from the Ohio Players. My current candidate (and I could well think of someone else by tomorrow morning) is: Johnny Colla from Huey Lewis and the News. He makes the whole setup work … he sings on every song, plays solid rhythm guitar, and plays great sax. On You Tube check the LIVE 1987 video clips For guitar – Boys are Back in Town For sax -- Back in Time For guitar & sax – Power of Love
  19. Musician appreciation

    Returning to the original topic ... one of my favorite Dino Danelli moves was when they'ld do a stop time ... as they got to the stop time, Dino would be standing up and, on the stop beat, would hit a cymbal then immediately grab it. Despite the cymbal crash, there would be total silence on the break. As an aside, my all time favorite Rascals song is "Mickey's Monkey/Lovelights" from their second album. Even now, the song just cooks and I can listen to it all day long.
  20. Musician appreciation

    Thank you ... Sometimes something just triggers a string of memories.
  21. Musician appreciation

    This is a great clip. Somewhere there is another clip of The (Young) Rascals where the camera is behind and off to one side of Felix Cavaliere as he plays the intro to “Lonely Too Long†and you can see Dino in the background with the his drumsticks twirling before launching into the song. These guys were an incredible band. They also make me feel anecdotal … One Saturday, when we were in high school, Eric (who would read magazines and articles for new bands so that we could play material in Sounds of Silence that was ahead of emerging popularity curves) called me and said, “I’ve got to find this new album coming out. There’s a song on it called ‘I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore’ that’s supposed to be really good.†So we set out on a hunt that ended at Severance Mall (one of the original shopping malls in the country and built on what was previously the Severance estate) and find this album by a new group called The Young Rascals. We learned two (2) songs off the album. “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart†and “Good Lovinâ€. I don’t recall ever hearing “Ain’t Gonna Eat Our My Heart†on the radio (if I did it was … barely) but “Good Lovinâ€â€¦ what can I say. Two (2) other songs off the album we talked about doing were “Mustang Sally’ and “Midnight Hour†but decided they were too close to being ‘greaser’ songs (we leaned towards British pop and this was in the age of ‘greasers’, ‘collegiates’, and a growing number of ‘mods’ … and never the twain should meet). Some irony in not doing “Mustang Sally†was that the band had been playing 2 nights a week in a bar called The Cask that consisted of adjoining Quonset huts where Mayfield Rd hit Euclid Ave (we were all under age but this was how Sounds of Silence came to be the house band for Fraternity Row at Case Western Reserve … I can also remember at least one of the gigs being cancelled because of race riots … but I digress …). Whenever the band would break, there were only two songs that were ever played on the jukebox … “Mustang Sally†(Wilson Pickett version) and “Baby Let Me Bang Your Box†(my apology but I kid you not). Later, when I first sat in at Cyrus Erie rehearsals and heard/saw Michael McBride play drums, I realized that Michael was not only the first drummer that I ever heard/saw that played naturally with the same upright posture akin to Dino Danelli (my drummer idol) but that he was really good while doing it. Pretty much everyone else I’d heard/seen either hunched over their drums or, if upright, had trouble keeping a consistent beat. I started envisioning twirling sticks (which Michael demonstrated that he could actually do but chose not to).
  22. Eric on Bass

    Digressing back to earlier in this post...it is definitely a Hofner Club Bass. Eric was good enough to let me use it for a while. Extremely lightweight and very easy to play. When John Aleksic left the band and Eric switched to bass, everyone thought it was going to be for about 30 days...until Dave returned from Viet Nam. No one thought it was going to turn out to be months until Dave got back. Something that evolved while they were playing 3-man was a variation on the Curly Shuffle (The Curly Shuffle, think The Three Stooges, was a song released early in 1971 that was a dance based on the backward hopping that Curly did in Three Stooges movies). Wally came in one day and was talking about how the song was really kind of cool. The next gig, in the middle of a set, Wally backed away from his microphone doing the shuffle. The following night, Wally and Eric were finishing a harmony section in a song when Eric looked over at Wally, did a bobbing count, and both of them shuffled away from their microphones. Words don't describe it well... it was actually pretty cool, and funny...you can actually see Eric do it, with an obvious grin, on the reunion DVD (second verse of "Hard to Get Over a Heartbreak" about 1:21:20 into the concert).
  23. What are you reading ?

    The following is a mix of audio and bound books with some being rereads. Currently, I’m reading (a) “Crash of the Titans†(about Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch – really interesting, particularly, what took place the weekend Lehman Brothers went under) and ( “The Last Stand†(a nicely researched book about events leading up to, and including, Custer’s debacle). Within the last month, I finished reading © “Revolutionary Characters†(about the personalities of the founding fathers -- a nice companion piece to “Founding Brothersâ€), (d) “The General’s Daughter†(my favorite Nelson DeMille book remains “Plum Island†but “Night Fall†may have caught up – both have somewhat unexpected endings), (e) “13 Bankers†(about the historical growth of financial institution influence on politics – Chapters 4, 5,and 6, leading up to and including the current economic situation, are pretty much guaranteed to give you the ‘willies’), (f) “Life†(Keith Richards autobiography – see above posts) and (g) “To The Hilt†(Dick Francis is always good diversionary fiction but this one is more clever than most). I haven’t found a good science fiction book in years except for Kim Stanley Robinson, who can actually be categorized as a legitimate novelist, and physics books just don’t hold my interest like they used to (probably has more to do with my disenchantment over shaky mathematics).
  24. Live at Brush High School

    So I'm just surfing stuff and—Whoa! I think I actually remember that dance. Anyway, the band was surprisingly tight (the practice schedule was Sunday and Tuesday nights) and vocal/harmony oriented for a high school rock and roll band (there were no monitors and the rule was—"if you can't hear the vocals through the PA, the instruments are too loud"—this worked surprisingly well). Eric had a distaste for reverb and the band got its hand on an Echoplex (a small box with a loop of recording tape that you could set the interval of time between the recording and automatic playback) that was used as part of the PA. There was not much in the way of portable keyboards at the time (and no electric pianos) and the band used a Farfisa compact organ that Eric hated (this is not a strong enough description of Eric's sentiments) but sufficed for things like Rascals songs and Left Banke material. When Cyrus Erie was formed on stage and then scrambling to fill out a 4-set song list (while playing bookings at the same time), almost all of the non-Stones songs came from Sounds of Silence. In addition to the Who material (always wished we had kept The Kids Are Alright), these included the Byrds and Left Banke songs described by Wally when he first heard the band (always wished we had kept Bells of Rhymney, My Back Pages, Have You Seen Her Face, and She May Call You Up Tonight). Later, the Farfisa organ (mini-compact this time) and Echoplex made a comeback for Moody Blues material (per Jeff Beck, Cyrus Erie playing Nights in White Satin better than the Moody Blues—and it may be the only non-Beatle song to make it into Raspberries). For the gear heads—all the amps were black-face Fenders. Two Twin Reverbs and at least 3 Bassmans.
  25. Favorite Wally Song?

    As long as we're on Overnight Sensation, a really nifty guitar part in the song is right after the subtle solo at 1:19 the LC refers to ... when the band goes into the second verse ... Wally hits the high notes of a chord ... lets it ring through the rest of the bar ... and then, on the first beat of the following bar, hits the low notes of the chord. Its the type of quintessential Raspberries arranging that tends to go unnoticed in their songs. Andiemay - Really???
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