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One of the most entertaining things about your music is the way you use "oohs" "hey" "Ah" "OOO" "Git" "yeah" 'hah" and other clever percussive grunts, groans, etc...

Also, you use a clever tactic by hiccupping/stammering a note ( ex: Am-m-m-m-erican as apple pie)or repeating a bar (ex" Oh , I wanna, oh I wanna, ooo I wanna OH! I wanna woo you all night on the beach...)

These percussive vocals sounds and repetitive or alliterated phrasing is pretty exciting in a song and they give the songs extra color and texture, not to mention delectable set-ups for upcoming solos, choruses or middle eigths. I was wondering if you learned these techniques from recording with a producer, or did you develop them from singing live on stage, and then transferring that vocal energy into the studio?


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I learned most of it just listening to my favorite records by The Beatles, The Who and The Small Faces. You want to hear some serious percussive vocalizing? Check out John Lennon's vocal on Twist And Shout or Please Please Me. Listen to how hard he hits the "c" sound when he sings "come on." It's sung from somewhere halfway down his throat. If he hit that "c" any harder it would sound like he was coughing up a fur ball. It makes the words feel "urgent." Paul does it too. Listen to the way he sings the first line of "I'm Down" (You tell lies thinkin' I can't see...) He doesn't really sing a "y" sound on the word "you," it's more like "dzcshou." Would it have been just as exciting with a simple "you?" NOT! And Roger Daltrey's delivery of "My G-g-g-g-enera-shun" was pure genius. I'd bet money that Pete Townshend asked for that delivery. When I hear it, I see a gawky, pimply-faced teenager with a big adam's apple, dirty hair and a chip on his shoulder, just from that vocal. The recording studio IS a very sterile kind of environment. When you sing in the studio it's just you and the microphone and everything you do is magnified. It's the exact opposite of singing live to an audience. I close my eyes and picture being on stage and dance and scream and do everything I can to feel like I'm anywhere but in a recording studio. You have to "visualize" the live performance and react to the guitarist, the drummer and the audience as if they're right there with you. The best guy I can think of to demonstrate that is Steve Marriott. All those ad libs on "Tonight" and Ecstasy" I owe to Steve, who in turn owes them to James Brown, Otis Redding and all the great soul singers. You can be pretty sure you'll never hear anything like that coming from John Davidson or Jerry Vale. They use their voices to sing the melodies. The great rock 'n roll singers TAKE YOU THERE, right up onstage with them. THAT'S exciting. ec

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That's why the albums are so great. They're spontaneous and genuine--pure music making, just like on stage. And what I always loved about Raspberries' and your solo performances was the total immersion in and commitment to the performance. They were never staged, but were always totally "in the moment," fresh, different and new every time. That's how I was taught to play--to bring something new and different to the piece every time. Composer Arnold Schoenberg said the mark of a true artist is that he is "in the moment," and that art is made in a moment's spontaneity. Both Raspberries' and your solo performances are perfect examples of that.

smile --Darlene

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