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Wally Bryson Article in Vintage Guitar Magazine


Keith Nivan

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The June '06 issue of Vintage Guitar has a nice feature on Wally and his guitars through the years.

It's NOT online yet: http://www.vintageguitar.com/current/default.asp

but you can usually find the magazine at better bookstores and newsstands.

Some good stories and a comprehensive listing of Wally's axes through the years.

Also gives a plug to the new disc Wally has cut with his son, "Bryson", "Dry".

The magazine is cool page-turners for guitar geeks, needless to say.

"Keith"

P.S. Sorry if someone has posted on this ... I been bizzy!

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Finally found the June issue of Vintage Guitar at Borders yesterday (after three trips where I kept finding the May issue on the newstands). Very nice article, with great photos by Gene Taylor and Mike Miller.

That's three guitar magazines that have profiled Wally (Vintage Guitar, Guitar Digest, and 20th Century Guitar), so "who's next?" Hoping the folks at Guitar Player are paying attention...

Don smile

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Yep, congrats to Wally. It's great to see him get the kudos he deserves.

And I'm with you, James. He's my favorite guitar player of all time. He's so versatile: He can be incredibly subtle or in your face, and everything in between. The perfect bandmate for Eric....

I agree on the songwriting note too. I was just listening to "Money Down," and thinking how underrated that song is. "Little woman think I got a heart of stone/I just wanna love 'em and leave 'em alone" was one of my favorite lines back in college. (Not that I was capable of doing such a thing.)

PS: I used to think it was "Let a woman..." until I checked the "Lyrics" link here.

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IMHO, Wally's guitar work is top notch, and his vocals have a certain quality that appeal to most. However, Wally's songwriting needed some improvement back in the day...I would like to hear how it has progressed with his new tunes of recent years. I know he has been writing off and on through the years, but how do we hear the best of the new tunes? (A New Raspberries Studio CD, Stupid!)

By the way, My IMHO trumps James' IMHO every time! :p

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Tony, you are a tough critic ("songwriting needed some improvement") of Wally Bryson. I dunno. IMHO, his Raspberries songs were generally strong--solid "B" and "B+" scores in most cases.

On the first album, Wally's "Come Around and See Me" is a great song, and don't forget that he collaborated with Eric on "I Saw the Light" and "Don't Want to Say Goodbye." "With You in My Life" wasn't nearly at the same level as those songs, however. That's the one I'd agree could've used improvement.

I also liked Wally's "Might As Well" on Fresh.... nice harmonies and guitar. On Side 3, I'd rate "Money Down" over "Last Dance," although I like both.

I thought he reached a pinnacle on Raspberries' last album (I guess I should call it their "most recent album," since Starting Over, as of this year, will no longer be their "last" album). "Party's Over" is awesome. I bet Wally would like to get his "hands on you"... :-)

Clearly Wally's most important contribution to Raspberries is his unique guitar playing. But his 1970s songs were a nice "counter" to Eric's style. And Dave Smalley's and Scott McCarl's too.

But... to each his own, right? I can still listen to any of those four albums and not feel the need to skip over any tracks. And there aren't many albums I can say that about!

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"With You In My Life": A- ,didn't like it as a kid but think it's a really keen song now.

"Come Around & See Me": B+

"Might As Well": A+, perfect little song

"Last Dance": B+

"Money Down" B

"Party's Over": B+

Tony, you gotta stop disect'n so much and just sit back & feel it! wink

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It would have been interesting to see what might have happened had Wally's "Money Down" or "Party's Over" recieved major airplay. I seem to remember that Wally noted in the liner notes of the Capitol Collectors Series issue that in later years he "regretted" writing Money Down... probably because it was so harsh in it's view on relationships; but I think it was a superb piece of music. Think about it in this sense, it's the same "feel" as "All Through The Night" has on the Starting Over LP, a serious love-em-leave-em type of thing that is the antithesis of the upbeat and happy and hopeful songs that GATW and IWBWY and TONIGHT had been...

IF... and it's a big IF... Capitol had led off with Dave's "Should I Wait" from Side 3 and then followed with Wally's "Money Down" and Eric's "Tonight"... we might be looking at Side 3 historically as something as big as Hotel California or Rumors... but Capitol being Capitol stepped on their own d*rk and chose to ignore the talents of the other members of the band... frown

Starting Over could have been Eric's "Hit Record", Scott's (and Eric's) "Play On" and Wally's "Party's Over"... and maybe even a fourth single... maybe All Through The Night... which I have always felt was an under-rated and under-appreciated piece. To me it was something of the inspiration for Lynyrd Skynyrd's "What's Your Name" just three years later...

And since Mike had co-written All Through The Night, all four Raspberries could have been highlighted with singles from that album!

Ah... what might have been...

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My favorite song of Wally's is "Name of the Game" from the second Fotomaker album. I think he also had a song called "Come Back" on that same record that was really good too.

IMO, the second single off of "Starting Over" should have been "I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine." The title track would have made a good single too.

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While I love "I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine", I was trying to create a scenario where all parties were represented; a major stumbling block during the bands hey-day... But my point is still if the Powers-That-Be/Were at Capitol had mixed it up a bit, we might have seen LP's like Starting Over produce three or four chart hits... instead of one.

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Hmmmm...I don't see those songs as singles. I Can Hardly Believe You're Mine (as Small Faces-ish as it be) is more "singlely" than Should I Wait and Party's Over, especially with an edit. I agree about "Play On", though. That would've sounded cool through an AM radio.

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