|By medusa (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 07:57 am:|
I need 2 know if this is true or not. I once heard (younger age), that when 'Motown' first started, they used strange instruments. What I mean is they got their special sound from using things like Silverware, chains, razor belts, & bags of coins. I already know they used a lot of handclaps, stomps, and tambourines. For instance, what instrumetn was used at the beginning of the Temps'A Love I Can See'?
|By Ritchie (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 08:59 am:|
In the pre-synthesiser days of the early sixties, people would use anything to create 'new' sounds, especially in the "percussion" department. Leiber and Stoller used to frequent a music store in New York and would be fascinated by the "African drums" there. If such exotica wasn't available, producers would improvise with whatever was at hand. For example, UK producer Joe Meek used household objects like a glass ashtray and a dustbin lid to create unusual sounds.
If my ears don't deceive me, the sound on the intro of I Want A Love.. is a Latin instrument called a Guiro - basically a hollow wooden shape, with grooves carved across it. Scraping a drumstick or small stick over the grooves produces the characteristic sound you hear on the Temptations record. It's also used extensively in Caribbean music, having been 'borrowed' from the tool kit of Cuban musicians.
|By R&B (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 11:04 am:|
IT IS LEGEND THAT IN THE EARLY DAYS BERRY USED DIFFERENT THINGS TO GIVE THE SONGS A DIFFERENT FEEL[LIKE THE CHAINS USED IN NOWHERE TO RUN}.
|By KevGo (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 11:18 am:|
Jack Ashford used tire chains for the jingle-jangle sound on Martha Reeves & the Vandellas' "Nowhere To Run".
Earl Van Dyke played an actual toy piano at the beginning of the Temptations' "It's Growing."
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By STUBASS (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 02:09 pm:|
THE OLD "CLAPBORADS"...TWO PIECES OF WOOD BEING CLAPPED TOGETHER WAS COMMONPLACE WHEN USED AS A BACKBEAT ON MANY MOTOWN RECORDINGS!!!...AS A TEENAGER...PLAYING WITH THE SOUL DELEGATES...WE USED THOSE BOARDS OFTEN TO GET A SMACKING BACKBEAT SOUND!!!...SMALL ANICDOTE!!!...I REMEMBER MY BROTHER COMING HOME ONE DAY (WHILE STILL IN DETROIT AND BEFORE MOVING ON TO NEW YORK)...SAYING HE JUST DID A SESSION FOR MOTOWN!!!...ONLY PROBLEM...NO INSTRUMENT IN HAND!!!... BRUCE WAS LIKE THE GORRILLA IN THE JOKE...TAKE ANY INSTRUMENT...ONCE HE FIGURED OUT HE COULDN'T F**&% IT...HE PLAYED IT!!!...CAME TO TELL ME THAT HE WAS CALLED IN TO PLAY PICCOLO...AND PULLED OUT THIS SMALL LITTLE THING (I'M TALKING ABOUT A PICCOLO HERE GUYS)!!!...TURNS OUT...THE SESSION WAS "FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE"...AND BRUCE WAS PLAYING THOSE HIGH PICCOLO PARTS IN THE RECORDING!!!...STUBASS
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 03:47 pm:|
That was your brother playing the piccolo on "For Once In My Life"?!? Your bro was a funky piccolo player!!!
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By STUBASS (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 03:51 pm:|
IF THAT'S POSSIBLE KEV!!!...IT'S ALSO INTERESTING THAT ON THE ARRANGEMENT HE DID ON "YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A STAR"...ON THE INTRO...HE WROTE THOSE ...PICCOLO'S (AGAIN)...TOPPING IN OVER THE FLUTES...WHICH YOU CAN HEAR IF YOU GIVE IT A CLOSE LISTEN!!!...STU
|By STUBASS (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 03:52 pm:|
HEY...PERHAPS BRUCE WAS JOHN PHILLIP SOUZA IN HIS PAST LIFE!!!...WOULD THAT MAKE ME STUBASS PHILLIP SOUZA???...
|By Ralph (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:09 pm:|
When the Moog synthesizer was relatively new, Motown purchased a big one. Harry Balk had a meeting with all the producers in an attempt to show us the expanding possibilities in our productions thanks to technology. Unfortunately, the Moog didn't get much use. I guess it was more fun rattling chains and stomping on boards and such.
|By Ritchie (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:40 pm:|
I'm sure you're right, Ralph. Can't hear much evidence of the dreaded Moog at Hitsville - an instrument that (let's face it...) hasn't aged well on the many records that used it!
|By stephanie (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:45 pm:|
I think the best thing Joe Meek turned out was
Have I Right by the Honeycomb..Honey Lantree was a great drummer she was one of the first girl drummers to come on the scene and I finally found a pic of her on the Internet how she looks now,,
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:10 pm:|
Talk about two of my favorite records from childhood and your bro was involved with both.
"For Once In My Life" and "You Don't Have To Be A Star" I still have on 45s.
What is Bruce up to nowadays?
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Ritchie (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:11 pm:|
Hi Stephanie - yep, Joe created some great and innovative sounds, though (with some notable exceptions) he was sadly a poor judge of talent. The Honeycombs' Have I.. still sounds great today. He was among the first (maybe even the first) to dampen drums. I used to use his famous "house-brick-wrapped-in-a-blanket" damping technique on a kick-drum back in the old studio days :o)
|By KevGo (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:12 pm:|
I know this has beaten against the trees but please refresh my memory as to the sound effects at the beginning of the Supremes' "Reflections". I know that Russ engineered the record but what did they use at the start of the tune?
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Ralph (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:14 pm:|
Kev, Russ used a tone from a signal generator that he looped on tape. Pretty slick huh?
|By KevGo (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:16 pm:|
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Steve Litos (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 06:18 pm:|
FYI - Stubass & Bruce
I was a big fan of the TV show "Xena Warrior Princess". (Ok, you can all stop laughing now.)
On the Battle of the Bands episode of the show,
on of the characters does a disco version of King Harvest's "Dancing In The Moonlight". The arranger of the song lifted the exact piccalo/flute parts from "You Don't Have To Be A Star".
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 06:40 pm:|
I wonder if Xena's producers got clearance for using that piccolo part. There could be some royalty money there....
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Des (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 08:44 pm:|
Hey,Ritchie re.the dreaded MOOG Synthesiser - isn't it ironic that you're right to shudder at the prospect of that machines' presence on music from Hitsville - thus on Motown.....and yet the only music that,IMO,has,indeed,stood the test of time and is absolutely reliant on MOOG and ARP are also on Motown in the form of Stevie's great run '72 - 80 (but particularly Music of my Mind,Talking Book,Innervisions,Fulfillingnessssss').
I scoured my remaster reissue of Songs In The Key Of Life and verified that the 'namecheck' on the sleeve to ARP & MOOG was gone - it was.
Those machines have never been used better (lotsa credit to Margoulef and Cecil,I believe)
|By LTLFTC (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 09:39 pm:|
I totally agree- those are the Moog's finest moments as far as I'm concerned also.
I remember my first exposure to the Moog. There was an article in Time Magazine , I believe, about Walter Carlos and his "Switched on Bach" lp and they were talking about all the potential new sonic vistas, and how the machine was capable of producing any sound blah blah. Anyway, my English teacher has the album and the cover looks so cool--all those modules and patchcords and stuff and I borrow the record, put it on and everything sounds like that sound Popeye gets when he blows through his pipe..what a disappointment. "Music of my Mind" was another story though.
|By STUBASS (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 11:56 pm:|
HEY KEV & STEVE!!!...I GUESS YOU ARE A STAR STEVE...BUT WHO LIFTED MY BROTHERS ARRANGEMENT...AND DO YOU SUPPOSE THERES A FINDERS FEE IN IT FOR ME IF I BUST THE GUY AND GET BROTHER BRUCE SOME CASH (I THINK DON DAVIS MIGHT WANT TO PUT SOME OF THAT CASH IN HIS BANK TOO)!!!...KEV...BRUCE IS PRETTY BUSY THESE DAYS...AND A VERY INTERESTING MUSIC CAREER IF HE WEREN'T SO SHY TO TALK ABOUT HIMSELF!!!...HE MAY BE READING THIS RIGHT NOW!!!...FUNNY...I JUST GOT AN E-MAIL DURING THIS POST AND GUESS WHO???...MY BROTHER SENDING ME SOME MORE PROPAGANDA!!!...ANYWAYS...AND NOT TO DIVERT THIS THREAD...BUT BRUCE DOES THE MUSIC FOR SEVERAL TV SHOWS INCLUDING FRASIER...BECKER...I THINK THAT "RAYMOND" SHOW...AND OTHER SPECIAL PROJECTS!!!...HE ALSO WROTE THE THEME FOR FRASIER AND OTHER STUFF LIKE THAT!!!...HIS SON JASON (RECENT UCLA GRADUATE)...PLAYS THOSE GUITAR LICKS ON THE BECKER SHOW...AND THIS KID IS GOOD...PLUS BRUCE EITHER HAS THE KID WORKING FOR FOOD...OR LITTLE JASON IS HACKING DAD FOR TRIPLE SCALE...PROBABLY THE LATTER!!!...BRUCE HAS DONE A LOT OF TELEVISION OVER THE PAST 15 OR SO YEARS...INCLUDING KNOTS LANDING...DESIGNING WOMEN...AMEN...AND A S&%&LOAD OF OTHERS!!!...HE ALSO WAS...YOU MIGHT SAY...THE PERSONAL COMPOSER/CONDUCTOR FOR PRESIDENT CLINTON!!!...HIS PRODUCERS...THE THOMASONS...RAN ALL OF CLINTONS MUSICAL AFFAIRS...SO BRUCE DID A LOT OF MUSIC FOR THE CAMPAIGN FILMS...AND COMPOSED AND CONDUCTED FOR THE G-7 CONFERENCE FOR THE MAJOR WORLD LEADERS WHEN THEY MET IN COLORADO A FEW YEARS BACK!!!...PRE-DATING ALL THAT STUFF...HE WAS A COMPOSER...CONDUCTOR...ARRANGER...PRODUCER...MUSICIAN...AND ALL THAT STUFF!!!...THE MOST TALENTED ALL AROUND MUSICIAN I KNOW!!!...STUBASS
|By Bob Olhsson (126.96.36.199) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 12:20 am:|
We actually had the third Moog modular synthesizer ever built! It was very unstable and impractical so it didn't wind up being used but it wasn't for not trying. Stevie and the rest of us were very interested and I wound up working extensively with synthesizers in San Francisco after I left Motown in 1972.
The only thing I remember being used for a backbeat at Motown other than a guitar and snare drum was handclaps and footstomps. There's also no question that we stole that idea from Bob Crewe!
|By Julian (188.8.131.52) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 12:49 am:|
What other songs @ Motown used chains?
Tire chains pre-date me a little bit, were they like regular chains? Didn't they tear up the road or something and got banned?
|By The Old Miner (184.108.40.206) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 06:26 am:|
And don't forget Miss Ray's ondolin in the early 60's............was that it on "Dream come True"?
I'm interested to read about the Moog and Motown. I have an acetate demo of what the Moog can do that's marked as BG's copy.
|By dvdmike (220.127.116.11) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 08:41 am:|
Old Miner, I was just going to mention Raynoma's Ondioline solo on "Dream Come True" from 1962.
|By LTLFTC (18.104.22.168) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 09:03 am:|
Yes, the snow-tire chains were regular chains. They were kind of criss-crossed to fit over the tires. My father used to use them delivering mail in rural areas. They'd slip off the tires and it was hard to get them back on. They were gone before my driving time, though.
|By Ralph (22.214.171.124) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 10:36 am:|
Chains are still used here in California. For driving in snowy mountains...not recording sessions.
|By STUBASS (126.96.36.199) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 10:40 am:|
LETS NOT FORGET THE INFAMOUS "WAH WAH" PEDAL...AND HOW IT ADDED A NEW DIMENSION TO THE MOTOWN SOUND!!!...DENNIS COFFEE AND A GUY NAMED "WAH WAH" WATSON (WAS HE NAMED AFTER THE PEDAL...OR WAS THE PEDAL NAMED AFTER HIM...AND WHO WOULD NAME THEIR KID "WAH WAH"???...) USED IT EXTENSIVELY AND IT CERTAINLY GAINED A REPUTATION STARTING WITH THE TEMPTATIONS CLOUD NINE PROJECT!!!...STUBASS
|By STUBASS (188.8.131.52) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 10:41 am:|
OR...IS IT POSSIBLE THAT AS A KID...MR. WATSON WAS ALWAYS THIRSTY...THUS THE NAME...WAH WAH!!!...STU(JUST CURIOUS)BASS
|By Ralph (184.108.40.206) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 10:45 am:|
I think Wah Wah's name was Melvin Reagan.
|By paulie3shoes (220.127.116.11) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 10:47 am:|
shucks, i wuz gonna name my kid wah wah
imagine dis...wah wah t'ree shoes
got a nice ring to it,dont ya t'ink?? capice???#$%^&*(
|By STUBASS (18.104.22.168) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 10:49 am:|
I GET IT RALPH!!!...MELVIN (WAH WAH) PROBABLY DIDN'T WANT TO GET CONFUSED WITH THE ACTOR/PRESIDENT!!!...THANKS FOR THE CLARIFICATION!!!...STU
|By Bob Olhsson (22.214.171.124) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 11:13 am:|
If only WAH WAH'd been president instead of ronnie...
|By Steve Litos (126.96.36.199) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 11:40 am:|
Stu - The person who did the music for Xena was Joseph Lo Duca. I listened to the song on line & they use the flute part twice...it could be sampled directly. Actually the Xena version of "Dancing in the Moonlight" stylistically is a cross between "Ring My Bell", Bonnie Pointers "Heaven Must Have Sent You", and Ricky Martin!
Didn't/Doesn't Dennis Coffey have a very oddball guitar effect from the late 60's. It sounds like it's all over the "Puzzle People" album & also "Make Me The Woman You Come Home To". It's a very unique sound to say the least.
|By STUBASS (188.8.131.52) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 11:52 am:|
STEVE!!!...THERE MAY BE A BRIGHT CAREER IN YOUR FUTURE IN THE FIELD OF COPYRIGHT LAW...YOU COULD GET ALL THE BAD GUYS!!!...BOB!!!...NOT A BAD IDEA!!!...WE COULD HAVE HAD "ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE...JUST FOR THE FUNK OF IT"!!!...WAH WAH TREE SHOES...HAS A NICE RING TO IT...ALTHOUGH YOU'D BETTER BE PREPARED TO PICK YOUR KID UP FROM SCHOOL EVERY DAY!!!...STUBASS
|By dvdmike (184.108.40.206) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 06:19 pm:|
"Dream Come True" was recorded at Hitsville Studio A on January 16, 1962
|By Dennis Coffey (220.127.116.11) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 08:02 pm:|
Hey Stu. I did the Wah Wah stuff on Cloud Nine and most of the records that followed except Papa was a Rolling Stone. Wah Wah did that one. I got a call from Wah Wah a few years ago and he sent me a brand new Wah Wah pedal for teaching him how to use one. I also used Wah Wah on one of my albums in LA. I did most of the special guitar effects at Motown and used an echoplex, Condor Unit, distortion pedals, and other devices. Jamerson used to say to me, "How come you do most of the Wah Wah work and his nickname is Wah Wah? I didn't have an answer.
|By STUBASS (18.104.22.168) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 08:06 pm:|
WELL DENNIS...PERHAPS YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN CALLED WAH WAH COFFEY!!!...AND YOU CERTAINLY KNOW HOW TO TAP THE SHIT OUT OF THAT PEDAL...GREAT WORK!!!...STU
|By Steve LItos (22.214.171.124) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 08:37 pm:|
Thanks Dennis. The Condor Unit was what I was thinking of. That has to be quite a rare bird.
|By Dennis Coffey (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 11:21 am:|
Hi Steve. I no longer have the Condor Unit. You can hear it especially on the solo of Smiling Faces by the Undisputed Truth, What You See is What You Get by the Dramatics, and Don't Knock my Love by Wilson Pickett. The Condor Unit was made by the Hammond Organ company. It was a mounted device with organ stops and an attachment that fit on the guitar. You could get harpsachord sounds, oboe, bassoon, double octave and other instruments. I used a combination of Wah Wah, distortion pedal, and echoplex on most of the Temptations stuff except the intro on Just my Imagination, which was my lead and Eddie Willis playing an answering part.