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Thread: Very Important Subjects

  1. #461
    Senior Member littlebittybobby's Avatar
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    Okay---this is a VERY important subject. To me, anyway. See---what happened the other day was, I found a one-hit wonder, who had incorporated the Mellotron into the recording of their one hit! See, as you kidss already know, I like one-hit wonders the best. I also prefer studio recordings, as well. Not always, but usually. Also, great covers when I find them on Youtube. Lyrics count for zip; if I want words, I'll read a book. Okay---the song is one from 1974. Noooo, it's not Skynyrd or Zz Top or Radar Love or anya that "classic rock" crap. Nope. It's one the Cool People hate, because it's too "soft rock", for them. The song is "Poetry Man" by the late Phoebe Snow, Greenwich Village performer from Joisy. I heard it somewhere the other day--prolly the grocery store. And, I have it on a 45 I bought back in 1975. Anyway, I listened to it a couple times and declared: "Hey--there's a Mellotron in there!" Realizing that, after 45 years!
    See--in the last year, I've been keeping my ears open for (older) music that features a Mellotron. A Mellotron is considered a primitive sampler or synthesizer, by some. It's an electro-mechanical device that uses a keyboard to replay pre-recorded sounds--notes, by stringed instruments or horns, etc., that can be dubbed into recordings or even live performances. Here's the controversy: Musicians Unions et al objected to their use, because it undermined their livelihood, or so they claimed. Anyway--for a better explanation of how a Mellotron works, view on youtube: Bell Tone Synth Works Mellotron. You kids have no doubt heard "Strawberry Fields", by the mop-topped foursome, wherein McCartney played the Mellotron. Right? The Moody Blues' Mike Pinder played Mellowtron on Tuesday Afternoon & other compositions. Now do you see? So, it's become a game to me that I call "Spot The Mellotron". Do you kids think that is Obsessive-Compulsive, or am I on the Aspy Spectrum, about midway? Be honest, and don't Gaslight littlebittymee. Ha. But yeah---"Poetry Man" integrated Mellotron, and it's most apparent during the (real) saxophone solo. There's (real)harp in there too, and (real)upright string bass, per Phoebes' request. How do I know this? Well, I don't "know" because I wasn't there, BUT I ran across an essay on the 'net, by someone who claimed to have taken part in the process of producing this one hit with Snow, as an employee of the record company. Anyway, that's what they said. They also made the point that during the mid-60's was when the emphasis on recorded music came about. Prior to then, record companies just recorded music performances, just as they'd sound live. Minus the audience. Ha. But, the industry--that includes some leading artists-- wanted a more surreaal sound--more sophisticated & progressive, if you will. So, from then on, the studio was where the creative process took place, for many successful bands! See--I read a Stevie Nicks biography, last year. It was not all about her romances and drama and whatnot. Nope. A little, maybe. But the takeaway was---you had two American kids--Buckingham and Nicks---who had already recorded an album that was a modest success. It defined their sound, and their fan base was live audiences in the deep Southern USA. They were looking for opportunities in SoCal, and Nicks was cleaning house for a record producer who introduced them to a veteran group from the UK (Fleetwood Mac) that was looking to reinvent itself, with new players and new music. See? Sooo, this record producer introduced them, and they all partied together, found they were compatible, even though they had different style of music! Well, they were put in a leased recording studio that was VERY compfterbal, for weeks on end, and they proceeded to create several albums filled with hits! After the records were released & became popular, they then had to tour and perform in large arenas, with 1000's of people! Touring really curtails the creative process, and so does success, according to whgat I read. See? Okay--where was I? Oh, yeah--Mellotron. It's obsolete; prolly was obsolete, even in its' prime. But it has a cool psychedelic sound, and one reason is on account of its technical deficiency--the so-called "flutter and wow" of the magnetic tape used to play the pre-recorded notes added to the record. See? You can research it, for a better understanding, if you choose. Hope that helps you some. Thankk mee.
    Last edited by littlebittybobby; 5-22-22 at 3:33pm.

  2. #462
    Senior Member littlebittybobby's Avatar
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    Okay----this would be a REAL artistic endeavor, to make posters(like Andy Warhol) out of images of Pizza Places. Well, wouldn't it? I submit this one to you kids, for your appraisal. Thankk Mee.2022-05-22 (3).jpg

  3. #463
    Senior Member littlebittybobby's Avatar
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    Question----Can you kids name some other recordings in particular that have Mellotron in them? Just curious.

  4. #464
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I did watch the YouTube you recommended and it was pretty interesting. I had never heard of a Mellotron before. DH overheard some of it and came to watch it with me. He is quite a fan of the band Phish, and he mentioned the theremin as another interesting musical device that Phish sometimes used.
    I have never played "spot the Mellotron" so I cannot name any songs. I strongly dislike the Moody Blues though, for what it's worth. I think they sound moany and whiny.

  5. #465
    Senior Member littlebittybobby's Avatar
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    Yes, yes, yes---Theramin. Yup. Another of my favorite "one-hit wonders", as Cool People who "only buy albums" condescendingly refer to them, is Terry Staffords' "Suspicion" from waaay back in 64 or 65, when I was in jr hi. But yeah---Suspicion has a Theramin featured prominently in it. The song was originally written for Elvis, by good ol' boys in the Brill Building in Noo Yawk Citty, but didn't do much. But, when Terry Stafford recorded it with a lively and distinctive Theremin accompaniment, it became his one big hit. Yup. Hope that helps you some. Thankk mee. That said, I can't recall any other Theramin music; but yeah---you said Phish uses it. I' ll have to check it out. Edited to add: I got to thinking about it, and "Suspicion" does NOT use a Theramin. Nope. It features an Ondioline, which is a keyboard instrument resembling a Mellotron. The Theremin.....(to be continued)
    Last edited by littlebittybobby; 5-23-22 at 11:16am.

  6. #466
    Senior Member littlebittybobby's Avatar
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    Well, if those other kids can talk about old houses as if they are really something, why---I guess I can post a photo of a Classic Zurra Stigmatized House! Yup. Anyhow, the place is in St Joe, and easy to find. The place wasn't very old when it gained its' notoriety--prolly about 10 y.o. in 1953. But, yeah---burying the body of a child that you kidnapped and shot, in the back yard next to the house, would tend to stignmatize a property. Sure would. Plus, it was a VERY sensational crime---the perps, an unmarried couple living in SIN, were caught cold and confessed, and ended up in Zurras infamous gas chamber just 81 days after the dastardly deed(I borryed that word from you kids)was committed! Yup. Anyway, here's the place---what's something like that worth, anyhow? Would an anxious buyer looking to exit CallyFornya give you $400k, sight unseen? Just curious.2022-05-21 (4).jpg

  7. #467
    Senior Member littlebittybobby's Avatar
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    Okay-----this just in. I'm a late learner, because last year it was announced thart a HUUUGE construction project would go ahead on the former site of the Beverly Hills Supper Club, after a lawsuit by survivors stalled the project until an agreement was reached to build a memorial on the site. Okay---here's a photo of John Davidson, who was there that dreadful, disastrous night. To be continued.2022-05-23 (2).jpg

  8. #468
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebittybobby View Post
    Okay-----this just in.
    Old news. You're probably just getting to it because the 45th anniversary of the fire is coming up on Saturday. It's an 80 acre site so development will be a mixture of homes, assisted living facilities and shopping.
    My wife grew up just down the street from the club and her mother was scheduled to go the following night to see John Davidson who was the featured performer on the night of the fire. You might be interested to know that fire pretty much single handedly put the kibosh on the use of aluminum electrical wiring, which turned out to be the primary cause of the fire.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  9. #469
    Senior Member littlebittybobby's Avatar
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    Yeah, Well----I can't see how land in Ky is scarce enough that it necessitates redeveloping this VERY stigmatized site! Some people have no qualms about doing anything to make a buck! How could you sleep at night, knowing what happened there? The Governor should step in, and serve the developers a Cease-and-desist order to halt all construction, and seize the land by eminent domain, and make it into a memorial park! End of Story. Alan, no doubt you and your wife had dinner there, back in the day. How was the food? I'll just bet the steaks were just a bit overcooked, on that fateful evening in 1977.

  10. #470
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebittybobby View Post
    Alan, no doubt you and your wife had dinner there, back in the day.
    Nope, I met her in Alaska and we were still there when the place burned down. I do drive by that vacant 80 acre lot sitting in the middle of a densely populated area fairly often though. It would probably make a nice park, or maybe it's best use is as a small housing development with assisted living facilities and shopping.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

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