FRETS.NET

Hi

Although I build and modify guitars, I am no renovator and have been stunned by the skills freely shared on this forum.

A colleague asked me what I thought he could / should do with this 1966 Hofner 'Beatle' Bass

Well my first bit of advice was probably sound - 'Nothing...don't do or let anyone else do anything until you know the possible value and the options'

He would like to get it back to playing condition but not take any value away, if there is any to start with.  He intends to keep and play it whatever. 

Then I reach my experience limits!

So, clearly, it has been heavily gigged and some strange person has decided they want to to be a left hander and so (badly) cut a second control panel hole.  The rest of it is pretty sound, albeit cracked lacquer, etc.  It has a Selmer (UK Import) serial number of 2890 which Selmer date at 1966 (which also ties in with the staple pickups etc).  But in terms of what to suggest to him to do I wouldn't mind your views. 

Mine so far are:  

There seem to be a lot of them around (less so in UK of this age) and a good to very good condition 1966 seems to be worth no more than $2500 or so in the States.  If that is so, one in this condition probably has limited value.  As such, my thoughts are that he would probably be best, in the short term, just return the control panel to the correct side, recrown the frets (they are not too badly worn) and pop a small temporary cover over the hole, using the screw holes already in the top and start playing it.

If it was of limited value but he wanted to restore so it looked prettier, then of course he could opt to get it stripped, patched and refinished.  Clearly, if was of potential value, that would be the last thing he should do!

What's the thoughts here, folks?  All gratefully received!

Andy

 

Views: 1219

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Andy.

Your advice to the owner is, IMO, right on.

The "mod" made to the instrument killed any potential value in the instrument as there are many pristine instruments from that era available. And in the vintage world, condition is everything when calculating initial value. It would be classified as in poor condition.

The reason there are so many fine vintage examples today? Well, they just aren't that good of a bass. Lot's of folks bought them for the obvious reasons, but very few 'continued to play them'. Lots of them went under the bed for decades.

At the local vintage shop (for which I do occasional repairs), the dealer said he'd pay no more than $300 for this specimen and then it would be resold ONLY as a 'parts' instrument to a restoration expert he does business with.

That being said, they have their 'fanatic following'.... so anything's possible.

And please keep in mind that those are my personal observations and opinions.

And hey, a matching control panel [sans controls] made from a scrap of white pearl pickguard stock would look pretty cool :)

Best of luck.:)

Hi, Paul

Thanks for your very quick response.  Yes - it sounds like I'm in the right ballpark at least.  Thanks for the opinion!

Andy

I'm not an "electric" guy and I'm REALLY not an electric bass guy but I can say that I to remember these as not so good. One of my older brothers had a friend in junior high school, during the mid '60s that had the hair cut and all the albums as well as being able to play a lot of their songs. His name, incidentally was "George" and George longed for one of these in the worst way. When he finally got one he barely played then went back to his old bass

It's cool because a lot of people have some recognition of them and the memories they bring but maybe the best one to own is one like this. Your owner doesn't have to be afraid of modifying it and maybe he has a chance to make it a better instrument  than they were/are.

 The only thing I would add to Paul's advice is that I would be very tempted to run a bit of CA along the edges of the holes cut for the controls to help protect against splitting, particularly in the corners.  Actually, I have a bit more that may not apply. IF he wanted the extra hole patch, it wouldn't be an easy/cheap job but I think it would be fairly easy to hide the patch in the sunburst. 

Think he would be interested in learning how to inlay? He could do a plate with a mop tops on it and cover the hole with that. 

Quote: "some strange person has decided they want to to be a left hander and so (badly) cut a second control panel hole."  

 

 

Let's be Clear.

The correct way for a Left Handed Person to Play The Guitar or Bass.

Is exactly the same way a Right Handed Person would with a Right Handed Instrument that's the Rule.

There is no need to own a Left Handed Instrument, or Reverse a Right Handed Instrument to reconstitute it to be Left Handed in order for them to Learn to Play the Instrument.

The Human Brain, Body and the Fingers, will Adapt and the Motor Skills will adjust accordingly to allow a Left Handed Individual to Play a Right Handed Instrument, just as a Right Handed Person would. Yet for some reason this fact is not well known or widely understood.

I have heard it maintained that certain Individuals that have a medical problem related to their Motor Skills, are unable to achieve the "adaption" described above, and are assisted by owning a specific Left Handed Instrument. This is understandable, but is and should be a distinct exception rather than a norm. Presumably, if they have a medical condition that affects their Motor Skills, this condition will also affect and limit their Playing Ability, quite regardless of their Left/Right Hand approach.

Proper Teaching and Education of the Facts in regard to this matter are what are really required, and the reason I labour the point.

 

It's the Approach that's Important.

Once a Left Handed  Individual is taught to Play Right Handed from the Get Go, there is usually no problem in Developing Facility. My Sister is Left Handed but Plays Right Handed.

Undoubtedly, it is possible to find an Instrument Maker somewhere that will make any kind of Instrument imaginable in a Left Handed Version, for those convinced of their "special uniqueness" and prepared to hand over copious amounts of money.

But there is no Genuine Reason to do so and thus if anyone ever is not persuaded or disbelieves this Point. Please ask them to visit a Violin Dealer and ask for a Left Handed Violin or better still a Piano. Ask the Dealer if he can Reconstitute the Instruments Action, so that it can be Played Properly by a Left Handed Person. (Piano Hammers and Keys are Delicately Weighted from Left to Right).

So this proves my point that the Body will Adapt Itself, if the Player is Taught in the Right Way.  Indeed, Left/Right Hand Independence, and for a Drummer, Left/Right Hand and Left/Right Foot  Independence is an Essential Part of simply being Able to Play. Pianists too, utilise this Same Hand Independence on the Piano regardless of which Hand they Favour. If you think about this at a more profoundly deep level, it is no different to Eating with a Fork in the Left Hand and a Knife in the Right and using them either both on an Independent Basis, and, or Symbiotically in Concert Together. Therefore, we can extrapolate from this and logically conclude that the Better the Knife and Fork User an Individual is, the Better their Hand Independence and Piano Playing and Musical Performance will be.

The Late, Great, Oscar Peterson, is a superlatively excellent example of this Fact as is "Abe" Laboriel, Jr. in the Drumming World who Fully Validates the Theory.

Although, I have known certain Left Handed Violin Teachers that feel the Instrument should be Bowed with the Dominant Hand.

The big disadvantage for Playing in this way in a Large  Ensemble of String Players, is that by using his Bow in this manner, the Left Handed Player inevitably swing in their seats,.

And pokes out the eyes of the Right Handed Players, which can seriously disadvantage and affect their Ability to Read Sheet Music. The biggest hindrance such a Player might find to Joining an Orchestra, might thus be finding Other Players willing to sit next to them. One can appreciate their distinct reluctance.

 

 

The late Guitarist Bert Weedon who lived in a nearby town, always taught this basic Right Hand Rule.

His Tutorial Book is responsible for and credited with helping the overwhelming Majority of the Great British Players of the Last Century. McCartney's testimony was typical: "George and I went through the Bert Weedon books and learned D and A together." But obviously skipped a page.

Hank Marvin, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Pete Townsend, Mike Oldfield, Sting  and Brian May are among the Guitarists who learned to Play Guitar from Bert's Book and were Strongly Influenced by it. Brian May once referred to Weedon as the "Guitar Wizard" and "A Legend", while in a 1970s interview Eric Clapton said: "I wouldn't have felt the urge to press on without the tips and encouragement that Bert's book Play in a Day gives you. I've never met a player of any consequence who doesn't say the same thing."

Jim Marshall and Bert were Great Buddies, always celebrated each other's Birthdays, and the year before he died, as a Birthday Present, Jim gave Bert a New Marshall Amplifier, with a Huge Silk Screened Picture of Bert Playing his Guitar as the Speaker Cover. It is Unique as is Bert's Immense Contribution to British Guitar Music.

"Bert . . . Thank you for all those tips on guitar playing that I got from your book, when I was young." Eric Clapton

"We all started off in our early days through your book 'Play in a Day' - thanks Bert." John Lennon

 

 

Above.

I've put some pictures.

Bert Weedon and George Harrison.

(the late George Harrison lived in another nearby town).

Bert Weedon during his Investiture in Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty the Queen. Bert was awarded the OBE for his services to music.

King Rat Bert Has a "Ball"  "The Grand Order of Water Rats" is a Showbiz Charitable Organisation founded in 1889 by a group of Top Variety Performers. Each year the Water Rats elect a "King Rat" to head the Order. At the end of his year, the King Rat runs a Ball for members of the Order and Guests - normally around 1200 attend this special event. This Photograph was taken on November 29th 1992 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, the year that Bert was "King Rat".

It was his fellow artistes' way of paying a Tribute to him, with the help of Bert's close friend Jim Marshall (Marshall Amplification) who supplied all the amplifiers. The evening ended with all the talented Star Guitarists joining in and playing Guitar Boogie Shuffle, which was a big hit for Bert, as it was the first ever British Guitar record to get into the top ten charts.

Front row: Joe Brown, (Brilliant Top Session Guitarist and Artist) Chas Mc Devitt Back row L to R: Bruce Welch, George Harrison, Mike Reid, Lonnie Donegan, Bert Weedon, Con Cluskey, Brian May, Dec Cluskey

And there's a Black and White picture of Bert Performing with his Hofner.

 

 

 

Hofner Instruments were popular in the U.K. mainly because American Instruments cost far more here than in the U.S.A. Because of Import Restrictions and Trade Embargos that added very significantly to their cost, usually by at least a third.

My experience with such Hofner Violin Bass Instruments of this Specific Era and Earlier.  Is that they have a Lovely Natural Resonance, but the usual weakness is at the Neck/Body Joint, which is not supported by a Great Deal of Material. Rather in the same way as early Gibson SG  Guitars. That was my common observation.

Thus, it is not uncommon to find these Instruments with a Higher than desirable amount of "Play" or "Movement" in the Neck, and that usually leads to a concomitant Higher than Desirable Action. If you studied how these Instruments are Manufactured, it is a fairly Basic set of Process Operations and you'd probably be surprised how simple they are.

If you can find one will a Stable Neck however, they are a Very Nice Bass to Play, but are best suited to Old Style Flatwound Strings. The main advantage of these Particular Instruments, is that because they are Small and Light they Facilitate Stage Craft Performance. Hence Paul McCartney (who made the Instrument Famous) was able to Be Seen, whereas conventional Basses tended to Obscure the Player. That was Paul's reason for buying it in the first place. If you watch early Beatles Movies you see how he utilises this to his advantage, by Amazingly Wiggling his Bottom, as he Sings, (a Prime example of Mouth /Bottom Independence) much to the delight of the Admiring Audience. This to me, seems to be the Instruments Most Important and Distinctive Feature.

Which interestingly enough, remains entirely unaffected by Left/Right Issues.

 

 

As the Instrument has a very limited value in Monetary Terms

Thanks to self inflicted "Owner Improvement and Modifications".  What I would do with the Instrument is the Following:

 

Make a Virtue of the Mistake.

Turn the Problem into a Distinctive Feature.

Get hold of another Control Panel and have Two in Symmetry.

This will Balance "The Look" of the Instrument, and won't appear "Out of Place".

But I would then start to Examine the Electronics, and begin to consider all the possible options.

Especially if a Stereo Jack Socket was fitted, that allowed you to utilise one or the other side Independently or Together.

You may need an Electrician to advise on the suitability and desirability of the various Options, so as to avoid any unwanted, avoidable problems.

But to me, the possibility of being able to Feed One Channel to an Amplifier and Another Channel to a Direct Injection Box, or another Channel on the Same Amplifier, or indeed as is increasingly the Case these days, a Second Amplifier Adjusted to give an entirely different Tonal Range, might be seen by some as a Great Feature that gives the Instrument a Distinct and Importantly, Unique Selling Point.

Whether you wired Both Pickups to Both Sets of Controls or the Neck and Bridge Pickup to Independent Sets of Controls is something to tale Expert Electronics Advice about, and, or Experiment With.  The Switches are simply that, and could be adapted for a Variety of Differing Tonal Options.

I would also consider making a Virtue of what I consider to be the Very Best Feature of this Instrument. Its Unamplified Acoustical Sound by Virtue of the Resonant Hollow Body. The way to get the Best Bass Sound out of this Instrument, is to fit an Acoustic  Bass Pickup to the Bridge Area. There will be a Variety of Options Available for the Bridge and if Access is need underneath at all, then the Owner has already cut a nice hole for you to work through to Facilitate that.

 

 

But the Essential Salient Point is.

Don't look at the issue as a Problem.

Instead think about All the Possibilities.

 

By the By, when I Record Bass Guitars I always use both a Mic in the Bass Cabinet. (I have a Special Old Type AKG Mic which excels at Handling Bass Frequencies) and also Direct Inject the Bass into the Recording Studio Console via a D.I. Box. So I have the Best of Both Worlds and can even Blend the Ideal Qualities of Both Methods, flipping the Polarity of one if need be, or indeed choose One over the Other, as best befits the Track.

 

Make the Negative into a Positive!

 

P

Quote: "George"

Here's Joe Brown his Great Buddy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGivnGv-HXs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znyBGcVEJuU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drCKvCL93hw

One of the best players I know, who also acts as my mentor, is an example of "Left handed, playing right".

Or, you could always go the route of Elizabeth Cotten and Dick Dale, and just flip a right handed guitar upside down without moving the strings around.

That hole in that bass is just crying for active electronics and a battery compartment. It would be one of the most horrifying things to see added to a nice bass, and for some reason I find that really amusing.

While you are in there, you could add a piezo pickup too.

Hi, Peter

One of the most comprehensive, amusing (and longest) answers I've ever had on a forum!

There's a lot in what you say.  I'm actually a left-handed right-handed guitar player myself...and I'm rubbish!  I wonder if there's a link...

Anyway, all you great folk out there, I think my initial thoughts are probably right...little value so he may as well get it to a state he is happy to play it with.

I like the idea of simply putting on another control panel...there are some real possibilities there.  I'll talk to him and see what he thinks.

Thanks for the great input, all

Andy

A translucent control panel back lit by 3 or 4 five-watt LED's would be a groovy idea...especially with a 'chaser' circuit or a 'light-up to the beat' sensor.

Y'know, like a tiny version of the uber-rare & expensive Rickenbacker light show guitars.  It'll add a major "WHAT the heck is that?" factor:)

Have a GREAT Holiday Season, Andy :) :)

Briefly owned one of these back in the mid 70s, not the best bass I've ever owned or played. Rather light weight and weedy sounding IMO.

It owes its popularity to the connection with a very over-rated band of the 60s, whose bass player continues to play it due to his well documented meanness with the folding stuff.The idea of the violin shape and the hollow body was an effort to make it sound more like a double bass, which I think it failed to do.

An interesting historical dead end, I'll stick with my Ibanez bass which has stood me well for over 30 years.  Each to their own. 

Bert Weedon's Play in a Day was bought by millions and was basically the very first Idiots guide. For those of you who don't know of hi there is stuff on You Tube which is well worth watching.

Steve

Quote: "whose bass player continues to play it due to his well documented meanness with the folding stuff."

 

 

Thank you for your thoughts and views regarding this subject!

 

 

Personally.

My experience of Sir Paul McCartney, over Decades, has been that he is a genuinely generous, spirited person.

His home in Hove on the South Coast of England is quite close to a Recording Studio that I have used quite a bit over the years. At times, when he is in the area, so has he.

The History of the Studio began because of the Radio Ministry of a Well Known Christian Minister. They needed High Quality, Broadcast Level Equipment and a Proper Recording Environment, to make the Gospel Programs for the Air Waves.

Over the years, the Personnel and Expertise grew substantially, also the Breadth of the Studio Equipment, with the Ability to make Large Format Recording Console, Multi-Track Recording and Masters for the Emerging Christian Recording Artists and Recording Labels in this Country.

The working environment was extremely relaxing, unlike the highly pressured London Studios, and because of the High Quality Vintage & State of Art Equipment, and Dedicated Professional Expertise, it became a Choice Studio, for certain people in the know, to work in. Although it was entirely staffed by Committed Christians, it's Professional Qualities made it both naturally attractive and very handy for Sir Paul to work up ideas, without pressure. The BBC have used the Facilities for Recording Big Bands, amongst many famous others, which should bear Testament to its Quality.

One day, Sir Paul turned up and said to all the Christian Workers at the Studio. Look, I've got to go to a Big, Music Industry Awards Ceremony in London, would you all like to come with me as my Guests? So the whole lot of them, found themselves sat at the Front Table with Sir Paul McCartney, to watch a Glittering Show of Top Stars, completely surrounded by and spending the night rubbing shoulders with what passes for Show Business Royalty, in this part of the world. At the very least, it goes to show how thoughtful, kind and generously, he positively shows his appreciation.

 

 

Again.

Some of my Family live in New England, and are spread around the area, Boston, the outlying Countryside, and up to Maine.

Sir Paul was married to Linda at the time, but they found themselves on the Maine Coastline, and looked for a Restaurant to have a meal. They looked in at a Seafood Restaurant, and watched all the live Lobsters in the Water Tanks.

They went in and bought the Entire Stock of the Restaurants Live Lobsters, and had them taken down to the Quayside, and let them all go back into the Sea. That's a completely true story and with complete respect, doesn't smack at all of the kind of meanness that was implied above, and which on a personal level, I could cite many such instances where that simply has not been my experience. Quite the contrary.

 

 

Quote: "It owes its popularity to the connection with a very over-rated band of the 60s"

 

 

With all possible respect, this seems a particularly singular and highly subjective viewpoint.

Indeed, I can think of some very successful Bass Guitarists and Producers that would take Great Exception to such expressions.

I do not, for that is your view, and courageous people have died to allow you the freedom to be able to express it. Personally, I prefer to use Wholly Objective Measures to Evaluate Performers Ability, Talent and Commercial Success.

One of my Great Friends, sadly no longer with us. An Elite London Session Musician, who Performed in the Cavern Club to Support a Major Act, was actually approached by Brian Epstein and offered the job of Drummer with The Beatles, just before they broke Big.

My Friend, had not heard of them, to him they were at that time, an unknown Liverpudlian Group whose future it was impossible to access. Brian Epstein told him he was having trouble with the then current Drummers Mother, who was concerned at some of the places they were going to and what they were getting up to, and who was presenting him with some genuine hassles. And both wanted and needed a Solid Replacement.

That's quite understandable, however, my Pal, (a Self Confessed Jazz Snob) turned the offer down. A little known Fact, that he has experienced some considerable embarrassment living down ever since. Along with Li'l Jimmy Page, Big Jim Sullivan, Brian Hodges, John Paul Jones and others, he formed a small Session Recording Outfit that backed so very many Artists of the 60's on Recordings.

Here are some.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMXxG9A1nzE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7ffgqjcH40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR4vE9xL3yk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoRLIJJSG4o

 

He gives a nice Drum Solo in this Track. It was at No 1 for Six Weeks.

Li'l Jim is on Second Guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAUOnTaa_TE

 

Hal Blaine - Top American Session Drummer and author of "The Wrecking Crew"

 

During the late fifties I came to Hollywood and started making a name for myself in the recording industry, little did I know that I had a counterpart across the big pond in Merrie Olde England ... his name?  Bobby Graham. I had heard his name many times and had listened to the great hit records of the day that Bobby had worked on but had never met him, although our careers have run in parallel ever since those formative days of Rock and Roll.

Shel Talmy - Legendary American producer of  The Kinks - David Bowie - The Who

 

For me Bobby Graham was the Greatest Drummer the UK has ever produced.

 

 

Once again, thank you for your uniquely special viewpoint in regard to British Recording Artists of the 60's.

 

 

Quote: "The idea of the violin shape and the hollow body was an effort to make it sound more like a double bass"

 

 

My understanding of the History of the Development of the Bass Guitar.

Is that Lloyd Loar with Gibson Designed the First Electric Double Bass in the 1920's, using an electro-static "Charlie Christian" type pickup.

The problem was, Bass Amplification capable of Reproducing such Low Frequencies and Projecting that Sound at Volume still had yet to be Developed.

Paul Tutmarc was the first to trim the Instrument to a far more manageable size. First, to around that of a Cello, then smaller, more like a Guitar. Forty two inches of solid bodied walnut with an electronic pickup. 

Gibson, Rickenbacker and Lyon & Healy all began to Manufacture and Sell what are best considered to be Experimental Prototypes in the Process of Development, around the middle of the 1930's. All of them were smaller than a Double Bass but much bigger than Guitars, and still like Tutmarc's initial effort, had no Frets and stood upright. The NMM 10474. Gibson Electric upright bass guitar of 1938 is one Instrument that is most interesting with a Foot Pedal Operated Felt Mute to imitate the Tone of A Double Bass.

 

 

The Serenader Bass of 1940. Made by Paul Tutmarc Jr.

Was a true Guitar Sized Fretted Instrument, whose portability and practicality meant it could be easily Played, Transported and Performed with the Instrument in a Horizontal Position.

During WWII quite understandably little further progress was made, then in 1950, Leo Fender prototyped  his Newly Designed Bass which was released to the world in its initial iteration in1951, contoured in 1953 only to be completely Restyled in 1957, and further in 1960 and onward.

 

 

Gibson responded with the EB-1 Bass.

Its Design Aesthetics resembled a small Violin Bass from 1953, until 1958 when it was replaced by the EB-2, a 335 type of Semi Hollow Body, Short Scale Bass Guitar and then in 1959, the SG Shaped Solid Body EB-0.

Karl Hofner was a Luthier who founded his Company in 1887 first in Czechoslovakia, then after WWII, moved to Germany and had New Factories there by 1950. Well known in Europe, there were plenty of Violin Makers amongst his Luthiers.

Tooling and Equipment with Forms for both Violin Family and Guitar Family Instruments were readily available to them by this time, and Karl's Son, Walter was the Driving Force behind this extension of use. Along with that however, and located in the same area, Karl Junger's New String Factory Pyramid developed with Hofner, New Flat Wound Bass Strings, for the Short Scale, Violin Body Bass.

Designed in 1955 it was released to the public in Germany in 1956. Early iterations included an oval Control Plate with four rotary pots and two pickups neither if which was anywhere near the Bridge (500/1). A Company I have "an interest" in, did a Charity Promotion with KISS, a while back, (raising $129,000 for UNICEF) and it is this 500/1 Model that is favoured by Gene Simmons. Later iterations featured Different Control Layouts, including Switches, and Typical Guitar Positions for the Pickups, but that changed a bit back and forth with different iterations, during the early years.

So my view would be..

That following the precedent and lead set by forerunners in this field, Lloyd Loar, Paul Tutmarc, Gibson and others; needing to remain distinctive from the newly emerging Market Leader; and already having the necessary Design Forms, Factory Tooling and Craftsmanship for both Violins and Guitars, the Design and Sound Imposed itself upon the Manufacturers, already predisposed to its Aesthetics and Practicalities, rather than it being some form of Deliberate, Inspired Innovation of Form and Tone.

 

 

Although I have never met anyone of significance.

That didn't have the highest regard for Sir Paul McCartney's Bass Playing.

Rightly understood he was initially, first and foremost a pure Guitar Player, and has always had strong opinions, regarding the Performance of that Instrument.

In the U.K. Trade Embargos on desirable American Instruments were in Force, but would have been out of his price range anyway, and Imported European Instruments attracted Tariffs.

He purchased his Hofner Bass rather out of necessity, whilst in Germany. But by doing so there were no additional costs added to the Instrument at all, as it was made in that same Country. The Small Size and Aesthetic Symmetry of the Instrument, ideally suited it to conversion to Left Hand use, as it looked good either way, yet somewhat ironically, at the time, Hofner offered Left Hand Versions at no extra cost.

As I wrote earlier, my experience of them was that weaknesses in the minimal Neck/Body Joint meant the Necks were not as Stable and Perfectly Intonated as I would like. Additionally, I have never personally been a fan of the Sound of Hofner pickups myself. But I always found the Natural Unamplified Resonance of the Instruments Hollow Body to be extremely pleasant, and my experience generally has been that a Naturally Resonant Unamplified Instrument, normally delivers Tone well, once hooked up to an Amp. From the Get Go, The Beatles seemed to have a Good Bass Sound on Record and Live.

They were a proper old fashioned Working Group, and Toured Hard in the U.K. As where I live is very centrally located, they would often stop off locally to get Food or a Drink in the Local Pubs and Restaurants, around here, on their way to a Performance at some Concert Hall or Other. Local Pubs often have pictures of them drinking a Pint of Beer. I'll include some pictures of them. Like Carol Kaye, Joe Osborn, and many other Well Recorded Players,  Sir Paul McCartney was really a Guitar Player first and then made the Switch. I think you can hear that, in way such people Play. The point is, the Hofner's Short Scale switching from Guitar to Bass, was a great Facilitator in that Regard, and another good reason for its selection, beyond price alone.

 

 

Quote: "Bert Weedon's Play in a Day was bought by millions and was basically the very first Idiots guide. For those of you who don't know of hi there is stuff on You Tube which is well worth watching."

 

 

Many years ago.

In the Music Tutorial Publishing Field.

Precious little material indeed was widely available to show the way to aspiring Guitarists of the Period.

Bert changed that for a whole New Generation who would go on to become the Most Lauded Guitarists in the World.

In those days, American Musicians were not permitted to back American Artists appearing in the U.K. nor U.K. Musicians permitted to back U.K. Artists appearing in America, essentially  because of Musician Union Rules in both Countries

Bert Weedon was Classically Trained and Essentially one of the The Top Session Guitarists of his time in the U.K. Performing with Artists like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland and many Top British stars, while at the other end of the music scale he played for Gigli, Paul Robeson along with many others.

His Early Days found him playing with all the Top Bands of the day, including The Ted Heath Band, The Mantovani Orchestra, The Squadronnaires and more. His extreme versatility acted as a stepping stone to a plum role as a Featured Soloist with the Popular "BBC Show Band", Show, which meant Broadcasting three times a week in the Country's Top Pop Music Show, and this lasted for four years.

That's Great Exposure however you look at it. Early Rock Singers in the U.K. such as Tommy Steele, Marty Wild, Laurie London, Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and Billy Fury all asked for Bert to Play on their Records. He was the British Virtuoso Guitarist of Choice for all the Top Artists. Later on, he was seduced into the Show Business Field, always on T.V. and Radio, and a regular, appearing in Young Peoples Programs, where he provided Inspiration for that New Generation of Guitarists mentioned earlier. 

 

 

The archived material of Bert Weedon available on You Tube simply does not reflect either his Talent or Bert's Immense Influence.

Most of it is naff tat, for intended for popular club like consumption of the time targeted at a particular demographic group. As a Professional, Bert followed the Direction of Program Producers.

That he remains remembered as the most Gentle, Kindly and Generous of People, Greatly Beloved by Top Guitarists here, is highly indicative of his personal Warmth and Charm. Bert Weedon  appeared in over 5,000 Radio and TV Shows, and on Nine Occasions, he has been Voted Britain's Top Guitarist in National Popularity Polls here.

You simply  do not get to be Decorated by The Queen of England, without Significant Achievement at the Highest Level.

 

 

P

Over rated.I'll stand by that, for every Day in the Life there is a Octopus's Garden. Commercial success does not mean that the music's great, viz the Birdie Song or The Crazy Frog. Each to their own but the Beatles always bored me.

Mean as in reluctant to throw things away, again well documented. 

I didn't know that Macca had a home in Hove, Heather Mills did but she's sold that and as my folks live just down the road I might have heard something. After all they still haven't got over having Keith Richards as a neighbour. 

As for being decorated by HMQ hundreds of people get gongs for donations to political parties or for who they are, i.e military rank or civil service; thousands more go unrewarded. Could I suggest Lord Archer as one who has a title for little or no reason. 

Have a good Christmas Pete, your posts are always thought provoking and interesting. 

Steve

Quote: "I didn't know that Macca had a home in Hove, Heather Mills did but she's sold that"

 

 

Bought of course with Sir Paul's Money. Her Sister also has a place in the Area.

The Story I told, occurred in the mid 1970's as far as I can remember, long before Heather Mills came along.

At the time he had a home in Rye as well. Still has. The Recording Studio is smack in the Middle equally close between the two. Norman Smith (Hurricane), The Beatles and Pink Floyds Early Recording Engineer at EMI Studios Abbey Road, also had a home in Rye, just along the coast.

The Studio had a call out of the blue from Paul McCartney's Management. Paul was working on the 'Tug Of War' album and didn't want to go up to London to Record. His Management Experts came down first to Check the Studio Out.  After they did that, the next thing they knew they had Paul there in the Recording Studio. At first they brought in their own Machine and Monitors, But after the First Session they trusted the Studio Equipment and used everything that was already Installed.

 

 

Perhaps I should explain a little about that.

But you can see why I and my Pals chose it ourselves, for Recording and Production.

Some Great Recording Engineers, like to use their own Monitors, quite regardless of the Studio they are in.

Acoustic Environments change the Sound quite a lot, and if they have to use the Studios Own Monitors, although they may be very good, it can be difficult to judge precisely how the adjustments they make, will Translate through a System, they are completely unused to.

For instance, Al Schmitt (who I admire tremendously) has a Set of Tannoy Monitors, especially Modified by The Mastering Lab, by Doug Sax's brilliantly clever  brother Sherwood, which are especially good to work with, and he knows how the Finished Recording is going to Sound.

So good is he with these, that some of his Recordings get Transferred, Completely Flat at the Mastering House. This is the stage between the Recording Studio and the Record Plant where the Individual Tracks (which might have been Recorded in many different Studios), are Adjusted in Gain Relative to Each Other and Assembled into an Album. The Sound is also Boosted in Volume and Equalised so as to Sound Well Balanced quite regardless of whether the Recording is Played on a Super Hi-Fi, a Boom Box or in a Car.

It's almost unheard of, for Mastering Transfers to be Completely Flat, and what it means is that the Quality of the Recording is SO GOOD, nothing can be done to correct it or enhance it, in any way.

Perhaps you can see why I admire Al so much, why Sir Pauls Team brought in their own Equipment, and HOW GOOD the Studio was, for them not to need to use their own Gear.

 

 

Quote: "Mean as in reluctant to throw things away"

 

Right.

"The Folding Stuff"

Led me in just that direction.

But I too, am reluctant to throw things away.

A while back, a got a Call from a Mastering Engineer in New York.

He had been given the job of Assembling "The Rolling Stones Anthology" Box Set of Albums.

All the Material was to be Re-Mastered at Current Gain Levels to be Sonically Competitive, however there was a problem.

Much of the Early Rolling Stones Material was Recorded on a Rare Three Track Studio Recorder, and nearly all the Studios threw those away years ago.

Its all very well having the Master Tapes, but if you don't have the Recording Tape Machine to be able to Play Them Back anymore, they are really of little use to anyone at all.

So The Mastering Engineer was scouring the Globe in order to find a Properly Maintained, Working Three Track Recorder he could use to Re-Master the Master Tapes. Naturally he contacted a sensible person, who doesn't throw things away.

Stevie Wonder is far worse than Sir Paul or Myself. In his Studio in Hollywood they have Rooms of Old Gear, that everyone else would have throw away years ago, as Technology Marches On. They never throw anything away there. Recording Studios are very much like Manufacturing Plants, as they heavily rely upon having the Latest, Best Equipment, and suck up Capital Investment like nobody's business. It's one of the reasons they have become Dinosaur like today, and so many closed as people make Recordings in Smaller, Producer Studios.

To be fair sometimes Stevie hangs on to the Older Technologies because they have been Modified with Braille Markings to assist him. Some of his Keyboards especially are Modified in this way and he prefers to use them even though they have long been superseded by upgraded Models.

 

 

A couple of weeks ago, I threw away Two Brand New Boxed Top Quality Spray Guns, I had been given, I know I won't use, to have a clear out whilst a had some spare time.

Ever since then, people keep appearing that obviously need a Spray Gun.

I guess That's Life!

 

 

Quote: "Over rated.I'll stand by that, for every Day in the Life there is a Octopus's Garden. Commercial success does not mean that the music's great, viz the Birdie Song or The Crazy Frog. Each to their own but the Beatles always bored me."

 

 

Fair Enough.

I really liked their Early Stuff.

Much of it was Recorded without Gobo's to separate the Sound Sources.

And the Effect is to produce a Similar Sound, to that which would have been occurring Live, always assuming you had been able to hear it.

I like that directness and simplicity, for I have been used to hearing Live Music all my Life. Complex Multi-Tracking Production has its notable attractions, but a Group have to be able to Deliver, when the Set up is so simple.

You Basically Capture Just What is There.

 

 

Quote: "Could I suggest Lord Archer as one who has a title for little or no reason." 

 

 

Yes, but any normal person  in Oxford, could have easily predicted his Fall.

He was a Cad of the First Order and Charmed and Wormed his way in hereabouts as a young man, in such a manner that fully revealed his cheating ways to those with eyes to see it, many years prior to his Fall.

For instance, he would often make multiple false starts, again and again in Varsity Racing Sprints to try to gain unfair advantage over his Quality Opponents. It was Symptomatic of his Ingratiating Personality and Highly Indicative of his Lack of Character.

Somehow he managed to belong to an Elitist Club situated in a building 100 yards from me during the time he was around. And appeared to have falsified his Entry Qualifications to what was basically Side Line Education here; to Enter In and Partake of the Higher Echelons of Academic and Varsity Sporting Society, all of which he had No Right to Whatever. His claims were often complete fantasies, and it's no wonder to me, he did well, Writing Fiction.

He seemed to use Charity Work to gain Kudos amongst Highly Influential people that would normally be far beyond his reach. Although he claimed to be an undergraduate (which is completely disputable) he Drove Cars with Personalised Number Plates at a time when very few people could afford to, and Owned Houses whilst claiming to Work Part Time as a Charity Worker for Oxfam to benefit the Needy. Of course he used this work to Gain Leverage and Acceptance amongst people far outside his Social Strata, whom he completely duped and convinced, that he was a Very Good Fellow.

Please understand that if you appear in the right places, with the right people, you gain entrance to another world altogether, Doors Open, Contacts are Made, Opportunities Arise. It was in this capacity, raising money for Oxfam, that he wrote to The Beatles to gain their Publicity and Support in a Fundraising Drive. As I explained earlier, The Group were often driving through, and liked the Vincent Club here, so they accepted  Archers invitation to them to Visit Brasenose College and be Photographed with College Dons in the Senior Common Room there.

The Great British Comedy Actor Robert Morley's, son, (a Notable Author) was present, amongst all the Publicity Ho Ha!

As he is a Good Writer (he wrote a Biography of Noel Coward) I'll let him Finish the Story.

"At the interval I went to the toilet, and there beside me was Ringo Starr.

He asked if I knew this Jeffrey Archer bloke. I said everyone in Oxford was trying to work out who he was.

Ringo said: 'He strikes me as a nice enough fella, but he's the kind of bloke who would bottle your piss and sell it.'

 

That's an Absolutely True Story.

Have a Great Christmas.

 

P

Blimey!  That's what I call diversity of views!!!  

Picking up the snippets in between it all :-) , I have agreed with the owner what we will do.  It'll be a check that the neck holds the tension of a set of strings OK without warping, then a tidy up of the existing frets, check that the p/ups still work (replace if not) and, as suggested above, a second control panel.  I'll have a ponder about using that opportunity for a few more sounds, depending what state the original panel is like.   Then he'll use it for what it was always meant for - playing.

Thanks all for the great feedback and all have a very nice Christmas / Winter Break

Andy

RSS

© 2022   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service