Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Great Lost Singles of the Sixties, Part XVII

From 1968, here's Al Wilson's "The Snake." In glorious stereophonic sound, as nature intended.

I don't know who this Music Mike geek is, but I'll give him this -- he knows how to pick 'em.



Incidentally, Wilson followed this one up with an absolutely astonishing Stax-style take on Creedence's "Lodi," a 1969 single (never on CD, alas) featuring some of the best (uncredited) slide guitar work ever heard on a commercial pop record. For years I've been guessing it was provided by either Ry Cooder or Canned Heat's Alan Wilson, since they were the only slide whizzes doing session work in L.A. at the time, although my research on this hit a blank wall a while ago (frequent queries over at producer Johnny Rivers' website have proved unavailing, as have various Cooder and Wilson discographies). So if anybody has any idea....

6 comments:

peter spencer said...

For some reason I think Jerry McGhee might be the LA session slide-player you're looking for. He played with both Captain Beefheart and the Ventures (THERE'S a diverse resume for you) and I think he played slide. In the late '60s Ry Cooder spent a lot of time in London playing with the Stones and thus not in LA doing sessions. And there's a chance, I suppose, that it could be Duane Allman, although he worked just in New York and Muscle Shoals, I think. I could be wrong about all of this this.

steve simels said...

Pete --

Thanks for that tip; I've heard of him and you may very well be right (although Cooder actually did a lot of LA session work back then -- hell, he's on Monkees records and he's doing the cool guitar on Paul Revere's great "Him or Me (What's It Gonna Be").

Anyway -- I'll check it out; if it is McGhee, it's the answer to a question that has plagued me for years.

Oh, and I can burn you a copy of the Wilson song, BTW, if you're interested...It's really great....

Anonymous said...

The Broadcasters use to do a really good version of "The Snake" with Blackie Pagano singing.

Didn't Delbert McClinton also do this song?


ROTP(lumber)

steve simels said...

Peter Spencer:

And I just ruled out Duane -- found a web site with practically a day by chronology of his movements in the 60s, and he doesn't seem to have done any outside sessions in LA during 68 and 69.....

Whoever it is on Wilson's Lodi has a completely different sound anyway from Duanes, which is why I was thinking Cooder or the Canned Heat guy....

peter spencer said...

I'd love to hear it and might be able to tell from the sound who it is.

TMink said...

Ah, the memories! I loved this one in 1973, but I did not dig the horns enough!

Trey