Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Better Late Than Never

Finally saw Tommy Tedesco's documentary on The Wrecking Crew over the weekend, and yes it's as great as everybody told me -- funny, touching, informative, and as neat a portrait of a now vanished era as you're ever likely to witness.

Plus lots of incredible music, obviously.

That said, however, I have one cavil -- with the exception of a brief captioned photo, there's nary a mention of the guy I think was the most amazing musician of the bunch. I refer, of course, to perhaps the greatest multi-instrumentalist/rock-and-roll keyboard guy who ever lived, the incomparable Larry Knechtel.

Here's a little tribute I did to Knechtel on the occasion of his death in 2009; the Divshare links are down, so here are YouTube links to two of his most indelible contributions to 60s and 70s pop.

The bass riff for "Mr. Tambourine Man."

And his absolutely astounding piano part for "Mother and Child Reunion." The first -- and for my money still the best -- example of white boy reggae ever. And damned if Knechtel's descending octave passage work at approximately 1:50 seconds in doesn't kick the track into a whole other dimension. And then keeps building from there.

In any case, despite the omission of Knechtel, a fabulous movie; you can, and should, stream it from Netflix or Amazon; Amazon also has the DVD.


Gummo said...

He finally got it released?


steve simels said...

It's great. Run do not walk.

Anonymous said...

Knechtel plays the piano on "Bridge Over Troubled Water" too.

Vickie Rock

Anonymous said...

The wah-wah guitar work on Bread's "Guitar Man," is pretty cool. And his subtle work on 5th Dimension's Magic Garden. Did he really play bass on Light My Fire?

Vickie Rock

Billy B said...

VR -

I agree on the Guitar Man guitar. I like that stuff a whole lot more now than I did when it was new.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree with your comments about Knechtel. Also thought they should have made a bit more mention of guitarist Billy Strange and drummer Jim Gordon. Overall, though, the film's a fascinating, amazing piece of work. And is Carol Kaye one of the coolest people on the planet or what??

J. Lag

Anonymous said...

Billy B:

I actually owned the first two Bread albums. They were given to me shortly after the second one came out. The albums had their moments.

Of the two, I definitely prefer "On the Waters." "Been Too Long On the Road" comes to mind. It's their masterpiece as far as I'm concerned.

Additionally the fuzz guitar on some of the early songs is kinda psych. Check out the guitar on "Call On Me", and "Blue Satin Pillow." "Why Do You Keep Me Waiting" has the fuzz plus a tasty steel guitar solo that leaves you begging for more. Always a good thing.

And then there's the wonderfully libertine "Easy Love". When and where else have I heard those bass effects? Chris Squire? I put this breezy song on lots of my custom 8-Tracks back then. For awhile it was sorta my trademark, signature tune. I used it at the end of the tapes as enjoyable filler if I had 2:30 to spare.

Easy Love evokes a variety of memories where youth springs eternal. Like diggin' a euphoric ride up the coast, top-down, topless and free. Exchanging libidinous glances before adding the next one to my collection. Reveling in passionate outdoor sex to honor and embody God's General Revelation. Dancing playfully, fusing wickedness and innocence into supreme seduction. Biting the armrest in the back of a car as my baby stakes his claim to the most tender piece of my soul. Perpetually coming in synesthesia during a drug-fueled Thelemic flesh ritual as "Satanic Majesties" plays way up loud. Like powerful waves of overwhelming pleasure vigorously lapping into my sun-kissed and glistening thighs. Riding each crest to the edge of my body's limitations and mind's elasticity. Plunging in perfect communion while locked in a glazed, hypnotic, savage gaze. Feeling his sweat rain down on me, slowly rolling down my enlivened flesh as I scratch and claw him open. Becoming one with the soft caress of the breeze and the glowing warmth of the sun. The Warmth of the Sun. The Warmth of the Sun. It's in me tonight. And won't ever die.

Vickie Rock - Easy love, she's got a present for you. Easy love, got nothin' better to do.

Apologies for going tangential and OT since Knechtel is not on the recordings discussed above.