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 Post subject: Legendary Vinnie Bell guitar sounds
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 5:21 am 
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Speaking of Peter Tork's passing brought up the many studio musicians that helped propel the Monkees into the Top 40 charts.
One of those studio musicians was Vinnie Bell, still alive, who played some of the guitar effects on "I'm a Believer".
He can be heard playing rhythm on the Frankie Valee's "Can't Take My eyes Off of You", and he was spending equal time in New York and LA studios. He had a locked storage room for instruments at one studio to cut down on luggage.

He worked with Danelectro to produce the first electric 12-string, which was then picked up by Rickenbaker and Fender.
He invented the first Wah-wah pedal, and produced a watery guitar sound, such as heard on the theme for "Midnight Cowboy". He played a lot of movie theme music, including the Barberalla sound track.
Lots of hit songs used his invented guitar sounds.

Perhaps his most distinctive invention is the electric sitar. The company that built them was Coral, so the full name is the Bell Coral Electric Sitar, heard on BJ Proby's "Hooked on a Feeling", the Animals "Monterey", the BoxTops "Cry Like a Baby" and lots more.
The riff on Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love", and the sitar/guitar solo on Steely Dan's "Do It Again".
He took a 6-string electric and added sympathetic strings. Then he monkeyed with the bridge so the strings rattle against it. Now anybody could be Ravi Shankar. 8)

http://www.spaceagepop.com/bell.htm

https://www.vintageguitar.com/23062/cor ... ric-sitar/

Want to watch some 60s psychedelic lip-sync video? "Incense and Peppermints" featuring one of Vinnie Bell's crazy guitars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rw1_FNdy-Y

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Burl Ives, RIP, oldtimer.
[:l>)


Last edited by westcoastjohn on Mar Fri 29, 2019 7:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Legendary Vinnie Bell guitar sounds
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 5:50 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
Thanks for an interesting write up. We are fortunate to be able to enjoy his music.

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 Post subject: Re: Legendary Vinnie Bell guitar sounds
PostPosted: Mar Tue 26, 2019 4:42 pm 
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Eric Burdon's Monterey is a classic. This video is pretty good, and it does show the Bell electric sitar for a few seconds at 2:17. I think that would be Vince Briggs, another Vinnie, of the New Animals, getting the most from the instrument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xExo67OLrdY

Steely Dan, "Do It Again", this video has good audio, and you can certainly hear the electric sitar, but the guitar in the vid, in the capable hands of Denny Dias*, is a Telecaster**. Oh well, it's a great tune. RIP, Walter Becker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMYs07XiPOU

*From Wikipedia: Dias was working with his own band out of his basement in Hicksville, New York, when he placed an ad in The Village Voice in the summer of 1970 that read: "Looking for keyboardist and bassist. Must have jazz chops! () need not apply".
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker responded to the advertisement. They joined his band and immediately began playing their own material. Dias fired the rest of the band, and the three of them moved to California, adding drummer Jim Hodder, guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, and vocalist David Palmer."

**I figured it out, the Vinnie Bell sitar has 13 drone strings tuned with a key. Too much fussing around while on tour.
They maybe didn't always have a roadie keeping instruments in tune.
Also electronic tuning devices that show the frequency of the string were just coming on stream. Maybe they had one, but it would still be a hassle to tune all the strings and then tune again and again as the tension goes up on the guitar.
They only needed it for one song, so were probably keeping it simple in the early days, when a live recorded album was unlikely.
That is all speculation so repeat none of it, thanks. 8)

_________________
Watch the doughnut, not the hole.
Burl Ives, RIP, oldtimer.
[:l>)


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