28. April, 2012
I stumbled upon a great article by Jas Obrecht about the history of guitar in the music studios of Los Angeles. In 1980 Obrecht had the unique opportunity to interview guitar legends such as George M. Smith, Al Hendrickson, Bob Bain, Mitch Holder, Tim May and Tommy Tedesco.
27. February, 2012
Billy Strange, about two years old
I’m still very sad about the passing of the great musician Billy Strange. Not was he only a wonderful guitarist, producer and arranger, he was also a great friend. A unique man: thoughtful, funny, clever, heardheaded and supportive. He had the greatness to let others shine on stage and on records.
Over the years I’ve met Billy several times. And the more I learned about his life and career, the more in awe I was. That’s why I started writing about him on this blog. Later I interviewed Billy on video. Two parts of this video interview were published by Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger (English with German subtitles):
Das unbekannte Genie hinter Elvis und Sinatra: Teil 1
Das unbekannte Genie hinter Elvis und Sinatra: Teil 2
Here is my farewell to Billy (in German):
Der Forrest Gump der Musikgeschichte
And here are some articles from this blog about Billy Strange:
Billy Strange talks about Nancy Sinatra
Billy Strange’s Fuzz Guitar Spices Up Ann-Margret Ballad
The Billy Strange Story of Chubby Checker Hit Song ‘Limbo Rock’
The Birth of a Beach Boys Song
The Forgotten Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood CD
Billy Strange instrumentals on iTunes
1. October, 2010
Nancy Sinatra in the studio with Billy Strange.
Part 2 of my mini-video-documentary is now online: Billy Strange – Hit Maker.
2. January, 2010
Ann-Margret (Photo: unknown)
Billy Strange (Photo: The "Official" Billy Strange Fan Group on Facebook)
Recently I discovered a great fuzz guitar example on Westex’ blog Diggin’ It!!! performed by studio guitarist legend Billy Strange. He played a catchy fuzz guitar intro on Ann-Margret’s country-pop ballad I Just Don’t Understand from 1961 and added some more fuzz later in the song on the chorus and in the solo part.
Billy Strange is notorious for his fuzz guitar. In 1962 he played a driving fuzz guitar solo on the Phil Spector production “Zip-A-Dee-Doo Dah” by Bobb B. Sox and the Blue Jeans. To get the fuzz sound he used a very simple but effective method that he explains in Tales Of Broken Guitar Amps.
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22. August, 2009
According to the Yakima Herald keyboarder/electric bass player Larry Knechtel dies at age 69.
Larry Knechtel was a busy musician, working live and in the studios. He recently collaborated with The Dixie Chicks. Besides that he played with musicians and bands such as Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, The Doors, The Byrds, Neil Diamond, The Beach Boys, Steppenwolf, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson and Elvis Presley.
Larry Knechtel received a Grammy award for arranging Simon and Garfunkel’s super hit Bridge Over Troubled Water, on which he also played keyboard. He was also a member of Bread.
As studio musician Larry Knechtel was an important part of the Los Angeles music studio scene of the nineteen-sixties.