Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby bor64 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:55 pm

Well Steve,

That's exactly what Hank told me multiple times.
They used certain guitars and amps longer in the studio, then some of " the trainspotters " (a honourous nickname the shads described the fanatic detail hunters with) seems to assume because of pinpointed dates of recordings or stage appearance .
There was just a simple reason, sometimes the stage gears stays in the van or where at the Vox plant for service and they tried to use the latest version on stage.
In the past a few peeps wrote how it all went with the Burns Marvin and the 20+ prototypes... dates when the shads got them and they had to used them on certain dates on recordings etc.
When I placed this snippet of one of my talks with Hank...they told me nope Hanks is wrong because he told in 62 in a magazine...
https://app.box.com/s/zzpqlnrb79wx4cc9tg7x
In a later conversation I was told by the men himself, the 20+ proto's are just a myth, they got most of the time the same guitar with alterations back and forth.
Even when they got the guitars for stage use there were modifications needed, think the toast-rack and trem backplate.
But guess what, still the large numbers of prototypes is still popping up in publications and topics on websites....

The statement they gave the maple neck back to Cliff....well that was well in the time the rosewoods were used...because the 34346 was painted white in same timeslot the rosewood got their white coat.

Cheers Rob
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby roger bayliss » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:19 am

Hanks memory of those recording dates seems sharp enough Rob , and it's from the horses mouth as it were.

I think one thing that is apparent to me is that the Vox Top Boost amp tone settings had changed by then for all of those tunes mentioned, ie Dance On, Foot Tapper, Shindig, Geronimo, Atlantis, Young Lovers etc as far as I can tell. This us what we have often referred to as the Burns Nasal sound. The Burns from what Hank says , did not start to make appearances until at least the back end of 1963 as prototype and later 1964 onwards.

So that was the interim sound between the older tunes sound character and the Burns nasal settings.

I always thought some guitars were used in studio and others on tour and thought 34346 would have been used in studio because of the magic and good fortune it had delivered after its arrival in the UK.

Interesting interview thanks.
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby fenderplucker » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:47 am

Hi Rob, Roger,

That sound bite from Hank is interesting but again raises some questions. For example, he says that "Theme for Young Lovers was recorded in the summer, in Blackpool, in 1963". But documentary evidence shows that it was recorded with Walkin' at Abbey Road on 1 November 1963 (i.e. Autumn 1963). He goes on to say that they didn't ask Jimmy Burns to design those first guitars ‘till the middle or end of summer 1963, and didn't get them until almost the end of 1963 (but had a prototype to try out). But in Pearls and Crazy Diamonds, Jim Burns says that he was first approached in 1962 and delivered the first two "final" versions to Hank and Bruce in November 1963, though Hank still wanted some further changes. This as borne out in a statement by Hank in his column in the October 25, 1963 edition of New Music Express where he says that he has started playing his guitar but it still needs some adjustment. So could he have used a Burns on Walkin' and/or Theme for Young Lovers, or was it a Strat? To my ear TFYL was probably a Strat, but then Walkin' sounds more like a Burns:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuYc1r945Jk&feature=youtu.be

What are thoughts on the matter?

However, I agree that the "20-30 prototypes" was indeed probably a myth, and just some adjustments/changes in the instruments sent to Hank each time.

Paul (trainspotter!!).
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby abstamaria » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:43 am

Paul, what is your view on what guitar Hank used for Wonderful Land?

Andy
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby roger bayliss » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:26 am

fenderplucker wrote:Hi Rob, Roger,

That sound bite from Hank is interesting but again raises some questions. For example, he says that "Theme for Young Lovers was recorded in the summer, in Blackpool, in 1963". But documentary evidence shows that it was recorded with Walkin' at Abbey Road on 1 November 1963 (i.e. Autumn 1963). He goes on to say that they didn't ask Jimmy Burns to design those first guitars ‘till the middle or end of summer 1963, and didn't get them until almost the end of 1963 (but had a prototype to try out). But in Pearls and Crazy Diamonds, Jim Burns says that he was first approached in 1962 and delivered the first two "final" versions to Hank and Bruce in November 1963, though Hank still wanted some further changes. This as borne out in a statement by Hank in his column in the October 25, 1963 edition of New Music Express where he says that he has started playing his guitar but it still needs some adjustment. So could he have used a Burns on Walkin' and/or Theme for Young Lovers, or was it a Strat? To my ear TFYL was probably a Strat, but then Walkin' sounds more like a Burns:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuYc1r945Jk&feature=youtu.be

What are thoughts on the matter?

However, I agree that the "20-30 prototypes" was indeed probably a myth, and just some adjustments/changes in the instruments sent to Hank each time.

Paul (trainspotter!!).


Hi Paul,

I agree with your guitar findings in your video, sounds right to me. I thought Shindig might have been played on the neck bridge combo rather than the middle and that clears that up.

As regards to 34346 being used o Wonderful Land, would we ever know? Maybe Rob's low G pole theory might help us decide. I would not be sure .
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby JimN » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:17 pm

fenderplucker wrote:Hi Rob, Roger,

That sound bite from Hank is interesting but again raises some questions. For example, he says that "Theme for Young Lovers was recorded in the summer, in Blackpool, in 1963". But documentary evidence shows that it was recorded with Walkin' at Abbey Road on 1 November 1963 (i.e. Autumn 1963). He goes on to say that they didn't ask Jimmy Burns to design those first guitars ‘till the middle or end of summer 1963, and didn't get them until almost the end of 1963 (but had a prototype to try out). But in Pearls and Crazy Diamonds, Jim Burns says that he was first approached in 1962 and delivered the first two "final" versions to Hank and Bruce in November 1963, though Hank still wanted some further changes. This as borne out in a statement by Hank in his column in the October 25, 1963 edition of New Music Express where he says that he has started playing his guitar but it still needs some adjustment. So could he have used a Burns on Walkin' and/or Theme for Young Lovers, or was it a Strat? To my ear TFYL was probably a Strat, but then Walkin' sounds more like a Burns:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuYc1r945Jk&feature=youtu.be

What are thoughts on the matter?

However, I agree that the "20-30 prototypes" was indeed probably a myth, and just some adjustments/changes in the instruments sent to Hank each time.

Paul (trainspotter!!).


The "thirty prototypes" story - whatever its truth or mythicality - was first retailed by Hank himself in his monthly column in the "Beat Instrumental" magazine in early 1964. I'm sure someone here has a copy of it they can post.

The same is true for the statement of the length of time that the Burns guitars were in development (not too far off two years before becoming available to ordinary buyers). That too came from Hank's comments in his column. It didn't come from anywhere else.

Additionally, a television programme shown in May 1962 - "Dan Farson meets The Shadows" - had Hank answering a question by saying that they had designed their guitars. This was at a time when I knew nothing about guitars or their makers and I naturally assumed he was talking about the red instruments they were using. It was only later, given what Hank had said about the development period, that it became apparent that he had been talking about the Marvin and Shadows bass. Well, he certainly wasn't talking about the Stratocaster, that's for sure.

There is a thread on a Shadows Facebook page about Walkin'. It is true that Roberto Pistolesi's database contains the information that four songs were recorded at Abbey Road on 1st November 1963, one of them being a Cliff number. Shazam! is definitely listed (meaning that there is an index card for it in the Hayes EMI archive), but it is possible that this was a polishing session with an edit or two - or perhaps even the piano being added by Norrie Paramor. The Blackpool sessions are represented in that card index by exactly nine songs...

Blue Shadows / Dakota / French Dressing / Boum / C'est Si Bon / La Mer / J'Attendrai / Say You're Mine / What've I Gotta Do

...recorded between the 1st and 9th August inclusive. There is no mention of Shazam! or Theme For Young Lovers being among them, but that could possibly be partly due to a record-keeping error.

The length of time it took to develop the Burns Marvin was totally unconscionable. Had that guitar become available in the summer of 1962 when The Shadows were still the toppermost of the poppermost and solid guitars still the main pop music objects of desire (as opposed to Gretsches, Gibson ES-335, etc), production could have been measured in the thousands rather than the (few) hundreds.
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby scouserjoe2 » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:38 pm

Hi All,

Well here's another piece of evidence about what guitar was used on Wonderful Land to muddy the waters once more ...

In the Christmas 1997 edition of 'Guitar Techniques' magazine (of which I have a copy in front of me right now) there is an exclusive interview with Hank Marvin and an 'Ultimate' guide to playing Wonderful Land.

Hank was asked which Stratocaster were you using at the time of the recording of Wonderful Land and he replied "We all hand Fenders when JMI offered us all red Fenders and we thought that would look fantastic. That's when I got the one with the rosewood neck and that was in 1961 but most likely AFTER Wonderful Land."

Bruce also comments in the same article "Yes, Hank MOST DEFINITELY used the maple neck Strat on this one and a Vox AC30 in the studio."

So .. who do you believe and whose memory can you trust ??

Cheers,

Ian
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby JimN » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:26 pm

Wonderful Land was recorded on 12th May 1961.

The Shadows definitely had the matching rosewood-necked Fenders before that. The well-known edition of BBC TV's "Crackerjack" on which they played FBI and The Frightened City - on r/n guitars - was transmitted no later than 27th April 1961 (the last transmission date in the programme's 1960-1961 season). It might well have been before that date; 27th April is merely the last date it could have been. It was, as we can see, a minimum of two weeks before the recording of Wonderful Land.

So... does this "prove" that this or that guitar was used on Wonderful Land?

Of course it doesn't. All it does is establish the order in which certain things happened, based on solid historical evidence.
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby fenderplucker » Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:50 pm

Hi Guys,

Some interesting material there to ponder upon.

On the question of what Strat was used on Wonderful Land, I am agnostic (which is a weasel way of saying I'm not game to stick my neck out!). I don't think that the differences in tone between maple and rosewood is large or consistent enough to be able to tell just from a recording, particularly when different strings, amplifiers, settings of the amplifier tone controls and recording conditions are possible. Hank had access to both by May 1961 when Wonderful Land was recorded, so we just have to go by people's recollections.

On the lower G pole issue, at that time I assume that Hank would have been using a wound G and so if the G pole was low (say, similar to the B and E), then it would have resulted in a lower volume on that string. There is evidence of this on The Savage, for example, but not Peace Pipe that was recorded at the same session on 25th May. Nor is it evident on Wonderful Land (12th May) that I can hear. Of course, it is possible to compensate for this by picking that string a bit harder, so who knows? Maybe he used a thinner string on The Savage? Does this risk raising again the whole debate about Hank's pickups that raged on this site in 2012 and 2019??

Paul.
Last edited by fenderplucker on Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wonderful Land, what was used for the recording

Postby Gary Allen » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:34 pm

Bruce,if you're reading this. .and you've a pain in your **** watching the telly with all this isolation stuff,can you whip your iPhone out and do a vid with the chords to wonderful land,and maybe elaborate on guitars used ?
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