Tag: Tom Petty
A new trailer of 'Sound City,' the feature-length documentary directed and produced by Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, about Los Angeles' legendary and now defunct Sound City recording studio in Van Nuys, California has been posted. The concept for the movie was conceived by Grohl after he bought an equally famous Neve 8028 recording console from the studio. The console, built in 1972, is considered by many to be the crown jewel of analog recording equipment.
The Neve 8028 was used to record an amazing list of classic albums by the likes of Nirvana, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Guns N' Roses, Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica and countless others over the past 40 years. The clip features John Fogerty, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood and others discussing their experiences recording at the legendary Los Angeles studio and working with the Neve 8028.
"It's tube-driven, it's analog," comments Fogerty. "The bass sounds better, the human voice sounds better." Sound City will reportedly include new music and interviews with a wide variety of other artists, including Rick Springfield collaborating with Corey Taylor, members of Cheap Trick, Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon and Stephen Pearcy and Warren DeMartini of Ratt. No release date for the film has yet been announced, but Grohl hopes to have it out by early 2013.
Legendary and influential Rock And Roll Hall of Fame bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn passed away this past Sunday morning (May 13) at the age of 70. The trbutes and rememberances continue with the latest coming from Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament. Back in 2007 Ament put Dunn’s name into the neck of one of his basses.
Dunn's name joined Ament's other major influences Dee Dee Ramone (the Ramones), John Entwistle (the Who), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and Mike Watt of the 80s punk band the Minutemen. On the Pearl Jam website, Ament shared a picture of the bass as well as his rememberances of seeing Dunn up close every night while opening up for Neil Young in 1993.
"Five years ago, I made a list of my favorite and most influential bassists, and after much editing, decided to put their names on the back of my new favorite bass at the time and the first name on the neck is Duck Dunn. In 1993, the band was lucky enough to open a bunch of shows in the US and Europe for Neil and his band of Booker T., Steve Cropper, Jim Keltner and Duck. Our band watched every minute of this all-star band and lessons were delivered nightly. I learned more about how to "play songs" in a band than my previous 12 years of playing. Duck played deeper and with more economy than most and profoundly effected how I play with PJ.
Thanks for the education, I’ll miss you, DD.
Here's a thorough appreciation written by Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times:
May 15, 2012
As the bass player on dozens of the most soulful hits in the history of pop music, Donald "Duck" Dunn often found himself out on the road playing to fans who had assumed he was black like the stars he supported, notably Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Sam & Dave.
When audiences encountered a white bassist in the lineup, "A lot of people thought I was a pick-up bass player — they thought Duck Dunn was a black guy who couldn't make the tour for some reason," Dunn told an interviewer in 2005 about his best-known role as bassist for Booker T. & the MG's, which had a string of instrumental hits apart from its status as the house band at Stax Records in Memphis.
"In Europe they'd ask me, 'What's it like to play with a black man?' I never knew what to say; we didn't think that way — we just played," Dunn said. "We got the soul sound by blending our country and blues influences. I grew up with the Grand Ole Opry. When we mixed that feel with the blues, we got something new."
Dunn was still playing that infectious blend of country, gospel, blues and rock with his longtime partner in the MG's, guitarist Steve Cropper, in Tokyo last week when he died Sunday in his sleep at age 70. They had just completed 10 shows over five days with their Stax Revue. The shows had been postponed after last year's earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.
Dunn's son, Jeff, said Monday that his father had complained to his wife, June, about not feeling well but thought it was no more than jet lag from the long trip to Japan.
"Today I lost my best friend, the world has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live," Cropper wrote on his Facebook page.
MG's leader and organist Booker T. Jones said Monday, "He was always there — Duck was very dependable and very steady, and that's a good quality in a bass player. He wasn't one to jump up and play solos on the bass. He was a background player, but at the same time he stood out."
Booker T. & the MG's were on the charts consistently for nearly a decade, putting 18 instrumental hits into the Billboard Top 100, from their first, "Green Onions," in 1962, through their final appearance in 1971 with "Melting Pot." Dunn came into the lineup after "Green Onions" established the group as a hit-making entity on its own (Lewis Steinberg was the original bassist), but Dunn cemented the lineup that continued until drummer Al Jackson Jr. was shot to death in 1975.
"When you look at all the bass players for Motown and Atlantic, the guys from Chicago, all the top bass players — when you start calling the names of all the top bass players, you're not going to end the conversation without calling the name of Donald "Duck" Dunn," singer Sam Moore said from London on Monday.
"Other players got more notoriety than Duck, but he could do things with the bass that maybe Larry Graham or Willie Weeks or Chuck Rainey or James Jamerson couldn't do," Moore said. "And he made it so simple, but you always knew he was there."
It wasn't unusual for Dunn's bass lines to lead the way when the MG's went to record. His sinuous, pulsing notes set a foreboding tone in their hit rendition of "Hang 'Em High," the theme from the 1968 western starring Clint Eastwood. His funky, hopping rhythmic melody line is featured at the start of the MG's' 1967 hit "Hip Hug-Her." And Dunn nimbly doubled Cropper's signature guitar lead on the propulsive "Time Is Tight," adding low-end muscle to the song's insistent groove.
Donald Dunn was born Nov. 24, 1941, in Memphis and got his nickname early on from the hours he spent watching Donald Duck cartoons with his father. He met future band mate Cropper in high school, where they teamed up with saxophonist Don Nix and played together as the Royal Spades.
Dunn, Cropper and Nix were soon joined by trumpeter Wayne Jackson, keyboardist Jerry Lee "Smoochie" Smith, drummer Terry Johnson and tenor saxophonist Charles Axton, changing the name of the band to the Mar-Keys, which scored a Top 10 hit with their 1961 instrumental "Last Night."
"We were a little band making a little money, and we thought we were pretty hot," said Wayne Jackson, who with saxophonist Andrew Love also was a signature part of countless recordings made at Stax. "Duck was a natural musician, and he was a great bass player. He played very melodically, and the rhythm stuff he did, he sort of held the rhythm section up by the lapels."
After touring for three years without landing a follow-up hit, Dunn went back to Memphis and took Steinberg's place in the MG's, which had become the house band at Stax Records, playing on recordings for its growing stable of R&B and soul singers. The records that came out of Stax during the '60s typically featured a grittier, funkier brand of R&B than the smooth, urbane sound favored in Detroit by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.
Dunn and the rest of the MG's figured prominently on Stax hits such as Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour," Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" and Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Coming" and "Soul Man."
Sam & Dave directly inspired John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's Blues Brothers comedy sketch on "Saturday Night Live." The pair drafted Dunn and Cropper onto the big screen when they expanded the sketch into a feature film in 1977, saluting many of the R&B and soul greats they admired.
"That may have started as a joke," Dunn told Bass Player magazine in 2005, "but we got a really good band together, and we got a lot of people interested in going back to the old records."
Still, the Blues Brothers shtick rankled many R&B and soul music aficionados, some viewing their platinum-selling recordings as a pale imitation of the original sound they were mimicking.
But Dunn defended Aykroyd and Belushi, saying in an interview last year that they had "opened the doors for a lot of people that weren't being thought of anymore. And I love that, because I just love to play for people. It is fun to, and I still think we can produce and play pretty much like we could."
Booker T. & the MG's were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and recorded and toured with other Hall of Fame members including Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Tom Petty. In recent years, Dunn was semi-retired and lived with his wife near their son in Sarasota, Fla., but also played occasionally when Booker T. would reconvene the MG's, or with Cropper and Stax singer Eddie Floyd in the Stax Revue.
"With age, I've lost some speed," Dunn said last year, "but that is OK. I was always more about groove than speed."
In addition to his wife and son, Dunn is survived by a grandson, Michael, named after Dunn's other son, who died in a car accident in 1983.
Beatles News: Olivia Harrison talks Beatles, Wilburys and unreleased material, Ringo Starr loses track of photo collection
George Harrison's widow Olivia has done some interviews recently to discuss her late husband songwriting and the recent releases of Martin Scorsese's George Harrison documentary, 'Living In The Material World,' and the CD 'Early Takes: Volume 1,' a collection of Harrison's demos and unreleased recordings,
Olivia Harrison oversaw the 'Early Takes' CD with Giles Martin, and told Spinner that George's writing process was "an amazing thing to witness...It was just being born right then and there. I'd try not to interrupt; I'd put a pencil and a piece of paper by him, you know, just to make sure he had something if he wanted to write something down. I'd get the tape cassette player and put it there.
"With these early takes, for me anyway, I'm experiencing that this was the birth of something. Uncluttered, unproduced, unfettered, not too thought-out--just that purity. That's the only reason for putting them out. I think they're really beautiful and intimate and revealing."
She also discussed the existence of more unreleased material and if there was any comparison by George in regards to the Beatles and the Traveling Wilburys: "There is some more material. There may be a minute of something he was writing, and it will never be finished. I had an idea of giving unfinished songs to different people. Giving one to Paul [McCartney], maybe, or giving one to somebody else and saying, 'Here are the bones of a song, would you like to finish it?' I think that would be a nice idea."
"He just said he had a lot of fun with the Wilburys, and he had a lot of fun with the Beatles. He never really...I don't think there's anything you can compare to being in a band like the Beatles, is there? But he really had fun with Bob and Roy and Tom [Petty] and Jeff [Lynne]. He loved being a collaborator and loved not having to do all the work himself. I think that was the main thing. And he could hang out; he liked to hang out. He didn't always have guys and musicians to hang out with. He missed that."
Olivia on whether he felt stifled in The Beatles:
"He wasn't stifled as a writer. Nobody can stifle you as a writer. You can just keep writing; you might not get your song on an album. He developed later as a songwriter. It seems to be history that he was suppressed or something, but really, he developed later as a songwriter. Although there was so much material that John [Lennon] and Paul were writing, sure, it would be hard to get your songs on an album when they had been writing so many songs for all those years."
Andy Greene of Rollingstone.com talked to Ringo Starr for an upcoming interview:
During the early days of the Beatles, Ringo Starr often traveled with a camera and took photos of of the group behind the scenes, from rehearsing for their history-making appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show to goofing around on the set of their 1965 movie, Help! In countless Beatles photographs, Starr is seen taking his own pictures, the vast majority of which have never been released. Sadly, Starr tells Rolling Stone that's unlikely to change anytime soon.
Starr hopes they might pop up unexpectedly one day, since it's happened before – about a decade ago, he uncovered a bunch of postcards from his bandmates and published them in the 2004 book, Postcards from the Boys. "I found a box on my shelf and was like, 'What the hell is that?'" Starr recalls. "And it was full of the postcards. At the time we were moving house yet again, and the secretary I had at the time decided to put them all in envelopes and put them in a shoebox. That's how I found out I still had them. So you never know – one day I may find another box with all my photos."
Later this week RollingStone.com will have more on the new interview with Starr, including his thoughts on releasing the 'Let It Be' movie on DVD, his upcoming summer tour with the All Starr Band and why he's reluctant to perform 'Octopus's Garden' live.
The Dave Grohl produced and directed documentary honoring the late, great Sound City studio continues to move forward with more details, more collaborations, and even a handwritten letter by Dave Grohl explaining why this project is so important to him.
"There used to be a recording studio called Sound City that was in the San Fernando Valley. Nirvana recorded there in 1991. It was this really beautiful dump in the middle of a warehouse district. A lot of great records were made there," Grohl said. "Fleetwood Mac made records there, Neil Young made records there, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, Dio, Ratt, Pat Benatar...so I interviewed them to tell the history of the studio, but then I invite them back to record with me, and we make a record."
Grohl, who has purchased a vintage recording console from the studio, expanded his mission statement for the film by releasing a handwritten note that let it be known this is definitely a passion project.
"In the spring of 1991, I packed all of my belongings into an Army Surplus duffle bag, put my drums in some dusty road cases, rolled up my sleeping bag and jumped into an old, beat-up Ford van headed down to Los Angeles from Seattle," Grohl wrote. "I was a 22-year-old starving musician without a cent to my name or a place to call home. My destination: Sound City.
"The following three weeks changed my life forever. 'Sound City' is a film about America's greatest unsung recording studio. Deep in California's sun-burnt San Fernando Valley, tucked away behind train tracks and dilapidated warehouses, it was the birthplace of legend," he continued. "It was witness to history. It was home to a special few, intent on preserving an ideal. An analog church, a time capsule. The last bastion of a craft defied by technology. It was rock and roll hallowed ground. And it was our best-kept secret. Now I want to tell its story."
We're still waiting on a release date for the "Sound City" documentary, which will be distributed by Roswell Films, a division of the label that releases all the Foos Fighters music. Here's a trailer and video for the movie, a copy of Grohl's letter, a cassette label that Grohl unveiled at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, and a few studio shots with collaborators in the studio.
Five guitars belonging to Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers have been stolen from the Soundstage in Culver City, California where they have been rehearsing for their US tour which will start next week. Police in Culver City are investigating the burglary.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are offering a $7500 reward with no questions asked to anyone with information leading to the recovery of the guitars. The stolen guitars are as follows: Tom Petty's 1967 blonde Rickenbacker 360/12 (serial no. GH 3747), Petty's 1965 Gibson SG TV Junior (serial no. 318533), Scott Thurston's 1967 Epiphone Sheraton, Ron Blair's Fender Broadcaster and one of Mike Campbell's Duesenberg Mike Campbell Signature Models.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of these stolen guitars call the Culver City Police Department, Detective Grant at (310)-253-6305. You can also email and info to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For visuals of the guitars and more info go to the official website: www.tompetty.com
Some valuable and rare Alice Cooper memorabilia was stolen recently from a Los Angeles storage facility that houses the shock rocker's archives. Among the collectibles stolen included a bunch of vinyl LPs, a macabre sculpture that appeared on the 'Hey Stoopid' album cover and a leather jacket Cooper wore during his appearance in the movie 'Wayne's World.'
A message on Alice's website requests, "If anyone sees anything suspicious or hears anything about these stolen items -- especially on the internet or in Los Angeles -- please let us know at email@example.com."
The note also points out that since Cooper's storage unit wasn't the only one broken into, it's not believed that the culprits were specifically trying to rip off the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.