Inkwell: Authors and Artists
blather storm (lolly) Sun 9 Sep 01 21:48
I suddenly remember a record I engineered way back in, gosh, must have been 82 or 83. Greg Anton and Steve Kimmock were involved, Dan Healy was mixer (I was the studio guy). John was there, but as I recall he wasn't playing - perhaps he was producing?? Anybody have any idea what this might have been? How funny I don't remember more than this little snapshot of recollection.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 10 Sep 01 00:50
Heart of Gold Band?
David Gans (tnf) Mon 10 Sep 01 00:50
David Gans (tnf) Mon 10 Sep 01 00:51
blather storm (lolly) Mon 10 Sep 01 07:39
Very doubtful I will recognize the name if I see it, unfortunately. Must've been something John was producing, eh? Did he do much of this?
the System Works (dgault) Thu 13 Sep 01 10:32
oh, hey, David Freiberg? thanks for putting Pride of Man deep into my brain at an impressionable age. Really.
David Freiberg (freemountain) Thu 13 Sep 01 12:02
You be most welcome. Watch out for that wrathful God, though.
the System Works (dgault) Thu 13 Sep 01 12:21
heh. wrathful God, check.
"First you steal a bicycle...." (rik) Fri 14 Sep 01 21:42
Right. What's a cubit? David, I only got to hear John play late in his career with Nick, and since it was essentially a blues gig, I know I didn't see anything like the full scope of his style. Can you describe the hallmarks of his playing, who's influences you heard in his playing, and who playing today do you think you hear John's influences in.
David Freiberg (freemountain) Wed 19 Sep 01 10:51
Sorry I've taken this long ... I've had trouble with your question .. putting John's playing style into words is a daunting request. I didn't see that many of John's gigs after Copperhead. I can't imagine that he'd really change his style much, no matter whom he was playing with. Lower volume, *maybe*. When I saw him play with Pam Tillis and Jarrett Washington, I was rather amazed to hear his "style" fit in with this music, which was more jazz like than anything. Obviously, he was influenced by Link Wray, as he often stated, though I have a hard time hearing anything but John, himself, when I listen to his playing. Guess I'm not much of an analyst. I don't really hear anyone else like him today .. though maybe I don't listen to enough rock music these days to give a qualified opinion.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 19 Sep 01 11:27
What were the hallmarks of his style? The plastic thumb pick and sharpened plastic fingerpick, the vibrato...
David Freiberg (freemountain) Wed 19 Sep 01 13:11
the two Standels, the Twin, the horns, but we've been there.
blather storm (lolly) Wed 19 Sep 01 13:39
The thing that keeps coming to my mind is, "like ringin' a bell." Just that his sound was so much a clarion, in terms of projection as well as the resonance of it.
Hal Royaltey (hal) Wed 19 Sep 01 13:44
One thing that always struck me about John's playing - versus other lead guitar players - is that he almost never fell back into a rhythm pattern. Throughout an entire song he was constantly sprinkling notes, phrases, snatches of other songs into the general soundstream. His original training was, at his parents request, classical (Evelyn, his mother, was a classical pianist), so he had a solid musical base to draw upon. His notes were particularly clear - I would imagine because of the fingerpicks - and he liked the high notes, so there was this constant tinkling of harmonies going on behind the vocals. About the only times he reliably just strummed was during another player's solo time. Even during solos, if he knew and played with the other guys a lot (Melton, Merl Saunders, Hunter, etc) he'd complement their solos quietly, but audibly, at times. During the last 10 years of his career, the time I was watching him play live mostly, volume didn't seem to be his major goal. I saw him mainly in small and medium sized venues, where he played without the huge amp stack and the horns, usually with a just a couple of amps. As he explains in the video, he liked tubes on the bottom and solid state on the top. He would fill the place, but not overwhelm it.
Hal Royaltey (hal) Wed 19 Sep 01 13:48
As Nick notes in the film, "he was a whammy-bar player", and "he loved that goddam Bigsby tailpiece". He really did love it, but he had a collection of electronic gizmos as well. Even in the Saloon - a little hole-in- the-wall bar in North Beach where I saw him a lot - he'd have three or four pedals lined up in front of him providing various effects. He didn't use them a lot, but used them very effectively depending on the song.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 19 Sep 01 13:48
Did I read somewhere along the line that John insisted that he was not a blues player, which he thought set him apart from most of his contemporaries?
David Freiberg (freemountain) Wed 19 Sep 01 15:27
Yes, he did love that goddam Bigsby tailpiece - and since as soon as he used it - it would throw his strings out of tune. After that, he would need it to tune each note so it would be used all the time on every note. John wasn't a blues player. He said that his hands weren't very strong and didn't bend the strings very much. When he played rhythm he'd usually use the top three strings. He was a great musician - he knew his way around that fretboard!!!
Hal Royaltey (hal) Fri 12 Oct 01 17:08
At www.johncipollina.com there are a number of MP3 clips and a few video clips free for the download. Only one of the audio clips is from QMS, and there's a smattering of blues clips with Nick if you want to hear John play blues.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 24 Aug 04 10:32
Mill Valley, CA, August 24, 2004: Oikopleura Productions announces its new DVD project entitled "Recoil, John Cipollina in Music and in Memory." This is a 4 DVD box set that includes: Electric Guitarslinger - the original one hour video released in 2001 Extended interviews with John Cipollina's musical collaborators, family and friends A selection of live performances from the '70s and '80s featuring many of the bands that John played with Produced by Antonia Cipollina Associate Producer: Steve Keyser Executive Producer: Peter Kobor Director and Videographer: Jesse Block & Jim Draper We are finalizing the contents of this project and will announce a detailed index soon. The DVD box set will be available before the end of the year. http://www.oikopleura.com
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 26 Aug 04 15:43
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