Tuesday, November 04, 2008

the wrecking crew

nothing to do with the ice-t / snoop film...


now, you're probably aware that 'the monkees' didn't play on their own records. oh, and the mum of the guy one who wore the woolly hat invented liquid paper, but that's getting off topic...

what you may also know is that brian wilson replaced the other beach boys with session musicians when he recorded their albums: basically, he wanted the best musicians to give their albums the best sound. fair enough. and, in the california of the late-fifties and early sixties, i you wanted the best; you called in 'the wrecking crew'...

this was the name, given posthumously, to a bunch of between twenty and thirty young musicians who, according to the old timers that they would replace, were going to wreck the music industry. instead, they did a hell of a lot of work and, because of their talent and versatility, the list of people who those music was actually churned out by these people is ridiculous; as well as the beach boys and the monkees, nancy sinatra, herb alpert, john denver, the byrds, the mommas and the poppas, elvis, dean martin, frank sinatra, sonny and cher, as well as the majority of phil spector's wall of sound recordings, to name but a few...

made up, from the likes glen campbell, tommy tedesco, carol kaye, billy strange, don peake, plas johnson, mac rebennack, don randi, joe osborn, hal blaine and earl palmer, to name but a few; these were the faceless and unnamed musicians who defined a sound.

the documentary, directed by tedesco's son, teddy, is a fascinating glimpse at some of the highlights of 'the wrecking crew'; taking his father's story as a starting point. as well as many surviving members of the 'crew, the likes of nancy sinatra, cher, micky dolenz, brian wilson and a host of producers crop up and talk about the (mainly) highs and (occasional) lows of the lives lived, by your not so average session musicians.

great stuff...

1 comment:

LT said...

The wrecking crew, I think, were mostly put together by Phil Specter. They were enormously talented musicians who basically showed up, did their parts, got a check and went home. Fame and fortune eluded most of them (certainly not Glen Campbell, who filled in a little bit with the Beach Boys on tour), but that seemed to be the way they wanted it. I think it's a little unfair to completely discount the Beach Boys instrumentation, particularly Carl Wilson. Carl was a very talented guitarist and played on almost all recordings. Carl was one of the first- and still one of the few- to play lead guitar using a 12 string. Roger McGuinn was the most famous to do so. Thanks for a good story.

LT
Lynden, Washington USA