Brian: In Procol Harum you played a Gibson SG basically?
Robin: I had an SG, and then a sunburst Les Paul. Towards the end of being in Procol I started playing a Strat.
Brian: Why’d you change to Strats?
Robin: We were on tour with Jethro Tull, and their guitar player, Martin Barre, had a Strat as a spare guitar because he also played Les Pauls. I just happened to pick it up one day. I plugged it into my amp during sound check and that was it. The next day I went out and bought one.
I'm convinced that the choice of guitar in a band that is going somewhere has to satisfy a few concerns:
1) general bass/treble focus of the guitar, best selected to balance out away from other instruments and vocals. Les Paul being a more bassy, darker tone and the high treble/brighter tone being a Telecaster. Slightly less bright is a Stratocaster and then between a Strat and a Les Paul is the SG. The Beatles used Epiphone Casino's, which is a hollow-body guitar rich in tone and lower in tonal range than where most of the singing was going on, so the Casino model didn't muddy the sound. You wouldn't want Telecasters being the predominant guitar in a band like the Beatles. Tull using an SG or Les Paul makes some sense, to keep the guitar tone focus lower than the acoustic guitar, flute and vocals of Ian. Telecasters wouldn't be chosen for Tull unless Aqualung was a country dude with some heartache who whined about everything and dressed like a corporate-designed flag of Idiotville and got lost in a racist rant against everything.
2) Clarity of notes required. If you have a strong need for lead guitar solo work that is clear and dominant in the tonal mix, you generally go for something in the Strat or SG range. Country artists (are useless) will choose a Telecaster because they need to hear the guitar over the sound of their girl walking out the door and their own shopping mall hot dog farts. Early rock and roll could use a Telecaster and make it sound well balanced. Heavy metal and thrash may choose the Les Paul and distort the hell out of it, creating a deeper bass tone that sounds like THUNDERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
3) Carlos Santana became famous by being an early adopter of using a compressor to create very long sustain on notes. More effects than talent by about 200 to 1.
4) Is the guitarist more of a lead solo role or a rhythm role? Style of the music affects a lot here. For general tonal focus and style of the music in mind, compare Martin Barre's guitars to those of Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, AC/DC, any acoustic-based singer-songwriter like Gordon Lightfoot (guitars have rich tone, focused below or higher than where the voice focuses in the tonal bass/treble range). Guitar construction affects choice too for player role, with some guitars being specific and limited while some, like the Stratocaster, being very versatile in tonal range.
5) Versatility in sound options from the guitar model. Stratocasters being famous as one of the most versatile in tonal character, Les Paul being far less. Of course, what you do later in the signal path, like adding effects pedals, using amplifier tone adjustments and reverb, etc, expands the options of any guitar. Solid body guitars vs semi-hollow and hollow body. Acoustic guitars also have quite a range of bass/tonal focus depending on construction, strings used, pick design and how far away from the bridge the strings are strummed. If you haven't tried the newer hard and sharp-tipped picks, I'd highly recommend them for strumming and picking that creates more accuracy, simplicity in picking notes cleanly and for a clearer tone. Most picks have a rounded off tip and a sharper tip creates quite an improvement in tone if you ask me.
6) Altering the electric guitar pickups and the electrical character of the Tone and Volume controls can greatly alter the tonal character of a guitar, to the degree that the original design becomes almost unrelated to the final tone. Extreme adjustments in bass/treble, and wide variations in tonal focus and tonal clarity can be made. Every guitarist should be well studied in the online users forum at Seymour Duncan and the user reviews at Musicians Friend and Harmony Central, no matter what pickups you have. Then you'll understand what makes pickups work and how to choose pickups and electrical controls that match the guitar design in a way that produces tones you'd prefer. Other excellent sources of pickup design info are Dimarzio, Lindy Fralin, Joe Barden, Kinman, Lace, Bill Lawrence, Rio Grande and Harmonic Design.
I've long thought that Mister Santana is over-rated...a minority opinion here in his adopted hometown....just something about his material and riffs that aren't rock and roll enough for my tastes...Give me Garcia, Cippolina or the sadly dead and overlooked randy california any day of the week over billion selling santana middle of the road pap.
I have a tendency to agree with an element of what u say in part Bernie, but very definitely not in whole, including the adopted hometown part. The man has been there since high school, in the mission district, and was very certainly a player in the Haight Ashbury days as the Santana Blues Band. Most notably the years 73-6 saw Santana flying very high in the Caravanserai and Borboletta days. I saw them open for Eric Clapton on Claptons comeback from heroin tour in 76, he wasn't really back from addiction, and Santana's set was very high indeed, i heartily recommend downloading sets from this period or listening on Sugar Megs. Additionally their set at Woodstock was highly impressive, all the moreso because they were not really known, and poor Carlos had a jocular head full of mescaline. I know where Ian is coming from re his perceptions of Woodstock and hippies, but it does not necessarily mean he is correct, he is a vastly intelligent man with an opinion that I have bottomless respect for. Also his coalescing with the likes of McCoy Tyner and Wayne Shorter back in the late seventies or early eighties, I do forget and really do not recall having heard it, but McCoy Tyner is a living institution of quality, and one in which I believe the likes of Robin Trower would quickly be found out to be an imposter, though I could be wrong. Certainly not his mentor Jimi Hendrix, Trower that is, McCoy Tyner is nearly certainly the type of musician Jimi was heading for, much to the consternation of the classic rock, do yer wanna fight, Locomotive Breath crowd. But lesso Carlos' interaction with the great John McLaughlin back in his brief Devadip Carlos Santana days, that album is largely just busy and wankery, not sure about the tour. Always must personally remember his sit in with the Dead at Angel's Camp in 87, the Santana sets were quite lame, but his sit in's with the Dead were jaw droppers, also worth seeking out. Plus bringing back thing's the Dead had not played in twenty years, like Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. His takes on Aiko Aiko and All Along the Watchtower were thru the sky hot, well worth hunting down. But yeah alot of it has been disapointing for a guy who regularly champions the holy ground of Jimi and Trane, he does not often do justice to their memory, particularly partnering up with whoever those flavor of the day's were on that popular cd a few years back, where the rallying cry seems to have been that line about "Viva Carlos Santana" like that alone says it all when it in fact says jack. This does though, Santana dealin on Jobim. Man would I like to see the right face veiled belly dancers to this one out in tented Bedouin desert land, say, Bonnie for instance!!Do pass the bowl of sainted fungus my brother. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ORH7zfHjDk
Caravanserai is one of my most treasured albums. Santana had a huge following in Glasgow in the early 70's well amongst us dirty hippie stock anyway suppose it was the same elsewhere in the UK ?? I listened to the album recently and it has well stood the test of time for me. Stone Flower etc amazing. You couldn't turn in the pubs for bands playing Black Magic Woman covers my ex included. I thought Song of the Wind was simply amazing when I first heard it. It's funny though because I saw them at the Apollo in 1975 with Earth Wind and Fire as support and both acts are kind of merging together in memory ;D
I only called SF his adopted home in order to give praise where praise is due...that is, acknowledge the coolness of being born in Tijuana...no, really...Tijuana, the tangiers of the western hemisphere is pretty cool roots...
That's right B. Played mariachi music behind the strippers down there he did. In fact I think his Dad might have been a mariachi guy. Those strippers have played an important role in the development of numerous musical legends, I frequently come to their defence. The fledgling Grateful Dead down in North Beach, and of course the Beatles on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg, as tough a port city, at least that part of it, as likely exists and a real eye opener to those boys which absolutely required protection, which they had, especially with John storming around on stage on amphetamines with a toilet seat on his head giving Nazi salutes, not so long after the war. Apparently the strippers REALLY loved the Beatles and were very protective of them also, love the tale of George's first, "oral adornment" when he thought himself alone with one of these female protectors of the Reeperbahn, in some god awful seedy room above the Star Club I think, and at the point of George's awakening, apparently the lights came on with the other "lads" cheering him on to victory. Gotta love the Beatles.
futureshock: Here's wishing everyone persistent health! Times are getting more optimistic! Activism is UP, and fear of getting involved in important issues, is dropping faster than the Vegas odds on Trump being elected again. Cheers!
Jun 7, 2020 23:10:01 GMT
maddogfagin: Thanks futureshock - hope you're ok likewise
Jun 8, 2020 15:01:16 GMT
stormsongs: Hi. Newbie, first time here as I have a question I can't get an answer to......I have a vivid memory of buying Lifes a Long Song in 71 and it had a gatefold sleeve....but I can't find any evidence of that or a copy with that sleeve...
Jun 12, 2020 14:25:44 GMT
maddogfagin: Welcome to the JT Forum stormsongs. Not seen a UK Life is a long song gatefold sleeve but there's no doubting they may have been some overseas releases issued this way.
Jun 13, 2020 6:14:41 GMT
futureshock: So, IF you are musical yourself, what are you doing with the CoronaCoda lockdown experience and maybe extra personal time available to find or create more music, or explore instrument playing? How has dealing with musicians changed? Gigs? Spinoff ideas?
Jun 14, 2020 23:01:49 GMT
maddogfagin: Listening to a lot of concert recordings via CD and finding some great music on youtube which I've never heard before. My days of playing guitar are behind me these days due to my damn fingers not wanting to work properly.
Jun 15, 2020 6:37:05 GMT
steelmonkey: Would you like to hear a perfectly constructed, note,rhythm,lyrical and atmosphere piece of Tull perfection? Yes? Try 'Saboteur' on 'Under Wraps'. Flawless.
Jun 22, 2020 21:05:43 GMT
maddogfagin: Under Wraps is an often maligned album by a minority but to the majority it stands amongst the finest of their eighties output. A great album.
Jun 28, 2020 6:43:28 GMT
steelmonkey: Under Wraps is sui generis. Strong everything. Something(s) about it amaze and astound with each listen.
Jun 28, 2020 19:30:42 GMT
steelmonkey: Double work shifts in surging hospital to allow 2 week vacation soon...miss my friends in the Tull treehouse but back soon. Breaks at work have gone the way of the dinosaurs.
Jul 8, 2020 3:29:26 GMT
piscesguy: It looks like someone else has taken my moniker piscesguy and added the name jack prentiss to it. That's okay but I cannot locate an earlier post I had left now. Does anyone know how to resolve this? thank you
Jul 9, 2020 19:09:58 GMT
maddogfagin: Please see my PM to you.
Jul 10, 2020 6:41:59 GMT
steelmonkey: I prefer Scorpios, Leos, Taurases( Tauri?), Cancers and Capricorns but Pisces on the bubble of all right.
Jul 10, 2020 20:52:34 GMT
maddogfagin: So what's wrong with us Aquarians then. I'm gonna write to your President and complain
Jul 13, 2020 13:26:20 GMT
steelmonkey: I go on binges of long forgotten ( Jefferson Airplane, CSNY, Humble Pie), Overlooked releases ( Zappa, Prince, PIL) and just plain musical vitamins ( Traveling Wilburys, Pink Floyd) and then remember life is short and I should revert to all Tull all day.
Jul 19, 2020 22:29:08 GMT