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Thread: 1966-10-06 Aberbach Ltd., London

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    1966-10-06 Aberbach Ltd., London

    Thursday 6 October 1966,
    Aberbach Ltd, 17 Savile Row, Mayfair, London W1. JHE
    : “Some of the rehearsals took place in the offices of a music publisher in Savile Row, or Albemarle Street – a real straight music publisher.”
    Amplification was probably Vox AC 30 ‘Top Boosts’ and a Vox ‘Foundation’ 18 inch bass cabinet with an AC 50 amp.
    Noel may well have dropped the Burns ‘Split Sound Six String Bass’ [(1962-64) this was the only 6-string bass they made, apparently less than 200 were produced. Ed] he was struggling with, in favour of the six-string Danelectro Longhorn bass he will, apparently (photo), use for the French gigs, in only six days time.
    Noel: “The choice was very limited in those early days of the electric bass. I visited a lot of guitar shops in those first few months [ie he tried some other basses, ie the six-strings - Danelectro Longhorn and Fender Bass VI, the four-string Fender Telecaster Bass and finally the four-string Fender Jazz Bass. Ed.] “I was subconsciously looking for a trebly sound.”
    He had tried Chas’ Gibson EB2 which was “too big in the body,” didn’t have that ‘trebly sound’ and was a 4-string which he wasn’t yet comfortable with; he had tried the Burns six-string which didn’t suit, so the six-string Danelectro Longhorn which he was photographed playing at the Olympia, but which he has ‘forgotten’ would be the one he was using about this time. Notably John Entwhistle the great bassist of their ‘competitors’ the Who was using a Danelectro Longhorn [4-string] at this time. As did Jack Bruce for a short while in 1967. It is not until 11 November that Noel is photographed playing the six-string Fender Bass VI, which Bruce also, notably, used, from at least 1965 – 1968, when he moved on to the 4-string Gibson.
    Jack Bruce: “I was mostly applying cello techniques to the bass.”

    Noel: Rehearsal from 13:00 until ~ 17:30.
    [Producer: Chas Chandler]
    Songs, Noel remembers:

    ‘Old things’:
    Mercy, Mercy [“Have Mercy”] (Don Covay)
    [Notably Jimi played on Covay's original and The Rolling Stones released a cover of this in 1965]
    Johnny B Goode (Chuck Berry)
    [A song that Jimi's early bandmates remember them playing]
    Everybody Needs Somebody To Love [“If You Need Somebody To Love”] (Bert Berns, Solomon Burke & Jerry Wexler)
    [Notably it has been claimed Jimi played in Burke's band at some point. And the Rolling Stones released a cover of this in 1964]
    Hey Joe (Billy Roberts)
    [Jimi used Tim Rose's unique slow arrangement, which he first heard in 'The Village'. and played by 'The Blue Flame']
    Land Of A 1000 Dances (Chris Kenner)
    [A song Jimi had played with the Squires]
    ‘Vague blues’

    Chas: “The first time the three of them got together they played non-stop for four hours.”

    Noel: “Our main – and rather huge – problem was that nobody wanted to sing, not even at rehearsals. Even though he’d been singing in New York, Jimi was still nervous about being in England and got terribly embarrassed about singing. Me too. I had a squeak, not a voice. Mitch’s voice was more trained and relaxed because of his stage schooling, but it wasn’t what we needed and besides drummers weren’t expected to sing.”

    “Jimi refused to sing. We used to basically just play a couple of backing tracks and go down the pub. After that, we didn’t have to rehearse, really.”

    “He was playing rhythm-lead, which is rather good. Doing intros and then going into the vocal playing rhythm and going—zip—into the solo.”

    “We whipped through vague blues and songs Jimi remembered – ‘Land Of A 1,000 Dances’, ‘Have Mercy’ and one of my all-time favourites, ‘Johnny B Goode’ – just to get used to each other. Any chance to play this material was perfectly all right with me. Jimi brought tricks with him – tuning a half step down from concert pitch so as to make playing with horn sections and bending strings for blues easier. If only I’d known that trick before! I still remember with horror my dancehall days – everything was in Aь, Eь and Bь, with bar-chords everywhere. I also think the lower tuning subconsciously relaxed our feel, instrumentally and vocally.”

    Mitch: “After that initial session, I think it was only a few hours later that I got a call from Chas saying, 'Yes, we're interested, would you like to have another play?' and I said, ‘Well, quite honestly, what is the deal?'
    ‘We’ve got the two weeks' work and that's all I can offer you at this point. I can give you twenty quid a week!' [Noel thought they all got £15. Noel appears to assume that whatever he got/did the other two did, eg getting drunk a lot right from the start, which does not fit with accounts of the other two, he continually talks about drinking a lot of alcohol in all his interviews and reminiscences, drunk to the point vomiting and even of falling off stage! I think it quite likely that Mitch was paid more than him at this stage, and Jimi got what we will never know, certainly he got a lot more spent on clothes, accommodation etc. How would Noel know what the other two actually got at this stage unless they told him and why would they, they were thrown together, lived quite far apart, and were not the best of mates. Ed.]
    I didn't exactly leap straight at it, ‘Well, the two weeks' work sounds great. The only stipulation is that I don't work for a wage. Ill muck in for the two weeks but we'll work it out after that.' [he ended up working for a wage. Ed.]
    I didn't know Chas Chandler very well at that point. I'd seen him working with The Animals, obviously, as The Blue Flames and The Animals had done several gigs together, but it was just like a nodding acquaintance. I didn't know that he'd given up playing completely, but he obviously had great faith in Hendrix. He'd sold his bass to finance Jimi, and that sort of thing.”

    “One thing that struck me about Jimmy early on was his hands. He had these huge hands, his thumbs were nearly as long as his fingers. Like many blues players [ie some people of African descent) Ed.] he could use it to his advantage hooking it over the neck of his guitar as an extra finger [eg. Richie Havens etc.....Ed.]. But we’re not talking ‘secrets of his success’ here because Jimi could, and did, play anything – left-handed, right-handed, upside down, behind his back and with his teeth. He probably could have played with his toenails.”

    Noel: “He’d play an F sharp using his thumb, which was completely unheard of. He did have very big hands and they were all over the place. He probably used more inversions than switching chords. If you’re playing an F sharp—which ‘Foxy Lady’ was in—in the normal shape, then if you play a B shape, still using the F sharp note with your thumb, that’s called an inversion. It’s an F to a B, you don’t have to use your hands that much. You just move your fingers a little bit. The tremolo arm—which is now called the whammy bar—it would be by his left hand, so he could be playing away and use the tremolo bar at the same time, ‘cause it was just there by the strings. On a left handed guitar, it would have been on the other side of the strings, so he basically got used to it.”

    Thursday 6 October 1966
    LSD becomes illegal to sell or possess in the state of California. It was already illegal in the UK from 9 September [Lemmy! Ed.]. It does not become a Federal crime (ie whole of the US) until 24 October 1968.

    Thursday 6 October 1966
    MELODY MAKER, (page?) ‘Eric: still choosing the new Animals’ by [unknown]: Eric Burdon is still auditioning musicians to form his new Animals backing group. So far only drummer Barry Jenkins is definite.
    This week Eric appears on "Ready Steady, Go!" to promote his solo single "Mama Told Me Not To Come"—but he'll sing with the studio orchestra. Eric is also booked for "Pop Inn" (11) [ie at ‘the Manor House’, London. Ed]; “Top Of The Pops" (13).
    Last edited by stplsd; 12-19-17 at 05:56 PM.

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