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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher
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    02.15.16 @ 02:56 PM
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    Default Andy Johns on Recording Ed.

    Great interview with Andy Johns in this months Vintage Guitar Magazine. I think a lot of you guys will find this interesting as he talks about producing the F.U.C.K album which might have some surprises about some gear used and what was going down.

    As far as the amp used he said they could not get Eds Marshal to sound right as "It was getting a bit dead- I was petrified as this was Eddie Vanhalen, and VH were enormous at the time.So it was kind of a big deal! But his amp was not responding. And we tried all sorts of things to get it to work, ans I ended up using a Soldano(SLO-100) with the Bright switch. It was a bit generic-sounding but it worked pretty much every time.Also I got Ed to double track for the first time , which he was not relunctent to do, he just didn't
    think he'd be able to do it, which surprised me.

    He the goes on to say that Ed wanted to play Bass on a few songs "There was some politics involved there. So I told him, were going to get a Danelectro six string bass for you. I went and bought a Danelectro Longhorn, which I'd wanted since I'd first seen them in 64 or 65. So I get up to Eds and he goes "Whats this?) I said just plug it in and play the bloody thing. And he plugs it in and he starts doing all this magical stuff(laughs) and says, "We've got to put a whammy bar on it." I said ,Ed man its vintage... Ed replied "Well there not for looking at" "Well we cant do that"

    "He was working with Sterling Ball at the time, making his guitars. And because we used this thing on 3 or 4 tunes it was integral to to the vibe of the whole album. I would run it through a Marshal and a harmonizer, and split it out. Then we'd double track it."

    "So, for the tour ,poor ol' Sterling had to make double neck guitars, which was very difficultbecause, of course, the Danelectro is Particleboard, and hollow inside. Which Sterling then had to merge with a solid guitar."

    "When Eddie would pick up a guitar- it was just majic! I remember recording the solo for Poundcake. There was a power drill sitting on the mixer, and Eddie picked it up and(turned it on) right over the pickups, and that's the intro.And then we get to the solo, and it's at a fair tempo , and in the middle of the solo he grabs the drill, gives it one"weeeowww" and went back to playing ,seamlessly! Anyone else would've taken an hour and we would've done it on another track or something. I sat there and thought ,"Bloody hell), Andy. You are in the presence of something special. It was great working with Eddie."

    I thought you guys might enjoy this the way I did. If you get a chance pick up the issue as he also talks about recording Zep and Stairway as well as The Stones, Clapton,. Besides talking a lot about the gear and techniques used. Free, Satch, and Steve Miller

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    12.12.17 @ 06:31 AM
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    Default

    Cool! I'll be looking for this.

    Not to dig too hard here, but more fuel for the Ed-on-bass-in-the-studio fire.
    It's just funny when so many people swear Mike played on EVERYTHING when they really have no idea.

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! johnnybeane's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default

    Is it a new interview or a reprint?
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  4. #4
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Default

    I saw a video interview with Johns, and he mentioned a couple of these things, but this should be a great read. He's done so many classic albums. The man's a genius. As well as one of the few producers who make digital sound as warm as analog.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:57 PM
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    Default

    AH come on. This is NOTHING new. It's well known that EVH played 6 string bass on "Spanked," for example. Why? Coz he SAID SO in interviews at the time.

    So there. He didn't play the 16th note bass groove on "Poundcake," that I can assure you!
    Little Dreamer

  6. #6
    Unchained VF5150's Avatar
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    Spanked is a given, but the key words here are "on a few songs".
    Cool interview.


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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:57 PM
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    Default

    If you tell me Mike didn't play on RWTD, You're No Good, Poundcake, Pleasure Dome, Push Comes To Shove, ok.

    Then I'll be shocked. Coz that's clearly Mike.

    It's a moot point. A lot of people used to say "No Mike, No Halen." Well guess what? There's no Mike, and now IS THERE A VAN HALEN?

    No. So in essence, "No Mike, No Halen" is true. Mike was an essential part of that band, meaning that now that he's gone, there's no more band.
    Little Dreamer

  8. #8
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 07:21 PM
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    Default

    What's the news here? That Mike didn't play bass on every single VH song? Wow breaking news!

    Posted from mobile device.

  9. #9
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Exactly. Up to III, he played bass on pretty much everything. Ed just played Danny bass lead runs; basically guitar riffs with overdubs on F.U.C.K. You can hear the Danny on Spanked (of course), Pleasure Dome, and Runaround. (You can clearly hear it in the intro) Wasn't like he was replacing Mike....It was just going for a different sound. I think it sounded pretty cool on the album. You can rest assured Mike played bass on 99% of Van Halen. Eddie can jam on bass, but he's not a bass player. As a drummer friend once told me. "A great bass player in a band sits in the pocket, and you don't hear him, you feel him: he lays the foundation, and creates movement and interest in the song." Never forgot that. You can hear Ed plain as day! Like I'm pretty sure he played bass on Baluchitherium on Balance......Hav'nt listened to the album in quite a while, so can't place it if he played on any others. Can anyone think of anything else on that disc? Hmmmmm.
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 06.22.10 at 03:22 PM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  10. #10
    Eruption
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    12.12.17 @ 08:13 AM
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    Default

    I bet he played bass on Summer Nights.
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  11. #11
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    Default

    This is what I meant: "You can rest assured Mike played bass on 99% of Van Halen". Really? How's that?

    Not that I care how much Mike did or didn't play on the records. But my guess is, not as much as people seem to need to believe. That doesn't mean I'm saying Mike can't play or anything ridiculous like that, just that Ed has said he never liked his sound and I suspect there's a lot less Mike on the records than some people would care to imagine. I got hammered for speculating what tracks were Ed in another thread. Fact is, he can play bass. I thought he did a decent job on that Sammy solo record, for instance.

  12. #12
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 07:21 PM
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    Default

    I can play bass too, doesn't make me a bass player. I think Ed is an average at best player, who certainly doesn't lay down a nice groove that I've ever heard. Even if it is hammering 16th notes, sometimes that's all a song needs.

    I don't think there's any proof that Ed NEVER like Mike's sound or his playing. I don't believe that for a second.

    And yeah I believe Mike played on 95% of all of Van Halen's material...nothing that Andy Johns said makes me think differently. How many VH songs are there, 130 or so? OK I think Mike played bass on 120 of them.
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  13. #13
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    I don't give a shit about the Mike conspiracies. All that interviews from the past or about the past prove is Ed wanted to move in on the bass territory sooner than he did (on III). I think if Ed wanted to play more instruments then he should have done a solo album. He always said he wouldn't--because VH was an all-or-nothing band. Time has been very good to Mike's legacy as the bassist and primary background vocalist in Van Halen. He took a lot of shit in the 80s for not being a "virtuoso," but his parts hold up. And there's been recent evidence of Mike's ability to lay a fuckin' groove down in the pocket and do it like a pro: Chickenfoot. (Not to mention how his b-vox can fucking MAKE a song.) Ed's a tool for ever diminishing Mike's contributions.

    I made note of Johns' comments about Ed doubling guitars. I HATED that they did that. When you double the guitar it stops being about a performance and instead becomes about the part. How many licks from Van Halen albums stood out because of the way Ed played them or the character some little note or nuance sounded? With multi tracks you lose those details in exchange for the "big" effect. It's a great idea for lots of rock and roll--NOT Van Halen. Eddie did it again on the three BOBW songs, and again it sounds like a dude laboring over playing each part exactly like the other. The spontaneity is gone.

  14. #14
    Hot For Teacher
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    Wow I did not write all that to go into any Bass arguments,lol I just figured there was some interesting bits from an outsider who was there and who knew what equipment was used, as Ed always had the habit of throwing curve balls about what went on.

    The parts I found interesting were the fact he used a Soldano for the album and not his Marshal, also that Sterling Ball had to pull off making the double neck guitar half Particleboard and hollow on the Bass side, and solid body on the guitar side, and seemed to pull it off great. Also the the way Johns described Ed doing the solo with the drill so effortlessly, and all in one take that it blew his mind, just brought me back to a time when everything the guy did blew mine.

    johnnybeane, it is new as he goes up to the new Steve Miller album he just finished. He has some really good stories like how Page was getting really frustrated laying down the Stairway solo and then rushing Plant in to sing while he was still writing lyrics as these were. the days when everything in the studio was on the clock , and how when he worked with Satch his soloing actually brought tears to his eyes. Not a very long interview but one of quality over quantity. Plus a great interview with Steve Miller and an article on just how severe that flood was in Nashville.

  15. #15
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    Wow I did not write all that to go into any Bass arguments,lol I just figured there was some interesting bits from an outsider who was there and who knew what equipment was used, as Ed always had the habit of throwing curve balls about what went on.

    The parts I found interesting were the fact he used a Soldano for the album and not his Marshal, also that Sterling Ball had to pull off making the double neck guitar half Particleboard and hollow on the Bass side, and solid body on the guitar side, and seemed to pull it off great. Also the the way Johns described Ed doing the solo with the drill so effortlessly, and all in one take that it blew his mind, just brought me back to a time when everything the guy did blew mine.

    johnnybeane, it is new as he goes up to the new Steve Miller album he just finished. He has some really good stories like how Page was getting really frustrated laying down the Stairway solo and then rushing Plant in to sing while he was still writing lyrics as these were. the days when everything in the studio was on the clock , and how when he worked with Satch his soloing actually brought tears to his eyes. Not a very long interview but one of quality over quantity. Plus a great interview with Steve Miller and an article on just how severe that flood was in Nashville.

 

 

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