Oct 27, 2010

Attention Guitar Heads

A Dummer's Engineering Feat - For Guitars

Saratoga Springs Rock & Roll Trivia

So Where's the Autograph Wall Now?

How's that riddle go?

- What do you call guys who hang around with musicians? Drummers!

Hey; who says that rock and roll drummers are the weak links in any given band? That might have been true back in my glory days (yes, I was most certainly the weakest link), but it sure wasn't the case if and when Gene Parsons was involved.

As if his tenure in groundbreaking acts the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers is not enough for his resume, Mr Parsons (not to be confused with the more legendary Gram Parsons from that very same crowd) was also a garage shop inventor. His most famous creation is the StringBender (or B-Bender) device for guitars, which he co-invented with the great axeman Clarence White.

Fascinating stuff from both an engineering and a musicology POV. Here's the background:

Now, how many breadcrumbs do you think are hidden in that 'stache?

Saratoga Trivia

In its final incarnation (Parsons, White, McGuinn and Battin), the Byrds performed at an old Skidmore College property on Regent Street in 1971. At the conclusion of their day/nite double show, a couple of the boys hit Broadway for some liquid libation. They landed at the old D'andrea's , in the basement pub whose brief life coincided with that timeframe.

Part of the ratskeller-like decor was an Autograph Wall, on which visting personalities of the day added their script, thereafter illuminated with a glow in the dark light. The pair (I believe it was Skip Battin and Clarence White) did just that.

Decades later, that Autograph Wall hung in the D'Andreas'a Pizza shop on Caroline Street. Unfortunately, it has very recently been removed, with its current whereabouts unknown. We'll make an inquiry.

Here is a lonnnnnnnnnng and live version of Eight Miles High from that final lineup of the Byrds.

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