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Author Topic:  Lovin' Spoonful
Pat Dawson


From:
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 5:15 am     Reply with quote

Just saw a special last night on MPT of John Sebastian and the Lovin' Spoonful. There was an old film clip of a performance where the guitarist was playing a single neck pedal steel. Who knew! I don't recall the tune, though.
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Roger Miller


From:
Cedar Falls, Ia.
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 5:21 am     Reply with quote

Was the song, Nashville Cats, possibly Garcia, or even Sal, or John on the steel. I 'm not for sure, but love the song, sing it out children!!!

Nashville Cats, Clean as country water
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 6:07 am     Reply with quote

I always assumed those "steel-like" licks on Nashville Cats were done on guitar with Bigsby Palm Pedals.
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Buddy Griffin


From:
Derwood, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 9:07 am     Reply with quote

I kept waiting for "Rainbows all over your blues" with Emmons. As far as I know, they never did play it. That is one of my absolute favorite steel recordings ever.

BG
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Pat Dawson


From:
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 9:42 am     Reply with quote

It wasn't "Nashville Cats". I remember that one. John S. was playing keyboard and singing.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 10:04 am     Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure there was no steel guitar on any of those early hits, but I have seen a YouTube video of them on which Zal is sitting at a little S-10 (might have been a student model even), pretending to play steel, just as everyone else in the band was lip-synching and pretending to play their instruments. They were so bad at it, that they kept cracking up laughing at how ridiculous it all was. Of course, back in those days they were under medication too... Wink
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Pete Finney


Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 10:57 am     Reply with quote

I met John Sebastian at a gig once years ago and asked him about "Nashville Cats"... He said most of it is Zal Yanovsky on guitar playing sort of "steel like" licks, and then in between John played just a little actual pedal steel on I believe what he said was an old Fender...

I don't know about the video though...
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J Fletcher


From:
London,Ont,Canada
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 11:32 am     Reply with quote

I heard "Nashville Cats" on the radio a couple of weeks ago, and to me it sounds like there's a pedal steel in there, as well as Zal playing steel-like guitar licks. I was deliberately listening for the steel, and I heard it...Jerry
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 12:26 pm     Reply with quote

I just listened to Nashville Cats on Rhapsody, and I agree it's a pedal steel--clearly played by someone, probably Zal, who knew no more steel than to mash and unmash the A & B pedals. But, hey, it's in tune! Actually, I don't hear any six-string licks that sound steel-like at all. Interesting how they sandwiched the end lead with the most "adventurous" licks the steel could play at the beginning and end.
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Bob Blair


From:
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 2:14 pm     Reply with quote

I think Pete Finney's post above gave us the definitive answer as told from the horse's mouth - to the extent there was a bit of steel on there it was John Sebastian.
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Jon Graboff


From:
NYC, NY
Post Posted 5 Mar 2007 6:53 pm     Reply with quote

I have a friend who did the liner notes of a couple of the recent Spoonful reissue CDs and he had some lengthy chats with the 3 surviving members of the group. John Sabastian said he did indeed play some rudimentary pedal steel on an instrument that was left in the studio from an earlier session. I don't exactly remember what kind of steel he said it was, but I have it in my head that he said it was a Sho-Bud. Kinda sounds like one. Question
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Joe Alterio


From:
Irvington, Indiana
Post Posted 8 Mar 2007 7:59 am     Reply with quote

The video clip in question is "Rain On The Roof" with Zal playing a single-neck Fender.

John was quite the multi-instrumentalist, so I would have to think he played all of the pedal steel on the handful of Spoonful songs that had it ("Nashville Cats," "Boredom," "Rain on the Roof"). He also played banjo, autoharp and killer harp on their records, too!
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Frank Freniere


From:
Chicago, IL
Post Posted 1 Oct 2016 1:36 pm     Reply with quote

Joe Alterio wrote:
The video clip in question is "Rain On The Roof" with Zal playing a single-neck Fender.

John was quite the multi-instrumentalist, so I would have to think he played all of the pedal steel on the handful of Spoonful songs that had it ("Nashville Cats," "Boredom," "Rain on the Roof"). He also played banjo, autoharp and killer harp on their records, too!

JS did indeed play pedal steel on the recording of "Rain On The Roof." When I asked him recently if he used a horn on the song he replied:

The 'fluglehorn' is actually Zals’ Guild Thunderbird with all treble off at the guitar,then a treble setting on the Fender Super-reverb.

Who knew?
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 1 Oct 2016 2:45 pm     Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVdSLB1DsSE
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Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 2 Oct 2016 9:37 am     Reply with quote

One of the top American pop bands of the sixties who went head-to-head against the so-called British Invasion and ultimately prevailed. Unfortunately, the rode the crest for a relatively short period of time before the bottom fell out due to a drug bust in California.

One listen to "Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful" should convince anyone that the Spoonful could play "Country" in the mid-sixties at a level much higher than what passes for "Country" in 2016.

Possibly the most underrated band of all-time.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 2 Oct 2016 9:37 am     Reply with quote

One of the top American pop bands of the sixties who went head-to-head against the so-called British Invasion and ultimately prevailed. Unfortunately, the rode the crest for a relatively short period of time before the bottom fell out due to a drug bust in California.

One listen to "Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful" should convince anyone that the Spoonful could play "Country" in the mid-sixties at a level much higher than what passes for "Country" in 2016.

Possibly the most underrated band of all-time.
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Bryan Staddon


From:
Buffalo,New York,
Post Posted 3 Oct 2016 5:58 am     What about that Les Paul? Reply with quote

Don't know about the steel controversy,but the inside cover of The best of The Lovin' Spoonful has a picture of John S. playing a flame top Les Paul that looks amazing, wonder where that ended up?
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post Posted 3 Oct 2016 9:24 am     Reply with quote

The first time I ever heard "Last Date" was from Zally:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdS7RGVnjrk
On that same album is also "Brown To Blue" with steel from Red Rhodes.
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 3 Oct 2016 1:38 pm     Re: What about that Les Paul? Reply with quote

Bryan Staddon wrote:
Don't know about the steel controversy,but the inside cover of The best of The Lovin' Spoonful has a picture of John S. playing a flame top Les Paul that looks amazing, wonder where that ended up?



Its amazing to think that that guitar was probably worth all of $100 in 1966.. on a good day... Today if its really clean and original, it can command half a mil......
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no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post Posted 3 Oct 2016 2:28 pm     Re: What about that Les Paul? Reply with quote

Quote:
... John S. playing a flame top Les Paul

Its amazing to think that that guitar was probably worth all of $100 in 1966..


Out of the 600 flame top Les Pauls that Gibson made in 1959, only about 18,000 remain today.
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 3 Oct 2016 3:22 pm     Re: What about that Les Paul? Reply with quote

Earnest Bovine wrote:
Quote:
... John S. playing a flame top Les Paul

Its amazing to think that that guitar was probably worth all of $100 in 1966..


Out of the 600 flame top Les Pauls that Gibson made in 1959, only about 18,000 remain today.


I saw one with a bolt-on neck. Whoa!
_________________
My steels are Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post Posted 4 Oct 2016 3:35 am     Reply with quote

Here's the story of another Les Paul that previously belonged to John Sebastian:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_(guitar)

The link doesn't work, copy and put it into google search.
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Last edited by Joachim Kettner on 4 Oct 2016 3:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Frank Freniere


From:
Chicago, IL
Post Posted 4 Oct 2016 3:38 am     Re: What about that Les Paul? Reply with quote

Bryan Staddon wrote:
Don't know about the steel controversy,but the inside cover of The best of The Lovin' Spoonful has a picture of John S. playing a flame top Les Paul that looks amazing, wonder where that ended up?

He says he sold it to "some player."
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 4 Oct 2016 10:33 am     Re: What about that Les Paul? Reply with quote

Earnest Bovine wrote:
Quote:
... John S. playing a flame top Les Paul

Its amazing to think that that guitar was probably worth all of $100 in 1966..


Out of the 600 flame top Les Pauls that Gibson made in 1959, only about 18,000 remain today.


correct.. there are a lot of rich guys with bogus bursts in their collections..George Gruhn has stated that some of the copies are so good that even he can't tell the difference on them and certain other electrics,, he also said that acoustic guitar fakes are much easier to spot.. at least for him...
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no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Jim Hoke


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 5 Oct 2016 7:08 pm     Reply with quote

Finney's right. Sebastian sat down at a Fender steel for an hour and came up with the steel licks on "Nashville Cats". Same thing with "Rain On The Roof". The Spoonful were absolute masters in the studio of producing orchestral sounds, textures and arrangements using just what they played (mostly electric guitars). Red Rhodes was mentioned in this thread from being on the Zal solo album. He also played on "Boredom" from the last Spoonful album. With all this hoopla about "Americana" these days, especially in Nashville, it's absolutely stupid that the aficionados have completely overlooked the Lovin Spoonful. American roots?? You want "American roots"? Okay, how 'bout taking Mississippi John Hurt, The Carter Family, Rev. Gary Davis, Gil Tanner & The Skillet Lickers and rolling it into one big joyous bundle? Any of the mealy-mouthed Tom Petty sound-alikes being fawned over by the hipsters done anything close to that?
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