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  #1  
Old 02-26-2015, 06:03 PM
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Default Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

I found this book very entertaining. I relate to it because it was the music that helped shape me in my formative years.

I wanted to see who read it and if there were any favorite parts.

I liked the whole damn thing. All the stories really capture my imagination.

It is about the LA recording scene from the late 50's to the 70's or so.

It focuses on a core group of musicians who played on the backing tracks to the majority of the hit records coming out of LA during that time.

Kind of like how the Funk Brothers backed all the great Motown vocal groups.

Really fun read about the days when being a musician was still lucrative.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

There's "Hal Blaine & the Wrecking Crew", and also "The Wrecking Crew" by Kent Hartman. Both great books!

Also a new book coming out about the songs, I'll have to look up the title.

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Old 02-26-2015, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

I read the book and enjoyed it.

Unbelievable amount of music created by those guys. Hal Blaine had more work than he could shake a stick at and helped a lot of guys get their start.

Knowing what I know now about Phil Spector made liking him pretty difficult when I read it.

Knowing what I know about you Larry, I'll bet reading the book didn't make you want to take off all your reso heads.

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Old 02-26-2015, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

"In Los Angeles in 1960s-70s, if you wanted to record a chart-topping track or album, you called in the crack session musicians collectively known as the Wrecking Crew. Consisting of artists unknown outside the music industry, like drummer Hal Blaine and bass player Carol Kaye, as well as those who would go on to recording fame of their own, such as Glenn Campbell and Leon Russell, the Wrecking Crew was the West Coast's cream of the crop of session players, backing top-notch hit makers Phil Spector, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, and many more. Hartman (marketing, Portland State Univ.), who has worked with many well-known recording artists including Hall & Oates, Three Dog Night, and Lyle Lovett, tells the group's definitive story with a music industry insider's insight and enthusiasm. The only other work on these behind-the-scenes pros is Blaine's Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew, which is more narrowly focused on the experiences of the stalwart drummer. Verdict: Recommended for readers interested in popular music and the music industry, particularly West Coast pop and classic rock."Library Journal

I read this and now need to read the book. Sounds like they were the west coast version of Motowns, The Funk Brothers. "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Re: removing reso heads,

Been there, done that. Not a fan anymore Philippe lol.

Little story:

Hal Blaine played on a lot of records from Simon and Garfunkel.
I was listening to S&G's "The Sounds of Silence" the other day.
If you know the song, there's a fill that sounds out of place, (IMO) and another fill that's clearly rushed.

So I'm thinking, that can't be Hal.

So I researched it.

Here Artie and Paul released the song with just guitar accompaniment originally, and it kind of sputtered out when released. Months later, it started getting legs, so the producer, unbeknownst to Paul and Artie, added rhythm tracks, and re-released it. He used the guys from Bob Dylan's band at the time, minus Al Kooper (because he was too heavily identified with Dylan's sound was the reason given)

When Paul Simon first heard the new version, he was horrified at the backing tracks. But it went on to be one of the biggest songs of all time.

It was the rushed fill that made me want to know if that was Hal or not. It wasn't.

I really liked the "Bridge Over Troubled Water" story, all the Beach Boys stories, the Jimmy Webb stories, Glen Campbell and Leon Russell stories....all of the stories were cool. Driving out in LA recently made the stories come to life even more, seeing where Goldstar Studios used to be and all.

I didn't know there were 2 books Jon. I read the Kent Hartman one. Now I need to read the other one too.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
There's "Hal Blaine & the Wrecking Crew", and also "The Wrecking Crew" by Kent Hartman. Both great books!

Also a new book coming out about the songs, I'll have to look up the title.

Bermuda
Bermuda- thanks for pointing out there are 2 books with a similar title.
I read Hartman's "Wrecking Crew" last summer, but didn't realize there was a 2nd book with Hal's name in the title. I'm downloading that from Amazon to read on the Kindle.

The Wrecking Crew was a fun, informative read and has enriched my understanding of the studio scene in LA back in the day, but didn't have that much Hal in it, so I'd like to read more about him.

I love watching Hal on YouTube; sometimes he can get a bit over the top in public (still humorous), whether accepting an award or being interviewed with Nancy Sinatra.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Hal's book came out in 1990, and it's been updated/reissued, currently in its third edition.

The new book about a lot of the old songs is called "Sound Explosion".

Speaking of Motown, there was also "The Motown Story" from 1985, a great book that was out well before the "Standing In The Shadows" documentary. I have an audio interview with author Don Waller that's fascinating, and covers a lot of things not really mentioned in his book (OR in the subsequent, more popular movie.) Most notably, that the key musicians were on salary in those days, and it's a very hefty figure. They may have been overworked and under-recognized, but they certainly weren't underpaid!

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  #8  
Old 02-26-2015, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

I've read both of those Wrecking Crew books and liked them both very much. Now gotta check out Sound Explosion. Thanks for the tip.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2015, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Yes, I read Hal's book many years ago.

I'd say it's a great read.

I think it's really interesting just how much the life of a drummer has changed.

Hal talking about being the house drummer in strip club kills me. One, because it's funny, and mostly because that was a thing! An infamous, not in a band drummer could make a small living playing in a strip club! And all his other odds and ends gigs he did that just don't exist anymore, because it's all Dj's or just piped in music. Such a different time!
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  #10  
Old 02-27-2015, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

My understanding is that Carol Kaye hates the term "Wrecking Crew". And that it was largely an invention of Blaine and Tedesco. Does anyone know the back story on this?
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  #11  
Old 02-27-2015, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

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Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
My understanding is that Carol Kaye hates the term "Wrecking Crew". And that it was largely an invention of Blaine and Tedesco. Does anyone know the back story on this?
I had always thought Hal Blaine coined the term, regarding the young upstarts wrecking the established order of the music industry session players.

The other three wrecking crew drummers weren't so bad either...;)
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2015, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Also check out the Muscle Shoals movie. Maybe my favorite of the documentaries about classic recording studios.
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2015, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
My understanding is that Carol Kaye hates the term "Wrecking Crew". And that it was largely an invention of Blaine and Tedesco. Does anyone know the back story on this?
Hal Blaine, in Ken Hartman's book tells of how the former generation of studio musicians that came before Blaine, which he called the "blue blazer" guys, would comment that the newer guys (like Blaine and his crowd, T shirt and jeans guys) were going to "wreck" the business, referring to the studio scene.
So Hal took that and used it for the basis of the Wrecking Crew moniker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
Also check out the Muscle Shoals movie. Maybe my favorite of the documentaries about classic recording studios.
I would love to see this as I know nothing about Roger Hawkins except he played on "Respect". I was floored when I found out that was a white guy on that track. So I want to learn more about him. What was the name of the movie again?
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

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I would love to see this as I know nothing about Roger Hawkins except he played on "Respect". I was floored when I found out that was a white guy on that track.
...as the story goes, so was Paul Simon, who went down there to get a black sound/groove.

the wonderful thing of music, no visuals, you make up your own.
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Hal Blaine, in Ken Hartman's book tells of how the former generation of studio musicians that came before Blaine, which he called the "blue blazer" guys, would comment that the newer guys (like Blaine and his crowd, T shirt and jeans guys) were going to "wreck" the business, referring to the studio scene.
So Hal took that and used it for the basis of the Wrecking Crew moniker.



I would love to see this as I know nothing about Roger Hawkins except he played on "Respect". I was floored when I found out that was a white guy on that track. So I want to learn more about him. What was the name of the movie again?
Larry,

The title is just Muscle Shoals. IT may be on Netflix
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

It is on Netflix and a great movie in my opinion
Rick Hall and the founder of Fame studios, and the Muscle Shoals sound.
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

I recently saw an interview with Hal on DrumChannel?, if I remember correctly, where Hal talks at length about his session days in LA and the wrecking crew and many fascinating stories. I really enjoyed it. I will look back to see where I saw it...
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2015, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Carol maintains that Hal made up the term more recently - presumably just in time for his book - and that they weren't called the Wrecking Crew back in the day. Hal's story is that the traditional players early on said he and the other guys were 'wrecking' the music industry (with all of their rock & roll I guess...) and that's how & when the name came about.

It would be revealing to find some pre-1990 Wrecking Crew references in print. Anyone got an old Modern Drummer around? :)

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Old 02-28-2015, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

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Carol maintains that Hal made up the term more recently - presumably just in time for his book - and that they weren't called the Wrecking Crew back in the day. Hal's story is that the traditional players early on said he and the other guys were 'wrecking' the music industry (with all of their rock & roll I guess...) and that's how & when the name came about.

It would be revealing to find some pre-1990 Wrecking Crew references in print. Anyone got an old Modern Drummer around? :)

Bermuda
No, but I remember an issue of Modern Drummer which had Hal as the cover story. I think it was 1979 or 1980. Hal told the story that Larry quoted re- "blue jeans and t-shirt crowd wrecking the industry" and he used the term Wrecking Crew in that interview.
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Excellent, that would tend to disprove Carol's allegation, or at least distance such use from the marketing of his book 10 years later.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

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Excellent, that would tend to disprove Carol's allegation, or at least distance such use from the marketing of his book 10 years later.
In Hals interview with "I Hit That" podcast, Hal makes it apparent he and Carol remember things differently.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Yeah, no love lost between them overall.
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  #23  
Old 02-28-2015, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Not sure what to make of Carol. A lot of stuff she says seems right on the money. Then she starts talking about other stuff that just makes me go huh?
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:13 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

A former band mate of mine was working on a documentary on Hal Blaine.

It's on hold at the moment. Some sort of "red tape" holding things up.
I have NO idea when (if ever) it will see the light of day.
Of course I'm hoping and praying it comes out soon as he was a HUGE influence on me and still is.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone read the book "The Wrecking Crew"?

Can anyone (Jon?) remember who it was in the recording industry that, back in the 60's or 70's said, "I was so disillusioned when I learned that my six favorite drummers were Hal Blaine."

Anyone?
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