Check this video out to see how those old organs were built. It is one of those mega-cool films from the 1950's that walk you through the Hammond plant and demonstrate how the tonewheel generators are built, as well as how they function. I really wish "this" USA ... at least this part of it ... were still alive. The hand-made inventions that we proudly built with our hands and with machines. ~That~ USA is long dead .. sadly. Anyhow, this viseo is a nice reminder of who we once were. Oh, and it also shows how these tonewheel generators (as well as the rst of the organ) was built. To think that the very organ I have sitting in my studio right now .. both of them .. went through those exact hands, that exact plant, during that exact time .. kinda sends the shivers up one's spine a bit. It's like being in the presence of ghosts.
Apollo 100 and the 1972 single "Joy"
This is a cover of a cover actually. The song is a J.S Bach composition truly named "Jesu, joy of man's desiring". A band called "Jigsaw" actually did this type of version first in 1970 or 1971, then the Apollo 100 version hit the airwaves in 1972. The Apollo 100 version is more homogenized and set-up for mainstream sheeple consumption, while the Jigsaw version is more free-form and much longer. The organ tones on the Apollo 100 version are more sedate, by contrast the organ tones on the Jigsaw version are pretty advanced for that time. The tone was very .. I do mean v.e.r.y reminiscent of Emerson and Argent's sound of the era (which some .. including myself .. that thought Emerson led the way with Hammond sounds like those ... NOT!)
So here is Apollo 100's version ... if you're anyone over 40 you will most likely recognize this song.
And here is Jigsaw's version of the very same song, however it was released at leasrt a full year before Apollo 100's version flooded AM radio in 1972. Heavy duty Hammond tone! Jigsaw, "Joy" ....
Doctor Lonnie Smith
This is reportedly ELP's first big show.
One of my favortite German madmen is ... Bach. The dude was the baddest rocker of his era. He only lived to 65, but wrote (by hand) well over 1200 known pieces of music. Twelve hundred! I'm not so in to all of his other "werkes" but his pipe organ stuff is phenominal. The musical era that he lived in was known as the Baroque era. Much of Baroque era music was made with more "quiet" instruments that could be played indoors. Not Bach. The dude was way into The Pipe Organ. Easily the single most mighty instrument ever built by humans, and easily one of .. if not THE .. single loudest instruments ever built. It was the "Marshall Stack" of the time, of that there is no doubt. Think I'm being over dramatic? Look at this video (over five million hits!). At times a full panoramic view of the beast comes to view. The performer is literally dwarfed by the enormity of the thing. Listen to it when he hits it really hard (like at around 8:35 or so) ... it's huge! A Marshall stack sounds literally "prepubescent" by comparison. Like it hasn't even grown a set yet! It's easy to hear why Bach was so drawn to the instrument.
Bach wrote really intricate stuff, lots of energetic toccatas and fugues. Most composers of that era wrote more openly, leaving a lot of room for the performers to embellish and add whatever they thought fit the mood and the music. Not Bach. He wrote in profuse detail. The notation was so articulate that the performer was forced to stay within the boundaries that Bach heard when he composed the piece. He was also deeply involved in Lutheran ideas. Remember that Martin Luther (and Lutheran ideas) were pretty "racey" for that time. They were ideas that went FAR against the accepted Catholic status quo. So here you have this insanely talented guy, that prefers to work with enormous pipe organs .. that just happened to be located in churches .. a place where he felt very much at home and safe within it's walls. It was the perfect composing studio for the perfect madman.
When you kinda get into Bach, you begin to hear all of these phrases and riffs that you hear in stuff as far removed from "Bach" as you'd ever imagine. Deep Purple for instance, Ritchie Blackmore was famous for using a lot of Bach's phrases, as was Jon Lord of the same band. Many of your "classicly trained" metal guitarists will also "refer" to Bach for riffing ideas and phrasing. I've heard that Yngwie Malmsteen was a big "Bach quoter" as well. Keith Emerson was notorious for ~quoting~ Bach in his musical performances on the Hammond C3 and his Moog synths (pronounced "mogue" .. long "o" .. like "vogue" or "rogue"). The song by Boston called "Foreplay/Longtime" .. listen to "Foreplay" .. that entire little organ piece Sholz went off on (done on a Hammond spinet btw). That entire little movement is so full of Bach influence it's ridiculous. The arpeggiated chords that simply fill the song are nearly Bach quotes. In fact when I saw Boston in 1979 at the Summit in Houston Tx. (Sammy Hagar opened ... what a show) Sholz started off "Foreplay" with an extended Hammond solo that was all centered around Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (commonly known as "the theme from Phantom Of The Opera") and then he worked Foreplay into it, and ended up working into "Smokin'" to end the organ solo, and bring the rest of the band back into the mix.
Wow .... man those were really nice!
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