Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Musical instrument manufacturers

Don Sebesky: Clavinet Pioneer

Last November’s tribute to the funkiest musical instrument known to humankind would seem to designate NRBQ‘s “Stomp” (recorded December, 1968) as among the earliest of recordings to feature the clavinet, even though by article’s end I reveal my trump card: “Attractive Girl” by The Termites — an album track on

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First Steinberger Bass Sighting?

Q:  Do you remember where were you the first time you encountered that newfangled electric bass of the 1980s made out of some kind of industrial epoxy — and invented by an industrial furniture designer who had no prior experience with musical instruments?   Home video of The Dixie Dregs playing

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“Stomp”: First Recording of a Clavinet?

Someone posted a short list of “clavinet-fueled songs” that, of course, included “Up on Cripple Creek” by The Band.  One commenter quibbled that the song should have been #1 on the list, “not only because it is better but because it was first” – but was it? The Clavinet is

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Tom Ardolino’s Ferocious Backbeat

Around the 7:55 mark in this heartfelt video tribute to ‘Q drummer, Tom Ardolino (who left us in 2012), there is powerful testimony from one of rock & pop’s most storied session drummers, Earl Palmer, who remarks on Ardolino’s prodigious wallop [“playing that backbeat!”] and inimitable playing style [“twirling that

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Fact: DC’s the Telecaster Town

Jake Flack of the Rhodes Tavern Troubadours makes an air-tight case for proving that the Nation’s Capital truly is the Telecaster town – and he’s not afraid to name names: DC’s the Telecaster Town – Rhodes Tavern Troubadours [Pssst:  Click the triangle to play “DC’s the Telecaster Town” by The

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“Rain Flowers”: Power Pop Spawned by The Beatles

The received wisdom is that The Beatles single-handedly invented ‘power pop’ with       “And Your Bird Can Sing,” an album track from 1966’s Revolver.  The truth, however, is a little more elusive.  One could point out that “Paperback Writer” – a song that very much embodies the power pop sound –

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Melodica as High Art: “Talkin’ Blues” Dub Style

I confess I am not an Augustus Pablo scholar, but I would bet big money that Pablo’s dub take on Bob Marley‘s “Talkin’ Blues” is among the most inspired recordings in his canon.  I only wish I could determine the source of the original Marley vocal and backing track –

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Pioneering Pop: The Melodica on Record

July 2020 Update:  Click here for the latest info You may not know the melodica by name, but you might have seen one or, more likely, heard one at some point in your life.  Essentially, the melodica is a wind-powered keyboard that sounds much like a harmonica: Wikipedia tells me

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