This blog is dedicated to the youngsters involved in the 60s music scene. Their love for music, enthusiasm and tension to experiment, created fantastic beats and grooves. 60s garage, psych, beat, freakbeat, pop, psychedelic, and even bubblegum has inspired a lot of musicians and generations.
Let’s make this a live community full with 60s amazing stories and sounds from all over the world.
The shake begins right now

Saturday, 18 October 2008

60s Organ

Forget the Hammond B3 and her clunky brethren, the organ of choice for the discerning (and touring) 60s rock band was bound to be colorful, compact, and a scorcher in sound. The suitcase style combo organs, revered for their “cheezy” timbre, defined a classic sound for many well-known outfits and devoured the churchy sound from the organs of yore, paving the way to the synthesizer age. Welcome to the wonderful reedy world of combo organs.

The Vox Continental (1962)

Lord and master of all things combo, this line of organ is probably revered as much for its sound as for its sleek look. The beautiful inverted, harpsichord-like keys, smooth pull drawbars, and striking red flat-top cover set the bar for portable organ design over the next 10 years. Initially meant to replace the B3 for touring musicians, the distinct transistor sound of the Continental caught on with groups like the The Animals and Sir Douglas Quintet and was used most famously on Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gada-Da-Vida. The Super Continental boasted two sets of keyboards (known as “manuals”) and even more customization of sound with a “percussion” feature, while stripped down versions like the Jaguar featured only preset buttons, without the drawbars, and a slightly thinner sound. Hard to go wrong with the Vox Con tho; let’s hear it tear. “Lay it on me, Augie“:

Farfisa Compact (1965)

They’ll tell you any combo organ recording from the 60s… if it’s not a Vox Continental it’s the Farfisa Compact. The Farfisa sound is somewhat distinct, sounding punchy and chewier than the Vox, and the “Farfisa” name does seem to embody the whole combo-organ sound in our collective consciousness. The Italian-made Farfisa was converted from the company’s transistor accordians, and became the 2nd most popular combo organ after the Vox; probably a more affordable choice for tons of 60s garage bands. The octave of black keys on the left could be switched to a bass sound that was separate from the white keys, and uniquely, you could push the lever on the bottom with your knee to open the filter of the sound during performance. The Compact line spawned many fine instruments including the Farfisa Compact Duo (two manuals), the brilliantly designed (but non-transistor) Farfisa FAST and Professional, and a series of interesting organ/synthesizer hybrids. Here’s a glaring Farfisa cut I’m sure you’ve all heard, followed by a clip of Herbie Hancock riffing nasty on a busted Farfisa for Miles Davis’s Tribute to Jack Johnson:

Gibson G-101 (1966)

Ray Manzarek used the Vox Continental for the first two Doors albums, but switched and stayed with the G-101, also known as the Kalamazoo. His use of the instrument, combined with a Rhodes Piano Bass set on top, has lended to its classic, sought-after status. Not only did the G-101 have black bass keys like the Compact, but an additional set of gray keys that could switch between an extended bass section or extended treble section. Other features included vibrato, tremolo, and sustain controls. What most distinguished it from other combos were its Piano and Harpsichord sounds, similiar to sounds heard on Back Door Man (The Doors) and Lucy in the Sky, respectively.

The Rising Storm

NO ONE REALLY KNOWS how legends get their start. They just do. In music, some bands become legendary during their active career. Others become so with the passage of time. It can start as a consensus among an elite few, perhaps because their music affects everybody differently, or perhaps because no one can seem to describe what sets them apart.

I first heard the Rising Storm at their 1981 reunion in Boston. It wasn't until I listened to their first album, Calm Before, that I recognized they were unique. I still can't put it into words, but if you compare this album to others released in the mid-'60s, there is no mistake: the Rising Storm are the best. Perhaps it's because they dared to record originals at a time when most bands relied on cover versions of well-known songs. Perhaps it was the chemistry of the six band members. Certainly it was the times. Maybe it was all of these things, possibly none. All that really matters is that the Rising Storm existed, and left us a brilliant LP that continues to be cherished more than thirty years after its release.

Their saga began at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, one of the many prep schools that dot the New England Landscape. During the '60s, Andover was home to many bands that provided the music for the "mixers" where the Phillips student-body would socialize with girls from neighboring prep schools. Many of these groups released LPs as a keepsake of their days at Andover - a tradition began in the early '60s. The Torques, the Apostles, the Satans, and the Invictas all chronicled the popular songs of the day on albums consisting mostly of instrumental and frat-rock covers. The Ha' Pennies, who graduated in 1966, cut an album that was slightly more progressive. They too, recorded cover versions, but picked their material from the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and other mid-'60s artists. Unlike those before them, they dared to include an original song, "Love Is Not The Same" on their album.

Into this backdrop, in the fall of 1964, came the Rising Storm. They were Bob Cohan, Todd Cohen, Charlie Rockwell, Tom Scheft, Tony Thompson, and Rich Weinberg. They began like most bands, a few friends jamming on borrowed equipment, playing songs like "Wild Weekend" or "McCoy." But even in their infancy, they were experimenting with original music.
In the spring of 1965, they began to play at a few mixers under the name "The Remnants." Then, fearing that their moniker too closely resembled another more popular Boston band's name, they changed to "The Rising Storm," a term taken from their American history syllabus used to describe the turbulent period before the American Revolution. Thus, a band was born.
1966 - 1967, their senior year, they acquired a reputation as a good live band scoring extra points with their peers by extending the slow dance numbers. During spring break, they followed the tradition of previous Andover bands and recorded an album. They chose Continental Recording Studios in Framingham, MA on a recommendation from the Ha' Pennies, who had recorded their album there the previous year. For $1000, they had the studio to themselves for a week and received 500 copies of the resulting LP. When the record was released, they sold for $3.00 apiece - a far cry from the price tag affixed to that album these days.

The following year, the band went off to college and the Rising Storm was no more.

The Beatniks (singles 1968)

Passing through various configurations, the Beatniks first name was Analphabeatles and changed their name because there were bands using the same name in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. They were formed in 1965, injected Beatlemania in the programs 'Young Guard'(Jovem Guarda), presented by Roberto Carlos on TV Record, and' The Good ', headed by Eduardo Araujo, and on TV Excelsior (SP), Channel 9.
The band Betniks, when not accompanying the singer Ingrid Domingueiras also played in Sao Paulo and famous concerts promoted by Rhodia / Fenit.

After flirting with the beat European "culture" of psychedelia,that emerged around the world in 68, they recorded one of the most beautiful versions of Gloria, from Van Morrisson’s Them, for the Mocambo label.

With Bogo, guitar, vocal and the band head thinking; Marcio, guitar and voice; Nene, down, then Incredibles, and Nino Graves' Tired of Waiting "and" The Empty Place ', originally released on compact 66, by CBS. And then the Mocambo in 68, 'Because I was a boy who I loved The Beatles and The Rolling Stones' and' Outside Chance ', a version of the Turtles.

They recorded in the famous double-single, also in Mocambo in 68, with 'Gloria,' 'Fire', (Jimi Hendri’x original) 'I find you' and 'Alligator Hat' .

My favorite track here is 'Alligator Hat' which is an extremely powerful track full of snarling guitars and vocals.

01. Glória
02. Fire
03. Eu te Encontro
04. Alligator Hat
05. Era um Rapaz que Como Eu Amava Os Beatles e Os Rolling Stones
6. Outside Chance