I would love to be able to travel back in time…..unfortunately i read an article on Huffington Post yesterday where Brian Cox, a particle physicist, states that time travel is possible but only to the future…..
We may be able to book our ticket to the future someday — it’ll just be a one-way trip.
In a presentation at the British Science Festival, particle physicist Brian Cox said that time travel is possible but only in one direction.
“The central question is, can you build a time machine? The answer is yes, you can go into the future,” the University of Manchester professor told the audience during his hour-long speech on Tuesday, according to The Telegraph. “You’ve got almost total freedom of movement in the future.”
You might be asking yourself why would I like to travel to the past? The answer is simple….that is where most of the music that I like was recorded and I would like to be back there to observe and participate in realtime. Who wouldn’t want to travel back in time and go to Woodstock? Even better….who wouldn’t want to go back in time and be in the recording studio when some of the great music of all time was being recorded?
All of this brings us to a new series of posts that I call Time Machine Tunes, or TMT for short. This is not just old music….I am talking about rare bootleg recordings from studio sessions or concerts. I have spent years gathering such recordings and have not chosen to share them on the blog until now. The songs in these posts will only be available on this site and I hope that you will enjoy them. As always let me know what you think.
Be looking for the first post in this series sometime next week.
I can still remember the first time I heard this song. It was 1970 and I was on my way home from school. All of a sudden this great song was blasting out of the car radio and I was immediately smitten. The guitar sound was amazing. Here is what Russell DaShiell, the lead guitarist during the recording session has to say about how that sound was achieved (thanks to Wikipedia for this information)…..
I actually played the lead guitar parts on Spirit, using a 61-62 SG Les Paul, a 68 Marshall Plexi 100w half stack and a home-made overdrive box in front of the Marshall. Regarding the ‘beep beeps’ as I call them, when the producer asked me to play some fills in between the verses, as a joke I said how about something spacey like this and I did the pickup switch/string bending thing. I saw him stand up in the control booth and he said “that’s it! let’s record that!” so we did. (There was no slide involved, just my fingers, and I used the bridge humbucker and the pickup switch). The fuzz part is Norman with a built-in overdrive circuit built into his Tele pickguard. I’ve been asked a lot over the years how I did the ‘beep beep’ guitar parts on Spirit, so for any guitar players out there who would like to learn how, try the following: Using a 2-pickup Gibson, set the neck pickup volume to zero, bridge pickup volume to max, with the pickup switch in the middle position (with Gibson wiring this gives you silence in the middle position). Do a string bend, picking the B & E strings together with one hit, just ahead of the beat, then use the pickup switch to kick in the bridge pickup in triplets (6 per bar) as you let the B string bend down two frets. I mainly used two positions on Spirit, which is in the key of A. For the low position, fret a stationary C note (8th fret) on the E string while bending the B string up to an A note for your starting-position, then pick the two strings together once while the guitar is silent and work the pickup switch as you let the A note bend downwards to a G. For the high position, do the same thing at the 15th fret holding a stationary high G note on the E string while bending down from E to D on the B string.””I must give credit to Jimi Hendrix as my inspiration for this technique (as well as for the double-string riffs I did at the beginning of the Spirit solo tail section). I saw him perform live in a small club in Madison, Wisconsin and loved the way he used his Strat pickup switch to create staccato feedback on songs like Voodoo Child. The difference is, on a Gibson you can start from silence and create the on/off effect, which worked well with the downward string bending thing I did on Spirit.
Let’s listen to the whole song so you can enjoy the great opening Riff in context…….
I am sad to say that Norman was a “one hit wonder” but if you are only going to produce one hit it might as well be something as great as Spirt In The Sky.
Oh……one more thing. You would never know if from the song’s lyrics but Norman Greenbaum is Jewish 🙂