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06/04/15 10:53 PM
Member Since: 04/21/08
06/07/15 8:46 AM
The guitar gender article was quite enlightening. I remember at a Storyteller once, he was asked about what he thought of BB King calling his guitar Lucille and if he had names for his guitars. Justin was kind of flip with the answer at the time. He said he just didn't get why one would think his guitars were female. He was a bit more introspective here. I loved this:
"but to me women are much more complex, sexy and fascinating than woody instruments, not straightforward at all, and sometimes not faithful either. I hope it doesn’t disillusion any fans of my guitars, but there it is."
Learn to forget the memories that cause you pain
The last whispered wish of age is to live it all again (JH/RT)
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08/04/15 4:16 PM
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08/05/15 6:38 AM
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08/05/15 11:20 AM
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08/05/15 1:23 PM
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08/05/15 1:38 PM
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08/05/15 9:42 PM
songs receive cover versions by other artists over and over again. Some
are sample bedrocks. A few are both—and perhaps the greatest and most
emblematic of these is “Apache.”
Written in the late ’50s by an English songwriter aping a Hollywood
movie starring Burt Lancaster as a Native American, made into a hit by a
Eurovision Song Contest-winning Swede and the backing band of a British
MOR balladeer, and a surf-guitar favorite by the mid-’60s, “Apache”
would have been a tough, cool instrumental rocker left to the recesses
of musical history had it not been for another Hollywood movie, whose
soundtrack featured a goofy funk version of another pre-Beatles hit, “Bongo Rock.”
In that small hit’s wake, the Incredible Bongo Band’s
version of “Apache” would sound the call for B-boys to battle on the
dance floor—first in the Bronx, then worldwide. Thanks to the most
commanding breakbeat this side of the James Brown
catalog, the Bongo Band's “Apache” is one the most-sampled records of
all time, and there are no signs of that changing anytime soon.
Going from surf standard to hip-hop’s national anthem is hardly the
only mutation “Apache” has made in its lifetime. More than 50 years
since the first version was released, the song’s DNA can be heard in
music from rap to jungle to pop. Here are 25 songs that trace the
strange and singular evolution of “Apache.”
Written by Michaelangelo Matos (@matoswk75)
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Album: King Size GuitarLabel: Top RankProducer: N/AIn
1959, a British RAF veteran and ad man named Jerry Lordan saw a
five-year-old Burt Lancaster action flick, Apache, very loosely based on
the story of Massai, the last Apache left after Geronimo surrendered to
the U.S. cavalry in New Mexico. The movie inspired Lordan—a part-time
songwriter-to pen a simple, resonant riff that seemed to trail dust in
The first version of "Apache" was by Bert Weedon, who died at 91 this
April 20. Weedon was the first solo guitarist to have a hit in England
(with 1959's "Guitar Boogie Shuffle"); his guitar-instruction books
helped inspire the first wave of British rock-up to and including the
Beatles-but his skipping, jaunty take on "Apache" inspired brickbats
from Lordan decades later.
"He hasn't even played the music that I wrote," the songwriter told
an interviewer in 1993, two years before he died. "I wanted something
noble and dramatic, reflecting the courage and savagery of the Indian."
Weedon hardly provides that. But before anyone else laid hands on it, he
proved one of the ineffable rules of "Apache"—it sounds good at any tempo.
Album: N/A/Label: ColumbiaProducer: Norrie ParamorCliff
Richard became a British pop mainstay with big, soft ballads, such as
his big American hit, "We Don't Talk Anymore" (No. 7 in 1979; in the
U.K. it went to No. 1). Just to situate it: the top two picks to its
right on the video's YouTube page are Paul Davis's "I Go Crazy" and
Ambrosia's "How Much I Feel." But well before things got truly blowsy,
Richard was, it is requisite to say, "England's answer to Elvis
Presley," but it was his backing band, the Shadows, led by thick-toned
guitarist Hank Marvin, who were the musical draw.
The group heard "Apache" while touring England and cut it at the tail
end of a session, figuring it was a B-side. They quickly learned
otherwise: Stoic and unflinching, their "Apache" went to No. 1 in
England and stayed there five weeks, making it the second-biggest record
of the year there, after Elvis's "It's Now or Never." Cliff helped out
by playing a Chinese tam-tam drum.
Album: ApacheLabel: AtcoProducer: N/AAmerica
didn't need Cliff Richard in the early '60s-it already had its own
Elvis, thanks-but clearly "Apache" needed to set foot on the soil that
inspired it. Who better to do so than a future Eurovision Song Contest
winner? Grethe and Jorgen Ingmann—a Danish wife-and-husband singer-and-guitarist team—topped
the 1963 edition of the fabled event with the jaunty, B-musical-ready
"Dansevise (I Loved You)," but two years earlier Jorgen had scored
something sweeter on his own: a U.S. No. 1. In Ingmann's hands, "Apache"
was airier, but its tom-tom beat evoked Native American drumming, while
the guitar, not echoed but answered by slide squeals, evoked the
Pacific Island pop then in vogue via the living-room exotica of Les
Baxter and Martin Denny. It also cemented the melody as one of pop's
Album: The VenturesLabel: LibertyProducer: N/AIt
took little time for the loping guitar theme of "Apache" to become a
surf-rock standard-a year after Ingmann's version hit No. 1, Seattle's
Ventures split the difference between it and the Shadows' version. They
approach it like a known quantity-something everyone knows, is familiar
and friendly with, and whose contours are played with lightly-the
expression of a musical style at its early mature peak.
Album: Apache '65Label: TowerProducer: Mike CurbJust
about every surf rocker of note covered "Apache": Link Wray, Dick Dale,
the Surfaris, the Spacemen, the Venturas. (Twenty-two appeared on a
2005 CD, from the French label Magic, called Apache Mania.) But the
wildest surf-identified guitarist was probably L.A.'s Davie Allan, who
led the band the Arrows and made much of his name doing soundtracks for
American International Pictures' twixt-mod-and-hippie exploitation
movies (The Wild Angels, The Born Losers, Thunder Alley).
Allan liked to shred-he's as much a precursor of Hendrix as a
contemporary of Dale or the Shadows' Hank Marvin-and the slightly
retitled "Apache '65" indicates an itch to take this half-decade-old
already-standard into the future a little bit. Certainly Allan's noise
helps. But "Apache"'s future would come from a very different direction.
Album: N/ALabel: HarvestProducer: Peter JennerDavie
Allan may have been a crucial pre-Jimi noise-guitar wizard, but when
Hendrix proclaimed, "You'll never hear surf music again," at the 1967
Monterey International Pop Festival, young Americans believed him as
surely as they believed Eminem's proclamation that "Nobody listens to
techno" in 2002. The rise of the Beatles and Bob Dylan mandated that
rockers now write all their own songs; cover versions didn't go away,
but they became far less prevalent than they once had been.
So this 1970 single was an oddity for that reason alone-it was a dual
cover, inserting Jerry Lordan's famous riff among the lurching
blues-rock of Captain Beefheart's "Drop Out Boogie"-which, in a way,
makes Broughton the first musician ever to "sample" "Apache," a practice
that would go into overdrive thanks to another version released three
Album: Bongo RockLabel: N/AProducer: N/ADavie
Allan wasn't the only one on the "Apache" line who scored movies for
American International Pictures. Michael Viner, an MGM Records staff
producer and onetime Robert Kennedy campaign worker, was another. In
1972, MGM Records staff arranger-producer (and onetime) Michael Viner
cut a silly version of a silly song ("Bongo Rock," a 1959 instrumental
hit for Preston Epps) under the name the Incredible Bongo Band, for the
grade-Z flick The Thing with Two Heads, starring Oscar winner Ray
Milland (The Lost Weekend) and football player Rosey Grier. The song
reached No. 42 on the Billboard R&B chart. Since Viner was boss, he
decided to go ahead with a Bongo Band album featuring more covers.
"They told me, 'You have $15,000 and three days,'" Viner said in an
unpublished 2006 interview. (He died three years later.) "These
producers at AIP-I was very fond of them, but they were a very cheapy
organization-said, 'You are invited to watch a film in San Francisco.'
They bought an economy ticket and got me a Cadillac for the day. We were
talking and meeting everyone, treated very nicely. Then we're watching
the scene being filmed: a couple of motorcycle guys harassing an old
couple in a car, and it's driven off the cliff. That was my rent-a-car."
Viner hired arranger Perry Botkin Jr., who called in drummer Jim
Gordon-formerly of Derek & the Dominos, and the co-writer of
"Layla"-and Bahamian percussionist King Errisson.
In 2006, Botkin described his arranging style in an unpublished
interview: "There might be a percussion intro of some sort, then the
horns would play the chorus, then Jimmy and King would improvise for a
couple of minutes, then the band would come back in and play the last
minute. That was basically the structure for both of the Bongo Band
The reason it became such a sampling hit was that they had all these
two- and three-minute drum and conga breaks in the middle all of the
tunes. Michael is a good producer, but he's not a musician. I don't
recall any instructions as far as structure. He just wanted a loooot of
drums. He didn't say that, but that's what he wanted. We didn't sit down
and have meetings. I was really busy during that time. It was just
another gig. What has gone since then is quite amazing to me."
"What has gone on since then" begins in 1973, the year of Bongo Rock,
the album. In the South Bronx, Clive Campbell-the DJ known as Kool
Herc-began playing two copies of the record on different turntables. It
was an "experiment," he told Terry Gross in 2005, that he named the
Merry-Go-Round. "I was noticing people used to wait for the particular
parts of the record, to dance to, just to do their special little
moves." The track that worked best, he found, was Bongo Rock's "Apache."
"They still can't beat that record until this day," he told Gross.
"Everybody's still using Bongo Rock's 'Apache.'"
They sure are. The hard downbeat and floating bongos that begin the
tune announce this "Apache" something very different than before-but not
altogether different from the soundtrack funk that blanketed the
post-Shaft soundscape. The widescreen arrangement-strident guitar,
wild-ass organ, and, of course, all those objects being hit-could buoy
even the most dead-end imaginary scenario (though probably not The Thing
with Two Heads, because nothing could).
Every part of the arrangement, from the horn fanfare (that riff
sounds good on anything) to the long, perfectly calibrated break at its
climax. And when Herc went back-and-forth with his two copies, a lot
more people began to move. As for the drummers: King Errisson has spent
much of his career in Neil Diamond's touring band, while Jim Gordon
would eventually be committed to a mental institution after killing his
mother with an axe.
08/06/15 6:52 AM
the Bongo Band's “Apache” is one the most-sampled records of
08/06/15 10:52 AM
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