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John McFee's guitar fills on "Alison"

Discussion in 'Twanger Central' started by Kilgore Trout, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. KirbyBarba

    KirbyBarba TDPRI Member

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    This song was in my head for the past two weeks. Time for me to stumble through learning this. Thanks for the post!
     
  2. sfwhiteman

    sfwhiteman TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I made an account to say This is awesome, and well done, and thanks. This brought back great memories of one of the first songs that made me want to pick up an electric guitar as a kid--those fills that are so clean, melodic, and musical
     
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  3. Mike M

    Mike M Tele-Holic

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    Back in 1988, I was in the amp room at Manny's on 48th street in NYC. I was testing some amp I was thinking about buying.

    Every time I started to play, some guy behind me would start jamming with me, but it was intrusive and he was very out of tune.

    I was playing the rhythm to "Mystery Train", when again this guy chimed in behind me. I finally had enough, and turned around to tell the guy politely that I just needed a few minutes to hear the amp by itself, then we could jam.

    I turned around, and there he was, my idol, Elvis Costello.

    He was wearing a winter coat, and had grabbed some random guitar off the rack (hence it being out of tune).

    He said "keep playing !", and I COMPLETLEY FROZE. Just sat there with my mouth hanging open.

    Again, he said "Keep playing". I tried playing it again, but my mind was blown and I think I played the worst I have ever played. We played together for about 5 minutes or so, and then some guy he was with said "Their ready", and with that, he got up, said "thanks" and walked out the door.

    As soon as he walked out the door, some employee said over the intercom "Elvis has left the building".

    True story.
     
  4. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Tele-Meister

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    I love this story. Thanks so much for sharing it.
     
  5. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Tele-Meister

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    I've been listening to the My Aim Is True album for 42 years. This is blasphemy in Elvis Costello circles, but I like the band on this album better than the Attractions, largely because of the second guitar.
     
  6. bsman

    bsman Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for posting this - I've been mystified by that song since 1977!
     
  7. Mike M

    Mike M Tele-Holic

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    Just checked out your YouTube channel, and LOVE your playing!

    I just want more videos and transcriptions to work on!
     
  8. Mike M

    Mike M Tele-Holic

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    I love the stories about the recording of his first album with that band. They had no idea they were going to be on one of the most influential rock albums off all times.

    The band referred to "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes" as "that Byrds like song".
     
  9. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Nice work. Great fills and a great song. Well worth the effort of working out the parts and must have been very satisfying to nail it.
     
  10. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it. Most of the transcriptions I have on that channel are jazz.
     
  11. GreatGaudy

    GreatGaudy Tele-Meister

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    That sounds a lot like Drift Away now ! .. to me.
    I would have never thought about it until you (40 yrs later) augmented those fills. Nice !

    ...Mcfee must've had Steve Cropper on the brain at that session.

    errrr, Reggie Young, funny tho' I get the two mixed up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
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  12. Dan R

    Dan R Poster Extraordinaire

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    John McFee plays on Elvis' Nashville record "Almost Blue".
     
  13. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Tele-Meister

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    Now I want to transcribe "Drift Away." That's such a great guitar part.
     
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  14. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    Saw Clover opening for Graham Parker and The Rumour back in the late 70s at Newcastle City Hall (UK). Yes, very good band. GP and The Rumour had four horns with them at this time and really rocked the place -- one hell of a sound.
     
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  15. Mike M

    Mike M Tele-Holic

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    Here is the great Reggie Young, who played on it demonstrating it

    Go to 2:31

     
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  16. GreatGaudy

    GreatGaudy Tele-Meister

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    oh, was it Reggie ? yeh , that's who I meant !
     
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  17. Cpt.Blues

    Cpt.Blues TDPRI Member

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    My Aim Is True is one of the greatest debut albums ever. I listen to it all the time and never tire of the songs.

    Great job transposing the licks. You have great chops!
     
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  18. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Tele-Meister

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    Nice! I was listening to a lot of UK stuff in the late 1970s in my little bedroom here in eastern Canada. That must've been during Parker's "Heat Treatment" period, when he had the horn section. I had that on 8-track, believe it or not. My favourite is "Squeezing Out a Spark," which, alas, I only had on vinyl. One of the few vinyl records to survive the purge when I switched to CDs (along with My Aim Is True, of course).
     
  19. Mike M

    Mike M Tele-Holic

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    Was a huge Parker fan, especially his first two albums (Howlin Wind, Heat Treatment), but I think Costello's debut, and the debut of the first Clash album did a lot to derail his career.

    Like when the Beatles landed in the US in 1964, almost overnight the pub rockers (Parker, Brinsley Schwartz) were out of date, and the punk scene was in vogue. Costello sensed that change in the wind, and allied himself with that movement.

    Huge difference between 1976, and 1977.
     
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