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Lonnie Mack and the "Whammy Bar". I learned something new today.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by chrisgblues, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. chrisgblues

    chrisgblues Tele-Afflicted

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    So being a long time Lonnie Mack fan, I should have made the connection by now to the Whammy Bar. Well, you learn something new every day.

    Apparently, the "tremolo arm" as used on various guitars (in Lonnie Mack's case, a 1958 Gibson Flying V with a Bigsby unit) became known as the "Whammy Bar" after Lonnie Mack released his famous single "Wham!" which showcased his use of the tremolo arm.

    I always wondered where the term "Whammy" came from. I should have known...doh!

    If memory serves me correctly there's a few videos of Lonnie Mack on Youtube in which you can clearly see him playing his guitar with the tremolo arm firmly in his grip the whole time he's playing. I couldn't play like that, but it's neat that he can just pull off whammy stuff on a whim. Lonnie Mack is underrated IMHO, I just wish he had played a Tele instead of a Flying V!
     
  2. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This reminds me I have an old VHS with Lonnie Mack, Albert Collins and Roy Buchanan playing at a concert aired on the Playboy Channel some 25 years or so ago.

    I need to dig that out and find a way to digitize some of the songs.
     
  3. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

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    Lonnie Mack fan here too.
     
  4. Guit-jitsu

    Guit-jitsu Tele-Afflicted

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    Lonnie rocks. I got to see him once and even had a korina Epiphone V in high school. Never got around to installing a Bigsby though ...
     
  5. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Never realized that either ! Wow...
     
  6. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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  7. YanceySpecial

    YanceySpecial Tele-Meister

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  8. chrisgblues

    chrisgblues Tele-Afflicted

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    I've "heard" that this concert can be downloaded in full as a torrent, but I wouldn't know anything about that personally.

    Also there are snippets of that concert on Youtube. It's the three of them sharing the bill at Carnegie Hall. I'm also a BIG Albert Collins fan, so that concert is a wealth of great music as far as I'm concerned. I never really got into Roy Buchanan...he's good but I just haven't had the opportunity to listen to him much.
     
  9. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Ad Free Member

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    I was really surprised to learn that he played bass on a number of Doors records (after his own recording career stalled), and apparently came very close to becoming a member of the band!

    Tim
     
  10. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hmmm had to go research THAT ! :p He played on the Morrison Hotel album... Thanks, Tim !!! :p
    http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/508467
     
  11. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I played it over and over back when it happened. I have lots of old concerts on tape. Just browsed Knebworth 1990 that I have the entire thing on VHS, but many clips of it are already up on YT, If I can find that Playboy concert, I'll see if I can make a few clips of each artist and upload them. Anyone know a cheap way to do that, other than just video the TV? Of the three, Collins kicked the most butt IMO.

    AH! Just found one of those clips you mentioned:

     
  12. chrisgblues

    chrisgblues Tele-Afflicted

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    WOW! That means Lonnie played bass on "Roadhouse Blues"!!!

    This day is blowing my mind! :D I guess I wasn't as "big" a fan as I once thought!
     
  13. Mike Bruce

    Mike Bruce Friend of Leo's

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    Stupid internet, always learnin' me stuff.

    (Thanks.)

    Peace, Mike.
     
  14. J Hog

    J Hog Tele-Holic

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    Lonnie was a customer of a music store I used to work for. The story goes that one day he came in to look around and picked up a copy of The Gibson Gazette (a publication for Gibson dealers up until the 70's) looked thru it and saw two new models Gibson was coming out with for 1958. One was the Explorer and the other was the Flying V. The V caught his attention. and he ordered one. It was the 7th one built. But there was one thing missing. He missed the vibrato like he had on his Les Paul. So the owner of the store, a man named Glenn Hughes had a machinist /customer make a mounting piece that fit between the wings of the V to mount the Bigsby. We used to keep one or two of them around the store in case anybody wanted them. In the 24 years I worked there we sold maybe three or four of them.
     
  15. Monster Mike Welch

    Monster Mike Welch Tele-Meister

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    Albert with the capo at the 12th fret! We should all be so fearless.
     
  16. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don't know how he does it. I've tried that and can't play a lick. Can't bend or put much vibrato on it with a capo at the 12th. But I never use capos, so maybe you get used to it? But he sure got a lot out of one "box".
     
  17. WaylonFan76

    WaylonFan76 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, they also list "Ray Neapolitan" as playing bass on that album as well, so your guess is as good as mine... that's a cool idea nonetheless... :D
     
  18. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    Three of my favorite players on one video! Tremendous. LM doesn't get enough credit for being a great singer as well as a guitarist. Thanks, TAP! Dan
     
  19. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    Naaahh... he gets a free pass on playing a Tele because that V with a Bigsgy looks so freakin' cool!! :lol:

    I love me some Lonnie Mack. Only got to see him live once, though. :(
     
  20. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    In the liner notes to my CD of Morrison Hotel it lists "Ray Neopolitan - Bass"
    but then specifically states "Lonnie Mack plays bass on Roadhouse Blues and Maggie McGill".

    I heard or read somewhere that Lonnie was working in LA in a non-musical capacity and didn't have a record deal in 1970 so the Doors decided to bring him in for the album.

    Also credited "G. Puglese plays harp on Roadhouse Blues."
    I had read years ago that was John Sebastian's pseudonym. I believe that the vinyl LP credits Giovanni Puglese.

    That's what I hate about most CD's... you get very little liner notes or pictures. :cry:

    Lonnie Mack's album/cd "Strike Like Lightning" produced by SRV (and he plays on a few cuts) on Alligator records is usually near the top of my playlist.
     
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