Spirit in the Sky

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Old Plank, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Hoping this isn't old news ... There is a very interesting article/interview on the Rolling Stone website today with Norman Greenbaum, which centers largely around the great tune SIIS. One thing in particular is the source of the amazing fuzz guitar sound, which may be already well known here but was news to me. Not only did I not know the guitar was a Tele, but the fuzz was not from a pedal but rather from an installed battery and wires internally and a on/off switch on the guitar. There's much more I could relate but it's well worth the whole read for those interested. Also an original video in which the Tele looks like (it's hard to see clearly) a sunburst with binding and rosewood fretboard and the added switch visible. I don't have the weblink but got to RS front page, click on Music in the row of links across near the top, and from the Music page select Features and it's right there at the top. Cool stuff! He does mention, "the guitar is no longer with us", which is a bummer to hear.
     
  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Worked with a woman who was friends with Norman Greenbaum, so since I was a musician all she ever talked about was him and Spirit in the Sky until I couldn't stand it anymore. Completely ruined a great song for me. Interesting about the fuzz though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  3. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    sounds like she functioned much the same as classic rock radio, i.e. play songs ad nauseum into the ground. They're nice to hear again tho when it's been a good long while.
     
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  4. Switchy

    Switchy Tele-Meister

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    This song is one reason why I have a Big Muff. And it helps to stack fuzz pedals to get the sound closer to the NG version.
    Well anyhow, it's fun stacking fuzz pedals regardless.
     
  5. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the post, I did know about the fuzz thing, but had read it some time back. Brilliant tune and a great favourite of mine.
     
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  6. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  7. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    So according to the interview it could be any fuzz that was available pre 69 that was gutted and placed into the guitar
     
  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks....I'll go read the article. I recently got "re-invigorated" on Spirit in the Sky by hearing the Evol Walks version......very true to original but with a bit more "attitude".
    For some reason I thought it was originally on a Les Paul.......maybe I saw a pic back in the day of Greenbaum with a L.P.?
    I still dig the song.....by a devout Jew.
    EDIT......if you read the RollingStone article, when you get to the end and there's a contemporary video of him doing Spirit in the Sky, I suggest you DON'T watch/listen to it. Instead, just enjoy the original, and remember it for what it WAS........
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  9. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

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    Hot August Night by Neil Diamond puzzles me for the same reason. Love the song but it's like, where does that come from?
     
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  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    I know Neil Diamond did the (awful) Jazz Singer re-make, but was he Jewish? Lawrence Olivier sure wasn't......
     
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  11. DonM

    DonM Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Neil’s parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland.
     
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  12. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Holic

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    I belive he is...but I'm not sure if this constitutes a religious discussion so I'll see my way to the door.
     
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  13. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    I always assumed that sound in SITS was a bari sax. That's what it sounds like
     
  14. AndyPanda

    AndyPanda Tele-Holic

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    This is interesting video. Testing a weak 9v battery with a fuzzrite ...

     
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  15. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

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    Neil Diamond is commonly referred to as the Jewish Elvis.
     
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  16. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    We play that song, was the drummers suggestion, everyone else was dead against it but we caved in. Drummer was right, we were wrong, it's a floor filler.
     
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  17. The Angle

    The Angle Tele-Holic

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    Absolutely loved, and still love, Spirit in the Sky. Loved it so much I bought the album. Worst album I ever heard.
     
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  18. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    My $10 buck Muzizy fuzz pedal gets close enough. SITS is one of the first songs I learnt to play. That Mike Matthews battery is awesome, great pic on it.:)

    20200125_173733.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  19. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think Mr. Greenbaum's correct. Despite your religious beliefs, a lot of us are " getting up there in years" and we are all probably considering the bid " What if...?" If only momentarily.
    I like the song because it is catchy, nice, no anger in it and I love that organ type sound. Yeah, anyone who lived in that era when it was released, will remember it as unique. Cool.;)
     
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  20. vashondan

    vashondan Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Always loved that song. I never really thought much about the lyrics. For me, just a catchy song.
     
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