Last week my good friend Piers (foremost expert on The Beatles in Canada and no slouch when it comes to 60s music, the British Invasion, or all subjects Anglophilic: capitol6000.com) sent me a list of his favourite opening rock riffs.... mostly monster, sometime lyrical but always memorable guitar intros with licks that define not just the artists but the genre itself.
The Beatles couldn’t hear themselves when they played live and even some of the better live bits to come from their concerts are almost unintelligible. Some portions from Hamburg, Australia, Japan, and the Hollywood Bowl are interesting, but you have to overhear them from an audience that is always hysterical and loud. The rooftop session is it for most of us who want to hear them, and that audience of accidental listeners had no idea what they were part of. Roger Hodgson is a much luckier dude.
One of my favourite line's in one of my favourite author's books which paraphrased says, I decided to take the winter off to read The Russians. Very funny. (If I have to explain this, you are lost.) The famous Russian novelists, while notoriously long -winded deserve scrupulous attention. The author is Richard Brautigan in the novel, A Confederate General From Big Sur. Brautigan isn't remembered much anymore except by a small but devout fan base who hail his genius in the brevity of a quiet humour infused with the gentle sadness that defines human compassion. Brautigan was a minimalist when it came to writing, so it's no surprise he started as a poet and honed his words as he progressed to novelist.
Auto-Tune was invented by by Dr. Andy Hildebrand, a research engineer for the oil industry. Initially it was an algorithm that interpreted the seismic waves induced by the explosions oil companies use to explore for gas and oil, in order to map potential drill sites. I spent a long terrible summer working on a seismic drill crew, sloughing through muskeg and billowing clouds of black-flies and mosquitoes, putting on and removing the 5 foot pipe stems to bore the 65 foot holes into which we'd drop 15 pounds of dynamite. It's way worse than it sounds to which thousands, likely tens of thousands, of students can surely attest. In 1996 the technology was adapted to make auto-correlations to music pitch by Antares Technologies.