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There's No Money Above The Fifth Fret
April 9, 2014 7:59 PM   Subscribe

Requiem For a Studio Guitar Player, by Tommy Tedesco.
posted by timsteil (14 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Haha! Definitely a song for musicians. The "Barney" he refers to in the first verse, for anyone wondering, is Barney Kessel.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:04 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Love this quote from the Tedesco link:

“Practice is a word I don’t use,” Tommy Tedesco said in the ’80s. “I use ‘play.’ If you play, you get better. I’m playing a lot, so I see myself getting better. There’s things I do now that I couldn’t have done three years ago. There are other things I never knew until now. At my age, I’m still progressing, and I see no let down at age 55...”
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:06 PM on April 9 [5 favorites]


The legendary cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice at age 90.

"Because I think I'm making progress," he replied.
posted by timsteil at 8:08 PM on April 9 [9 favorites]


Well, way back in 1975 (four years and three albums before his infamous "Pina Colada Song"), Rupert Holmes recorded a song titled "Studio Musician", that I'm sure got him some dirty looks from most of the full back-up orchestra...
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:35 PM on April 9


Looking forward to The Wrecking Crew doc, which Tedesco is a big part of. There's an old cut floating around that's worth checking out.
posted by frenetic at 8:36 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


There's an old cut floating around that's worth checking out

I would love to see it, but I don't know how. They did a showing in town which I had to miss (as I was ironically rehearsing for a session). As I understand it, there is no DVD or streaming version as Denny cannot pay for the rights for all the songs that appear in the film, however if he intros the movie in person, speaks about it, and makes the film part of a larger "live" presentation, then the same royalty ruled do not apply. As I understand it, anyway.
posted by sourwookie at 8:56 PM on April 9


Aw, heck, I just saw the Kickstarter link. Looks like the funds have been procured, so all I have to do is wait to purchase or rent it!
posted by sourwookie at 8:58 PM on April 9


It's a tough business to break into. I read a funny story on a bass website. The columnist says that when he got to LA, he managed to get a studio owner to check out his demos, and the guy liked them, and met with him. At the end, the studio guy says, well, really that's great stuff. We usually use Nathan East, Freddy Washington, or Leland Sklar, but if those guys all can't make it, maybe I'll call you some time.
posted by thelonius at 10:04 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


Watch the latest update on that Kickstarter. They've cleared the songs and are working on distribution now!
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:30 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


An old friend of mine is a studio musician. The guy can play almost anything, and play it like a boss. And, of course, he's a wiz behind the board. Fucker has the bluesiest singing voice you'll ever hear, too. He'll occasionally pick-up a stage gig with a local band if they ask him, but he stopped the touring stuff (even regionally) a long time ago. He's pretty content doing the studio stuff.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:13 AM on April 10


Session / Studio musicians are a bit of an oddity really. There is something of the Trainspotter to them - detailed intricate technological knowledge of how to play a particular instrument or two but no real desire to "create art" in general it seems.

To be content to be a studio musician seems to require a lack of desire for authorship. They are the ghostwriters of the musical arts. And yet its hard to imagine some politicians' memoirs ghostwriter being given the kind of respect that studio musicians get.
posted by mary8nne at 6:27 AM on April 10


It's a job where you play music, but don't have to tour 9 months out of the year. What's not to like?
Also, the set of studio musicians and "authors" is not disjoint: Glen Campbell would be an example from Tedesco's era.
posted by thelonius at 7:47 AM on April 10


Thanks for sharing this. Can't wait to see the documentary!
posted by Big_B at 8:55 AM on April 10


Rupert Holmes recorded a song titled "Studio Musician"

I like pop cheez just fine, but wow, that tune is something else.
posted by ovvl at 9:06 AM on April 11


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