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Beach Boys Rig Rundown... circa 1964

Che_Guitarra

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Messages
4,170
I'm only in my mid-30s, but if I had to name one band that provided the soundtrack to my childhood it would be the Beach Boys. Though considering how many times I must have heard Fun Fun Fun, Surfin Safari, or I Get Around, I know surprisingly little about the gear they used to get their studio guitar sounds.

Carl Wilson and Al Jardine were the recognised guitarists of the group, but it would seem that The Wrecking Crew, Tommy Tedesco specifically, is the kingpin behind the Beach Boys guitar sound... nevertheless, i've still got a lot of blanks to fill in about the gear used... particularly during the earlier, more guitar-centric period of the band. Being a long time fanboy of surf guitar I can kinda put two and two together and speculate with high confidence, but i'd love some firm answers about the early Beach Boys guitar sounds... a 1964 rig rundown.

I'm hearing lots of single coil Fenders, a 12-string Rickenbacker every now and then, and the main amp of choice has the colour of a 6L6 Fender driving 10" speakers... Vibrolux or Bassman maybe? Or perhaps a Super?


Does anybody know for sure? Is there any log of what was used, and on what songs?
 

Gretsch&Vox

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2,892
Carl Wilson and Al Jardine were the recognised guitarists of the group, but it would seem that The Wrecking Crew, Tommy Tedesco specifically, is the kingpin behind the Beach Boys guitar sound.

Not really. The first 4 LPs had David Marx on rhythm guitar; Al had left the band to go to dental school. Carl Wilson played lead guitar; I don't know where you got your information about Tedesco being the kingpin behind the Beach Boys guitar sound?
 

Che_Guitarra

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4,170
That's probably true - the employ of the Wrecking Crew might be more relevant in the Pet Sounds era and beyond.
 

MikeVB

Silver Supporting Member
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7,444
Lot of Strats and Blonde piggyback Fenders though I'm not sure which models.
 

Gretsch&Vox

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2,892
That's probably true - the employ of the Wrecking Crew might be more relevant in the Pet Sounds era and beyond.
Carl Wilson played some guitar on Pet Sounds too (Tedesco played acoustic). The early, classic Beach Boys (1962-1965) is Carl, David Marks and Al Jardine on guitars.
 

bob-i

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8,776
If I remember right, the very early recordings were recorded by the 5 members of the band, which included Al Jardine who played standup bass, Carl on a Strat, Brian on drums and Dennis and Mike on vocals. Shortly after that Brian moved to bass, Al to guitar and Dennis to drums. By the time the first album was released, 61-62, Al went off the college and was replaced by David Marx.

Brian played a Pbass into a brown showman or bassman, Al a Strat into a Showman, Carl also played a Strat at first but moved to a Jaguar, Fender reverb and brown dual showman.

I saw them in 64 and the stage was covered in brown or blackface fender amps, they played all white fender guitars, Al on the Strat, Carl on a jaguar and Brian on the Pbass.
 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,592
If I remember right, the very early recordings were recorded by the 5 members of the band, which included Al Jardine who played standup bass, Carl on a Strat, Brian on drums and Dennis and Mike on vocals. Shortly after that Brian moved to bass, Al to guitar and Dennis to drums. By the time the first album was released, 61-62, Al went off the college and was replaced by David Marx.

Brian played a Pbass into a brown showman or bassman, Al a Strat into a Showman, Carl also played a Strat at first but moved to a Jaguar, Fender reverb and brown dual showman.

I saw them in 64 and the stage was covered in brown or blackface fender amps, they played all white fender guitars, Al on the Strat, Carl on a jaguar and Brian on the Pbass.
I've never seen a brown Showman or Dual Showman. The fact that I've never seen one doesn't mean they don't exist.
 

Baxtercat

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12,646
I saw them in 64 and the stage was covered in brown or blackface fender amps, they played all white fender guitars, Al on the Strat, Carl on a jaguar and Brian on the Pbass.
I concur, and Glen Campbell was on bass the show I caught.
 

Tonekat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,805
I've never seen a brown Showman or Dual Showman. The fact that I've never seen one doesn't mean they don't exist.
The Showman was introduced in 1960, and had cream tolex until 1964, when they used black tolex.
 

Stratobuc

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15,927
Just a chime in. Al Jardine came to town last year, spec'd a Rickenbacker 12 for his rental. My good friend works for the backline company. He asked if they could rent my Rickenbacker 330/12 (Blueburst) for the night for 100 bucks. I said sure! Al Jardine played my guitar, said he loved it. Thanks, that's all.
 

DustyRhodesJr

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,861
Just a chime in. Al Jardine came to town last year, spec'd a Rickenbacker 12 for his rental. My good friend works for the backline company. He asked if they could rent my Rickenbacker 330/12 (Blueburst) for the night for 100 bucks. I said sure! Al Jardine played my guitar, said he loved it. Thanks, that's all.

Very cool story.

You may have stumbled upon a sideline business for yourself. You could start up an AirBNB/Uber type operation
for guitars.:D
 

rreiser

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,874
the Wrecking Crew was already playing on the early Beach Boy records. Glenn Campbell played the 12 string on Fun Fun Fun.
 

stratocat63

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,476
I am not saying the Beach Boys had them but I am pretty sure Fender would recover amps at the factory on occasion. I have only anecdotal evidence and ownership of an old 55 Bassman with '59 speakers and rough brown Tolex to support this statement.
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,776
the Wrecking Crew was already playing on the early Beach Boy records. Glenn Campbell played the 12 string on Fun Fun Fun.
I never noticed the 12 string on that cut but I just listened again, it's there playing an almost identical rhythm to the piano.
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,776
I don't know why this thread has me hooked, but check out this live show. Notice only 2 amps on stage, Brian seems to be playing through a bassman, Carl and Al sharing a dual showman. Al is playing the Jaguar and Carl on the 12, other clips I've seen have Al on the 12 and Carl on the Jaguar.

I also never noticed that Dennis seemed to be left handed on a right handed kit. He does switch to a traditional cross grip at least once and rides with the right hand, but most of the time he rides with his left.

 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,592
Carl Wilson and Al Jardine were the recognised guitarists of the group, but it would seem that The Wrecking Crew, Tommy Tedesco specifically, is the kingpin behind the Beach Boys guitar sound.

Not really. The first 4 LPs had David Marx on rhythm guitar; Al had left the band to go to dental school. Carl Wilson played lead guitar; I don't know where you got your information about Tedesco being the kingpin behind the Beach Boys guitar sound?
Not that the Rock 'N' Roll HOF is a big deal to me, but when the Beach Boys got inducted there was no room for David Marx.
 

Sirloin

Member
Messages
15,529
I don't know why this thread has me hooked, but check out this live show. Notice only 2 amps on stage, Brian seems to be playing through a bassman, Carl and Al sharing a dual showman. Al is playing the Jaguar and Carl on the 12, other clips I've seen have Al on the 12 and Carl on the Jaguar.

I also never noticed that Dennis seemed to be left handed on a right handed kit. He does switch to a traditional cross grip at least once and rides with the right hand, but most of the time he rides with his left.

Where's John Stamos???
 




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