I know its a Fender But which models did Steve Cropper favor

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Groovey Records, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    I know its a Fender But which models did Steve Cropper favor. Some say tweed. Some say deluxe blackface, supers, twins and pros. He probably played the later silverface linear stuff too.

    I don't know? Short of asking him does any body have any definitive answers or resources... ie early photos of the tours or studio web resouces? Come to think of it why don't you ask him.

    His sound fasinates me.
    The way he can take the basics, deconstuct a simple chord, adding melody and harmony into his rock steady rythyms.

    From the Bar-Kays to working with all the Stax Volt Greats, touring with the Stax Volt review. Writing the songs, playing and producing with Integrety.

    Robben Ford, Jeff Beck, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Aretha The Blues Brothers yata yata yata

    Get out your thinking caps

    thanks
    Groovey Records

    Still Listening to Otis Redding -Blue
    on Vinyl of course
     
  2. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Most of the Stax stuff is a Tweed Harvard.
     
  3. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    I just checked your myspace. When you were with Hubert did he have his Louis yet or Louis Twin ?

    I gonna dig up Jim's utube

    Tans

    Groovey Records

    Rock me Baby
    Play the Blues Steve
    Otis Redding - Blue
     
  4. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    A lot of the video clips of Stax artists backed up by the house band are from an English tour with Marshall 1/2 stacks.
     
  5. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Can't seem to find the Jim Weider Harvard youtube anybody know where to look ?
     
  6. Soundhound

    Soundhound Member

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  7. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    Great guitarist with a great trade mark style
     
  8. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Hey thanks for the reference's
    MC5 I not sure if Cropper went on all the european Stax volt reviews. He's not on the Volume 2 one I have from Paris. I havn't heard the London one.

    This Midnight Hour is not what I had in mind but seeing the interview was chill

    listening to Midnight Hour right now

    thanks
    Groovey Records
     
  9. fretless

    fretless Silver Supporting Member

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    He used to always use a tweed Havard. You can see him with it in the Blues Brothers movie. I read a recent interview where he says he now only uses a twin.
     
  10. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I've also seen him play live through a red-knob Twin... Clean Clean Clean
     
  11. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Not to many vintage pictures live of Steves rig.
    [​IMG]
    I can imagine him using the Harvard in the studio. It would be a stretch on stage. I can just bearly make this amp out in the corner with Steve standing next to the horns. Somehow I would think an amps gotta have a little more muscle then a Harvard to stand tall together with the Stax horns.

    Pete Towshend talks of buying a Fender Pro amp from John Mcauughlin
    “A few years later I bought my own first Fender amp — a Fender Pro with a 15″ JBL. John McLaughlin sold it to me. I was a Steve Cropper fan, and getting his sound was my main aim. JBLs were legendary then. There were other good speakers, but JBLs looked good, and sounded extraordinary. The treble penetration was so good.” not exactly definitive stil larger then a Harvard.

    Fretless do you recall where the interview you read was from?
    Did he talk about which twin or what he used to use ?

    I think we can find out Steve's growth with different amps. I am especialy interested in his mid to late sixties live on stage amps. When he would of been with Oris Live at Montery the same night as Jimi. When Jimi plays Rock me Baby in the intro he cops the Cropper riff as a goof before he give it the "Experience Treatment"

    Did anyone know that Cropper played on the Roy Bucannon album "Loading Zone" with most of the other MG's.

    Best and any More help gettin it would be great

    Groovey Records

    Listening to Otis Live at Montery
    on Vinyl of course
     
  12. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    I thought I'd read he favored a Brown Princeton ..
     
  13. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Just found out Steve produced the 4th Jeff Beck Album the Jeff Beck Group.

    here is a picture from '68. Almost every picture I've seen obscures the Guitar amp. You can barely make something out behind Duck Dunns Legs. I think Steve is playing an ES 335

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Cussion

    Cussion Member

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    I think I've seen a picture of him playing through a Fender Dual Showman amp.
    Late '60s concert picture I think.

    What year was his white Telecaster?
     
  15. Craftmatic

    Craftmatic Member

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    It's nice to see a thread on here about one of the legends of Soul guitar. My roots are in Soul & Funk (along with your typical white-boy R'n'R from the '60's, being a Boomer and all that). I was obsessed with Cropper and his sound in the early 70's, as well as all the prominent Tele players. My all time favorite was Cornell Dupree (if you don't know who that is, listen to Atlantic '60's Soul - King Curtis, Aretha - he was in a group in the '70's called "Stuff"). I used to bump into Cornell in my Pathmark, buying groceries, in northern Jersey in the '80's. Talk about Memphis Soul Stew! He was the man who gave you "4 tablespoons of boiling Memphis guitar. This goin' taste alright"
     
  16. buddyboy

    buddyboy Gold Supporting Member

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    Big Cropper fan too. Pre-66, most of the tones seem to be from the famous Harvard. After that, I would argue that you're probably hearing Super Reverbs, Twins, Dual Showmans (i.e. Fender large amps) on most live and studio cuts. Stuff on Melting Pot and the late albums most definately sounds like BF/SF Fenders and not small tweed amps.

    A few years ago there was a webpage with photos of the Stax studios from about 1968-1969. A BF Super was shown. The narrative to the page was from a guest engineer at Stax (IIRC) who metioned that Steve got a Fender Twin Reverb in the mid-sixties and that the Super in the picture had regular, non-JBL, speaker in it.
     
  17. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    Here is a video with a backline... hard to tell but it looks tweed (but too big to be a Harvard) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc3TeS4qQBc

    This one is a BF Head/Stack of some flavor.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ceAPtJkbvs&feature=related

    Here is a recent on in the studio (working with Aussie Guy Sebastian) where their is one quick view(at about 1:13 into the video) of Steve laying down guitar tracks and in the lower right corner you can see a very "Harvard-Like" tweed amp next to him... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ceAPtJkbvs&feature=related

    ... and finally here he is at Crossroads Festival 2006 with Joe Walsh... playing through a Red-Knob Twin (hard to see in this video, but if you watch the rest of the DVD it's very obvious)... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=togmzpeUiXo&feature=related


    Guess this is a great example of the tone NOT being all in the amp, huh? He sounds great in each and every clip, regardless of the amp he's using.
     
  18. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Buddyboy, Geno everybody else thanks for the great clues

    The Video with Guy Sebastion is hot, I thought he was Dave Edmunds at first.
    Cropper is playing his signature Ibenez
    The old TV clip of "Time is Tight" shows them in their prime. Thats CCR peaking thru the curtain backstage to watch.

    These pics are from a french site dedicated to Stax Studio. There where many more great ones but I thought these were at the heart of the thread, Croppers Sound and Equipment during the early years.

    I am looking at getting a Louis Electric Custom Twin Amp from Destroy All Guitars. Voicing to be determined. Any other suggestions?

    [​IMG]
    A recording session at Stax in the 60's. From left to right, at the back: Floyd Newman, Wayne Jackson,
Al Jackson Jr. At the front: Steve Cropper, Mary Hunt (from the Tonettes), *Isaac Hayes, *Mildred Pratchett
(from the Tonettes. The Tonettes became later the Charmels.

    [​IMG]
    The Stax staff in the studio in the good old times (probably during the recording session for My Reason For Living by Sam & Dave, 1967 (Stax LP Stay In School). From left to right: Isaac Hayes, Wayne Jackson's back, Dave Prater, Sam Moore, Duck Dunn (behind Sam Moore, Steve Cropper and Booker T. Jones. (photo from the Stax Museum).

    [​IMG]
    Not Only the Band was Tight so was the room in the studio. Tom Dowd writes about rebuilding the board and studio at Stax and getting them up to 4 track in his Autobiography. Until Tom came down on orders from Jerry Wexler and Amet Ertegun Stax was running slaved mono recorders.

    [​IMG]
    Studio B shot from upstairs. Some kind of BF behind the keyboard?

    [​IMG]
    Studio A- Remember this used to be a Movie Theater !!
    These next two are drawings made by Steve Cropper showing how things changed from 1961 to 1966. Because of the slanted theater floor the ceiling changed from 13 feet to 26 feet.

    Also notice how heavy Steve penciled in Harvard and Ampex for the Amps in 66. Very Conclusive Evidence that a Harvard was his Amp in the studio.
    Steve also says they played at very low volumes and split the signal to the board.

    [​IMG]
    1966

    [​IMG]
    1961 Seems the heater was an important piece of equipment

    [​IMG]
    Bottom right there is a Black Face behind the Booker T and his Tuba!
    The Stax staff in the studio in the good old times (probably during the recording session for My Reason For Living by Sam & Dave, 1967 (Stax LP Stay In School). From left to right: Isaac Hayes, Wayne Jackson's back, Dave Prater, Sam Moore, Duck Dunn (behind Sam Moore, Steve Cropper and Booker T. Jones. (photo from the Stax Museum).

    [​IMG]
    Looks like the same session

    [​IMG]
    Steve at the board Tom Dowd had built by Ampex, his second favorite instrument.

    [​IMG]

    In his Prime The Great Otis Redding (Cropper way in the back)

    [​IMG]
    Rufus Thomas with the other Homeboy from Memphis A stunning photo of Elvis Presley and Rufus Thomas at WDIA's Goodwill Review, Ellis Auditorium in Memphis on December 7, 1956, 4 years before Stax...

    Well I have enjoyed this, If I can get my chops 1/10th as clean, clear, and fluid as Cropper I'd be satisfied.

    Best
    Groovey Records

    Listening to Otis Live in Europe
    on Vinyl of course
     
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  19. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    [​IMG]
    MarKays playing a very cool prom
     
  20. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    "the other Homeboy from Memphis"....

    Although many associate Elvis with Memphis... as a native Mississippian, I must set the record straight... he was born and grew up in Tupelo, MS .... of course just like the rest of us, he had get out of the state to find work and make a living (hence his move to Memphis and mine to the military!)

    But there are only a few good musicians to come from MS (Muddy, Wolf, Elvis, BB, John Lee Hooker, etc...... ), so we must keep the record straight for the good reputation of the state!!!!

    Great pics, BTW! Good research. I love this thread. Cropper is likely the most understated all around musician on the planet. I used to call him the best rhythm guitar player in the world, but if you really listen to his chops, he plays everythihg so perfectly... there is no need for flash. His leads are patterned so fittingly and perfectly it's easy to overlook him as a "lead player".... but he's right up there with the best.

    Another little known fact... During the making of Otis Reddings final album, Steve was the producer. Steve wrote "Sitting on the Doc of the Bay" and Otis passed away without the song being finished. Steve pieced together enough existing vocals that were on tape to finish the vocal tracks, and he finished the song by himself, and asked for ZERO credit on the album. He did it as a fitting tribute to Otis. That's class.
     

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