Author Topic: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker  (Read 7362 times)

gearHed289

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2897
    • View Profile
    • Book of faces...
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2016, 08:47:07 AM »
Also, I finally listened to that Brighton clip. Sounds like a Ric to me too. After 15 years of experimentation with different pickup combinations on my 4003S, I've found that the positioning of the neck pickup has a major influence on the sound of those basses, regardless of what you put on there - Hi Gain, Toaster, HB-1, Alembic.... There's a certain "boom" there.

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 744
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2016, 04:01:50 PM »
I added the Brighton clip to demonstrate how rough ELP bootlegs are.  :P It could be the Rickenbacker though. I've never owned a Rick, the closest being various test bed basses with the pickups in similar locations. I feel that Ricks somehow 'cradle' the low frequencies better. It isn't necessarily boomy and undefined, just a totally reassuringly present, consistent low end retention. That is why I prefer the cap on the bridge pickup when you have both pickups on, as it allows both pickups to occupy separate tonal areas.

uwe

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 14814
  • RRT (Resident Rare Talent)
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2016, 09:09:51 AM »
Well, there is the old joke (sorry if it's already been mentioned) "Who was the best bass player in ELP? Keith's left hand". Greg certainly did some cool stuff in the studio. Listened to Trilogy while making dinner the other night.

I heard a boot of him with the Alembic, and it was so tinny, I wondered if the engineer only took the feed from the bridge pickup?

I always find that Lake's heart wasn't really in bass playing (and you can hear it) - he played bass in ELP because someone had to just like Roger Waters played bass in Pink Floyd because someone had to. He wasn't a Chris Squire who relished playing bass or one of the long line of different Jethro Tull bassists who all enjoyed making themselves heard. In interviews today, he even admits that he has lost all interest in playing bass and much prefers playing guitar.

Given the complexity of ELP's music (and the opportunities it gave to a bassist), Lake's bass playing was merely functional, workmanlike, sometimes even pedestrian/listless, nothing more. Mind you, between Emerson's keyboard excesses and Palmer's hypheractive drumming, there wasn't a whole lot of room so that Lake's less than flashy bass playing fitted a purpose. He also had those lead vocal parts to do.

That is not to say that he didn't have the chops of other Prog bass players, just not the artistic drive or hunger. Even Michael Rutherford - not really a dyed in the wool bassist either - was more creative/playful within Genesis. Lake was chiefly the pretty face, romantic and melodic, easily accessible singer within ELP - who also happened to play bass as the music required from time to time (when Keith's left hand was busy wandering off).

And I always found his bass sound and playing cold and heartless as opposed to Chris Squire's which - trebly and even harsh as it sometimes was - was always utterly vibrant and ebullient.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

uwe

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 14814
  • RRT (Resident Rare Talent)
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2016, 09:20:23 AM »
"I added the Brighton clip to demonstrate how rough ELP bootlegs are."

Their music wasn't very organic in the first place and did not translate that well to a live environment given the technology of the time.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

Denis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3827
  • Harvester of Appendixes
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2016, 06:16:02 PM »
I always find that Lake's heart wasn't really in bass playing (and you can hear it) - he played bass in ELP because someone had to just like Roger Waters played bass in Pink Floyd because someone had to. He wasn't a Chris Squire who relished playing bass or one of the long line of different Jethro Tull bassists who all enjoyed making themselves heard. In interviews today, he even admits that he has lost all interest in playing bass and much prefers playing guitar.

Given the complexity of ELP's music (and the opportunities it gave to a bassist), Lake's bass playing was merely functional, workmanlike, sometimes even pedestrian/listless, nothing more. Mind you, between Emerson's keyboard excesses and Palmer's hypheractive drumming, there wasn't a whole lot of room so that Lake's less than flashy bass playing fitted a purpose. He also had those lead vocal parts to do.

That is not to say that he didn't have the chops of other Prog bass players, just not the artistic drive or hunger. Even Michael Rutherford - not really a dyed in the wool bassist either - was more creative/playful within Genesis. Lake was chiefly the pretty face, romantic and melodic, easily accessible singer within ELP - who also happened to play bass as the music required from time to time (when Keith's left hand was busy wandering off).

And I always found his bass sound and playing cold and heartless as opposed to Chris Squire's which - trebly and even harsh as it sometimes was - was always utterly vibrant and ebullient.

LIES! Philistine! I'm reporting this to a moderator! Or one of the other moderators!
Why did Salvador Dali cross the road?
Clocks.

Dave W

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 16874
  • Got time to breathe, got time for music
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2016, 08:56:16 PM »
LIES! Philistine! I'm reporting this to a moderator! Or one of the other moderators!

 :mrgreen:

Proggie rumble!

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 744
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2016, 05:38:35 AM »
And I always found his bass sound and playing cold and heartless as opposed to Chris Squire's which - trebly and even harsh as it sometimes was - was always utterly vibrant and ebullient.

Lake brought that tone with him from the King Crimson days. Credit where it is due, he had a really clear Jazz bass tone even in 1969, whereas Noel Redding et al had to contend with a muddy, ill-defined rumble with just a hint of that mid-scooped tone we all know and hate love.

Chris Squire played more like a boxer; striking out or falling back, locking in with the drummer or striding across the beat. There is personality to Chris's playing, whereas Greg just doesn't seem ever lock in with either Keith or Carl in the same way. He might have had a fast pick technique, but it certainly isn't as clean or precise as Dave Pegg's playing when Fairport Convention broke out those fast reels. I think ELP almost fell for their own myth; that they were three brilliant, peerless musicians who could phone in music and musicianship that lesser mortals had to work hard for. I think they lost their common scope or purpose pretty early on, as even Tarkus was something of a turf war between Greg's simple pop and rock sensibilities and Keith's endless piano variations and thru-composition.

Emerson Wetton and Palmer would have been a good band.  :mrgreen:

nofi

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2945
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2016, 07:29:36 AM »
i liked greg's tone in king crimson and the first elp album. i saw the band in 1969 and he indeed was playing a jazz bass. didn't pay much attention to his technique as i was too busy watching emerson stick daggers in his keyboards. :popcorn:
"life is a blur of republicans and meat"- zippy the pinhead

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 744
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2016, 08:44:48 AM »
I think he was using Hiwatts back then, and still kept both covers on the bass. Probably an early Rotosound user.  ???

uwe

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 14814
  • RRT (Resident Rare Talent)
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #54 on: February 29, 2016, 09:20:57 AM »
"Chris Squire played more like a boxer; striking out or falling back, locking in with the drummer or striding across the beat."

Wow, Alan, perfect description! And actually a bass playing concept I like myself.  :)

All of ELP was a bit heartless, that is what made them so obnoxious sometimes. But both Emerson's keyboard playing and Palmer's drumming had some public school OTT tongue in cheek irony to it - testing how much they could overdo it all and still get away with it. Lake's bass playing - not his singing - was expressionless in comparison. I sometimes wonder whether he even liked ELP's music - he certainly didn't seem to like the other two as people and vice versa.
It ain't no country until Dave sez it is!

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 744
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #55 on: March 17, 2016, 03:50:58 PM »
"Chris Squire played more like a boxer; striking out or falling back, locking in with the drummer or striding across the beat."

Wow, Alan, perfect description! And actually a bass playing concept I like myself.  :)

Thanks!

Oddly with the death of Keith Emerson I've read some glowing appraisals of Greg's bass skills on other fora, with some commenting on the warmth and character in his playing.  ???

Anyway, RIP Keith!

Pekka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 620
    • View Profile
    • Riverdog Samson
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2016, 03:21:57 AM »
Lake brought that tone with him from the King Crimson days.



He might have contributed to the tone of his replacement bassist on "In The Wake Of Poseidon" as Peter Giles sound is almost the same as Lake's on "In The Court". Funny that Giles used a 4001S with both Giles, Giles & Fripp and McDonald & Giles but used a Jazz on the Crimso album.

Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 744
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2016, 11:14:33 AM »
Giles mimed with a 4001s for KC's odd appearance on Top of the Pops.


Alanko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 744
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2016, 05:17:12 AM »
Saddened to learn of the passing of Greg Lake. The worst reason to 'bump' a thread given the circumstances. RIP.

Denis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3827
  • Harvester of Appendixes
    • View Profile
Re: Greg Lake's modded Rickenbacker
« Reply #59 on: December 08, 2016, 06:19:46 AM »
Agreed. He was always one of my favorite musicians in any capacity.
Why did Salvador Dali cross the road?
Clocks.