50 year + guitar solo enigma unlocked .
If you were a teenager in the 60's as I was , doubtless you probably watched the "Monkies" TV shows which were the rage for a while , featuring songs , antics et all . One song which heralded quality was " Last train to Clarkesville" which had (has) a beautiful lead solo which proved to be an enigma to the majority of us guitarists ( Yeah there's gonna be the clever dicks out there who sussed it out in 5 minutes ) but I personally did'nt know anyone who had it off pat . We thought along the lines 2 or more guitarists doing a ascending G modal movement , but try as I did , could'nt figure it out , till last week , through having to work it out for a new band project I'm doing and the other guitarist checking out You Tube ( I've never done this before always worked things out from just listening , god knows what rock I've been hiding under ) and telling me yes the guy that did the original solo has done a video on it . Wonderful !!! I checked it out and yes it was a chap called Louie Shelton , it was his entrance to the world of session-work apparantly . Within minutes of seeing this video it all became patently clear and the solo has been nailed . Previously in a London based pub-rock band in 1977 we tried to do this very number but were totally confused ( 3 guitarists in the band ) ironically that is the amount of guitarists it took to do this wonderful sounding solo . One playing alternating Gmaj7 to Fmaj7 chords and back again , the second guitarist playing a very simple motif at the 10th fret at the top E and B strings and the main man himself ( Louie) playing arppegiated inversions of G and F ascending and descending and finally ascending again to what was considered by everyone I knew to be a cracking good solo . We had thought this was done by a pedal steel player in conjuction with a standard guitarist because it is a very confusing solo to listen to , all sorts of guitar sounds emanating so one would'nt be absolutely clear about what's actually going on . It's an absolute breath of fresh air to finally know how it was done , just imagine that they went into the studio probably not knowing what's expected of them and coming up with this class of a solo , give me this sort of playing any day to the boring crap done by todays modern "Tappers" not forgetting the "Wammy bar" merchants all trying to do a million notes a second bumble bees and wasps stuck in a jar come to mind . Now where's that 14 gauge top string I was about to fit to my 335 .
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