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Artist Profiles/Tributes/Bios
#1
Thought it might be an idea to start a general thread for artist profiles/bios/tributes all in one place – in case anyone wants to talk about a musician/singer for whatever reason. I, for one, sometimes do, particularly when coming across lesser lauded individuals (and those whose birthdays I’ve missed or don’t feel like waiting for, lol!).

This thread is not intended to be prescriptive – these are not wiki entries after all, so whatever format works for the poster, comprehensive or not – it’s for interest and for fun and not meant to be a chore. Sort of like a continuation of the BOTD thread, just with random entries. Mine will take a certain shape – someone else may want to do things differently; whatever works, as long as it’s not a copy and paste – or at least not without credit and or/acknowledgment where it’s due.

So without further ado …

I’ve been poking around the discography of the actual guitar man on Bread’s “Guitar Man”, who oddly enough was also the piano man on Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”! And to add to this interesting equation, he also contributed to Billy Joel’s Cold Spring Harbour.

The gentleman in question - California born Larry Knechtel (04 August 1940 – 20 August 2009). He's at top left on the album cover below.

[Image: 220px-The_Best_of_Bread.jpg]
 
He had perfect pitch and took music lessons as a teenager but soon after building himself a crystal radio became heavily enamoured of the blues and rock n roll, moved past being dependent on sheet music and started playing by ear. 

He mastered the piano, Hammond organ, electric piano, harpsichord, harmonium, guitar, keyboards, bass and harmonica.

Primarily (and preferably for him) a studio musician, he was a session man with the Wrecking Crew (which is a whole 'nother story) and worked with an untold number of artists (including two Elvis’s!) as well as being a full member of Bread. 

He won several awards as a result of his collaborations - these are they (or some of ‘em at any rate – may not be complete):
  • Grammy Award for Song of the Year in the Grammy Awards of 1971 – “Bridge over Troubled Water”
  • “Monday Monday” – The Mamas & the Papas – Gold Single Award
  • “Poor Side of Town” – Johnny Rivers – Gold Single Award
  • “Aquarius” – Fifth Dimension – Gold Single Award
  • “Up-Up and Away” – Ditto^
  • CH’s favourite Tongue – “MacArthur Park” - Gold Single Award
  • Bread – Baby I'm-A Want You - Platinum Album Award
  • David Gates – Goodbye Girl - BPI Platinum Album Award
  • “Mrs Robinson”, Simon & Garfunkel, from The Graduate – Gold Single Award
  • Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel – Gold Album Award
Below copied from his website – http://www.larryknechtel.com/larry-knech...raphy.html

"Apart from being a brilliant musician, Larry was loved by many for his character – honest, humble, hard-working, and charismatic. He was a loving and devoted father and husband. Larry preferred a simple rural lifestyle and valued the quality of life. Those close to him knew Larry as a student of western lore and history, an outdoorsman, a farmer, and a good neighbor. All who were lucky enough to know or work with Larry miss him dearly to this day."

Both “Bridge over Troubled Water” and “Guitar Man” are unforgettable pieces of music (for me) so I was interested in the fact that Larry Knechtel had played a different instrument on each of them and that his playing is very much to the forefront in making them sound the way they do. Here then is the former of those … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIm-YTrs4tM

And the track that started this discourse ….



"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
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#2
speaking of Cold Spring Harbor
how the hell did that happen?
wrong speed or some such nonsense

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#3
^Yes – a mastering error – it’s a fraction too fast.
Does sound weird and I can understand why he was fuming mad – must’ve been so horribly disappointing.
Oopsie – I see a ‘u’ slipped silently into my Harbor, lol.
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
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#4
The MD Hall Of Fame thread seems to be dead !
 The ultimate connection is between a performer and its' audience!
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#5
^Sadly, it was interred in the communal thread graveyard. 
You will find entries using search but they’re all over the place.
"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
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#6
I was very proud that my Beatles' exemplary post became the first nomination ! Who else ...really !
 The ultimate connection is between a performer and its' audience!
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#7
[Image: 220px-Moondog_%281969_Moondog_album%29.jpg]

Stumbled upon what I thought was quite a nice song by a band called Moondog. Looking them up resulted in finding something completely different! A true eccentric who went by Moondog and was also known as ‘The Viking of 6th Avenue’. In brief, Louis Thomas Hardin (26 May 1916 - 08 September 1999) was a composer, poet and inventor of musical instruments – a street busker who’d lost his sight at the age of 16 due to picking up a cap of dynamite and not realising what it was. Dreadful. He wasn’t homeless, or indigent, and had, in fact, even ended up on an obscure children’s record with Julie Andrews which must be one of the most bizarre collaborations in the world, as well as having known the likes of Charlie Parker and Phillip Glass. From what I’ve read the Viking apparel that Moondog used to wear came about because before he started dressing that way, people would refer to him as resembling Jesus (or their idea of him) which he didn’t like – and because of a lifelong interest in all things Nordic, along came a horned helmet (which doubled as a protection against bumping into poles) and sword!

One of life’s more fascinating characters – a counter-culture proponent of note and entirely his own unique personage – he liked unusual time signatures which he called 'snaketime rhythms', rebelled against regularity of most descriptions and famously (or infamously) declared “I’m not gonna die in 4/4 time”. Interestingly though – he garnered a fair amount of respect in the circles of the day as a serious musician and composer and was far from being a complete flake, other than in outward appearance perhaps - books/covers, never a good idea to make assumptions! A snippet that struck me was that he did not improvise – all his work was notated. Perhaps due to the loss of his sight, he was acutely aware of all sounds he experienced and which he incorporated into his work in different ways. There’s a lot more about him on the www.

Oh well – that little investigation has satisfied my curiosity for now, and I quite like his tribute to the aforementioned Charlie Parker – “Bird’s Lament” which is his best-known piece. He does interesting things to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” too (or what sounds very much like it). Busy listening to his eponymously title album at the moment. Forgot all about the other lot which seem rather tame by comparison. Lol!

Some references, bits and pieces:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moondog
https://www.macleans.ca/culture/the-weir...f-moondog/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neLfKmGHwgo

“Bird’s Lament” – the very long version – you only need to listen to two minutes and you’ll have the gist – carries on in the same vein – some people love the endlessness, others won’t. Nice artwork.



"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
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