Friday, March 1, 2019

Break It Up

Currently reading Wayne Kramer's funky autobiography The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5 and My Life of Impossibilities. Here's a cool anecdote on the Motor City's finest recording Skunk, one of their hottest tracks. For the horn part, the band invited trumpeter Charles Moore, who wrote a chart and brought some jazz cats along to play it. As Kramer tells it: "The engineer and I were alone in the control room. 'Look, Wayne,' he said conspiratorially, 'I hear what you guys are going for, but these guys aren't cutting it. They're playing the wrong notes. I could bring in some union guys after the session to play this stuff right, in one take.' The engineer was old school, and couldn't hear what Charles had written. The parts weren't traditional harmony, they were written to be dissonant. We wanted biting, extended chords, and that was exactly what we were getting from the musicians. (...) I thanked the engineer for the suggestion and went back to work. The track came out marvelously..." Amen to that, brother Wayne.

MC5 - Skunk (Sonicly Speaking)

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