Reference Library: Bungalow Bill Guitar Intro
From: email@example.com (saki)
Subject: Re: Who does the intro in Bungallow Bill?
Date: 24 Apr 1996 23:39:59 GMT
I find the guitar intro of Bungallow Bill really awesome.
I was just wondering if it was john george or paul who played it.
Joe Caldwell [firstname.lastname@example.org] wrote:
I assume that you are referring to the Spanish classical guitar bit that is
played just before "Bungalow Bill" begins. Recently, Tom Hartman
[email@example.com] and I had a rather lengthy discussion about this piece
here on r.m.b. After considerable debate, Tom was able to produce evidence
that proved this was actually done on a Mellotron.
firstname.lastname@example.org (E. Church) wrote:
I thought I had heard somewhere that it was "lifted" from a tape
that was in the studio, and that none of them played it. It certainly
doesn't SEEM like a Mellotron, that's for sure. You can hear the
nylon strings of a classical guitar.
I hope the esteemed Robert "Cran" Berry doesn't mind me reproducing an
earlier article of his that has a vital reference re: this question.
The fact is that a Mellotron (or versions of same) reproduce tape
loops of sound, and whatever was recorded on the tape loops (strings,
fluets, etc.) can be produced by the instrument.
Subject: "Bungalow Bill" intro: corroboration
Date: 1 Feb 1995 16:15:12 GMT
Reply-To: email@example.com (Robert Berry)
Although we still don't (and probably never will) know the identity
of the original performer, I think we can be pretty sure that we now
know where the Beatles got the Spanish-guitar run that opens "Bungalow
Bill" (namely, that it was a "canned" riff included on one of the
The most recent edition of "Electronic Musician" magazine reviews a
new CD-ROM containing digital samples of all of the sounds from the
original Mellotron and Chamberlin (the article explains that the
Chamberlin, basically, was a custom-built American version of the
Mellotron). The idea here is that musicians with digital keyboards
can load these seven-second samples -- each of which duplicates one
of the original Mellotron tapes -- into a keyboard, and magically
transform it into a vintage Mellotron, without the maintenance
nightmares that normally go along with that.
Excerpts from the review:
"My personal favorite sound ... is the 'Tron Flute. To
re-create the intro to 'Strawberry Fields Forever,' be
sure to bend the pitch down a fifth, as Paul McCartney
"Apparently, the Mellotron was at first marketed in England
as a home keyboard for the musically impaired. The Mark
II had two keyboards, one of which was used to play
rhythm accompaniments and pre-recorded instrumental fills....
"The 'Swinging Flutes' [one of these], by the way, were
played backward at the end of 'Strawberry Fields Forever.'
You'll also find the 'Bungalo Bill' [sic] guitar-run
sample that the Beatles used to open their song of the
IBM SWS Lab, RTP NC USA
"Preachers and poets and scholars don't know it; temples and
statues and steeples won't show it. If you've got the secret
just try not to blow it...."
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