Categorized | Features, Media, Scene

A Rare Rendition of ‘Tubular Bells’

 

Played on a Vintage Collection of Keyboards

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Brooklyn, NYIt may be the rarest collection of
electronic synthesizers and keyboards in the world.

Keyboardist, producer, and songwriter and Joe McGinty has amassed an amazing collection of vintage synthesizers over the last three decades. 

You can see some of his keyboards go ‘round and ‘round in the intriguing Carousel Studios music video above, “Tubular Bells” by Mike Oldfield featuring the all-female Brooklyn Organ Synth Orchestra and with a short Peter Sellers’ Pink Panther clip at the end.

Located within the Pencil Factory at Greenpoint Ave and Franklin in Brooklyn, Carousel is where McGinty produces his own projects or keyboard parts for other artists’ records and where he can articulate damn near any synth part a band can dream up.

The Collection

McGinty’s personal keyboard collection goes back to the 1950s and includes a number of rare electro-mechanical synths, some of which were used in the video:

We have Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Clavinet, and the Baldwin Electric Harpsichord, a Hammond Organ & Leslie 147 and Yamaha CP60 and CP30 Electric Pianos;  combo organs like the Fender Starmaster, Vox Super Continental and the Farfisa Combo Compact;  vintage analog synthesizers such as the Moog 15 Modular, Mini Moog, Memory Moog, ARP 2600, Omni and String Ensemble, the Oberheim Xpander and the Gibson Clavioline. 

McGinty also has ample playback machines via his Mellotron M400, Mattel Optigan and Akai S612; vintage digital stuff like the RMI Keyboard Computer and Korg DS-8; and modern instruments such as Moog’s Little Phatty, the Nord Electro and the Dave Smith Poly Evolver.

That’s just for starters.  If it all sounds Greek to you, you’re not alone and you’re obviously not a keyboard afficionado of history, like McGinty.

The Tour

Taking a spin around Carousel with McGinty, he points playing some of the more notable instruments, providing a few musical reference points for novices.

Stopping at the ARP 2600, McGinty noted:  “I recently got a bunch of keyboards from Mark Lindsey, former lead singer of Paul Revere & the Raiders.  That’s where I got this ARP 2600, which is pretty rare.  Genesis used it a lot, and Edgar Winter.”

Moving on, he points out the original Mini Moog.  “This is another of my favorites.  It’s a classic 70s synth – nothing sounds like it.”

An Atlantic City native, McGinty came up playing the hotel-casino circuit, and over the last three decades has recorded and/or performed with artists such as The Psychedelic Furs, The Ramones, Debbie Harry, Devendra Banhart, Nada Surf, Ronnie Spector, Daniel Johnston, Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes and Space Hog.  Music came naturally and it paid the bills.

His keyboard collection reflects a lifelong obsession with keys.  Looking at the collection as a whole, McGinty says, “This is about 25 years of collecting, and a lot of it I got cheap when people were getting rid of stuff, pre-eBay. Luckily, I hang onto things!  And there’s definitely some stuff here I never thought I’d have, like this rare 1968 Baldwin harpsichord.  I also never thought I’d actually own a Mellotron.  I know of maybe one or two others in all of NYC– it’s such a classic sound.”

The most prized of the collection, McGinty points out, is a rare modular Moog.

“This is like Switched on Bach era – you really need to know what you’re doing to use it,” he says of it. “There are so many options in terms of patching and stuff.  The guy who restored it gave me a tutorial.  I always thought the modular synths were really cool, but now that I have one, I really get it.”

As we move around Carousel, McGinty riffs on the keyboards and the classic records that feature them.  Every era of popular music is represented here, from the classic 1914 Steinway upright to the Hammond organs to the space-age synths to the Casio keytars to the Dave Smith Poly Evolver and Nord Electro, and so on and so forth.  The collection and history are dizzying.

“Sometimes people come in with CDs and ask me about a particular keyboard sound, and I can tell them exactly what it is,” he notes.  “Like, the Clavinets are the classic Stevie Wonder funk machine.  And the ARPs do the 70s string sounds – like you hear on “Dream Weaver” and a lot of classic 70s disco songs.”

“This is a Clavioline,” he points out proudly.  “It’s used on the Beatles’ ‘Baby You’re A Rich Man’ and ‘Runaway’ by Del Shannon, and ‘Telstar’ by Joe Meek,” McGinty says like a professor admiring his graduate students.

A Passion for the Old

 “You go to some studios and they have to get their older keyboards out of a closet or something, and maybe it doesn’t totally work.  All these keyboards are instruments I use on my own stuff, so I know all the ins and outs and can even repair them to a point.  I also have a few techs I can call on.”

“This Yamaha piano has pickups inside so you can electrify it. It’s a very 80s kinda sound, like Peter Gabriel’s ‘Red Rain’ or ‘Private Eyes’ by Hall & Oates.  It’s very useful around here,” McGinty notes.

He also has a unique digital keyboard made by Allen Organs, a primarily church organ manufacturer based in Allentown, PA.  “This Allen Organ is pretty fun – it was one of the first digital keyboards they made and it licensed NASA technology and uses old-fashioned computer punch cards.  This is their first attempt at a synthesizer so it’s kind of weird, but it sounds really cool.  And it’s sort of a secret weapon… people come in and they’ve never heard of it, but it sounds like nothing else so it often works.”

“I really like it when different kinds of bands come in,” says McGinty.  “It makes me happy that they’re into the old stuff!  And it tends to be cool bands, like this Brooklyn band who came in – they’re doing a kind of 80s, Roxy Music, Bowie-style thing – and another artist who’s doing this over the top glam-pop, like Queen or Sparks.

Carousel/McGinty also does what he calls “long distance” sessions, where clients send files to McGinty with some direction and he’ll send the synth parts back to them.  “It’s been a lot of fun to help people realize the sounds bouncing in their head.”

“I’ll give people a few options, for example, Nada Surf was doing their record in Seattle, and they wanted me to play Hammond on a song, so I put up the mics, and sent them a few different versions of that.  The long distance thing really opens things up and with the new software like Pro Tools, it makes it all really easy.  There’s really a lot of potential here.”

Indeed.  Keep on keyboarding, McGinty.  You’re a man out of time and music and history, and with the right patch cords and modulation to put it all together.

* * * * * * * * *

For more on Carousel Studio and Joe McGinty, visit www.joemcginty.com and www.joemcginty.com/carousel

Sourced from Joe McGinty and Carousel, SonicScoop, and Youtube.  Our appreciation to Humboldt’s Highboldtage for his tipped awareness.

If you liked this post or others, please consider sharing them

For Iona brother and keyboardist, Brian Burman.

3 Responses to “A Rare Rendition of ‘Tubular Bells’”

  1. maillot says:

    Good. I genuinely loved reading through this, many thanks for sharing. I hope that you keep us informed.

  2. Trina Dybala says:

    I Love Justin bieber. He is so cute!

    • skippy says:

      Many people are Beliebers, Trina. Others see him as an endulged and entitled brat. We saw the picture of his bodyguards carrying him up the Great Wall of China on their shoulders as if he was the Last Emperor ascending to the heavens. We wouldn’t want him to walk up that steep incline and tire and toil himself like the rest of the wall-walking plebes and pilgrims. That’s oh-so-crass and way too common. I mean, we’re talking the Big Beebs here. He’s almost blue blood royalty.

      And then, of course, there was the infamous peeing in a mop bucket at the restuarant where he felt it was to their blessing that he should be honoring them so. Taking a picture of it on his cell was too cute, too. Then, too, was the naked serenade he gave his Grandma bright and early in the morning wearing only a guitar for Thanksgiving, with his baby cheeks hanging out and flapping in the wind. She told him to knock it off and get dressed like any decent young man should. But what the heck, he’s the current big phenom, works hard earning the big money, has got peeps to post his posts, and I think you wandered onto the wrong blog here.

      Whatever the case, best of wishes to you, more Tubular Bells and Beliebing, and we hope he gets back with Selena. It’s been downhill for the Beebs ever since they split. Hopefully the Humboldt weed and his cherried-out bongs help alleviate the hurt and the pain of Selena and the woeful pressures of stardom he’s been suffering through.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • The 9 Senate Democrats who voted for the Keystone pipeline
    National Journal1. Michael Bennet, Colo.2. Thomas Carper, Del.3. Robert Casey, Pa.4. Joe Donnelly, Ind.5. Heidi Heitkamp, N.D.6. Joe Manchin, W. Va.7. Claire McCaskill, Mo.8. Jon Tester, Mont.9. Mark Warner, Va. […]
  • NYPD to treat protestors like terrorists
    Vox - New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton unveiled a new militarized police unit that will be trained and armed with heavy protective gear, long rifles, and machine guns to restrain terrorists and social justice protesters.Bratton explained the purpose of the unit, which will consist of 350 officers, to CBS New York:It is designed for dealing with even […]
  • About Michelle Obama's lack of headscarve in Saudi Arabia
    VoxAmerican officials in Saudi Arabia typically do not wear headscarves, including at formal government functions. Michelle was following normal protocol.Former first ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton did not wear headscarves on similar official visits to Saudi Arabia. Neither did former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.Saudi Arabia is officially ultr […]
  • And now some true words about the war on terror from a former FBI official
    If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that ‘We won the war on terror and everything’s great,’ cuz the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half. You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ K […]
  • Metaphor of the day
    Sam Smith - I have recently have become conscious of something about the civil rights movement that I hadn't noticed before: not just the role of churches in the effort, but how their culture influenced the movement by creating congregations of like minded souls. Modern progressive movements are far more atomized for a number of reasons, including the f […]
  • Are we too hygIenic?
    Vox - Over the past few decades, doctors have arrived at a counterintuitive hypothesis about our modern, ultra-sanitized world. Too much cleanliness may be causing us to develop allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, and other autoimmune disorders.The idea is that for many children in the wealthy world, a lack of exposure to bacteria, viruses, and a […]
  • AG nominee Loretta Lynch is a rightwinger on some key issues
    NY Times - On matters of policy, Ms. Lynch called capital punishment “an effective penalty” and said she disagreed with Mr. Obama’s statements that marijuana was no more harmful than alcohol. She called the National Security Agency’s collection of American phone records “certainly constitutional, and effective.” […]
  • Obama's AG nominee perpetuates anti-marijuana myth
    Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post -  Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee for attorney general, disagrees with him on marijuana. That weed is not safer than alcohol might have been the most controversial thing she said during her confirmation hearing Wednesday. As Danny Vinik notes, polls show that large majorities of Americans believe that alcohol i […]
  • How NAFTA hurt America
    John Conyers, Huffington Post  - Twenty years ago, as the North American Free Trade Agreement was coming into force, the nation had high hopes. The trade pact's backers promised tens of thousands of new high-paying jobs, lower prices for consumers, and an export-driven renaissance for American manufacturing.NAFTA's legacy, tragically, bears no rese […]
  • Who can use a car pool lane?
    Lowering the Bar -  Some time ago we learned that the argument "but I am pregnant" is probably not a valid defense if you get a ticket for using the HOV lane. More recently we learned that even after the Citizens United case, an HOV-lane ticket also can't be avoided by pointing to the corporate papers you have been keeping in your front seat f […]
  • Castro wants Gitmo back
    BBC - There are still several hurdles for Barack Obama and Raul Castro to clearCuba has demanded the US hand back the Guantanamo Bay military base before relations with Washington are normalized.In a speech, President Raul Castro also called for the lifting of the US trade embargo and Cuba's removal from a terror list.Last month the two countries announ […]
  • Six reasons to support ranked choice voting
    Dick Woodbury, Bangor Daily News, ME - First, the finally elected candidate is chosen by a majority of voters.Second, there is no such thing as a spoiler candidate. If a candidate turns out not to be electable, then he or she is eliminated in the counting process. The candidate doesn’t “spoil” the result by taking away votes from somebody else.Third, voters […]
  • Ecology links
    NEWS Climate change Ecology & nature Energy Food Population Sustain yourself Climate change indicators Drought Eco shots Fracking Genetically modified crops Oceans & water Population statistics   ESSAYS The value of stone dust Myths of genetic engineering A poker player's guide to ecological risk assessment The ignored greenness of historic Popu […]
  • Word
    One of the basic troubles with radio and television news is that both instruments have grown up as an incompatible combination of show business, advertising and news. Each of the three is a rather bizarre and demanding profession. And when you get all three under one roof, the dust never settles. The top management of the networks with a few notable exceptio […]
  • One in five American kids on food stamps
    Huffington Post - One in 5 American kids got food stamps in 2014, up from 1 in 8 before the recession. About 16 million kids relied on the U.S. government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2014, according to Census Bureau data released Wednesday, up from 15.6 million a year earlier. In 2007, before the start of the Great Recession, that fig […]