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

  • Pocket paradigms
    Even the best politics are a pretty poor substitute for life and the worst politics compound their felony by forcing us to leave the front stoop to do something about them. Our quarrel with the abuse of power should be not only be that it is cruel and stupid but that it takes so much time way from other things -- like loving and being loved, and music, and a […]
  • Is there love off line?
    Baltimore Sun - Towson University professor Andrew Reiner is concerned that the desire to be "liked" online has bled into the real-life interactions of some of his students. He wants to change that.Reiner, a lecturer in English in Towson's Honors College, says students sometimes pretend to send text messages when they are alone out of fear tha […]
  • Word; Journalism
    You cannot hope to bribe or twist/Thank God the British journalist/ But seeing what the man will do/ Unbribed, there is no occasion to -- Humbert Wolfe A journalist is a man who has missed his calling -- Bismarck Drunkards, deadbeats and bummers -- Harvard president Charles Eliot's description of reporters in rejecting Joseph Pulitzer's offer to en […]
  • Being tasered may affect ability to exercise legal rights
    Mad in America - After they have been hit by a taser, most people experience a significant diminishing in their memory and cognitive functions for up to an hour, according to an unpublished study discussed in Live Science. The researchers said that the impacts were serious enough to raise into doubt whether people who’ve been tasered will understand their le […]
  • Good Stuff: Ranked choice voting
    Fair Vote:Since adoption of ranked choice voting, Oakland winners earn more votes: Of the 18 Oakland offices elected by RCV in 2010 and 2012, the winner had more votes than the winner of the previous non-RCV election in 16 of them. This is a common pattern in RCV elections that avoid electing winners in low-turnout June primaries or December runoffs.Fewer vo […]
  • Recovered history: The real Clinton story
    Things the media forgets to tell you about the Clintons and the state that made them.1976 Bill Clinton is elected attorney general of Arkansas. Two Indonesian billionaires come to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto. Riady is looking for an American bank to buy. Finds Jackson Stephens with whom he forms Stephens Finance. Stephens […]
  • War on the Constitution update
    Off the Charts   - The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities,  AARP, the AFL-CIO, Consumers Union, and ten other national organizations have written to the U.S. Trade Representative asking that Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs be excluded from the investor-state dispute settlement provisions of pending trade agreements. ISDS would give compani […]
  • Links: Action
    Action news How to plan your own Moral Monday Building peace teams Cellphone guide for protesters Why we need history   Corporations that have deserted the US for tax purposes  BURGER KINGBOYCOTTS Israel  Academic/Cultural Koch Brothers Nestle North Face Staples Walmart Monsanto   ACTIONS Detroit Water Brigade Moral Mondays Tar Sands protests Occupy ACLU Bad […]
  • Stats: Population growth
    CRAIG CRAWFORD […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    We have lost much of what was gained in the 1960s and 1970s because we traded in our passion, our energy, our magic and our music for the rational, technocratic and media ways of our leaders. We will not overcome the current crisis solely with political logic. We need living rooms like those in which women once discovered they were not alone. The freedom sch […]
  • Word
    Remember this: many a good story has been ruined by over-verification -- James Gordon Bennett, Founder of NY Herald […]
  • Will Californians soon be drinking their own pee?
    Slate -The largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere is currently under construction in Carlsbad in San Diego County at great expense. The price tag: $1 billion.Right now, San Diego is almost totally dependent on imported water from Sierra snowmelt and the Colorado River. When the desalination plant comes online in 2016, it will produce 50 million […]
  • Follow the limousines
    From 50 years of our overstocked archivesSam Smith - A thought occurred to me as I sat in my car the other day waiting for a presidential cavalcade to make its way noisily down a Washington street: perhaps we should insist on a bit less protection for our leaders based on the theory that if they felt more endangered they would have more sympathy for the rest […]
  • Recovered history: The real Clinton story
    Things the media forgets to tell you about the Clintons and the state that made them.1974 27 year old Clinton, only months out of Yale Law School, is back in Arkansas eager to run for Congress. Roger Morris writes later,  "A relative unknown, he faces an imposing field of rivals in the Democratic primary, and beyond, in the general election, a powerful […]
  • Even in Africa....
    LA TIMES […]