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Polyinstrumentalism

Registered: 03/02/11
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello! I've somewhat randomly stumbled across this message board and i'm excited to be able to pose this question directly to Mr. Wetton.

I consider the bass tone that was captured on tape during the last couple of King Crimson tours to be the greatest that I have ever heard. Such a snarl! However, i've never seen a comprehensive list of what the '61 P-Bass was plugged into to create that massive amount of thunder. I know there was some model of Hiwatt amps and a 17" (i think?) Cerwin-Vega W-Bin cabinet thrown into the mix.
Some "Foxx" brand fuzz petal as well?

Any details on the ingredients that went into this mix would be great. I really think that, when combined with the P-Bass and those fingers, this was one of the greatest bass rigs ever.

And lest I forget, THANK YOU for the inspiration that I feel whenever I hear your work coming through my speakers.

With gratitude,

~ Scott
Portland, OR

John

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Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 11,723
Reply with quote  #2 
Thankyou, Poly--I was just noting (in another thread) how the KC fans seem to dislike me, and it's refreshing to hear that you got something out of my Crimson years. It was a Jen Double Sound Fuzz/Wah, by the way--made in Italy.The best I've come across. Ever.With the Cerwin-Vega was a 4x12 with EV speakers (immensely powerful, and carried the top end bite).
Polyinstrumentalism

Registered: 03/02/11
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #3 
With Bill Bruford spanning multiple lineups, you'd be the only one left from the core trio if someone were looking to justify their subjective tastes.

I would be very interested in learning more about those EV speakers if you happen to recall any of their specs. Thanks for the reply! And congrats on the UK reunion shows!

John

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Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 11,723
Reply with quote  #4 
I still have them,  they weigh a ton!

purplepiper

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Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #5 
John, I have to believe that the KC fans not admiring your work are in the vast minority.  Funny this subject came up.  Not long ago I was having a guitar repaired at a shop in Columbus, Ohio and was talking to the owner.  He is a monster bass player.  I never asked him why he chose bass as his instrument but asked him this time.  His response:  John Wetton.  When he was a teen, he saw you on tour (at the Agora, I believe) with KC and was so blown away by your playing, tone and power, he decided to become a bass player that evening.  He is still gigging to this day and has a great business in guitar repair and restoration.  We both went on and on about your tone on the Great Deceiver boxed set.  It was nice to find another fan of your playing in that era. 

Sean


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John

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Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 11,723
Reply with quote  #6 
That's very gratifying, Sean---thankyou.
I saw an arts program on TV this evening, where a blogger was explaining the phenomenon of the anonymous 'Trolls' (as bloggers call them). These are people who post negatively, often abusively, and under a pseudonym.  There are lots of them.
purplepiper

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Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #7 
Trolls.  Oh yes.  John, you should see what it is like on the NFL boards.  In fact i think there are more trolls there than there are sincere people!

Sean


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eives

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Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 899
Reply with quote  #8 
I see the Trolls a lot of times in my travels all over the net. I've heard that there are just some people who get off on making negative comments. And the more popular a topic or person is the more negative they are just to get the reaction and get someone else angry. LOL, John do you really think people don't like your voice, lyrics or bass playing? I just love it all!!!! I don't think I've ever sounded like I'm kissing your arse either? Here's a BIG one for you. I think you might be the only Bass player I know that could have replaced Entwistle in his prime? I could only imagine what you might have done on Quadrophenia?

Enjoy the accolades today. I really hate sounding like a hero worshipper but you DESERVE IT!!!!!

Now would you please release RIC already?

erik_1099

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 97
Reply with quote  #9 
Trolls are a big factor in why people feel intimidated about posting or even joining things like online forums, Facebook, etc. It's too bad as they are usually a very small majority but the volume makes them out sound like much more than they are. Luckily it seems this board has been troll-free.

Coming back somewhat to the topic-

John, your playing and writing contributions to KC were a big of part of what got me into that group. For me, there are many layers to KC in terms of players, music styles, themes, and genres that it can't necessarily all appeal to everyone who listen critically. It's unfortunate that some will dismiss or insult elements or even players that they cannot reconcile with their particular world-view.

Again, for me, KC has a broad emotional and musical dynamic that ranges from tender earnestness to earth-shattering power and your vocals and bass both bridged that divide. Sure, there are moments I don't care for, but they're a necessary part of the whole, and completely overshadowed by events like the climax of Starless (probably the most obvious example).

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Fan since the mid-80's of all eras. Gigs: WI 2007, SJC 2008, LA 2009
Polyinstrumentalism

Registered: 03/02/11
Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #10 
Did the fuzz go through both the Vega and the EV Cab, or did you keep the Vega as a clean channel?

And I would have to say it was the fuzzed-out string popping bass line to Lark's Tongues pt.2 on USA that got me instantly hooked on KC. It's still my favorite way to introduce people to the band.

John

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Registered: 09/20/06
Posts: 11,723
Reply with quote  #11 
Fuzz went into both.
eives

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Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 899
Reply with quote  #12 
John someone sent me The Who playing Sparks live here and in response I sent them you playing Firth of Fifth with SH. Masterful runs you play on that. Effortless.
emwhy

Registered: 03/13/08
Posts: 1,886
Reply with quote  #13 
That was me eives....and as to your response you can't go wrong with any of the Tokyo Tapes stuff. Too bad that band didn't do more touring, I would have been first in line for tickets.

As for trolls, my job requires me to browse a lot of music software forums. Man do those things get ugly. Two years ago all you had to do was start a topic "XP vs Vista" and the fur would fly. I tend to stay away from negative topics and posts...they accomplish nothing.

Edited to add that Tokyo Tapes contains my personal favorite version of "Battle Lines"



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henny

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Registered: 01/22/07
Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #14 
Association is a funny thing.

Precision Bass = John Wetton
Stingray = Nick Beggs/Tony Levin
Aria SB = John Taylor
Chris Squire = Rickenbacker

I digress.

If in 1974, to paraphrase, you "lost your favourite toy" (KC)- and, for whatever reason, Chris Squire parted company with Yes - if the offer was there, would you have joined Yes?

Or, even at that time, would your emanating desire to write about real experiences in and emotions continue to pull you away from 20 minute epics and Siberian Khatrus towards a more stylised, popular music avenue, a la UK '79 and Asia?

I believe I know the answer, but Yes with John Wetton on bass - a what if, indeed....

... (and let's not get started on a Genesis with John Wetton on bass.)

eives

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Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 899
Reply with quote  #15 
I don't think I could see you in YES John myself. Except for maybe Tormato I think it may be a little to fluffy or mystical for what you do? Especially in the 70's. Not to say you couldn't do it. I still think The Who but now there's a question?
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