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What about Lee Michaels?


Garrafon

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What's the general take on Lee Michaels?

 

Frankly, I didnt' know much about him (i.e. that he existed) until fairly recently (past few years).

 

At the very least, he was one of the Hammond/rock innovators of the time, but, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't get much of the credit.

 

Of course, he did the more popular "Do You Know What I Mean," but some cool lesser known stuff as well, for example this version of Stormy Monday:

 

(Stormy Monday, sounds like Hammond and drums only to me)

 

Some fun stuff here too: http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/blog/index.php/2010/03/lee-michaels-blows-people-away/ (again just Hammond and drums...pretty cool)

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A Lee Michael's piano lick (can't remember what song) was sampled into Young MC's Principal's Office. Other than that, probably not much reason for recent generations to know about him.

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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This is my favorite Michaels track. The guy is on fire and his screamin vocals are icing on the cake.

 

I tried my best to emulate his sound for a "Lee Michaels" KB3 preset in the PC3 sound set. Still don't know why he INSISTS on stealing all of my good riffs. :)

 

 

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In my last high school band, we took the entire "Tell Me How Would You Feel" cut, added triple lead guitars and about 15 more minutes of our own music to make a giant extravaganza.

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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I actually saw Lee Michaels in concert way back in the day. I went out of curiosity because I had heard that he stopped playing the Hammond because he was losing his hearing from playing too loud and I wanted to see his new act.

I walked in and he was playing on a Wurlitzer electric piano...which was plugged into about a million Marshall amplifiers!!

He sounded great but when he went loud it was surreal. You start hearing strange things at those volume levels.

Oh, and Frosty just killed it on drums.

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Found the record! it's the one called "Space and first takes" sky on the cover. Now i know why i didn't pay much attention to it before, honestly it's quite boring. There's 2 10+ min songs that seems to never end and never really get anywhere, just the same repetitive and tiring melody. I don't know about his other works but this one is going back to the shelf.
"The purple piper plays his tune, The choir softly sing; Three lullabies in an ancient tongue, For the court of the crimson king"
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Saw Lee and Frosty in the 70's... He had a Hammond plugged into about 20 Acoustic Amps... Was the LOUDEST performance I had ever been to. And I saw them all... Blue Cheer, Zep, Deep Purple... He drove me OUT of the arena, which was too bad as I loved his playing.
'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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Love his duo work but may favorite album is his first,Carnival of Life (1968). It has a full band (guitar,bass ,drums,and keys and his strongest songwriting. It's less bluesy but more complex and varied than his later work. By comparison some of the duo stuff is impressive but rather one dimensional.

 

Carnival of Life is also very nicely recorded,especially for 1968. The drum sounds are particularly outstanding. David Potter was the uncredited drummer on all but one track. He kills. Of course the Hammond sings like a bird. Guitar playing by Hamilton W. Watt is very fine,although you might have to overlook a little buzzy 1968 fuzztone. The guy does play some really nice lines though. Strangely,Gary Davis is credited with playing organ,although the credits don't specify on which songs he appears. Lots of the organ work is blatantly Lee however,and that's a good thing. John Keski plays solid bass. Supposedly this band played live for a while,but dissolved before Lee's notorious Fillmore days.

 

Carnival is one of my favorite alltime albums,period. Youtube has songs like Another One,Love,Hello,Carnival of Life and more from the album. Check it out. You may want to buy a copy of your own. Did I say I like this album?

 

 

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Here is a live gem I found on YouTube... Poor fidelity, but you can still hear his great ability. There is also a hint on why Lee started to play so damn loud... Some idiot yells "Louder!" right before he starts playing...

 

[video:youtube]

'55 and '59 B3's, Leslies 147, 122, 21H, Motif XS7, Mellotrons M300 and M400, Wurlitzer 200, Gibson G101, Vox Continental, Mojo
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There is also a hint on why Lee started to play damn loud... Some idiot yells "Louder!" right before he starts playing...

 

A similar instruction worked out quite while for Lynyrd Skynyrd.

 

On another note, with just organ and drums it would really increase gig take home pay.

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  • 1 month later...

Here's a recording of Lee and Frosty working out Stormy Monday at the Fillmore East back in 1970. It's from the same show that Street Car (above) came from. I have a number of tapes from his shows. I'd love to connect with anyone who might have taped one of his shows. I'd be happy to trade.

 

[video:youtube]

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