Archive for September, 2016

I Call Your Name

“I Call Your Name” was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon-McCartney. The first recording of it, however, was released by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. In the USA, it was on the Beatles’ 2nd album. The Mamas and Papas have a nice cover of it on their debut album. My instrumental arrangement uses a baritone guitar rather than the 12-string George Harrison used.


September 30, 2016 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

Back in the USSR

This is my instrumental cover of “Back in the USSR” — the Beatles’ “surf” song that opens the “White” album. Not much tweaking needed to turn it into an instrumental.



September 29, 2016 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

Genie with the Light Brown Lamp

“Genie with the Light Brown Lamp” was a top 20 hit in England for the Shadows in 1964.

The song is from a live musical comedy entitled “Alladin and his Wonderful Lamp” that was performed at the London Palladium in 1964 starring  Cliff Richard and the Shadows with their producer/composer/arranger Norrie Paramor as musical director. There was also a sound track album.

In England, this type of stage play is called a “Pantomime” — a theatrical entertainment, mainly for children, that involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story, usually produced around Christmas.

September 28, 2016 at 3:05 pm Leave a comment

Theme from Exodus

The theme from the 1960 film “Exodus” is a very memorable one, and quite well known. I was a bit surprised to find how popular it was with instrumental rock bands at the time. My version doesn’t really follow any of them; it’s just a basic early-60’s style guitar-rock setting. As far as I can tell, the Ventures didn’t release a recording of it until 1997.

September 27, 2016 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

Peace Pipe

“Peace Pipe” was written by Norrie Paramor and originally released on the Shadow’s eponymous 1961 debut album. It’s interesting how Native American culture seemed to have a fascination for many Europeans — the Shadows recorded many tracks based on “American Indian” themes. My version here is based on the Shadows’ original, which was also featured in the movie “The Young Ones”.

September 26, 2016 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment

It’s Only Love

“It’s Only Love” was written as an album track for the movie “Help”. It was not released as a single. Paul McCartney has said that the Beatles knew the lyrics weren’t all that good, but didn’t care because it was a “filler” track. However, the music is really very nice and since I do instrumentals, it all works out.

September 25, 2016 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

Hernando’s Hideaway

“Hernando’s Hideaway” is the most famous song from the mid-1950’s Broadway Musical, “The Pajama Game”. It is something of a novelty number, with the feel of a Tango. The Ventures covered it on their 1962 album “Mashed Potatoes and Gravy” — this is the inspiration for my version.

September 24, 2016 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment


“Scratch” is a track from the Ventures 1962 album “Mashed Potatoes and Gravy”. My version largely follows the original. I think it’s pretty catchy.

September 23, 2016 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

When You Walk in the Room

“When You Walk in the Room” was written by Jackie DeShannon and her recording barely cracked the hot 100 in 1963. The Searchers version did a bit better, but was still only a minor hit. The Ventures recorded an instrumental cover on their 1965 album “Knock Me Out”. I guess if you don’t remember this one, it’s understandable…although the style is certainly familiar. My version attempts to blend the style of both the Ventures and the Shadows.

September 21, 2016 at 6:17 pm Leave a comment

Black is Black

This is my instrumental cover of “Black is Black”, which was a 1966 #4 hit in the USA for the Spanish rock group “Los Bravos”. The Ventures included a cover on their album “Walk Don’t Run 2000”. My arrangement mainly sticks the the feel of the original recording, except I turned the bridge into a shuffle.



September 19, 2016 at 2:45 pm Leave a comment

Norwegian Wood

“Norwegian Wood” is one of the more compelling tracks from the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul”. As always, it is the combination of words and music that together make the original so great, but the melody, harmony and rhythm allow the music to stand alone very well — also typical of the Beatles work.

September 16, 2016 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

For No One

For No One” was written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and originally appeared on the Beatles’ seventh album, Revolver. It is an amazingly haunting song about an independent woman — sung to her confused ex. My version is, of course, instrumental, but the music alone retains substantial emotional content.


September 14, 2016 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

Rebel Walk

“Rebel Walk” was a track on Duane Eddy’s 1960 album “The Twangs the Thang”. My version borrows the main riff, 12-bar form and shuffle feel, but little else. It should still be recognizable as a Duane Eddy style number, however — featuring a baritone guitar and plenty of twangy rockabilly.

September 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Mission Impossible

This iconic theme originally from the 1960’s TV series was written by Lalo Schifrin. It’s driving feel is heavily reliant on its irregular (5/4) time signature. I have given it a surf-rock setting (surprise!)


September 11, 2016 at 6:29 pm Leave a comment

Fly Me to the Moon

“Fly me to the Moon” was written in 1954 by Bart Howard. The song is probably most associated with Frank Sinatra and his 1964 version, but it has been recorded in both vocally and instrumentally by countless artists. By every measure this tune is a standard.

However, as far as I know it had never been given an instrumental guitar-rock setting before. Now it has. 🙂

September 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

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September 2016