Posts filed under ‘summer 2014’


‘Maytime’ is a new original tune. I’ve been doing arrangements and cover recordings for several months, and wanted to back to some original material.

The style is sort of “jazz/funk/fusion”, and the arrangement for gutar, bass, keyboard and drums. As is my normal practice, I played the guitar and bass parts while programming the drum and keyboard tracks.

‘Maytime’ is also the name of a movie musical with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. There is no connection here.


May 16, 2014 at 6:03 am Leave a comment

Manic Depression

This is something I’ve actually thought about doing for some time. Like most guitarists active today, I count Jimi Hendrix as a major influence.

I have have always found Manic Depression to be one of the more interesting tunes from his first album, probably because of the triple meter — unusual for a hard rock song.

It seemed to me that the triple meter might allow a treatment with something of a jazz feel. So that’s what I’ve done here while preserving plenty of rock to come through.

My arrangement is for guitar, keyboard, bass and drums.



May 12, 2014 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment


“Penetration” was a 1964 instrumental hit, cracking the top 20, for the Pyramids. In some ways, it can be considered one of the last surf-rock instrumental hits. While there were certainly instrumental hits after this, they were not tied to the surf genre. Like most of the popular guitar instrumentals of the time, the Ventures also recorded the tune.

My arrangement is for guitar, bass and drums. I played the guitar and bass parts, and programmed the drums using loops.




May 4, 2014 at 6:58 am Leave a comment


As released by Petula Clark in 1964, this song by songwriter Tony Hatch reached number one on the Billboard charts. Something of a “Crossover” hit, Petula Clark’s main audience was primarily adult at the time, yet this track went on to become popular with listeners of all ages all over the world. The song was originally conceived as a likely number for the Drifters — not too hard to imagine.


My arrangement is for guitar, bass and drums. It strikes me as a combination of 60’s style guitar instrumentals and Johnny A. I played the guitar and bass parts, and programmed the drums using loops.


May 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment


I am a long time lover of instrumental rock’n’roll, starting way back in the sixties listening to the Ventures and — thanks to my British relatives, the Shadows. In recent years, one of my recurring activities has been to arrange and record some of this terrific, old-time rock’n’roll.

Today, that song, arrangement and recording is “Perfidia”, based on the Ventures version. This tune was one of the Venture’s biggest hits, peaking at #15 on the Billboard charts in 1960.



Spanish for “perfidy”, as in faithlessness, treachery or betrayal, “Perfidia” was written by Alberto Domínguez (1911–1975), a Mexican composer and arranger. A much covered song in its Spanish, English and instrumental versions, “Perfidia” has been recorded by Julie London, The Four Aces, Charlie Parker, Laurel Mel Tormé, Glenn Miller, The Shadows, The Ventures, Trini Lopez, Linda Ronstadt (in Spanish and English), Nat King Cole, Cliff Richard, Lawrence Welk, Freddy Fender, Andrea Bocelli, Ray Conniff and Ben E. King. Quite a range of artists there.

The bouncy good feeling of the Ventures and my arrangements belie the nature of the title and its lyrics:

To you, my heart cries out Perfidia
For I found you, the love my life
In somebody else’s arms

Your eyes, are echoing Perfidia
Forgetful of the promise of love
You’re shared another’s charms

With a sad lament my dreams
Are faded like a broken melody
While the Gods of love look down and laugh
At what romantic fools, we mortals be

And now, I know my love was not for you
And so I’ll take it back with a sigh
Perfidia’s one goodbye

My arrangement is for guitar, bass and drums. I played the guitar and bass parts, and programmed the drums using loops.


April 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

California Girls

Just about everyone who loves rock’n’roll and especially the wonderful music from the golden age (mid fifties through mid seventies) recognizes that the Beach Boys — and especially Brian Wilson — deserve to be considered the creative equals of the Beatles.

The landmark album “Pet Sounds”, as well as material like “Good Vibrations” were original and brilliant — much like the Beatles later work. Their early surf material was superbly done, good-time rock’n’roll, much like the early Beatles.

“California Girls” dates from 1965, when it reached #3 on the charts. Co-written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it is one of The Beach Boys’ most famous songs.

My version imagines the song as a something of a rockabilly instrumental, perhaps as a garage band (without the vocal prowess of the original artists) might attempt. I played the guitar and bass parts and composed the drums part from loops.


April 29, 2014 at 7:02 am Leave a comment

The Night Has a Thousand Eyes

This tune, written by Benjamin Weisman, Dorothy Wayne, and Marilynn Garrett, was a big hit for Bobby Vee in 1963, peaking at #3 on the charts.

This instrumental arrangement is for guitar, bass and drums. I played the guitar and bass parts and programmed the drum part from drum loops.

The guitar is my Gretsch 6120DS.


April 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Out of Limits

As someone with a rather poor singing voice, I have long had a great fondness for and interest in instrumental music. Of course, if it is GUITAR instrumental, so much the better. So I am naturally a fan of the Ventures, the Shadows, and other instrumental rock groups from the 1960’s.

One of these groups was the Marketts, founded by composer/producer Michael Z. Gordon. Basically in the studio it was Gordon and members of the Wrecking Crew, although a live touring version did exist as well.

The Marketts’ biggest hit was Out of Limits. Written by Gordon, the song peaked at #3 in February 1964 and sold over a million copies. It is basically a riff on the theme from the Twilight Zone, and named for a competing program of the time, The Outer Limits.

Gordon, BTW, was also involved in producing television and movies.According to Wikipedia, his production credits include: Married… with Children” (1987) Angels in the Endzone (1997); Narc (2002; In Enemy Hands (2004); Shortcut to Happiness (2004), Mafioso: The Father, The Son (2004), and Silent Partner (2005).

My arrangement is for a trio of guitar, bass and drums. I played both the guitar and bass parts, while using loops for the drums.


April 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment


In 1958, an instrumental track by Link Wray and the Wray-Men made it to number 16 on the charts. Originally titled “Oddball”, Phil Everly heard it and suggested the title “Rumble”, as it had a rough sound and said it sounded like a street fight.

It was banned in several radio markets because the term rumble was a slang term for a gang fight, and it was feared that the piece’s harsh sound glorified “juvenile delinquency” – one of very few instrumental singles banned from the radio airwaves.

I have attempted to retain some the the rawness of the original version in my arrangement and cover:


April 19, 2014 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

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