Musician's mistake? Accidental enhancement?


#1

So I can’t get the “Peter Gunn” theme out of my mind and I find a guy who has uploaded one on youtube (mono only, I’ll have to buy the vinyl album and an NPC just to hear it in stereo as the CD remaster was supposedly awful)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oysMt8iL9UE



The intro starts with the lower register with 2 bars of cymbals, then 2 bars of cymbals + lead guitar, then 2 bars of cymbals+ lead guitar+ bass guitar, then 2 bars of all the above + brass/trumpet, then finally all the above with the brass/sax theme.



But I noticed that in the second bar of the cymbals + lead guitar (i.e., the 4th bar that was played if you count the intro cymbals) the first two notes also included two of the first notes of the bass guitar, then they stopped, and then the bass guitar came in where he was supposed to at the beginning of the 5th bar.



Was that a mistake on the part of the bass player? Did he come in too early, stop and wait for his proper starting point? Or was that done on purpose? (It does seem to add a bit to the intro.)



Wish I could ask Henry Mancini . . .



Now all I have to do is get this theme out of my head . . .



–SSW


#2

Great ear! I doubt most of us would notice this.



I think he came in early.



I bet they otherwise liked the take and thus did not roll again.


#3

It took me a couple of plays, but it was like "Wait! something's not consistent!" that's what I thought, too, the bass player came in too early (but on time) and then came in again when he was supposed to. What was even more interesting was when I discovered the bass line came from a 1940's boogie tune ("Down the Road A Piece") http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX8TPanPKzU At first you think "Huh? From where?"But if you listen at 2:48 onwars when there's no vocals the boogie beat (left hand) is a fast version of "Peter Gunn," so Mancini just slowed it down. Made all the difference in the world.



Pretty cool.



Gotta get the album now, in vinyl . . .



--SSW


#4

Mistake, and much more fun than catching continuity errors in movies. I get what they were doing with the intro, building over several cycles with more coming in with each repetition, and the bass was not supposed to be there. Still works, and a catchy tune too. I wonder where I have heard it before? :slight_smile:



J.P.


#5
wingsounds13 said: I get what they were doing with the intro, building over several cycles with more coming in with each repetition . . .

It is, of course, a very standard pop music intro. Mancini was an incredible craftsman and made the routine interesting.

streets still works said: What was even more interesting was when I discovered the bass line came from a 1940's boogie tune . . .

If this is an original observation, color me very impressed.

Bass lines are often copied/mimicked. The bass is often more important than the melody in both pop and classical music. It's quite fascinating.


#6

Oh I do not take credit for discovering where the bass line came from, it was mentioned in the Peter Gunn Wiki. When I listened to "Down the Road A Piece" at first I couldn't tell where the bass line came from until I listened to it several times until I caught it at the spot I mentioned above. But it was pure genius by Mancini to take it and slow it down to where it got "cool."


Wingsounds, this is where it all started. So many others have subsequently copied this bass line -- and for good reason -- it's a great bass line! And to think Mancini would have been out of a job in two weeks until he walked into that studio barber shop and sat down next to Blake Edwards by happenstance.


I do remember a story that Milton Berle told when he was asked to host a roast for Mancini (obviously after he became successful) and Berle was 5 minutes away from walking on in front of the audience and had nothing to say. Mancini had been nominated for many Grammys and Oscars, had 35 hit songs. Then it hit him. Berle walked in and said to the audience (in classic inimitable Berle style) , "Henry Mancini is a loser. Nominated for a Grammy 72 times, only won 20. Nominated for an Oscar 18 times, only won 4 . . ." (Sorry, I'm paraphrasing from what I heard on the radio 30 years ago, but the event was a success)



--SSW


#7

Now, hold on just a gull-derned minute. Am I the only one who hears the bass in bar 3? Sounds like the bass accents the downbeat of each of the guitar lick measures prior to the full-monty. I think it’s intentional. I don’t think any conductor would let a booboo like that hit a record. %-(


#8

The two bass notes that drop in one bar early are not an egregious error as they do seem to fit pretty well and add a bit of percussive impact, bit I still believe that they were not intended to be there in the original arrangement. I can see this error passing uncorrected as it is not particularly out of place and recording time is not free. It would be interesting to compare other recordings of the tune to see how the intro is treated.



J.P.


#9

Session time is expensive and, at the time, there was not the obsessive focus on perfection as there is now.


#10

Now, hold on just a gull-derned minute. Am I the only one who hears the bass in bar 3? Sounds like the bass accents the downbeat of each of the guitar lick measures prior to the full-monty. I think it's intentional. I don't think any conductor would let a booboo like that hit a record. %-(


Just listened to it again at work with the speakers that have the sub. There is more attack on the first two notes in bar 3, but they're of the lead guitar, definitely not from the bass. I can definitely feel when the bass kicks in on the first two notes of bar 4 (counting bars 1 and 2 as the cymbal lead-in)

For a second I had thought I got the tune out of my head. Gaaah. It's baaaaaccck.

--SSW

#11

NANA-NA-NA…

I’m listening through the speaks in my laptop. Proooobably not adequate so I will bow to your judgement. :slight_smile:


#12

NANA-NA-NA… (repeat)

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