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Old 10-10-2019, 04:44 PM
EinsteinsHund's Avatar
EinsteinsHund is offline
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Studio bystanders who got their big break or moment (music)

I think the story of Al Kooper's legendary organ part on "Like A Rolling Stone" is well known, but nonetheless I'll retell it as best I can: in 1965, the virtually unknown Al Kooper, by some random connections, got booked for a session as guitarist for a Bob Dylan single. When he arrived in the studio, he met another young guitarist named Michael Bloomfield he (and nobody else) had ever heard about, but after he had heard Bloomfield play, he knew that the guitarist's spot was already taken. So when the musicians were dabbling with the first drafts of a song called "Like A Rolling Stone", he stole to the unoccupied organ and started to develop an organ part. When producer Tom Wilson noticed this, he screamed "Hey, what you're doing?", but got distracted at that exact moment by a phone call. So Kooper stayed on organ until historical take #6, in which he followed the other musicians and thus played a bit behind the beat, which gave the organ part a special significance. The rest is history, the song became a monster and today is widely considered the best Rock song of all time, and Al Kooper got a great start for his own very successful career.

Are there similar examples? It doesn't have to end in a great career like in Al Kooper's case, but it ought to be a very significant and outstanding performance. I have one more in mind, but I'll wait if any of you will mention it .
And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine

Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 10-10-2019 at 04:48 PM.
Old 10-10-2019, 04:51 PM
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I've always like the story of how Arnel Pineda became the new lead singer for Journey.

I assume this doesn't count, But audience member Scot Halpin played drums for the The Who on a couple songs.
Old 10-10-2019, 04:52 PM
PastTense is offline
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I was just reading an obituary of Honey Lantree of the Honeycombs (a 1960s British band) who died last December:
Anne Lantree’s life changed after a chance encounter with a drum kit in 1963.

She was working in a hair salon in London owned by her friend Martin Murray. Mr. Murray moonlighted as the rhythm guitarist in an amateur rock ’n’ roll band called the Sheratons, whose drummer had recently quit. His drum kit was still set up at the group’s rehearsal space, and Ms. Lantree, who was there for a guitar lesson, asked if she could try it.

Mr. Murray acquiesced, he said in an interview on Thursday, “not giving any thought that she would jump on these drums and play like she had her whole life.”

“She was just a born, natural drummer; she hadn’t played before and just went for it,” Mr. Murray continued. “I was aghast, staring at her, and said, ‘All right, you’re our new drummer.’ ”

Ms. Lantree’s impromptu solo was the start of a whirlwind career as one of the few women to play drums in a 1960s rock group. The Sheratons soon became the Honeycombs, with Ms. Lantree billed as Honey, and released “Have I the Right?,” a bouncy love song that reached No. 1 on the British pop charts and No. 5 in the United States.

Here is that song:

Last edited by PastTense; 10-10-2019 at 04:54 PM.
Old 10-10-2019, 04:59 PM
drad dog is offline
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This is the story of Larry Verne who was the artist on Please Mr Custer. He was not a singer.

RE OP: Al Kooper had written This Diamond Ring" for Gary Lewis as a teenager I think. But the story of LARS is great and worthy.
Old 10-15-2019, 06:16 PM
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I'm giving this one bump, if I may, with the other story I had in mind when posting the OP, the story of Otis Redding's first solo recording. He was an upcoming singer from Georgia but totally unknown nationally. When the guitarist of the band he was in, Johnny Jenkins, had a studio session at Stax in Memphis, Redding was only the driver, but at the end of the session some studio time was left, so he performed two songs with Stax' house band Booker T And The MG's, one of them his own composition "These Arms Of Mine". The rest once more became history, the single a hit, a record deal with Stax and most important of all, the best combination of a great singer with a formidable backing band soul music ever produced.
And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine

Last edited by EinsteinsHund; 10-15-2019 at 06:20 PM.
Old 10-15-2019, 07:05 PM
madsircool is offline
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Astrud Gilberto was the boo of a member of this session until she was asked to provide some vocals for this song....
Old 10-15-2019, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I've always like the story of how Arnel Pineda became the new lead singer for Journey.
Similar to Pineda's story is that of Tommy DeCarlo. He was an amateur singer, and lifelong fan of Boston, who was working a day job at a Home Depot in North Carolina. After Boston's singer Brad Delp committed suicide, DeCarlo wrote and recorded a tribute song to Delp, which wound up on his daughter's MySpace page.

The video eventually found its way to Boston founder Tom Scholz and his wife, who were so impressed by it that they invited DeCarlo to join the band at a tribute concert to Delp in Boston. After that concert, Scholz invited DeCarlo to join the band on a permanent basis.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 10-15-2019 at 07:31 PM.
Old 10-15-2019, 09:48 PM
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David Bowie's long time guitarist, Carlos Alamar, brought his friend Luther Vandross to watch a recording session. Luther sang an idea for a background vocal to Carlos and Bowie overheard. Bowie liked it and had Luther sing backup for the rest of the Young Americans sessions, including recording a song that Luther wrote. Luther later toured in Bowie’s band and even opened for him, and Bowie made introductions to people in the rest of the music business that allowed Vandross' career to then take off on its own.
Old 10-16-2019, 02:28 AM
RioRico is offline
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Petula Clark:
In October 1942, the 9-year-old Clark made her radio debut while attending a BBC broadcast with her father. She was there trying to send a message to an uncle stationed overseas, but the broadcast was delayed by an air raid. During the bombing, the producer requested that someone perform to settle the jittery theatre audience, and she volunteered a rendering of "Mighty Lak' a Rose" to an enthusiastic response. She then repeated her performance for the broadcast audience, launching a series of some 500 appearances in programmes designed to entertain the troops.[7] In addition to radio work, Clark frequently toured the United Kingdom with fellow child performer Julie Andrews. Nicknamed the "Singing Sweetheart", she performed for George VI, Winston Churchill and Bernard Montgomery. Clark also became known as "Britain's Shirley Temple"[8] and was considered a mascot by the British Army, whose troops plastered her photos on their tanks for good luck as they advanced into battle.[9]
She had a fair career when she grew up, too.
Old 10-16-2019, 10:59 AM
Treppenwitz is offline
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Not quite the same thing, but what about the roadie who knew the band's set and grabbed the chance when it came?

Phil Manzanera failed an audition for Roxy Music, but took the offer of a job as roadie with them. When guitarist Davy O'List, who was chosen for the band, left a little while later (accounts seem to vary widely; here's one - I also remember one in which he annoyed Phil Thompson, so Thompson belted him), it transpired that Manzanera had learned the entire set, and was effectively a plug-in-and-play replacement. The rest, as they say.....

Another where accounts vary is the story of Stacia, the kinda dancing figurehead of Hawkwind. Certainly, in some versions she just climbed out of the audience and onto the stage, mid-gig, and started dancing, and that was that - she was part of the band.

Old 10-16-2019, 11:48 AM
Fear Itself is offline
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When Tom Jones recorded "It's Not Unusual" in 1964, his group "Tom Jones and the Squires" was missing their regular keyboard player for the session. Future AC/DC drummer Chris Slade ran across the street to the "La Giaconda" coffee house, and recruited the then-unknown Reginald Dwight (later to adopt the stage name Elton John) for the one-day recording session.
Old 10-16-2019, 11:52 AM
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Another reverse: Record executive Quincy Jones recruited rap singer Will Smith to star in a TV show he was developing about a young poor teenager going to live with his rich relatives. Smith had NO acting experience and had to be persuaded to take the job.

Quincy Jones sure knew talent when he spotted it.


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