playingdead wrote:The B3 was the constant ... with SIX Leslie 147s by the end. Every played with a real Leslie onstage? Just one is stupid loud. I can't even imagine how loud six of them must have been.
79-81: Fender Rhodes -- eventually abandoned because it kept breaking on tour
82: Yamaha CP-80 electric grand -- same that Keith used toward the end of his tenure (77-79) -- a pain, too, because it has to be tuned like a real piano because it basically was a real piano with fewer strings per note and a piezo pickup. If you listen to the Dead from Egypt in 78, the CP-80 is out of tune because their piano tuner bailed on the trip at the last minute.
83-86: Yamaha GS-1 (massive early FM synth that used little paper punch cards to load sounds ... it had that killer percussive marimba sound -- Scott Larned got hold of it from Brent's wife and took it out with DSO on the tour he died on ... creepy)
87-90: Kurzweil controller and various Kurzweil, Korg and other modules
Brent used various synths early on for certain sounds before the digital stuff really came online ... a Prophet 5 -- listen to a 79 era Dancing in the Streets, or think the synth sounds on Alabama Getaway and Feel Like a Stranger -- and I think even some sort of Moog, but most of the time played the Rhodes and B3.
Thanks for this!
I play for Otis Lotus, a Dead band out of Jackson, MS, and I've been looking for a breakdown of Mydland's rig for a while.
Personally, I love
playing with Brent-esque Dyno sounds, organ, and some of the synth sounds, though I haven't worked with a marimba sound yet -- it's way
too unforgiving regarding timing! When it comes to straight piano sounds, I'm probably 1/3rd Godchaux, 1/3rd Hornsby, and 1/3rd my own undertrained, underpracticed "technique" informed by whatever I've picked up along the way (George Duke, Keith Emerson, Tommy Mars, etc.).
Lots of opinions on who's the "best" Dead keyboardist here ... personally, I think all of them had both merits and faults, but that's my own subjective taste and judgment. Bob's, Jerry's, and Phil's tones - and, of course, the band's music - evolved over 3 decades, so saying what's best from any of it (aside from obviously sloppy performances due to health/drug issues
) is trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded.