The Most Famous Chord in Rock History – Highlights from the 4/5 Scott Owen Show

Up Front:

A new proposed law in Australia would make social media networks liable for content people post there, raising an age old question: Who is accountable for what is done with the platforms, alcohol, weapons they may provide? Via @CNN

I use MailerLite as my Email platform. Hard to beat for the price and loaded with functionality. Here is their blog post with “100 Killer Ideas for your next email”. Some good wheat among the chaff.

“They thought it was black magic.” How TIVO paved the way for the DVR and @Netflix. Via @Medium.

Who owns everything in the media landscape today? Hint: It won’t stay this way for long. Via @Recode

Today In History:

1923 Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began the first regular production of balloon tires.

1955 Richard J. Daley was elected mayor of Chicago, an office he held until his death in 1976.

1958 The first ever hit compilation album, Johnny Mathis‘ ‘Johnny’s Greatest Hits,’ entered the Billboard chart and stayed there for almost 9½ years.

1961 Barbra Streisand made her network television debut when she appeared on NBC’s ‘Tonight with Jack Paar,’ with guest host Orson Bean.

1964 U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur died at the age of 84.

1965 Ahmet Ertegun signed 30-year-old Sonny Bono and 18-year-old partner Cher to Atco Records.

1967 Paul McCartney flew to the U.S. to attend girlfriend Jane Asher’s 21st birthday party in Denver. He gave her a large diamond ring which she later lost.

1971 Chicago became the first American rock group to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. They played six sold-out shows and recorded the concerts for the four-record album, ‘Chicago at Carnegie Hall,’.

1975 Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek died following a heart attack at age 87.

1976 Aviator/film producer/director/engineer/philanthropist/eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes died of kidney failure at age 70.

1982 After 36 years, the record industry trade magazine Record World ceased publication and filed for bankruptcy protection.

1983 Singer Danny Rapp, leader of the vocal group Danny & the Juniors, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age 41.

1983 Interior Secretary, James Watt, bans The Beach Boys from the Fourth of July concert at the White House. U.S. President Ronald Reagan overturns the ban two days later.

1987 The Fox TV network premiered with an episode of the sitcom ‘Married With Children‘ and the first installment of ‘The Tracey Ullman Show.’

1992 Comedian Sam Kinison married his third wife, actress Malika Souiri. He died in a traffic accident after being hit by a drunk driver five days later.

1992 Walmart founder Sam Walton died of bone cancer at the age of 74.

1994 Singer/songwriter/guitarist Kurt Cobain, lead vocalist of Nirvana, committed suicide at age 27. His body was not discovered until three days later.

1997 Poet Allen Ginsburg died of liver cancer from complications of hepatitis at age 70.

2005 ABC News anchor Peter Jennings revealed that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He died four months later.

2006 Katie Couric announced that she was leaving NBC-TV’s ‘Today’ show to become the anchor of ‘The CBS Evening News.’

2006 Singer Gene Pitney died of heart disease caused by atherosclerosis at age 66.

2008 Apple’s iTunes overtook Walmart to become the largest music retailer in the U.S.

2008 Actor Charlton Heston died of complications from pneumonia while dealing with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 84.

Happy Birthday to:
1856 Booker T. Washington (d. 1915)
1908 Bette Davis (d.1989)
1922 Gale Storm  (d. 2009)
1939 Ronald “Ronnie” White (d. 1995)
1939 Crispian St. Peters
1942 Allan Clarke
1973 Pharrell Williams

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting: “Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.” ~Mark Twain


The most famous chord in rock and roll history –
(Via the Beatles Bible)

The distinctive chord which opens A Hard Day’s Night became one of the most iconic sounds in The Beatles’ output. Instantly recognisable, it was the perfect beginning to the group’s debut feature film.

“We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning. The strident guitar chord was the perfect launch.” ~ George Martin

“It is F with a G on top (on the 12-string), but you’ll have to ask Paul about the bass note to get the proper story.” ~ George Harrison / February 15, 2001

A Hard Day’s Night was recorded at EMI Studios in a session taking place from 7-10pm on 16 April 1964. It took The Beatles nine takes to record, just five of which were complete performances.

The backing track – 12-string electric rhythm guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums – was recorded onto track one of the four-track tape, and Lennon and McCartney’s lead vocal were recorded live on track two. They added more vocals on three, along with percussion, more drums and acoustic guitar; and George Martin’s piano and the jangling guitar that ended the song were on track four.

Track three of the four-track tape was filled with acoustic guitar, bongos played by Norman Smith, more vocals by Lennon and McCartney, and cowbell. The recording was finished with a solo, played by George Martin on piano and George Harrison on guitar, on track four, plus an extra bass guitar part after the solo, underneath the line “so why on earth should I moan”.

Using audio spectrum analysis and close listening of the Love surround sound mix, the notes of the various instruments have been isolated to a high degree of probability.

The Fadd9 chord, as played by Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker 360/12 guitar, was as follows:

E —-3—-
B —-1—-
G —-2—-
D —-3—-
A —-o—-
E —-1—-

The Fadd9 on the electric 12-string guitar was crucial to the power of the chord, giving it a richness which would otherwise have been absent. The notes fretted on the top four strings were also used for the arpeggio at the end of the song, although this was recorded as an overdub on a different track of the tape.

As Harrison pointed out, his 12-string wasn’t the only instrument to be heard during the chord. John Lennon also performed an Fadd9, using a Gibson J-160 6-string acoustic guitar.

Close listening reveals a cymbal and snare drum buried in the mix, and notes performed on the bass and piano.

Paul McCartney added a D note, played on the fifth fret of the A string on his Hofner violin bass. This note is an octave lower than an open D string on a six-string guitar, and had a crucial effect on the overall sound of the chord.

George Martin played a Steinway grand piano on A Hard Day’s Night, and contributed to the opening chord. Computer analysis has suggested that Martin played five notes: D2, G2, D3, G3 and C4 (middle C is C4). Furthermore, the sustain pedal was held down, allowing further harmonics to emerge.

Recorded: 16 April 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 10 July 1964 (UK), 26 June 1964 (US)

George Harrison: Rickenbacker 360/12 guitar
John Lennon: Gibson J-160 6-string acoustic guitar
Paul McCartney: Hofner violin bass
Ringo Starr: snare drum, cymbal
George Martin: Steinway grand piano