Abbey Road is 50!
With the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road happening a few weeks ago on 26 September, Reverb didn’t want to miss the boat on introducing us to a bunch of Beatles inspired pedals. I can feel the GAS coming on.
Whilst most of the sounds you hear on Beatle records are amplifier onboard effects (tremelo, reverb), post production studio effects or overdriven amplifier sounds – the Beatles were studio innovators, introducing us to an array of sounds from double tracked guitars, phase, tape delays and others. John himself said “Flanging is great! They’re all doing it.” He’s not wrong.
For a comprehensive look at Beatle guitars and amplifiers, the best book I’ve ever come across is “Beatle Gear : All The Fab Four’s Instruments From Stage to Studio” by Andy Babiuk. It’s a meticulously researched resource of everything you could ever want to know about the guitars, amplifiers, effects, keyboards, drums, microphones etc that the Beatles used through every period from Rickenbacker to Gretsch and Vox to Fender.
I particularly love John’s 1965 Sonic Blue Stratocaster. So much so that prior to Fender’s recent obsession with Sonic Blue, I had my Fender Stratocaster 1957 reissue refinished in that colour, added a rosewood neck and hey presto! I’m a Beatle. (Not quite)
Anyway, I absolutely loved the Reverb Run Down here – especially the Dr. Robert Pedal by Aclam Guitars (https://www.aclamguitars.com/dr-robert). What a great sound! The Dr. Robert is a guitar overdrive pedal based on the Normal channel of the solid state/tube hybrid Vox® UL730 S/N: 3042. Which you can hear on heaps of later era Beatle recordings. The late 60s Solid State (transistor) Vox amplifiers had modern appointments – including a foot pedal or ‘footplate’.
According to Vox, their Vox Supreme sported “built-in fuzz, treble boost, middle-range boost, reverb, volume and tremelo, all which are controllable from buttons on a footplate. Each pushbutton has a red light to indicate when the effect it represents is in use.” Rocking!
The other surprise to me out of the video was the JHS Crayon pedal. It’s a streamlined version of their Colour Box and is a very cool sound…
So there you go. The Beatles – I hear they are also number 1 in the UK with the reissue of Abbey Road. More it changes, more it stays the same.
Til next time,