Tag Archive | Play It Loud

Eye On Design: F-4B Electric Bass By Born To Rock

F4B Aluminum Bass Guitar
Photos By Gail

The Born To Rock F-4B Electric Bass (1995) has a patented design with the following specifications:

Hollow aluminum-tube-frame body

One piece ‘headless’ Plexiglas neck and fingerboard

34 Inch scale

Precision bass-style split coil-pickup with volume and tone controls

The bass relies on a lightweight frame that holds the strings at tension over a tension-free neck, which avoids the warping associated with wooden instruments. Since the open, skeletal design has no conventional headstock, the tuners are mounted below the bridge at the bottom of the body. This bass guitar belongs to Steve Miller.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

F4B Aluminum Bass Guitar Installation View
Installation View

Eye On Design: Keith Emerson’s Moog Synthesizer

Keith Emerson Moog Synthesizer
Photos By Gail

In the mid-1960s, electric music pioneer Robert Moog created modular synthesizers using transistor technologies. His early synths featured modules that generate and modify the pitch, timbre, and volume of sounds when connected, or “patched” by cables. This allowed for unprecedented control of sonic parameters but made it difficult to replicate the same sound twice. Moog’s inventions came to the attention of the rock world when they were demonstrated at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The following year, Wendy Carlos’s album Switched-On Bach became the first chart-topping hit utilizing a Moog synthesizer. The instrument has its performance debut at a 1969 concert in the Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, where Moog introduced a quartet of synthesizers built specifically for live events.

Inspired by Wendy Carlos, Keith Emerson of the then-new band Emerson, Lake and Palmer sought out one of the synthesizers that Robert Moog had built for the 1969 concert at MoMA. The band’s 1970 hit single, Lucky Man,” with an expansive Moog solo by Emerson, helped to establish the synthesizer as a lead instrument in popular music. Emerson collaborated with Moog to expand the synthesizer and optimize it for live performance, adding additional components and preset modules that recall sounds.

Hammond L-100 Organ with Moog Synthesizer
Installation View: Moog Synthesizer with Emerson’s Hammond L-100 Stunt Keyboard (Left

Photographed as Part of Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll, on Exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum Art in NYC Through October 1st, 2019.

Keith Moon’s Pictures of Lily Drumkit

Keith Moon Drumkit
All Photos By Gail

If you can make it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art before the October 1st, 2019 closing date of its attendance record-setting exhibit, Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll you will find that it is so much more than just a collection of famous guitars. For me, the Oh, Wow factor is summed up in the true work of art that is Keith Moon’s Pictures of Lily Drumkit circa 1967. Jesus god, look at this beautiful thing. Just look at it.

Pictures of Lily Drumkit

Inspired by the song of the same title, Pictures of Lily is nine-piece Premier kit — comprised of a snare, two bass (or kick) drums (which are reproductions of the originals), three floor toms and two mounted (rack) toms, with two Paiste cymbals, which appear to be one ride and one crash — with custom artwork.

Pictures of Lily Floor Tom Detail
Floor Toms Artwork Detail

Keith Moon received this drum set at the beginning of The Who’s 1967 U.S. Tour and used it extensively for the performances that followed. The artwork features nude photos of Lily Langtry, the subject of the single “Pictures of Lily.” The psychedelic design incorporates a Union Jack and the text “Keith Moon Patent British Exploding Drummer,” a reference to Moon’s tendency to pack his drums with shells and flash powder in order to detonate them onstage.

Keith Moon Kick Drum
Kick Drum Reproduction, Detail 

The two original bass drums are lost, possibly destroyed by Moon’s pyrotechnics.

Keith Moon Drumkit

Keith Moon Pictures of Lily Snare Drum
Snare Drum, Detail

Photographed as Part of Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll, on Exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum Art in NYC Through October 1st, 2019.