“The first amp that I had was a Magnatone – it was a great little amp. I had a 212 that was like a Fender Twin Reverb, but that gave out after a while. We had a deal with Fender because Ray used the Fender Rhodes piano so we got some Twin Reverbs. Those were the ones I always used in the studio, pretty much all the time.
“I pretty much turned them up to 10, a lot of treble, maybe a bass on three, midrange half way, kind of like that. You know, nothing fancy, but I always liked the sound of the Fender Twin Reverb for studio – it seemed like the right size. You could get enough distortion out of it to where you wouldn’t have to use a lot of pedals.
“Live, we ended up using a company called Acoustic [Control Corporation] because we needed the big amps and they were big. They didn’t sound that great for a guitar, but they were good for a keyboard.”
“I used a Gibson Maestro fuzztone on Hello, I Love You, which I wasn’t crazy about, but it was all that we had. To tell you the truth I think they overdid it with the fuzz on that song. I would have toned it down a little bit but that was a mix thing.
“I think sometimes effects are an easy way to cover up mistakes and not hear what you’re really playing. I try to keep it down to just what’s necessary. This box that I use now is from the 90s – it’s an analogue Boss pedal called an ME-10 and even that has too much stuff on it.”
Mack On Track
“On Roadhouse Blues, it just had that one lick you know: ‘Don da da da da...’ There was a guy named Lonnie Mack, who was a great guitar player. He had just quit playing music, about a couple of years before and he was selling bibles out of the back of his car.
“One of the guys who worked with us happened to run into him and said, ‘Hey Lonnie, why don’t you come and work over at Elektra Records?’ So, he did and he was this handyman guy over at Elektra Records. He’d he had a big hit with Memphis years earlier. But he’d got sick of the music business, I guess.
“He happened to have a bass and so, we said, ‘Hey Lonnie can you play bass on this blues?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, sure,’ and I think that was the whole key to this song, because he just played this amazing bassline and it just fitted perfectly with what we were doing. Then, luckily, John Sebastian [founder of The Lovin’ Spoonful – Ed] was in town and he came and played harmonica. It was a really fun song to record and I think that comes through in the music.”