Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vic Flick's World-Famous Lick

Another quirky story from NPR commentator Tim Brookes:

Reimagined American music returned to these shores in the early sixties via the "British Invasion," as everyone under 65 knows. Mr. Brookes contends that the opening salvo wasn't the Beatles iconic February 1964 appearance on Ed Sullivan's show (the most viewers for one show ever, at the time), but came from a group numbering under a half dozen in the U.K. in 1962, that is, session guitarists.
Vic Flick, one member of this fraternity by virtue of his ability to read music, worked in TV show studio orchestras and for a band named The John Barry Seven. Barry got a call from some obscure film producers to bring his group over to rewrite and record the music for a film, with a deadline of two weeks. The title-sequence theme by Monty Norman, it seems, was slow and uninspiring. While Barry rearranged the horn parts, Vic Flick suggested a Duane Eddy surf style treatment of his part, taking it down to the low E string to make it "more dynamic." With his Paragon jazz-style guitar, DeArmond pickup and a 15-watt Vox amp, he came in on the fifth measure spitting out F sharp, E and G like machine gun bullets. Duly recorded, they moved on to finish up the day's work and Mr. Flick was paid a standard $6 - $7 session rate. He forgot about it quickly and didn't go to see the film's premiere.
What he missed was the James Bond thriller Dr. No. His riff was heard worldwide for decades and a popular music tsunami was on its way.

1 comment:

  1. Hope you and Lovebug are in your jams and practicing your Dick Dale approach. Surfs up.