People often ask
interviews what my favorite song is, and
Strawberry Fields would usually pop into my head first.
Excerpt from an interview at
"Five years old: I now had this passion and curiosity about
music. And I loved the Beatles - more than the songs
themselves, it was the studio tricks and added
instrumentation that producer George Martin brought into the
songs, that's what did it for me. 'Strawberry Fields' - it
scared me. Each verse was like getting more lost in a
dangerous place, the reversed tracks sounding like footsteps
closing in... I'd listen to the song till the very
last bit of sound in the fadeout, but made sure I lifted the
needle before hearing any of the flutes fade back in - I had
to. The erratic pattern and dissonant harmonies was as good
as an invitation for the boogieman to get me. And if I heard
one note of those flutes, I'd be sleeping with the covers
over my head that night."
I was at the NAMM music convention in Los Angeles, January
2011, talking with my friend Guthrie Govan, guitars in hand,
“Lick Library” filming the interview and that song came up.
I'm explaining things about the song, all riled up, soon
we're jamming on the song, and at that point I knew I'd be
recording it when I got home.
Built the music with guitars and bass to function as the
cellos, horns, sitar, keys, fretless guitar for the slides
into the choruses and the end solo. I sped up the recording
sampling rate and sang to the song at the faster & higher
pitch (the result of speeding up the recording) so that the
voice would drag when brought back down to normal speed and
Then there was the reverse percussion. I listened to the
original in reverse and learned the exact performance of the
drums, percussion, knee slaps, played them, then reversed
them and they sync'd up beautifully to the song. I
discovered so many details that after 30 years of listening
I had heard for the first time. A voice counting, keeping
time in the distance before the last verse - if I heard it,
I put it in there.
Dennis Leeflang laid the drums, adding a great edge to
the sound. The final track was him banging a tympani drum
throughout the heavy parts of the song - yet another thing I
hadn't noticed before deconstructing the original song.
Done. Hope ya like!
Cover art by
Dan Verkys -
The song is
available in MP3 (320kps), AAC, and higher-quality formats
FLAC, MP3 HD, Apple Lossless and WAV ('Source Audio') which
come bundled with an MP3. An instrumental version of the
song is available in these formats as well.
there's a "Player Pack" that has a transcription of the
entire lead guitar track as a PDF file - musical notation,
TAB, fingers, picking, and helpful hints. To accompany the
transcription, there's a 'Backing Track' mix with everything
except the lead/solo guitar parts, in WAV (44.1kHz/16-bit) &
MP3 (320kps) format, so you can play along. There's also a
'Lead Guitar' mix, with the lead guitar boosted as an audio
guide for the transcription, included as a WAV & MP3.
Pack" contains 48kHz/24-bit Stereo WAV files of the mix
'stems' - there's a file of drums, percussion, bass, rhythm
guitars, guitar harmonies, lead guitar, guitar extras, and
vocals that you can load into your multi-track software and
play with levels, making your own mixes.
Thank you for
checking out the song. And immeasurable thanks to the
Beatles for a lifetime of inspiration.
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