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Anyone know who is playing lead guitar on Beatles' "CRY FOR A SHADOW"?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    I read many years ago that it was Tony Sheridan and it sounds like him to me (listen to his lead solo on "MY BONNIE"). Others have stated it was George, having co-written the song, but it sure doesn't sound like George's playing.

    Anyone know for sure?

    One thing I do know, that rhythm guitar opening is definitely John's little 1958 Rikenbacker 325 Capri guitar. It's amazing how different this guitar sounds on the early stuff like this and the DECCA Audition Tape before the Beatles started using VOX AC-30's.... It doesn't even sound like the same guitar, but it is! Compare the rhythm "tonality" of "CRY FOR A SHADOW" to the cool rhythm part of "I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND". Hard to believe it's the same player and guitar, but it is. What a difference a VOX makes!
  2. John B

    John B Once Blue Gort,<br>now just blue.

    Toronto, Canada
    George says in Beatles Anthology: "we did "Ain't She Sweet" and the instrumental "Cry For a Shadow" without Sheridan".
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Hmmm, why does it sound exactly like Tony S.? Same tone, picking style, etc.

    I dunno.....

    One thing I DO know, I gotta get me a JOHN guitar!

    Attached Files:

  4. Leppo

    Leppo Forum Librarian

    it's george according to this source:

    "Cry for a Shadow
    Many a Beatle fanatic started down the bootleg road, like I did, with a first listen to this song. Originally titled "Beatle Bop" and recorded in a single session that yielded four songs (the other three featured Tony Sheridan with the Beatles as a backing band), "Cry for a Shadow" is an instrumental written by Lennon and Harrison, which makes it unique to this day. John Lennon plays rhythm guitar, George Harrison plays lead guitar, Paul McCartney plays bass, and Pete Best plays drums. The sessions were produced by Bert Kaempfert in Hamburg, Germany, during the Beatles' second visit from April through July of 1961 to play in the Reeperbahn-section clubs. At the same session, the Beatles played on Tony Sheridan's "My Bonnie" (the first-ever single with Beatles playing)."
  5. John Simpson

    John Simpson Forum Resident

    Yes , dream on !
  6. John B

    John B Once Blue Gort,<br>now just blue.

    Toronto, Canada
    The John guitar sounds like a good idea.

    George also says that Tony Sheridan was a "pretty good singer and guitar player". Maybe George used Tony's amp.

    It's unlikely that George, who co-wrote the song, would have handed over the lead but I see your point it doesn't sound like anything else George has done. Different studio though.
  7. Joel Cairo

    Joel Cairo Media Doctor (& Video Gort) Staff

    Portland, Oregon
    Well, it is worth noting that Sheridan's nickname amongst the group was "Teacher"... and George said he learned quite a bit from him.

    Particularly at this point in time (when lessons were likely to be fresh), that may explain the similarity in styles.

    Just an idea...

  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Well, not that I want to argue, but for years and years it was acknowledged that it was Tony playing lead on ALL stuff, and if it's George, it's his evil twin, because he NEVER played like this again, ever. So, I think it's Tony.....

    As for the Capri, North Coast Music has the best deal; around two grand for the exact 1958 replica. A lot of dough for a 3/4 size guitar, but that "sound"!

    Attached Files:

  9. The guitar solos are similar in sound and style.

    For those who don't have access to the two songs in question, here is a sample of Tony Sheridan's solo in "My Bonnie" and a sample of "Cry For A Shadow". I lifted them from the 1969 Polydor Canada LP - The Beatles - Very Together.

    The Very Together cover helped fuel the "Paul Is Dead" hysteria - it was released just as the hoax was breaking and featured four candles, one of them put out - supposedly signifying Paul dying.

    Attached Files:

    john lennonist and Beatle Terr like this.
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Thanks, Mike.

    Did you hear the "splice" right after the guitar solo on "MY BONNIE"? Heh. They must have combined more than one take....

    The intro to "CRY FOR A SHADOW" kills me. John's Rikki without VOX influence lets me understand why Tony S. HATED the sound of that guitar.

    Listening to CRY I did hear one "George-ism" in there, so it might be our boy, heavily under Tony's influence and using the same amp which compressed and distorted nicely...
  11. PMC7027

    PMC7027 Forum Hall Of Fame

    You know it is Paul's candle that has recently been put out because it is the second candle from left to right, as in John, PAUL, George, and Ringo.

    Just a bit of Paul is Dead trivia. Now back to your regularly scheduled activities...
    Beatle Terr likes this.
  12. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Portland, Oregon
    "Cry For A Shadow" was played somewhat in the style of Cliff Richard's group, the Shadows, as it was a tribute to them (hence the name). In an early 1980s interview Paul talked about songwriting credits being given to both John and George for being the two guitarists in the tune. It's not what we have come to know as George's early 60s style, but he hadn't really settled into a style at that point (1960).
    Herman Prague, 2141 and Beatle Terr like this.
  13. You welcome Steve. :)

    Was always wondering what that was at the end of the solo in My Bonnie. Thought it might have been a slight dropout or tape glitch.

    As I listen closely to "Cry For A Shadow" again, after what you say Steve, there is a wee bit of George in there.
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Reopened by request.

    So, did we ever find out who is playing lead, Tony or George? George, eh?
    Keith V, Beatle Terr and Michael like this.
  15. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    If it is indeed George, maybe the fact it was intended as a parody (or homage, depending on your point of view), could that account for the unusual playing style?

    And if it was someone else like Sheridan, seems like they'd have wanted to take credit at some point, but I don't recall seeing anything like that through the years.

    Having said that, I've always thought the playing sounded more nimble, more facile than how George sounded at the time.

    Off topic a bit -- but the best SQ I've come across for this (after going through US Atco, US Polydor, UK Contour, etc.) is the German Karussell:

    The Beatles And Tony Sheridan - In The Beginning

    Ain't She Sweet and Cry For A Shadow are fairly incredible on this press. Better than I've heard them anywhere else. The rest probably is as well, but I never much cared for it and don't really listen to it except very rarely. This double-lp set also includes all the tracks (IIRC) from Sheridan's 1964 UK album Just A Little Bit Of Tony Sheridan (in stereo):

    Tony Sheridan - Just A Little Bit Of Tony Sheridan
    SinnerSaint likes this.
  16. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I've been checking the web and it seems an impossible task! there are many opinions and no facts...Hope you/we get to the bottom of this! : ) now you have me curious...
    Shaker Steve likes this.
  17. Hey , Mister Host..
    How is it when someone starts a Beatles thread some wag will inevitably chime in grumbling about how there's too many Beatles threads or about how its all been done before but when you resurrect one that ' s sixteen ( ! ) years old and caked in cobwebs there's not so much as a murmur ?
  18. dsdu

    dsdu Forum Resident

    Santa Cruz, CA
    You'll know when our two posts disappear.
  19. RTurner

    RTurner Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Because he's the boss. And also it's an interesting thread without an absolute proven answer.:agree:
  20. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Those slightly off pitch bends always sounded pure George to me.
  21. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Oh geez, I just noticed this thread is SEVENTEEN years old!!!...WOW! Cool and still no definitive answer?
    Crawdad, Brodnation and longdist01 like this.
  22. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Indeed! you tell 'em! : )
  23. beatleroadie

    beatleroadie Forum Resident

    I thought it was mostly a Paul composition, but they were so young they didn't completely know how songwriting was credited, and since George came up with the solo, they credited the song to McCartney-Harrison.
    Lewisboogie likes this.
  24. RTurner

    RTurner Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    And... it's gotta be the first 17 year old thread still on the first page! (But not for long, I suspect)
  25. Dr.O'Boogie

    Dr.O'Boogie Forum Resident

    One thing worth bringing up again IMO is the point raised by John B 17 years ago in post 2 of this thread...that George says in the Official Beatles Anthology book that "we did "Ain't She Sweet" and the instrumental "Cry For a Shadow" without Sheridan". He did say that in the book, I just checked.

    So before we even apply our own judgement we have to acknowledge that 1. George claimed it and that 2. Tony Sheridan, as far as we know never did claim to have played on the track. If he had played on the track I cannot think of any reason why he would not have put history straight at point between the recording and his death, what could he have gained from such modesty? Even if they had both 'forgot' they were both accomplished musicians familiar with their own styles and repertoire on the guitar.
    OneStepBeyond, Crawdad and RTurner like this.

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