Think For yourself - Reviews

Quoted from Beatles Gear - Andy Babiuk

'Think For Yourself' was another Harrison original recorded for Rubber Soul, this one featuring the sound of a fuzz bass. "Fuzz" is generally used to describe electronic distortion, normally available by using a box plugged between guitar and amp. Ken Townsend, ex-Abbey Road technician, explains that the studio's owner, EMI, built their own distortion boxes, which at times The Beatles would use. However, the fuzz-box used on the bass for 'Think For Yourself' was a Tone Bender.

Gary Hurst came up with the Tone Bender in 1965 after Vic Flick, guitarist of the John Barry Seven, asked Hurst to improve on the Maestro Fuzz Tone, the first fuzz box, introduced by Gibson in the US in 1962. As we've already seen, Harrison and Lennon had fiddled around with the Maestro early as 1963. Dick Denney of Vox said he'd been sent a Maestro to try out, but Vox owner Tom Jennings declared the sample American unit useless: "Surely", he said, "their job was to get rid of distortion?" Jennings was of the old school, and did not understand the desire among the new pop musicians to find unusual sounds, including electronically "incorrect" ones.

Hurst's Tone Bender went out at first under his own name, then was soon marketed by Sola Sound. By 1967, he would also be making units for Vox: the Vox Tone Bender was offered that year for 10 guineas (10.50, about $25 then; around 115 or $160 in today's money). Denney says he gave The Beatles prototypes of the Vox Tone Bender in 1965; Hurst says they used his own model, whatever the precise label on the case, it's a Tone Bender you can hear on 'Think For Yourself'.

A break in recording on November 1st and 2nd allowed the group to tape mimed performances of 'Day Tripper' and 'We Can Work It Out' for a Granada Television special, The Music Of Lennon & McCartney. For these performances McCartney used his '63 Hofner bass, Lennon his '64 Rickenbacker 325, and Harrison his Gretsch Tennessean. Starr went back to using his third Ludwig kit - the first of his two 22-inch-bass Super Classic sets - which would continue as his main kit until the end of 1968. For the Granada appearance, the Ludwig set received yet another new Beatle drop-T logo drum-head. Number six was painted on a Ludwig Weather Master head and was similar to its predecessors, but with slight differences in the lettering of "The Beatles". This drum-head stayed on Starr's kit until the middle of 1967.

As the sessions for Rubber Soul continued into November the group received some new Vox amplifiers. "Vox have just delivered a new set of amps to The Beatles," ran a news item. ''The old ones were still functioning perfectly but their cases had received so many knocks on their travels that they had begun to look shabby." The new Vox amps were a further pair of Vox AC-100 guitar rigs plus another Vox AC-100 bass set-up.

Posted: 2 aug 2015