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Paul's "mouth sax solo"
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22 April 2013
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Funny Paper
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On the solo album by Ringo called simply Ringo (1973), Ringo with the help of his friends does a version of the old 1960 classic "You're Sixteen".

In the middle of that song, there is a solo of what sounds distinctly like a kazoo.  On the album liner notes (I have the LP album cover right here on my desk as I type) it lists:

"Mouth Sax Solo: Paul McCartney".

Wikipedia tells us that people thought that was a kazoo, but that actually it was just Paul mimicking with his mouth the sound of a kazoo.

If you listen to it, that seems amazing, if not impossible.  How could a human being make that sound with his lips, without some kind of technical help (sound distortion on the mic, engineering help, some instrument pressed against his lips...)? 

Perhaps Paul is compressing his lips and blowing air out to sound like a balloon that you let air out of by squishing it?  Or maybe he's somehow squeezing air out of his nose...?

P.S.:  Also note that Paul is double-tracking two of his "mouth sax" sounds, one on the background, one in the foreground.

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubech.....id=1130961

 

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22 April 2013
8.53pm
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Zig
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I had heard the 'mouth sax' on that song for years before discovering a few years back that it was Paul. I knew it was a human, just not which one!

So...do you prefer his mouth sax on 'You're Sixteen' or his mouth bass on 'I Will'?ahdn_paul_01

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth. Blessed is he whose fame does not outshine his truth. Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes
23 April 2013
12.38am
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Funny Paper
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Zig said
I had heard the 'mouth sax' on that song for years before discovering a few years back that it was Paul. I knew it was a human, just not which one!

So...do you prefer his mouth sax on 'You're Sixteen' or his mouth bass on 'I Will'?ahdn_paul_01

I much prefer the mouth sax solo.  While the "I Will" mouth bass is fine for the song, I think it would have been better with an acoustic stand-up bass.

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23 April 2013
2.48am
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LongHairedLady
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I had to listen... and I did.  That man is amazing.  

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

23 April 2013
4.49am
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Little Piggy Dragonfly
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8He really is.

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23 April 2013
7.36am
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Gerard
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Lol if Paul continued doing that, he would have put a lot of saxophone players out of the business.

23 April 2013
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Zig
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Not to mention the trouble he would have with the International Brotherhood of Kazoo Players Union.a-hard-days-night-paul-11

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Mr. Kite
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26 April 2013
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Just noticed this today... is Paul at it again with "When the Night" by Wings?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....4J1Pz38xaw

Right at 1:48...

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

26 April 2013
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Egroeg Evoli
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Zig said
Not to mention the trouble he would have with the International Brotherhood of Kazoo Players Union.a-hard-days-night-paul-11

Does that exist??? Probably not. I wish it did. That would be awesome. :)

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26 April 2013
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LongHairedLady said
Just noticed this today... is Paul at it again with "When the Night" by Wings?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....4J1Pz38xaw

Right at 1:48...

Thanks LHL.   I knew there was another McCartney song that had it, but I couldn't think of it.  I guess I didn't try thinking hard enough, because I've probably listened to "When The Night" about 1,000 times in my life.

I'm still not convinced it's not a kazoo there and in "You're Sixteen".  I just can't see how it's possible to make that sound without some kind of instrument.

On the same note, I just learned that "Lovely Rita" has all four Beatles tracking over with makeshift kazoos you can make with tissue paper over a comb:

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass, comb and paper
John Lennon: backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, comb and paper
George Harrison: backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, comb and paper
Ringo Starr: drums, comb and paper

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26 April 2013
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Funny Paper said
On the same note, I just learned that "Lovely Rita" has all four Beatles tracking over with makeshift kazoos you can make with tissue paper over a comb:

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass, comb and paper
John Lennon: backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, comb and paper
George Harrison: backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, comb and paper
Ringo Starr: drums, comb and paper

That's what that is in Lovely Rita!  Dear God do I ever love that tune.  heart

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

26 April 2013
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Funny Paper
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LongHairedLady said

Funny Paper said
On the same note, I just learned that "Lovely Rita" has all four Beatles tracking over with makeshift kazoos you can make with tissue paper over a comb:

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass, comb and paper
John Lennon: backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, comb and paper
George Harrison: backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, comb and paper
Ringo Starr: drums, comb and paper

That's what that is in Lovely Rita!  Dear God do I ever love that tune.  heart

I just had a listen to Lovely Rita after many years -- this was the first time I heard those kazoos. All the previous times I listened to the song, I guess I was just oblivious to those sounds, and probably semi-consciously just assumed they were brass or saxophones.  They are exquisitely performed.

I also noticed the beginning has some "ahhs" that sound eerily like those infamous "ahhs" in A Day In The Life.

Also, Joe forgot to list cowbell, which I can distinctly hear near the end.

 

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27 April 2013
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Gerard
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LongHairedLady said
Just noticed this today... is Paul at it again with "When the Night" by Wings?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....4J1Pz38xaw

Right at 1:48...

Although you can notice it's not as good as the  later one, probably because he was just about to perfect it. Paul loves to make weird sounds 

27 April 2013
2.20am
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Little Piggy Dragonfly
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Red Rose speedway came out after Ringo. 

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27 April 2013
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Funny Paper
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unknown said
Red Rose speedway came out after Ringo. 

Both LPs say "1973" on their back cover; so it's only a matter of months (and that's not factoring in that one would have to know when they actually laid down the tracks -- could have been in December of 1972 on either one for all we know).

At any rate, I think the kazoo on "When The Night" is just fine, no less pleasing than the one on "You're Sixteen".

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27 April 2013
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Ron Nasty
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Funny Paper said

unknown said
Red Rose speedway came out after Ringo. 

Both LPs say "1973" on their back cover; so it's only a matter of months (and that's not factoring in that one would have to know when they actually laid down the tracks -- could have been in December of 1972 on either one for all we know).

At any rate, I think the kazoo on "When The Night" is just fine, no less pleasing than the one on "You're Sixteen".

Red Rose Speedway was recorded between March and October 1972, and it was released 30 April (US) and 4 May (UK) 1973.

Ringo was recorded between March and July 1973, and it was released 2 (US) and 23 (UK) November 1973.

So When the Night was recorded months ahead of Only Sixteen.

Edit: Just read Joe's article on Red Rose Speedway and he has When the Night being recorded in Los Angeles in March 1972. That's not to say the "kazoo" wasn't a later overdub...

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27 April 2013
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Yeah, I guess RRS anx Ringo did come out the same year. I always think Ringo came out in 1971, and I think that's because Early 1970 is a bonus track, so for some reason that confuses me. 

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1 May 2014
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Funny Paper said

Zig said
I had heard the 'mouth sax' on that song for years before discovering a few years back that it was Paul. I knew it was a human, just not which one!

So...do you prefer his mouth sax on 'You're Sixteen' or his mouth bass on 'I Will'?ahdn_paul_01

I much prefer the mouth sax solo.  While the "I Will" mouth bass is fine for the song, I think it would have been better with an acoustic stand-up bass.

Imagining that, it would've been perfect for the song! Never thought of that.

That's interesting that that's just paper and a comb in Rita, I also thought it was brass or something. But that song has a lot of unconventional sounds like the maraca sound with their mouths (chicka chicka chicka...), a mouth pop which you can hear 1:25-1:28 right before more maraca, that whole section from 2:10 on which the weird breathing and whatever noises Paul is making.

But back on topic, I was so sure that sound was a kazoo!! There's no way he can make that sound with his mouth alone!!!
Maybe if you make this face and hum you sound like a kazoo: ahdn_paul_01

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1 May 2014
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I agree, and I have a hunch the person who wrote the liner notes just called it a "mouth sax" but meant a kazoo.  Until I see a video of Paul demonstrating his mouth sax without hiding anything in his mouth, I won't believe it.

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1 May 2014
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Mr. Kite
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Funny Paper said

I agree, and I have a hunch the person who wrote the liner notes just called it a "mouth sax" but meant a kazoo.  Until I see a video of Paul demonstrating his mouth sax without hiding anything in his mouth, I won't believe it.

I think that's all it meant. But it would've been real interesting if Paul could've done that alone.

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