Smithereens 11: Guitarist Jim Babjak Breaks Down 11 Essential Smithereens Tracks
Smithereens lead guitarist Jim Babjak breaks down 11 essential Smithereens tracks.
From Green Thoughts (1988, Enigma/Capitol Records)
The first two days of the Green Thoughts sessions were dedicated to recording the basic tracks for the entire album and concentrating on keeper takes for the bass and drums. The guitars and vocals were re-recorded later with the proper amps and microphones.
I arrived in the studio early one day and our producer, Don Dixon, suggested we start without the other guys. I wasn't really clear on how the song "Something New" should sound. I think the band had a dirtier guitar sound in mind, but when I picked up Pat's late-'50s Lime Green Gretsch, I had to use that sound for the rhythm part. The tone was just so clean and pretty, it fit the track like an old shoe.
I always liked the way Buddy Holly used the bottom two strings in harmony like on his song "Heartbeat," so I took that approach for the solo. After I played the part on the bottom two strings, we decided something was missing. Don suggested I play a counter melody on the top string on another track to give it more depth. It worked really well, and the song is a real standout, adding a nice variety to the album.
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