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Al Casey
Al Casey

(Raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Al played on 1956's hit 'The Fool' by Sanford Clark which was the first big record out of Phoenix. Shortly thereafter, he hooked up with Duane Eddy, and was with Duane until Al moved to Los Angeles in February of 1965. Al quickly became one of the top session players, working on dates for Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Petula Clark, and, of course Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. On Beach Boys records [including "Good Vibrations") he usually played rhythm guitar, as he did on dozens of other hits. You can hear his picking on the intro to 'These Boots Are Made For Walking," "Something Stupid" and Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin" on which he played both guitar parts.

In 1983, Al returned to his Phoenix roots where he is still recording.)


AL: "The first record I did with Brian was 'Sloop John B.' I had just moved to Hollywood, and Steve Douglas called me at 1 in the morning and said, 'Can you get down here right away?' I rushed over to the studio.

"It was very different from what I had done before. We would do tracks. We didn't know what the song was; he had it in his head. He would either write out something or tell you what to play. I was impressed that he used a lot of jazz and jazz-based musicians. I remember some sessions where he had the horns right there live on the date, and he would sing out the horn parts to the players. He seemed to have a great ear for that.

"It was really a good full sound. Phil did that too. But where Brian's sessions were 'different.' Phil's were strange.

One time, with Brian, we were at Western 3, he had an idea, and he sent his secretary down to the Copper Skillet (at Sunset and Gower) to rent some pots and pans.

"I was on two of the 'Good Vibrations' sessions. I was told that I was on what they used.

"I was really glad to be a part of it. Very exciting working for him. I would call him brilliant. In those days, genius was a word thrown around a lot. To me, Brian was an extremely talented person who knew how to pull it off."

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