Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Ding! Ding! Ding!

John Mayer's Curtis Mayfield-inspired "Waiting for the World to Change" is his best hit yet, in large part because he's learned the virtues of returning to his tonics, but also for that wacky guitar-glockenspiel duel. In isolation, the glockenspiel sounds like it ought to be the wimpiest, most effete rock instrument there is, yet it shows up most prominently on records by people who weren't effete at all, like Buddy Holly (who I think actually used a celesta) and the Born to Run-era Bruce Springsteen.

Who am I missing? I know there must have been someone who tinkled the glock and came off sounding like Richard Simmons.


MJN said...

Deejays have always spoken of the "glockenspiel" when I've heard the Smashing Pumpkins' "Disarm" on the radio, but the album liner notes make no mention of the instrument. Maybe it's a mellotron? I don't know what a mellotron sounds like.

T. Nawrocki said...

A Mellotron uses tape loops to re-create the sounds of many different instruments, so there's no reason you couldn't use one to sound like a glockenspiel. I don't know why you wouldn't just use a glockenspiel, though. They're a lot easier to carry.