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Thread: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Pretty cool photo here that Mr. Pearlman captions as he & John Denver playing Bluegrass in 1981.

    Anybody have any idea what kind of mando John is playing?

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Don't know, but they look like twins with those eyeglasses.

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Looks like an "Ibanez Bill Monroe" edition to my but, I make many mistakes. Time frame seems close.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    Looks like an "Ibanez Bill Monroe" edition to my but, I make many mistakes. Time frame seems close.
    I think you're onto something there Tim...especially per the inlay on the fretboard, and yes the timeframe...
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Denver is probably not playing any mandolin just holding it. About that time he released a "bluegrass" album, sounded like he handed the guitar player a banjo and said you are a banjo the drummer a mandolin a mandolin and told him he was a mandolin player etc. I always thought in his position he could have made better music, sounded like he was making fun of bluegrass IMHO

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    The "open" scroll, the "stock" gang cut inlay, screams late '70's Japanese to me.
    Yeah, Izzy don't play no bluegrass neither. Just pokin' at you there Mandoplumb!
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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Here's video for the photo, apparently from a tv special Denver does seem to be playing a mando.



    BTW, Special Consensus released a Denver tribute bluegrass album in 2014.

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    If I remember correctly (and chances are I don't) I saw John playing mandolin on Austin City Limits with Nina Gerber backing up Kate Wolf. Way back in the Old days.
    Dave
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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Wow!

    Not bad fiddling by Pearlman who is mostly a Classical guy!

    And yes, John Denver is playing mandolin, not too shabby for a country-folk guitarist I might add!

    That tinny sounding mando does evoke aural visions of a 70s Japanese F5 copy though...LOL!

    Thanks Stuart!...Way cool!
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Yeah, thanks Stuart! I had forgotten completely about the "Special C" tribute album! And, let's not forget the "Country Gentlemen" version of "Country Roads"! Maybe John Denver wasn't a bluegrass musician but, he wrote or presented some things which translate to the genre very nicely indeed. Rather like "Teach Your Children" given to (again the Gentlemen) the style!
    Don't have time to listen to the link just now but, I will.
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    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by StuartE View Post
    Here's video for the photo, apparently from a tv special Denver does seem to be playing a mando.



    BTW, Special Consensus released a Denver tribute bluegrass album in 2014.
    The "Bluegrass" world did not really need this. It makes my head hurt.
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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    If someone can ID the other musicians, I'd like to know who they are.

    Is it good bluegrass? Not very. Is it a sincere tribute to the genre, not played tongue-in-cheek or condescendingly, by musicians who don't think they're "slumming" or parodying? I think so.

    Few years ago, I talked about Denver with Paul Prestopino, who accompanied the Mitchell Trio when John Denver joined, replacing Chad Mitchell. Paul had many occasions to run into Denver over the years, and said that he was one of the nicest people Paul ever met in the music biz, one who always had time and kind words for old friends, even after he became a mega-star.

    So I'll give him "good intentions" points for this excursion into a style he really doesn't play, appreciate his contributions to our music, and say that I, for one, miss John Denver.
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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    If someone can ID the other musicians, I'd like to know who they are.

    Is it good bluegrass? Not very. Is it a sincere tribute to the genre, not played tongue-in-cheek or condescendingly, by musicians who don't think they're "slumming" or parodying? I think so.

    Few years ago, I talked about Denver with Paul Prestopino, who accompanied the Mitchell Trio when John Denver joined, replacing Chad Mitchell. Paul had many occasions to run into Denver over the years, and said that he was one of the nicest people Paul ever met in the music biz, one who always had time and kind words for old friends, even after he became a mega-star.

    So I'll give him "good intentions" points for this excursion into a style he really doesn't play, appreciate his contributions to our music, and say that I, for one, miss John Denver.
    Amen to missing John Denver ! Wonderful music !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass


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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by bingoccc View Post
    Thanks for the link bingoccc...I'd still like to ID that "Custom" mandolin if possible.

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    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    I mentioned earlier about Denver playing mandolin with Nina Gerber. NOT Austin City Limits. I think it was on PBS (of course) and it was called something like the California Studio Sessions or performances os something like that. Probably in the early 80's. He was playing an F model and he and Nina played mandolin duet behind Kate Wolf. I seem to recall that I was impressed with his playing. If you could find that session you could probably see the mandolin.
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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    I saw those YouTube clips a while back while trawling YT for Itzak Perlman clips. Have a look at this site :- http://www.jdgrs.com/guitars_detail.php?ID=62 .In one or 2 of the photos,it almost looks like the Gibson logo on the headstock but in Abalone instead of MOP. There's certainly a flowerpot inlay there,also in Ab.,
    Ivan
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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Ivan,

    "Upon further review" I think you're right Brotha! I'm fairly certain the mystery mando is none other than a 70s Gibson F5; hence the "tinny" sound I so accurately described earlier...LOL! I thought the Gibson was a Japanese clone...ha! Maybe our resident Gibson experts will render final confirmation as it were...LOL!
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    It definitely looks like a 70's Gibson F5 and it has 'The Gibson' tailpiece.

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Cool pairing of disparate musicians.

    As an aside, I was a member of The Roosevelt String Band for a couple of years, Paul Prestopino was in the band. Skilled musician with quite the pedigree - Peter, Paul and Mary, in-demand studio guy for many from that era. He could knock out the swing chords real good.

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    I know Denver wrote some good songs, and released some good music but his " bluegrass" album was not one. So many people think BG is a simple, sloppy music that a "star" presenting music like that just confirms their belief. I just think if he wanted to do a BG album because he respected the music he would not have settled for such an amateur project.

  34. #23

    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    I have nothing but respect for Denver as a song writer and as a pilot. He owned a Lear Jet, was highly trained, qualified to fly it and flew it well.
    Without any wish to tarnish the man's memory, I'd just say that this 'Bluegrass' project doesn't seem to reflect his best effort.
    There's just something that doesn't quite fit... something Pat Boone/Tutti Frutti-esc* about it.
    (But that isn't really the subject of this thread is it?)



    *Yes Pat, I know you're still around and doing well. If you happen to Google your own name, come across this flippant comment on the Cafe Forum, please don't take it too seriously. You're a gifted singer and I'm sure a wonderful person...just not the ideal cover for Little Richard.
    Last edited by FLATROCK HILL; Nov-24-2015 at 9:30am.

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Has this one been posted?
    John Denver certainly did his homework regarding chords and bluegrass. I would venture to say that most singer-songwriters would not have bothered to learn chop chords. Not trying to besmirch singer-songwriters, just don't know if it would be worth their effort, unless they earnestly wanted to resemble the genre.

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    Default Re: Itzhak Pealman And John Denver Playing Bluegrass

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    I have nothing but respect for Denver as a song writer and as a pilot. He owned a Lear Jet, was highly trained, qualified to fly it and flew it well.
    Without any wish to tarnish the man's memory, I'd just say that this 'Bluegrass' project doesn't seem to reflect his best effort...
    (But that isn't really the subject of this thread is it?)...
    Thanks Clark!

    Guys,
    Relax! Mr. Pearlman posted the picture in the OP on his Facebook page with the following caption:
    "Playing a little bluegrass with the late John Denver in 1981."

    Clearly the man was reminiscing about an enjoyable experience that he shared with a musical person of a different ilk. What I found interesting as a mando picker was the image of John Denver playing a mandolin, and what kind of mandolin it was. It was this that I wished to share with the Cafe community. Not a referendum on the merits or lack thereof of John Denver's erstwhile "bluegrass" album.

    Let's all lighten up a bit OK? I for one am thankful that Mr. Pearlman posted the picture for it has enlightened me to a whole area of musical activity on John Denver's part that I was unaware of and more importantly that on some level he was a kindred spirit in owning and wanting to jam out on the mandolin! I wonder if Mr. Pearlman would have posted his picture if he knew it would elicit some of the negative reactions it has here on the Cafe, on Facebook. The guy was just reminiscing...

    Carry On...
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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