Elected Day 2: Guitar, Bass, Vocals

We broke down the drums and mics from the night before and setup up the guitar and bass amps. James used his Mesa Boogie Mark 3 combo amp to power his Mesa Boogie 4×12 slant top speaker cabinet. I used my Mesa Boogie Bass 400 power amp to power my Mesa Boogie 4×10 and 1×15 speaker cabinets. The guitar was mic’d with an SM57 in the front, off-center, of the cone, with another SM57 in the back of the cabinet, between the two speakers in view. There was also an Octava MK01201 about 6 feet in front of the speakers. The bass was mic’d with a D112 on the 15″ speaker and run direct out the back of the Mesa Boogie Bass 400 power amp.

We started the session around noon with guitar. We recorded several tracks of rhythm guitar with James playing his black Les Paul Custom. We played around a lot with different sounds. We really wanted to keep the spirit of the song but get updated guitar sounds, as well as classic sounds. We ended up keeping four rhythm guitar parts, 3 tracks each. After rhythm guitar we recorded some of the horn melodies, from the chorus and bridge, as guitar parts and added a supporting guitar for the outro. We wrapped guitar around 5pm. We took a short break and moved on to the bass.

We recorded the bass part with my Pedulla Thunder Bass. We tried several different things, but, I ended going for straight-up eighth notes in the verse. In the chorus I decided to play almost exactly what was on the original, and played a heavier version of the outro. We wrapped up bass tracks around 7pm and broke for dinner.

The vocals were the hard part. First of all, we didn’t know which of us would perform the lead track, and second, we didn’t know if either James or myself could pull it off. We decided that James would give it a shot first, around 9pm. He performed the song really heavy, but in the spirit of the original, really loud, really rawkus, and sometimes out-of-tune. But, the out-of-tune turned out to be really cool, just like on the Alice Cooper version. James sang the song through a few times to get the hang of it and then we recorded the song line by line, keeping the best performances. We finished up his parts around midnight, and moved on to my part. I performed some excerpts from some speaches by Bill Clinton and Zell Miller from the 2004 Republican and Democratic conventions. We recorded two versions, the first in a southern, preacher voice, and the second in a serious norhtern voice. This session was over around 2am.