"Who is Lord Sitar?"

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GoogaMooga
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"Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby GoogaMooga » 29 Apr 2019, 03:10

"Who is Lord Sitar?" That's the question that is asked at the end of the all too brief liner notes on the 1968 album "Lord Sitar", a brilliant concotion of sitar and easy listening instro covers of popular hits of the day and further back in time. A James Last-ish take on "If I Were a Rich Man" is followed by a minimal, angelic choral take on Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", here titled "Emerald City". And on it goes, probing the very core of psychedelia with easy listening covers of Beatles, Who, and more. Psych was what it was all about in 1966-68, and it's a question who was first to introduce the exotic sitar instrument to pop, Harrison or Lord Sitar. Lord Sitar you''ll have heard on a number of records, as he was in fact Big Jim Sullivan, the most in demand session guitarist in the UK back then. He played on some 750 charting singles by a veritable who's who of British pop. He was also perhaps the first to play a Gibson Les Paul in the UK, having bought one from Sister Rosetta Tharpe. This album is not for purists, no extended ragas here, but if you like cheesy listening and give a knowing nod to Zonophone, this album is for you.

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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Muskrat » 29 Apr 2019, 04:31

As I recall, Capitol (who released the album in the U.S.) was hoping people would think it was George Harrison - though it was pretty common knowledge among those who cared that it was Sullivan.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby GoogaMooga » 29 Apr 2019, 05:06

Muskrat wrote:As I recall, Capitol (who released the album in the U.S.) was hoping people would think it was George Harrison - though it was pretty common knowledge among those who cared that it was Sullivan.


So Sullivan was well known among the cognoscenti even back then? I'd never heard of him before now.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Tom Waits For No One » 29 Apr 2019, 08:26

He taught The Rollers everything they knew


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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Diamond Dog » 29 Apr 2019, 09:06

GoogaMooga wrote:
Muskrat wrote:As I recall, Capitol (who released the album in the U.S.) was hoping people would think it was George Harrison - though it was pretty common knowledge among those who cared that it was Sullivan.


So Sullivan was well known among the cognoscenti even back then? I'd never heard of him before now.


Both he and Jimmy Page were legendary session guitarists - known as Big Jim & Little Jim, apparently.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby NMB » 29 Apr 2019, 10:44

I used to work with Big Jim's wife, a very nice lady. Jim used to play a monthly gig in his local pub so I went to that quite frequently. I've never heard the Lord Sitar album though.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Tom Waits For No One » 29 Apr 2019, 11:01

NMB wrote:I used to work with Big Jim's wife.


Rosemary?

:D
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby NMB » 29 Apr 2019, 12:12

Tom Waits For No One wrote:
NMB wrote:I used to work with Big Jim's wife.


Rosemary?

:D


Norma. It's a shame she didn't have a 1st initial E, E Norma Sullivan would have gone well with Big Jim.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Muskrat » 29 Apr 2019, 18:34

Diamond Dog wrote:
GoogaMooga wrote:
Muskrat wrote:As I recall, Capitol (who released the album in the U.S.) was hoping people would think it was George Harrison - though it was pretty common knowledge among those who cared that it was Sullivan.


So Sullivan was well known among the cognoscenti even back then? I'd never heard of him before now.


Both he and Jimmy Page were legendary session guitarists - known as Big Jim & Little Jim, apparently.


"Little Jim" was Sullivan's protege. Big Jim is best know, probably, for his many years with Tom Jones -- onstage and record -- though as DD says, he was probably London's premier studio guitarist back before the youngsters started moving in. It's Big Jim on Dave Berry's "The Crying Game," which on its own should qualify him for some hall of fame or another.



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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby John aka Josh » 29 Apr 2019, 21:01

GoogaMooga wrote:A James Last-ish take on "If I Were a Rich Man" is followed by a minimal, angelic choral take on Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", here titled "Emerald City".




The Seekers had a hit with Emerald City, Keith Potger & Kim Fowley writing the lyrics to Beethoven's classic.








Were the Seekers not big in Scandinavia?
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby GoogaMooga » 30 Apr 2019, 08:26

Yes, they were. Although I think The New Seekers might have been even more popular here.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby The Slider » 30 Apr 2019, 12:58

Tom Waits For No One wrote:
NMB wrote:I used to work with Big Jim's wife.


Rosemary?

:D



I got it, even if no one else did :D
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby harvey k-tel » 30 Apr 2019, 17:47

Diamond Dog wrote:
GoogaMooga wrote:
Muskrat wrote:As I recall, Capitol (who released the album in the U.S.) was hoping people would think it was George Harrison - though it was pretty common knowledge among those who cared that it was Sullivan.


So Sullivan was well known among the cognoscenti even back then? I'd never heard of him before now.


Both he and Jimmy Page were legendary session guitarists - known as Big Jim & Little Jim, apparently.


Charlie O. turned me on to this one several years ago - featuring both Jims:

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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Diamond Dog » 30 Apr 2019, 18:35

Muskrat wrote: It's Big Jim on Dave Berry's "The Crying Game," which on its own should qualify him for some hall of fame or another.


Muskie - did you know Sullivan played the electric and Page the acoustic on that?
Last edited by Diamond Dog on 01 May 2019, 09:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Muskrat » 30 Apr 2019, 20:04

I knew about Jim playing the electric, which is what I was referring to. Page's presence as second guitarist doesn't surprise me -- what surprises me is that there's an acoustic guitar!Thanks for the info.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Charlie O. » 30 Apr 2019, 20:11

harvey k-tel wrote:Charlie O. turned me on to this one several years ago - featuring both Jims:


:D

I first heard it in It Might Get Loud. Lovely piece of music.
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby GoogaMooga » 01 May 2019, 04:29

The Slider wrote:
Tom Waits For No One wrote:
NMB wrote:I used to work with Big Jim's wife.


Rosemary?

:D



I got it, even if no one else did :D


I don't get it. Would you mind explaining? :?
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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Lord Rother » 01 May 2019, 07:07

I saw Big Jim Sullivan’s band Tiger supporting Hawkwind at the New Oxford Theatre In 1974 or 75.

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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby Tom Waits For No One » 01 May 2019, 08:31

GoogaMooga wrote:I don't get it. Would you mind explaining? :?



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Re: "Who is Lord Sitar?"

Postby GoogaMooga » 01 May 2019, 16:10

Tom Waits For No One wrote:
GoogaMooga wrote:I don't get it. Would you mind explaining? :?





:D Thanks!
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck