February 26, 2013

Paul McCartney Explains The Mellotron

If you live near a beach city or any city with tourists, there are always a few spots where you can find the local talent (or homeless) trying to get your attention for only the spare change in your pocket.  Some of these street performers have true talent, although not very practical.  You may find the statue man, who gets paid to stand completely still for hours at a time, or the guy who can stack cups and balance plates on his nose.  One of the most interesting performances I have noticed is the one man band.  It consists of one man with a guitar, a piano and a slew of Rube Goldberg type contraptions that allow him to play drums and bass as well.  It is quite stunning.

The one man band, in essence, still exists today – and we can call them the modern DJ.  Before a DJ was ever on stage mixing music, performances were usually performed by a live act or a band, and even these guys needed ways to automate actions to eliminate the need for an extra person.  The mellotron was there to provide accompaniment which replaced the need for a backing musician, and even the Beatles used them from time to time.