Friday, August 26, 2005
Occasionally listening to mp3s on shuffle on the computer produces an unusually cool combination. Windows Media Player just spit at me the Eagles' "Journey of the Sorceror," aka the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy theme, followed by Big Jim Sullivan's electric sitar music from the Space: 1999 episode "The Troubled Spirit." Together I think they worked quite well, the banjo and sitar sounds being quite complimentary to each other. Sullivan may be a familiar name to some. He was one of Britain's top session guitarists in the '60s alongside Jimmy Page, and spent a number of years as a sideman to Tom Jones. He can be seen playing the music he composed for the episode, dressed as a Moonbase Alpha crewmember, at the beginning of "The Troubled Spirit." The instrument he's playing is a Coral Electric Sitar, developed in the mid '60s by Danelectro and NY session musican Vinnie Bell to cash in on the sitar craze caused by Beatles tunes like "Norweigian Wood." Tuned like a normal guitar, it has 13 sympathetic strings and a special bridge to give it a sitar sound. Its turned up on all sorts of tunes over the years, such as BJ Thomas's "Hooked on a Feeling," and Paul Young's "Every Time You Go Away."