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Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1489
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 7:57 pm:   Edit Post

The other day "Gimme Shelter" was on the Turner Movie Classics channel and I happened to notice and record it to my DVR. Wasn't really sure what it was - turns out it is the 1970 documentary about the Rolling Stones and Altamont by Albert and David Maysles - Albert Maysles just passed away on March 5, 2015, so TCM was showing it as a special tribute.

I've seen some of the footage before, I believe in a recent film about the Rolling Stones the name of which I can't remember (the Stones themselves speak but never on camera - there's a lot of old footage - interviews, concert etc.) - but Gimme Shelter shows the build-up with footage from an earlier concert, some scenes with the Jefferson Airplain, a snippet of Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh, and even footage of Mick Jagger & Charlie Watts viewing footage of the concert at Altamont!

Anyway, I noticed that Jack Casady was playing a Guild Starfire. I'm not really up on Jack Casady - I know he is one of the earliest Alembic users, bound up in the genesis and history of the company, and I know he used modified Starfires. Well, I was talking about it with Ron Wickersham and got to hear some great details about some of Jack Casady's basses. Here's a grainy shot of the one at Altamont:


Something about the rails being made of magnesium and they are all different lengths because Ron didn't have time to cut them! There's more info in this interview with Jack Casady at Fly Guitars as well as a much clearer picture.

Anyone else have anymore knowledge or pictures of this instrument? Links to interviews, etc. is great, anecdotes, whatever. I guess it could be about any of his basses but it might be nice to have a separate thread for each one - I dug through the "Artists and Their Alembics" section but on a cursory search didn't find anything.
Advanced Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 285
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 2:05 am:   Edit Post

I think the Stones movie you're thinking of might be "Crossfire Hurricane."

Anyway, back to Casady...

You should check this out to hear some more of Jack's monster tone:


Also, this clip features a nice bass solo:


Now I want an Alembicized Guild!
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1490
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 9:01 am:   Edit Post

"Crossfire Hurricane" - that's it! I foolishly deleted it from my DVR...

Those are cool clips - I still have to watch the segment from "Gimme Shelter" through my good speakers.
Username: stephenr

Post Number: 56
Registered: 9-2014
Posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 - 10:01 am:   Edit Post

That acoustic clip has always been a favorite...

Here is another one from 73 when Hot Tuna had their own "wall of sound" type backline.

Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 1471
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 02, 2015 - 3:59 am:   Edit Post

Jack has such a serene intensity about his playing, that solo was enjoyable.

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