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Encore Performances: Instrumental.

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From the old blog, mid-April 2010.

I’m tired and headachy. Drinking a beer because it tastes better than aspirin or sleep.

Our main man Wisconsin JB just devoted a post to the glories of Barry White’s work with Love Unlimited Orchestra — in particular, the Top 40 hits “Love’s Theme” and “Satin Soul.”

This is great because it allows us to toss off an observation from a March 1975 AT40 countdown we heard half of and aren’t going to blog about by itself.

During the countdown, Casey Kasem observed that the touring version of Love Unlimited Orchestra consisted of a nucleus of 17 members.
The rest of the players would be hired in each city for one-off gigs.

So, just as the annals of baseball are full of guys who played in only one big-league game, the local musicians’ union directories of America are full of guys and gals who were members of Love Unlimited Orchestra for one night only.
I bet their kids still roll their eyes in disbelief when they say they played with Barry White.

(Seems that Emerson, Lake and Palmer, who blew big bank trying to move an entire orchestra around America, might have learned something from Barry White’s method. But nooooo — Greg Lake had to learn the hard way.)

It did make me wonder, though:
Did any concert-goers demand their money back on the grounds that that wasn’t the “real Love Unlimited Orchestra” up on stage?
I mean, if one-third of REO Speedwagon went on tour and hired local musicians to fill in, there would have been an uproar.
Sure, the local guys would have had good enough chops to play the songs — but it wouldn’t have been “the real REO Speedwagon.”
Why wouldn’t ticket buyers similarly demand that Love Unlimited Orchestra consist of the original players?

Is a violist or a conga player really more faceless and interchangeable than your typical arena-rock rhythm guitarist or bass player?


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