Maybe it's an old TV made by the Admiral Company. They made early radios and TVs.
I assumed that the appliance company was the basis for the mystery player's stage name.
I was wondering if anyone knew which guitarist used that name. Some of the playing is really fashion forward for the day (the track "70's Scenario" is one example). IMO, it didn't sound like Todd R., but I thought it barked broadly up Robert Fripp's tree. He's worked with Daryl Hall on some later solo stuff, so that might make sense, but it's just a guess. And a not at all confident guess, at that.
Anyone have info?
OK, here's another not-at-all confident guess: Rick Derringer.
Huh? Rick Derringer? Why on Earth would someone bring him up here?
Well, here's my thinking: The most obvious reason for someone to choose a nom de guitar would be because he was under contract with another label and was unable to get permission from the lawyers or the finance folk to appear "courtesy of." At the time that "War Babies" was recorded, Derringer had been working with Todd Rundgren -- on "Something/Anything" and "A Wizard, a True Star" -- and was also recording his own work on another label.
So, it just maybe could have been him. I have no good reason to believe this, but I thought I'd thrown his name into the mix just for the heck of it.
Lowrider - that didn't occur to me. It's possible that all the flashy stuff is Rundgren and Cerniglia (unfamiliar to me) and that the Admiral Television was a reference to guitar effects.
It's also possible that Verlaine (or possibly Richard Lloyd) of Television is the answer. Rick Derringer's another one that never occurred to me.
Sounds like we got a puzzle here with some interesting logic supporting possible solutions.
Thanks for the ideas.
I love this question. Thus, my third post (though one has yet to appear). When I suggested last night that it might have been Rick Derringer, I based that on two things: thoughts about who was moving in what circles back in the day, who would actually have had occasion to know someone involved in the making of "War Babies," and also, as I wrote, why someone would employ a pseudonym. (For legal, contractual reasons, most likely.)
Since then, I've listened to "War Babies" -- perhaps not Hall and Oates' greatest album, but better than I'd remembered -- and just now played "Show Biz Kids," a Steely Dan tune that features Rick Derringer on slide guitar.
I'm now beginning to think that my oddball theory may have had some merit. For those who own both records, give it a try and see what I mean.
Thanks for the question.
I'm pretty sure that Television was gigging around NYC as early as 1973 (a year before War Babies), even though their first record came out, IIRC, a few years later. That might make the Television reference even more plausible, that band was very hip "vapor" at the time. Everyone in town knew of them, almost no one had actually heard their music.
As to all the leads sounding like Todd, I didn't hear that - not that it's ever possible to confidently make such a determination by ear.
In particular there's one lead early in the record (might be Rose Tatoo, I'll double check) that's all way up on the finger board and pretty abstract. It just didn't sound like Todd to me. Of course, you could be 100% right - but that is, in part, what prompted the question. Todd's a great player and I love listening to his leads, but this record sounded (to me, anyway) like someone else (maybe Admiral Television, whoever that might be) contributed some very quirky lead work.
i was intrigued enough by this whodunit to pull out the record and listen to it for clues. my best guess:
1. it's not tom verlaine, since (as per hudu) he the record predated his notoriety and, above all, nothing on the record sounds like him.
2. likewise fripp--just doesn't sound like him
3. i actually didn't hear a lot of samples or treated guitars, so the actual tv theory probably doesn't hold up.
4. todd's clearly playing some of the leads, but someone a helluva lot faster and more nimble than him is playing on "johnny gore", "70's scenario" et al;
5. rick deringer's a damn good guess--it would be logical for him to use a pseudonym, since he was on a different label with edgar winter, who was a big act at the same time as war babies was released. he also subsequently played on a couple of todd's records. most significantly, it sure sounds a lot like his style--listen to his solos on alice cooper's "under my wheels" or "rock and roll woman" (edgar winter).
someone ought to ask daryl hall to confirm; i believe he's quite approachable.
No answer on the e-mail yet, but my guitar teacher had an interesting guess after I played a "70's Scenario" YouTube video for him. He agreed that it didn't sound like Todd and he also thought that both Derringer or Fripp were unlikely. He couldn't speak to Verlaine or Lloyd.
His first thought was Terry Kath of Chicago. I thought he had a point and that it was a good fit stylistically, but he wasn't about to put any money on it, either.
The mystery continues.
I just fired up Showbiz Kids and I definitely see your point.
I always assumed that that was Larry Carlton on guitar. Oddly enough, Carlton was another name that came up when I played this "whodunnit" game with my instructor.
I'll keep workin' it with the e-mail machine, but I think you might have nailed it.
Rick Derringer wouldn't surprise me. He was playing with Johnny Winter up until Winter got a bit heavy into heroin and disappeared from '72 -'73. The bass player for Hall and Oates in 1974 was Kenny Aaronson. After Kenny's stint with Hall and Oates, he moved to another band but ended up playing for Rick Derringer two years later. Derringer was in NYC in 1973 as he was from Ohio (gotta leave) and he performed for Donald Fagen and Walter Becker on Steely Dan's 'Show Biz Kids'. Kenny Aaronson the bass player was born and raised in Brooklyn and was the up and coming bass player in the New York scene. War Babies was recorded in New York. You guys are very close or you probably nailed it with Derringer. I would look to Kenny Aaronson forthe answer. He probably knows and he might more approachable than Daryl.
From an interview with Kenny
After Stories, I got a call from the keyboard player of Hall and Oates named Don York, this was in 1974, and he invited me to play with them. I toured with Hall and Oates for about a year, we were opening up for Lou Reed, believe it or not, and Hall and Oates had been known at this point for being an acoustic duo, and all of a sudden, they released an electric album. Entitled "War Babies," it was produced by Todd Rundgren, which was a departure for them. So, theyÂd mix it up by playing an acoustic first set, then bringing on the band for the second half. And weÂd watch everybody leave. But it was cool, a nice experience, and it was nice to be part of it. I learned a lot from them never any regrets.
Okay, so he texted Todd's wife. She said that it is actually a television. She told him that there's a lot of funky things they put on the War Babies album cover and they even quoted people that didn't exist. This answer is coming from Todd Rundgrens wife this morning.
My wife works with these two guys that worhship Todd Rundgren like you cannot believe. These guys take vacation time to follow him around. They've been doing this their entire lives together and have become very good friends with Todd and his wife (obviously).
So it seems that Todd actually did that wild solo on the track "70s Scenario", after all...
I wouldn't have guessed that (and I'm only a half step behind your wife's Todd worshipping buddies). I've seen him perform a couple of dozen times over the years and I must say that the "Scenario" solo is definitely a different direction for Todd.
Live 'n learn. Thanx again for the inside info.
Well, what do you know about that. I've been following this thread with interest, and never would have guessed. One cool thing is that it's got me listening to some Todd Rundgren records I haven't played in many years. I saw him only twice -- both times way back when -- and thought he was awesome both times.
If you want to hear Todd flog his guitar, check out his recent disc called "Todd Rundgren's Johnson". He covers about a dozen Robert Johnson classics and just kills 'em. It's a little strange to buy something from TR that features someone else's songs (because - IMHO - he's one the half dozen best songwriters of my lifetime), but this is one of my favorite blues guitar records ever.
You know, I never expected it to be what it turned out to be but I guess it didn't surprise me. When my wife forwarded the information I actually said "get out" aloud at my office. I'm thinking about hunting down that book about Todd now that this thread has peaked my interest. I really like these threads about music and musicians. Between this web site and a interview on NPR with this fantastic female musician Kendra Morris Ive had new music showing up at my door step about every other day these past couple of weeks.