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Frequently Asked Questions about Jeff McClelland's version of Pantagruel's Nativity:
Q: Out of all the possible Gentle Giant songs to record, why this one?
A: The first time I heard Pantagruel's Nativity it absolutely blew me away...I was immediately enraptured by the haunting vocals and the overall melancholy feel of the song. Coincidentally, it was around the time that I first heard this song that the idea for this "Internet Tribute Album" had reached a somewhat embryonic state...you can figure out the rest.
Q: That arrangement is totally wacky. How did you come up with it?
A: To be honest with you, the idea for using those unusual time signatures came to me in class one day at UMass. Within a few minutes, I had the basic idea of the arrangement floating around in my head. Unfortunately, I have no idea what we did in class that day but I'm sure that it was something swell like basket-weaving or water polo or something...
Q: Was Matthew Mollica ever a member of the Beach Boys?
A: No, although it is rumored that he is a long-lost brother of Gino Vanelli.
Q: Why did you whisper part of the lyrics to The House, The Street, The Room in your version of Pantagruel's Nativity?
A: I heard through the grapevine that everybody and their mother was going to put a bunch of different GG musical quotes into their respective tunes, so I figured that this could possibly be something a little bit different. Besides, the arrangement needed something extra in that particular part to keep things moving along...fair enough?
Q: Are your guitar solos always so darn long?
A: No, they're usually longer.
Q: I thought that you were supposedly a very crappy keyboard player. Is that you playing keyboards on your ridiculously long solo section?
A: No, that was guitar synthesizer. The only "keyboards" are the electric grand parts you hear throughout, the Hammond after the last verse, and the tympani during the scary harmony parts. Calling me a "very crappy" keyboard player is somewhat generous.
Q: How long did this take you guys to record?
A: I couldn't give you a number, but for the most part everything was a first or second take...hence the billions of mistakes that you hear.
Seiwa "Jazzman" Electric Guitar (Standard and Fifths Tunings) Fender Strat Electric Guitar Steel and Nylon Stringed Acoustic Guitars Yamaha G10 Guitar Synthesizer (controlling Yamaha TX81Z and SY77 synthesizers) Fender Electric Bass Yamaha SY77 Synthesizer Hammond Organ Organ Donor Yamaha Electric Grand Piano Snare Drum and Percussion Bottles Knees ["Head, shoulders, knees and toes..."] Cheeks Lead and Background Vocals Cheerful Disposition Arrangement and Final Say Sexy Whispering [$1.99 the first minute, $2.99 each additional minute]
More Bottles and Cheeks (no Knees however) Acoustic Guitar Abuse (aka "percussion") Background Vocals Recording Engineer Well-Respected Opinion Terrific Bill Clinton Imitation
Responsible for that telephone ring that you hear in that transition part between the verses and that ever-so-eerie whispering part