Herbie Hancock on Sesame Street


This is a wonderful clip of Herbie Hancock, demonstrating his Fairlight on Sesame Street in 1983-4. The little girl at the start is Tatyana Ali, who went on to become Ashley in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and the geek in the background is Clive Smith, who didn't. At around the same time, this is how Herbie looked on Saturday Night Live, with an Rhodes Chroma (+ the expander), a black Fairlight, and several band members in jumpsuits.


Comments:
I remember this episode. Of course at the time I didn't know what a fairlight or who herbie hancock was. Great stuff!
 
Don't forget Herbie's red KX-1, which I think is now in the Smithsonian...
 
Awhh thats GREAT! Kids and wierdy sound devices = loads of fun! So excited by such strange sonic funfunfun.
 
ahh this is TOTALLY awesome. But even better is the video of Herbie on comedy central. He dances (and dresses) like my dad. Sadly my dad can't play like Herbie, so there the similarity ends. Man that Chroma gives me the horn - it sounds +so+ fat!
 
This made my day - I told this little story about seeing this on The Holmes Page, which details Fairlight CMI stuff....it's good to actually see it again.
 
Look at the Herbie's watch... amazing...
 
right on. That watch is KILLER! Probably got a sampler and vocoder in there too.
 
I thought I was gonna be the first one to comment about the watch. Dammit.

Did all fairlights need someone programing them in the background? Jeez!
 
oh crap, that link says that Clive Smith did the soundtrack to "Liquid Sky"? Somehow i still love the ARR Fairlight sound even after all that nonsense.
 
funny that herbie chooses a fender rhodes sound at the end. all that expensive fancy fairlight business just to play a fender rhodes sample. haha.
clive's beat programming was tight though.
 
...yeah it was clunky-tight.

it's kinda cute now.

BTW what was the purpose of the weird spectrogram display on the Fairlight?
 
I guess they put that spectro-analyzer thingy on because it looks cool. (as cool as anything can look in monochrome green)
 
> Did all fairlights need someone programing
> them in the background?

I'm guessing that if you could afford a Fairlight back in the day, it would have looked worse for you if you didn't have your butler at the controls behind you.
 
I agree. If you want it to look impressive you need two guys flying the ship.
 
HA! Yeah the monochrome screen, two people to run it - why don't they just fill the room with modular synths?

This is the second time I've heard a Fairlight and I'm still underwhelmed. By the way, where are the punchcards for the computer?
 
i'd like to get that sample set that Herbie's got loaded in there. the one with the old skool PBS 1979 flute sample and the ice cream truck sequence.

i wonder what would have happened if one of the other kids had said their name to Herbie instead of tatiyana Ali...perhaps the little latino boy would have ended up on Fresh Prince...

hmmm.
 
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