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 Honky tonk woman
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docadiddle
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1614 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  09:33:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Got to learn this for an up coming gig. I know the song well but for some reason have never played it before.

I know that many or most of you guys n gals will have played it gazillions of times so just looking for a bit of advice. The bass drum pattern is obviously one key part, seems easy enough, but the cow bell is also a vital element. At first listen it sounds quite complicated, can't work out whether it's the same all the way through or what. Just wondering how you approach it?

As always, thanks in advance.

A short distance along the long, hard road from novice to MayerWhiteism

stickboy
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
947 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  10:12:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Couple of quotes from Charlie that I use to justify my stumbling approximation...

We've never played an intro to Honky Tonk Women live the way it is on the record. That's Jimmy playing the cowbell and either he comes in wrong or I come in wrong - but Keith comes in right, which makes the whole thing right. It's one of those things that musicologists could sit around analyzing for years. It's actually a mistake, but from my point of view, it works.

- Charlie Watts, 2003

The intro to Honky Tonk Women was like, if you wrote musically that down and played it properly, it wouldn't have the same thing as the actual take does. But that's what's good about being in a band like this, there's room for things like that.

- Charlie Watts, 2003
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Captain Bubble
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United Kingdom
17197 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  10:16:53  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I believe the cowbell was overdubbed, and in my opinion it gives a lot of extra feel to the rhythm track, to me it is pretty much vital if you want to get your version of the song as close to original as possible.
In my old band no-one could do it reliably, so I used on of my Cow Crashers mounted above the cowbell. The CC sounds a bit like a hihat, and by angling the stick down to clonk the cowbell on appropriate beats I could do a a better version of the track than a 2nd band member doing it.

EDIT, oops stickboy just beat me to it. Yup, the slightly sloppy and lolloping feel is part of the song's appeal, do it perfect and it sounds wrong!

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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DyeHouseDrumWorks
Excellent Contributer

United Kingdom
204 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  10:19:48  Show Profile  Visit DyeHouseDrumWorks's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The cowbell is a little haphazard, but as in most things non-regular, you can get a pretty convincing version happening by averaging out what's going on. Try something round this:
cc-cc-c-
--s---s-
b----b-b

where c=cowbell, s=snare, b=bass drum

Dye House Drum Works. Find us on Facebook and at at: www.dyehousedrumworks.com
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Captain Bubble
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United Kingdom
17197 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  10:27:40  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
^ Correct!

Unbelievable how many drummers I have heard playing:

--s---s-
b--bb---


or

--s---s-
b---bb--

...and then claim they play it just like Charlie!

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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bulbousheed
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United Kingdom
3360 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  12:33:52  Show Profile  Visit bulbousheed's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I hate cowbells!! Anyway when I play this song I just play the cowbell part on the hihat, nobody's complained yet(?)

http://www.thewynntownmarshals.com
https://www.facebook.com/MissCountryBlue?fref=ts


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moosetication
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United Kingdom
12598 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  12:48:21  Show Profile  Visit moosetication's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bulbousheed

I hate cowbells!!
Hand in your drummer's membership card and badge on the way out. Thanks. Bye.









"It's just a rest, no need to complicate it with monkeys." - sunshinehead
SITMS #31/582 (B'ham) #31/798 (M'cr) | The Blue Road | Jive Honey
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Captain Bubble
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United Kingdom
17197 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  12:53:55  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
+ 1. I LOVE cowbells. Latin/Cuban/African music would be very dull without them.

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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docadiddle
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United Kingdom
1614 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  12:56:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the comments.

Capn B: yes, got the bass drum pattern, it's a fundamental part, can't see how you'd get by with an alternative!??

Mr Dye House: thanks for your advice. Am I imagining that I read somewhere that Charlie Watts usually doesn't play the right hand when hitting the snare? Might explain the pattern you suggest for the cowbell...

EDIT; just reread stickboys comment which makes my idea redundant

A short distance along the long, hard road from novice to MayerWhiteism
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DyeHouseDrumWorks
Excellent Contributer

United Kingdom
204 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  13:34:02  Show Profile  Visit DyeHouseDrumWorks's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Get a listen to Tone Loc's 'Funky Cold Medina' for an electro spin on this groove too.

I quite like a totally 'linear' version - which you could write:
bcsccbsc
...so if you're feeling saucy, you could even get the eighth hihats there as well!
:-)

Dye House Drum Works. Find us on Facebook and at at: www.dyehousedrumworks.com
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Captain Bubble
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United Kingdom
17197 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  13:50:42  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I like that bcsccbsc idea, will try it on some other things!

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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Bazarre
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United Kingdom
8345 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  14:01:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Have played Honky Tonk in the past and before getting a secret weapon, just ignored the cowbell part. But my old covers band also play some Santana stuff involving cowbell that requires either three drummers/percussionists, or one with three pairs of arms. I found it anatomically impossible to grow more arms so went for another option. The secret weapon is the foot operated cowbell -- just a simple device for holding the cowbell and fitting a BD pedal to. It fits well through the hi hat legs to the left of the hat foot plate for playing with the left foot (if you are a righthanded player). You can buy them, but being tight, I made mine out of some thick ply and odds and sods I had in the garage. Always set it up even with the blues/rock trio.

If you consider making your own, I've got some drawings in Word of mine I can email to you. it works a treat and has lasted many years.

Sex, magic and R n R! -- all in ZOLIN! now on Amazon for Kindle readers
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Glide
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915 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  14:34:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The CB is brilliant..He sort of playing a Bembe bell pattern, and he is, upside/down and kinda off kilter. But it works
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Tex
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United Kingdom
1821 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  15:00:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carve your own groove. Approximate. That cowbell is open and damped (damped with the hand not stick) which a drummer just can't do. I've seen about twenty versions at least including mine and most sound right.
The real important bit is the "Flam-fla-boom-and-hit" bit.

Good practise is perfecting the art of disguising your mistakes as music.
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DyeHouseDrumWorks
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United Kingdom
204 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  16:11:10  Show Profile  Visit DyeHouseDrumWorks's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sure you've all seen this before - many times - has it ever been more appropriate?
http://www.laughness.com/snl-gotta-have-more-cowbell-original-skit.1126

Dye House Drum Works. Find us on Facebook and at at: www.dyehousedrumworks.com
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OriginalAnimal
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United Kingdom
19368 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  16:34:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our singist used to play cowbell for Honky Tonk!!


I have no time to practice, I'm gigging. Dr X..NOT a function band, but real musicians!! #17 of the 582 & 17 0f the 798 World Record Holders.
Jobeky, 2Box Drumit 5, Premier, Highwood/DM drums Paul Brook Snare, Matt Nolan cymbals, Silverstone Drum (seats) Thrones. Los Cabos drumsticks
Re Cycling drums is the future.
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docadiddle
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United Kingdom
1614 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  16:51:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tex

Carve your own groove. Approximate. That cowbell is open and damped (damped with the hand not stick) which a drummer just can't do. I've seen about twenty versions at least including mine and most sound right.
The real important bit is the "Flam-fla-boom-and-hit" bit.


Do you mean the basic snare and bass drum pattern, Tex?

A short distance along the long, hard road from novice to MayerWhiteism
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Tex
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United Kingdom
1821 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  17:46:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by docadiddle

quote:
Originally posted by Tex

Carve your own groove. Approximate. That cowbell is open and damped (damped with the hand not stick) which a drummer just can't do. I've seen about twenty versions at least including mine and most sound right.
The real important bit is the "Flam-fla-boom-and-hit" bit.


Do you mean the basic snare and bass drum pattern, Tex?


On the intro drums (after 7 count cowbell intro the "flam" is on the "and"). You could do anything before that, nice hihat lick maybe.

My own pattern is (B - cowbell) "B B and B and B B " where underlined are where my bass drum falls (clave). Ish.

Good practise is perfecting the art of disguising your mistakes as music.
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berriman
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United Kingdom
1169 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  18:19:34  Show Profile  Visit berriman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I play the cowbell with my left hand, right hand takes care of the hats and snare. Charlie never hits the hats when he hits a snare so it doesn't make any difference!!

The rest takes care of itself.

It doesn't have to be just like the record, does it? We'll all individuals, in it, guv.

www.sberriman.com
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hoagy
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United Kingdom
150 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  18:21:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi docadiddle, might as well throw my tuppenceworth in! I play the cowbell (only up to the first chorus) on a 2 bar phrase falling on 1, 1+, 2+, 3, 4 in bar one and the same in bar two but not on the 4. Here's a clip of it, apologies as sound isn't the best but I hope it's of some help. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYJ2Volr7Y4&list=UUa6pp1Rh1hEdK8KgfVXNBig&index=11&feature=plcp
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Ramrod
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New Zealand
1627 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  19:06:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do what Bazarre does and play the cowbell with my left foot. I'll be honest, it took me fecking ages to get it grooving though.

How's my Drumming? 0800 RAMROD
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Captain Bubble
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United Kingdom
17197 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  20:36:23  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by berriman

I play the cowbell with my left hand, right hand takes care of the hats and snare. Charlie never hits the hats when he hits a snare so it doesn't make any difference!!

The rest takes care of itself.

It doesn't have to be just like the record, does it? We'll all individuals, in it, guv.



Not tried it on this particular song, but love doing that sort of thing

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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martydrums
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United Kingdom
7134 Posts

Posted - 21/03/2012 :  21:34:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moosetication

quote:
Originally posted by bulbousheed

I hate cowbells!!
Hand in your drummer's membership card and badge on the way out. Thanks. Bye.












Indeed! Two dozen lashes o' the cat o' nine tails, then keelhaul the filthy varmint. That aught to teach him some respect for the Cow Bell.

Official Sugar Daddy of the forum's Sonor Delite appreciation society, as nominated by Jamoca - Honorary President Paul Brook

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docadiddle
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1614 Posts

Posted - 22/03/2012 :  15:54:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many thanks for all your thoughts, chaps.

Having listened to it again and made an honest assessment of my talent, I've decided to do the cowbell intro and make sure I get Tex's 'Flam fla boom and hit' down to a tee. After that I'll wing it!

My left foot is for standing on and occasionally opening my hihats but not for doing syncopated cowbell stuff thank-you very much.

Cheers.


A short distance along the long, hard road from novice to MayerWhiteism
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mully
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United Kingdom
24368 Posts

Posted - 22/03/2012 :  17:09:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The best version of the HTW cowbell intro I ever heard was by a covers band many years ago...the singer played a random pattern on a hand-held cowbell, and one by one other cowbells were produced by other band members, they all played random stuff, and then it all gelled into a coherent pattern that was much faster than HTW...it went on for half a minute, then the cowbellers stopped dead, and two seconds later in came the drums with the classic HTW rhythm. The place went feckin' mental.

Stephen

MD Fount of All Wisdom for Life and Extraordinary Amusement Officer of the forum's Sonor Delite Appreciation Society.

"Jayz mully, you're like the Django of the internet!" - scottser on the Drumming Ireland forum
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docadiddle
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United Kingdom
1614 Posts

Posted - 22/03/2012 :  18:14:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mully

The best version of the HTW cowbell intro I ever heard was by a covers band many years ago...the singer played a random pattern on a hand-held cowbell, and one by one other cowbells were produced by other band members, the all played random stuff, and then it all gelled into a coherent pattern that was much faster than HTW...it went on for half a minute, then the cowbellers stopped dead, and two seconds later in came the drums with the classic HTW rhythm. Thr place went feckin' mental.

Stephen


Genius. Would love to have seen that!

A short distance along the long, hard road from novice to MayerWhiteism
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Captain Bubble
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United Kingdom
17197 Posts

Posted - 22/03/2012 :  20:35:59  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Me too! I have a Meters CD live on the Queen Mary, and the band enters all playing cowbells, then suddenly go into the song, works a treat!

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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hat trick
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United Kingdom
2742 Posts

Posted - 23/03/2012 :  07:51:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
this might be worth having a look at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcYWg67Kn0Q
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docadiddle
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1614 Posts

Posted - 23/03/2012 :  12:47:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for that, hat trick, and thanks for all your replies. Very helpful. Actually I'm really looking forward to this one off gig because of the chance to play a few other tunes which I've not done before, amongst which are...

Hard to handle (what a great song)
Mrs Robinson (Lemonheads version)
Summer of 69 (I do love that 2 bar fill in the middle)

...plus a few others.





A short distance along the long, hard road from novice to MayerWhiteism
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docadiddle
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
1614 Posts

Posted - 26/03/2012 :  13:29:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Think I've now got HTW sussed

However, last night was just running through the other stuff to get comfortable with it and up came 'I love rock and roll' by Joan Jett. All going fine, couldn't really much simpler ('We will rock you' groove, Boom Boom Flam, etc) when suddenly, wtf, what happened there? Same again a bit later??!! A more careful listen reveals the occasional bars of 3/4.

Hmm, not as straightforward a task as it first appears. I'm now slightly worried because we'll only have two chances to rehearse with the rest of this cobbled together band which numbers amongst its members a couple of green, second time vocalists and a guitar novice. My dilemma now is do I practise it as it's recorded or just play straight 4/4 all through. TBH, I really can't see the point of the 3/4 bars, don't seem to add to the song at all, probably just put in there to confuse the weekend warriors (like me!). No point me trying to point out this oddity to the rest because I honestly don't think they'd know what I was going on about.

Does anyone else do this song? What do you do?

PS: my feeling is just to play straight, ignore the 3/4 bits and let them follow. Thanks again.


A short distance along the long, hard road from novice to MayerWhiteism
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mully
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United Kingdom
24368 Posts

Posted - 26/03/2012 :  13:53:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Better to drop the song from the set completely until everyone knows it rather than balls it up on the night.

Stephen

MD Fount of All Wisdom for Life and Extraordinary Amusement Officer of the forum's Sonor Delite Appreciation Society.

"Jayz mully, you're like the Django of the internet!" - scottser on the Drumming Ireland forum
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moosetication
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United Kingdom
12598 Posts

Posted - 26/03/2012 :  13:56:32  Show Profile  Visit moosetication's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've always played it as is. The bars of 3 couldn't be much simpler, really. A meaningful look should do for on-stage communication when such a bar approaches.

"It's just a rest, no need to complicate it with monkeys." - sunshinehead
SITMS #31/582 (B'ham) #31/798 (M'cr) | The Blue Road | Jive Honey
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eddiewilson
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United Kingdom
138 Posts

Posted - 26/03/2012 :  14:02:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I Love Rock and Roll: http://www.onlinedrummer.com/pdf.php?Id=280

Easy when you know how to cheat.

www.youtube.com/user/eddiewilson5/
www.youtube.com/missisleband
www.myspace.com/eddiewilsonsound
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docadiddle
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United Kingdom
1614 Posts

Posted - 26/03/2012 :  14:17:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moosetication

I've always played it as is. The bars of 3 couldn't be much simpler, really. A meaningful look should do for on-stage communication when such a bar approaches.



[Eric Morecambe] "You're playing all the right bars.............but not necessarily in the right order" [Eric Morecambe]


(Practises his meaningful looks).

A short distance along the long, hard road from novice to MayerWhiteism
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eddiewilson
Very Active Contributer

United Kingdom
138 Posts

Posted - 26/03/2012 :  14:23:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Perfect opportunity to master the art of eyebrow semaphore.

www.youtube.com/user/eddiewilson5/
www.youtube.com/missisleband
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DyeHouseDrumWorks
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United Kingdom
204 Posts

Posted - 26/03/2012 :  17:32:04  Show Profile  Visit DyeHouseDrumWorks's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Follow the lyrics: the words create the rhythm into the shorter bar and the melody lands plumb on the root note right after if, which is why the shorter phrase works.
[sorry - that's for I love Rock 'n' Roll :-)]

Dye House Drum Works. Find us on Facebook and at at: www.dyehousedrumworks.com
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