Berry Oakley: Why Doesn't He Get More Respect

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by martinmcfly, Aug 20, 2011.


  1. martinmcfly

    martinmcfly Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    I hardly ever see the Original Bass player, Berry Oakley, of the Allman Brothers Band mentioned here in 'Best Bass Player Lists', and 'Bass Players Who Influenced You' lists. I know he died when he was only 23 so many probably aren't in touch with his awesomeness like they are with Bass players who are alive today. However, I really challenge everyone who isn't familar with him to check out his Bass playing. People say that Jaco was the breakthrough in Bass being a, 'Stand Alone' Instrument, but I think Berry's innovation easily rivals anything Jaco has innovated (and I love Jaco). Here's me TRYING to immitate Berry.
    Allman Brothers Mountain Jam Bass Solo Berry Oakley - YouTube
     
  2. pocketgroove

    pocketgroove

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    He is very good. I always liked the Allman Brothers Band and I always liked their bassist, but I never knew much about him.
    What a sad story, too.
     
  3. Toyoman

    Toyoman

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    I have seen him mentioned here a good bit.He is one of my influences for sure.Just put his name in search here and you will see.
     
  4. jerry

    jerry Definitely not trending Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    Hawaii
    He gets mentioned here once in awhile. I loved his playing and got to see him a few times.
     
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  6. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Location:
    L.A., as in Lower Arkansas!
    Certainly one of my biggest influences!




    dcr
     
  7. GM60466

    GM60466

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Location:
    Land of Lakland
    I'm sitting right now about a mile from where Berry was born. Around here he is still thought of in the company of Jack Casady and Jack Bruce. Like Scott LaFaro, Berry left us way too soon. He left a great body of work behind for us to hear and try to play. We can only imagine what might have been.
     
  8. thunderstation

    thunderstation

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    Augusta, Maine
    a few years ago, Bass Player did an interview with his son..who owns his original "frankestein bass" - but anyone interested should check out the Filmore live albuim or "eat a peach "-
     
  9. dls59

    dls59

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    Ballwin (St. Louis), MO
    Probably because he's been gone longer than so many players on this forum have been alive.
     
  10. Soul Power

    Soul Power

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    Location:
    calabasas california
    I've listened to him and although I respect his playing and the music, I just can't get into the allman brothers. I've never tried to play or transcribe their material though, so I don't have a good idea of how difficult most of their stuff is (though it doesn't sound that hard).
     
  11. applejack

    applejack

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego
    I`m with you on why isn`t he more well known. I got to see Berry Oakley with the Allmans once. The man is why I started playing bass. 40 years later I still love hearing his playing, my fav is In Memory of Elizabeth Reed on the live album. Awesome stuff.
     
  12. woodsideh

    woodsideh

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Berry called this bass "The Tractor". He modified a Jazz bass by moving the neck pickup next to the bridge pickup and adding an early Guild Hagström bass pickup at the neck position. I had the pleasure of meeting Berry during the Filmore days and playing at the Love Valley Rock Festival in '71 where the Allmans headlined.

    Check out this thread...There some pics of the Tractor.
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f8/berry-oakleys-tractor-440045/
     
  13. faivy

    faivy

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal
    Plenty of respect and admiration for Berry out there, I believe but I can see that it would be harder for younger people to "find" him.
    I've built my own Tractor replica using a Hammon Engineering Darkstar pickup. Berry was/is huge for me.
     
  14. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    For those of us who were around back then Berry Oakley was one of the stand out bass players. That was back when nobody dissed bass players for using a pick.
     
  15. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Location:
    charles town, wv
    Disclosures:
    I'm a Fuzzrocious-aholic. It's been one week since I bought my last Fuzzrocious pedal.
    I like Berry and the Allman Brothers, but I wouldn't put him in the same class as Jaco as far as influence and innovation. I just about wore out a copy of Allman Brother Live at Filmore East.
     
  16. Spirit of Ox

    Spirit of Ox

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    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chelsea Mass
    He was very innovative, not only in playing, but in modding his bass. He was probably one of the first bassists to experiment with different pickup combinations like the famous Tractor.
     
  17. BassBob1

    BassBob1

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Berry was amazing and is one of my major influences. And I'm one of those players on the forum who have only been alive a little longer than he's been gone.
     
  18. Wyattsgroove

    Wyattsgroove

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    Newark ohio
    Mountain jam at the ludlow garage is killer.

    Much love for Barry here.
     
  19. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

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    Sep 16, 2002
    Location:
    Below Ground, Detroit area
    The guy's always in the right spot. What's not to love?
     
  20. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Burlington, Vt.
    He got plenty of respect from bass players back when. To me, comparing him to Jaco is like apples and oranges, but he belongs in the ranks of rock's true innovators, IMO. Thanks for bringing him up!
     
  21. JimK

    JimK

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 1999
    The new issue of Bass Player (Esperanza Spaulding cover) has a transcription of "Melissa".
    Oteil Burbridge also offers up some insight on Oakley's playing style.

    Wow, Oakley was only 23 when he died?!?
    He was killin' in that band!
     

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