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Showing some love for Mark White of the Spin Doctors

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by SC Bassboy, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. SC Bassboy

    SC Bassboy

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    I would like to formally start a thread showing some love for Mark White of the Spin Doctors. His name pops up occasionally here on TB, but I really think he deserves more props than he gets. He is one of my biggest influences. Back in the early nineties, when I was first learning how to play, one of my favorite albums was "Pocket Full of Kryptonite". You cannot imagine how much time I spent trying to learn some of those bad a$$ bass lines. Countless hours passed while I laboriously reviewed sections of that CD and tried to play along. It was such a great learning experience, even though it took years for me to get to the point where I could actually nail some of the parts.
    The break through moment for me was when I finally got to see them play in Nashville at the NAMM show several years back. While watching him play I noticed how much he hammered notes with his fretting hand, utilizing his picking hand much less than I would have imagined. Suddenly his bass lines made more sense and I later started figuring out rhythms that had given me fits for years. After the show I got to talk to him for a few minutes and he was a great guy, taking time to speak with me and discuss his sound (I even got to thump around on his famous rainbow ATK).
    A year or so later I emailed him and asked about some of his influences. He graciously replied with a list of funk albums from the 70's that blew my mind. Growing up in rural Alabama, you can imagine that I largely missed out on some of the finer points of tha funk.
    Hopefully some of you guys who might have missed out on his playing and influence will appreciate discovering the backlog of material he has contributed to. He and Aaron Comess, IMO, where/are one of the great rhythm sections in modern music. Below I've listed some of my favorite Spin Doctor songs and a link to Mark's YouTube channel. Anyone who has been influenced by this amazing bassist should chime in!

    YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/MARKWHITE007

    Album: Pocket Full of Kryptonite
    -What Time is it?
    -Refrigerator Car
    -Shinbone Alley/Hard to Exist

    Album: Turn it Upside Down
    -Big Fat Funky Booty
    -Biscuit Head

    Album: Nice Talking to Me
    -Sugar
    -Safety Pin

    [​IMG]
  2. boomtisk

    boomtisk

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    I know he's an awesome player but for some reason, the bass in "Two Princes" seemed to low in the mix to me back then I was only able to figure out fragments of it and pretty much winged the rest. I sometimes get the feeling that their guitar player wrote/mixed the song.
  3. funkometer

    funkometer Supporting Member

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    Great band, I always wondered what happened to em'
  4. hotrodjohn

    hotrodjohn Supporting Member

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    I've met Mark here in Houston where he is currently based. Great guy, great player, giving lessons, putting the next generation of bassists on the right track...
  5. Basshappi

    Basshappi

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    My fave is "Cleopatra's Cat"
  6. jerry

    jerry Definitely not trending Gold Supporting Member

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    I've always dug his playing! Nice filter sound on some of his clips too.:bassist:
  7. McHaven

    McHaven

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    I met him at the last Houston GTG briefly. Very cool, down to earth guy.
  8. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

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    Homebelly Groove is still one of my fave live albums.
  9. tycobb73

    tycobb73

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    I loved that album when it came out. Thanks for reminding me of something I have on my ipod.
  10. SC Bassboy

    SC Bassboy

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    It doesn't surprise me that those of us who have met him share a positive opinion. He was very cool, as was the rest of the band.
    The song that always blows my mind is Shinbone Alley/Hard to Exist. It's 12+ minutes of groovy goodness.
  11. Hoover

    Hoover

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    My love for Mark White is based entirely on the fact that he coined the phrase "NAMM Show Bass" to refer to the kind of mindless-chops-at-the-expense-of-musicality wanking you hear all too many kids attempting when they try out instruments at Guitar Center.
  12. SC Bassboy

    SC Bassboy

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    LOL. I haven't heard that one before, but it's perfect. If you think mindless chops at the music store are annoying you should actually go to a NAMM show sometime. It's like the Super Bowl of mindless chops with hundreds of people trying to impress each other for days. However, it is the best opportunity to try out gear you can't find otherwise. Plus, your chances of bumping into famous musicians is about 1 in 10. One year while I was playing at the Warwick booth I realized I was standing next to Doug Wimbish, and Victor Wooten was two booths down doing a demo for EMG. Later I got to hang out with Paul Reed Smith (PRS guitars) and talked to Ken Smith for about two hours. Musicians are amazing in that for the most part we all stay friendly towards each other like a big family. Funny enough, the only time I've really been snubbed it was by another Warwick endorsee.
  13. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

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    Gotta' love "Refrigerator Car".
    How can you not like a funk groove in 9/8 ? :bassist:
  14. benbonewilly

    benbonewilly

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    Mark White is the main reason why I play bass. I was a teenager in the 90s. Pocket Full Of Kryptonite is one of my all time favorite albums. It's where I first realized just how a great bassist really drives the band. I think that album has the perfect balance of chops, taste, tone, songwriting, creativity and fun. I can't tell you how many times I've listened to that album. It's one of the 10 albums I'd have on a desert island definitely. I still don't think any other band sounds like the Spin Doctors.
  15. jaywa

    jaywa

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    I loved the lock he and Spin Doctors' drummer Aaron Comess (?) had going. I was in a band that used to cover a couple of their songs back when they were the big thing and "Two Princes" would pack the dance floor every freakin time. Their guitarist did some really tasty rhythmic stuff too.

    Their biggest liability was their singer... I think his whole "hippie Jesus" vibe and the fact he that he couldn't hold pitch live kept them from getting bigger than they could/should have.
  16. Hoover

    Hoover

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    I'm not familiar with that tune...how do they subdivide the 9/8, is it a 3+3+3 triple feel or something more conspicuously "odd metered" (sic) like the 2+2+2+3 of Michael Walden's "Cosmic Strut" off the Mahavishnu Orchestra's Visions Of The Emerald Beyond?
  17. infamusblkdeath

    infamusblkdeath

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    he's pretty good, and i thought the playing on two princes wasn't that bad. i could at least hear the bass alot better than in most songs. that heavily modded ATK certainly strikes some interest as well
  18. benbonewilly

    benbonewilly

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    I don't think he is a liability at all. I think their singer is one of the things that made them sound unique. They got pretty huge if you ask me. I remember hearing them all the time on the radio and tv in the early 90s.
  19. JmJ

    JmJ

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    A real mensch. I met him a handful of times when my old band opened for the Spin Doctors. Mark was very friendly for a quiet guy and let me try his Tobias. Years later, when I was selling guitars at Sam Ash, he and Larry Mitchell came in together and jammed in the bass department. When they were ready to leave I apologized to Mark for the slim selection of left handed basses and he said "no problem. I'll take the one I was playing". Now here's a guy who can afford any bass on the market (and usually got them for free) buying a dust collecting "new" bass with a cracked finish and missing knobs. One of my only customers in the four years I was there to not ask for a discount when the item had clearly seen better days. A cool guy and a great player.
  20. jaywa

    jaywa

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    Re the mix on "Two Princes"... haven't heard the song in years but IIRC on the studio version anyway, the drums were pretty heavily effected and pushed up HIGH in the mix... also the guitar was mixed pretty hot on that song. Bottom line, not much sonic "room" for bass guitar even though the production was pretty sparse, i.e., essentially 3-piece w/vocals.

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