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Who was Jim Croce's bass player?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by big empty, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. big empty

    big empty

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    I've Got A Name has to be one of the most grooving bass lines I've heard. He has a lot of amazing bass lines. Who the hell is he?
  2. Vandelay

    Vandelay

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    Well, Wikipedia lists the bassists for that album as Joe Macho, Tommy West, and Stu Woods. Tried some various Google searches but couldn't confirm who played on which track.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Got_a_Name
  3. cdef

    cdef

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    Joe Macho sounds suspiciously like a pseudonym. Could that be Joe Osborne?
  4. deaf pea

    deaf pea

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    Disclosures:
    Seymour Duncan/Basslines SMB-5A Endorsing Artist
    That album lists three bassists - Joe Macho, Tommy West and Stu Woods . . .
    could be any one of them on that song!
  5. keith rosier

    keith rosier

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    http://www.marcensign.com/html/joemack.html
    Joe Mack aka Joe Macho

    His last flurry of hits, and what is probably some of his best playing came from artist Jim Croce. "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown", "You Don't Mess Around with Jim", "I Got a Name", and "Operator" showed off a familiar yet different Joe Mack than his older recordings.
  6. wade_b

    wade_b

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    Bob Babbitt played that line according to multiple sources, and my ears tell me that's true as well:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Babbitt
    http://www.netglimse.com/celebs/pages/bob_babbitt/index.shtml

    http://www.fenderforum.com/forum.html?db=&topic_number=661680

    It's on Babbitt's discography as well:

    http://www.bobbabbitt.com/disc.htm

    Could another Kaye vs. Jamerson controversy be brewing here?

    Bob does seem real keen on giving credit where it is due - I wonder if he could clarify who really played the line on "I Got a Name" and why Joe Mack is credited on the album?
  7. keith rosier

    keith rosier

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    Here are some very specific track credits posted on the web. If anyone thinks this data is incorrect they could contact the producers of the record and ask them. Personally, and with respect to bassists discussed, I'm just going to enjoy the playing on the track and not try to make a determination about who played it----for sure it's a great and interesting bass track. I always assumed it was Joe Osborn but the track listing shows you what I know about it. This thread at the very least introduced me to studio bass great, Joe Macho.

    I Got A Name
    Label: ABC Records
    Catalog#: ABCX-797
    Format: Vinyl, LP
    Country: US
    Released: 1973
    Genre: Blues, Rock
    Style: Blues Rock

    Credits: Acoustic Guitar [Lead] - Maury Muehleisen (tracks: A1, A2, A5, B1, B3 to B6)
    Backing Vocals - Alan Rolnick (tracks: B1) , Ellie Greenwich (tracks: B4) , Jim Croce (tracks: A1, A4, B3) , Leroy Brown (tracks: A3) , Marty Nelson (2) (tracks: A3, B1, B6) , Maury Muehleisen (tracks: A1, A5, B3) , Tasha Thomas (tracks: A3, B4) , Terence P. Minogue (tracks: B6) , Tommy West (tracks: A1, A3, A5, B1, B3, B4, B6)
    Bass - Joe Macho (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B1, B3 to B5) , Stu Woods (tracks: A3, A5, B6)
    Drums - Gary Chester (2) (tracks: B1) , Rick Marotta (tracks: A1, A4, B3, B4) , Steve Gadd (tracks: A3, A5, B6)
    Electric Piano - Tommy West (tracks: B1)
    Engineer - Bruce Tergesen
    Guitar [Electric Lead & Rhythm] - Henry Gross (tracks: A3)
    Guitar [Lead Electric] - Maury Muehleisen (tracks: A4, B4)
    Guitar [Rhythm] - Jim Croce (tracks: A2 to A5, B1, B3 to B6) , Tommy West (tracks: A1, A4)
    Guitar [Slide Electric] - Henry Gross (tracks: A5)
    Keyboards - Tommy West (tracks: A4, B3, B5)
    Oboe - Michael Kamen (tracks: B6)
    Percussion - Bobby Matos (tracks: A3, A5, B5) , George Devens (tracks: A1, A4, B1, B4) , Rick Marotta (tracks: B5)
    Piano - Tommy West (tracks: A1, A3, B2, B4, B6)
    Producer - Terry Cashman , Tommy West
    Synthesizer [Arp Tuba] - Michael Kamen (tracks: A5)
    Synthesizer [Arp] - Michael Kamen (tracks: B6)

    Tracklisting:
    A1 I Got A Name
    A2 Lover's Cross
    A3 Five Short Minutes
    A4 Age
    A5 Workin' At The Car Wash Blues
    B1 I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song
    B2 Salon And Saloon
    B3 Thursday
    B4 Top Hat Bar And Grill
    B5 Recently
    B6 The Hard Way Every Time
  8. fish slapper

    fish slapper

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    Wow, this thread sent me down memory lane. I was a HUGe Jim Croce fan back in the day. I was in Jr. high and very impressionable and played all three of his commercial albums (he had several pre-big label albums. we'd call them "indy" labels today) over and over. Its interesting you are drawn to "I Got a Name." As I remember it being the "un-Jim Croce" Jim Croce hit (it was also the hit climbing the charts when he died). I just did a quick google to check my facts and recall some details so here goes:

    It was one of the few songs on his records he did not write. As a matter of fact it was written as a movie theme and Jim was sort of hired as the singer since the writers thought he had the voice for the song. I saw the movie, and it was pretty craptastic. Early Jeff Bridges in a stock car racer role. The song went so well that his label decided to re-recorded it with his crew, and have it be the title track on his 3rd album. I recall even as a teenager without much knowledge about the music biz that this tune was a bit odd in comparison to the rest of the album and even of Jim Croce's body of work. I knew it was very commercial sounding and one wonders what direction his career would have taken if his plane hadn't crashed. Would he eventually have a variety show? Maybe he would have joined the disco craze?

    Anyway, enough Cliff Clavening. The point is this was a very (over) produced studio effort and it could have been like Steely Dan's Aja where they actually had different players record parts and then decided in post production, which ones were going in the master mix.
  9. wade_b

    wade_b

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    Ghost player's never get album credits dude.

    I think I'll trust Bob Babbit's word over those album credits - he's a straightforward guy with no rep for untruthfulness.

    Besides, the line sounds like Bob Babbit's style - it's gotta be him.
  10. Honk'n_down-low

    Honk'n_down-low

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    OK I will settle this - it was me - I was 7 years old and a Bass Prodigy - my name was omitted to protect me at such a young and tender age. There now you Got a Name :D
  11. wade_b

    wade_b

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    You win! :help:

    Interestingly, info on this link talks about how the style of that bassline differs from Joe Mack's normal style, and they chalk it up to him being influenced by the "New R&B style".

    http://www.marcensign.com/html/joemack.html
    It had to be Babbitt - that was his style from day one: it's easier IMO to believe Babbitt's story than to convince oneself that Mack radically departed from his known style on this one song on Croce's record.
  12. keith rosier

    keith rosier

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    The funny thing about this thread is that "big empty", the original poster, probably hasn't even read it and responded, and has maybe forgotten about the post-- lol! Since Joe Macho has passed, and out of respect to him and his family, I apologize for involving his name in this. I would have never posted had I known how this post would evolve. I learned my lesson --wow.
  13. MR PC

    MR PC

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    I don't know who played on the Croce track, though I know that it's a deep line for sure. I remember listening (early '70's) to that tune on my car radio when it came out (54 Cadillac fire engine red, tube radio and the rear speaker!) digging the bass.

    In any case, Joe Mack is/was a working class hero. Great article done on him some years ago in Bassist Mag. RIP Joe.
  14. wade_b

    wade_b

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    What's to apologize for?

    All I did was point to links where Bob Babbitt lays claim to that line.

    Maybe you should e-mail Bob Babbitt and ask him to apologize, out of "respect" for Joe Macho?

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I really don't get where you're coming from here.
  15. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self! Supporting Member

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    I saw Croce live about 6 months before he died, and I remember what a great acoustic lead player Maury Muehleisen was. Such a shame they both had to pass away so young. Croce had a lot of cool tunes, "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" not withstanding. One of my bands still plays "Roller Derby Queen". You gotta love a guy who sings about women's roller derby!
  16. keith rosier

    keith rosier

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    Quote from wade b to me:

    "Maybe you should e-mail Bob Babbitt and ask him to apologize, out of "respect" for Joe Macho?

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I really don't get where you're coming from here".

    Wade,

    Lets end our little discussion here. ok? I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Keith
  17. wade_b

    wade_b

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    Fact: Two different people claim credit for the bass line.

    Not pointing out what I knew about Babbitt's claim would do a dis-service to those who are interested in knowing the answer to this question.

    I apologize if this information, along with my opinion that Babbitt actually played the line, offended anybody.

    Wade
  18. MR PC

    MR PC

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    Well, the best thing is that Joe Mack AKA Joe Macho is gettiing a little love for the work he did, and that Bob Babbitt is getting some too.

    Funny the term "jerk" was used here.......considering one of Bob's first hits was "Cool Jerk" with The Capitols.

    I think that either of these bassists could have played the bass part. Both men display the kind of touch and groove that makes a jukebox jump.

    Both men hailed from Philadelphia......the city of brotherly love and the home of many great bassists who have played on important recordings.

    Thanks Keith and Wade for bringing these two guys together in the thread.

    I actually think that Jim Croce sucked for the most part....... never could stand that cigar.

    I sure he was a good guy though, too bad he had to leave so soon.
  19. unbasslichkeit

    unbasslichkeit

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    Thee was a point early in his career when Croce was being touted as an 'American Gordon Lightfoot', and personally I believe that had he lived that's where he would have gone. Anyway, I heard an anthology album years ago where Lightfoots bassist John Stockfish was on several of the session.
  20. richmeister

    richmeister

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    I would like to clear up this issue. Joe Mack played on the album but Bob Babbitt played on the single! This is directly from Bob himself and it is reflected on his website in his singles discography.

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