Admiration for Dennis Dunaway

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by pfox14, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    If you are like me, you grew up in the 70s listening to great bands like Alice Cooper. I knew who some great bass players were like Jack Bruce, JPJ and Geezer, but it was when I found who Dennis Dunaway was, that he became one of my all-time favorites. Alice had a great bunch of musicians in the early years, but Dennis really stood out. Took me months to learn the bass line to "Muscle of Love" with all those long glissandos.

    Who else is a fan?

    Great interview with him here:

  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I like DD & all those AC albums with the original guys.
    Too bad Bass Player magazine has yet to do a decent feature on DD...they did a 1 page thing on him many years ago.
    I like his open-string drone/raga thing…evident in "Dead Babies" & "Gutter Cat".
    The entire School' s Out album is a bass-fest…"Blue Turk", "Public Animal", the title tune, "Gutter Cat", "Luney Tune", etc.
    C'mon, BP!
  3. johnnynitro


    Jan 14, 2012
    He is one of the "BEST" ever in my opinion ! Im not a big Cooper fan,But DD is great IMHO !!!


    Mar 29, 2006
    I have always respected the talent of DD

    I always thought it was strange to have such a technical player in Alice cooper.

    Dennis definitely was an outstanding element in their music.

    He deserves much more recognition.

    If he hadnt been so overshadowed by Alice, he might have been more appreciated as were many of the the other bassists of that era.
  5. The_Janitor


    Jun 30, 2012
    Madison, Wi
    Huge fan! Love it to death was a huge part of my teenage years and Dennis' playing made that album what it is. Criminally underrated and influential bass player.
  6. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I like his work on Dead Babies, Eighteen, Is It My Body, Ballad of Dwight Frye... an interesting player. Definitely a McCartney fan with the languid octave runs. I've seen his tone described as an 'eerie thump', which is perfect. Somehow he invented 'horror bass', which fitted in with the Alice Cooper group perfectly. A really inventive player.
  7. Freez


    Nov 8, 2008
    One of my faves, huge influence on my playing! Made me want to get a jazz bass.
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Great musician and criminally underrated applies to many bass players of that era with in your face lead singers and blaring guitars.
  9. Signing in as another big Dennis fan. I listened to Alice Cooper in the early 70's in my high school era as that music was released, learned a lot of the songs on bass, and still love it 40 years later.
  10. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Another great and underappreciated bassplayer.
    I've played a fair share of Cooper tunes in bands over the years and always enjoyed learning Dunaway's lines. A perfect fit for Alice Cooper.
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Well, they were all high school fact, in their earliest daze, DD was the leader. Vince was still just Vince.
    DD was the one got the rest of 'em into the Avant Garde/theatrics, etc.
    At least this is what I read in Mike Bruce's book/bio (No More Mr. Nice Guy; The Inside Story Of the Alice Cooper Group).

    Too, part of the reason (again Bruce's book) Alice spilt...producer Bob Ezrin did not dig the group's ability as musicians. Alice (I guess) was talked into the Broadway Show thing & thus employed "better" musicians for his solo albums & live show.

    OK...any rough around the edges vibe was smoothed out.
    Never a good thing, IMO.
  12. RickC

    RickC Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    I used to like to say that Dennis' work on "Love It To Death" was the Rosetta Stone of rock bass. Learn every line on that record, how and why it works, and you've got all the tools you need.

    Perhaps a little overstated :) but the fact is I stole mercilessly from those lines and still hear their influence on my playing today. The tunes of LITD are a good sampling of the rock styles, and the bass lines are masterful - economic, powerful, inventive, and melodic when needed. They certainly were a great unlocker for me.

  13. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    My guess is that it had more to do with paying musicians rather than splitting profits with fellow band members. Also, the is no dissent in a group of paid free-lancers - they do what they are told or you get a new cog for the wheel.
  14. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Check out "Blue Coupe" the band Dennis was in with Albert & Joe Bouchard of "Blue Oyster Cult".
  15. Big John66

    Big John66

    Feb 12, 2008
    The original AC band was Killer! Pardon the pun. DD was and still is a huge influence for me.
  16. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    Am I the only one who noticed the "vintage" guitar stand in the pic and thought how great it is not to have those crappy stands any more? :D
  17. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    NJ or Pa
    I can say a lot about DD but for anyone who isn't familiar with him, just listen to any of the classic Alice Cooper stuff...he was a big reason the band was so damned tight.
    Of course, Neil Smith was another reason. Together, I think they were in the top three driving-force bassists/drummers in rock.
  18. The_Janitor


    Jun 30, 2012
    Madison, Wi
    Most definitely, great rhythm section. I've seen Alice a few times lately and when the bassist doesn't play Dennis' lines exactly i definitely notice the difference. Those bass lines are burned into the collective brains of music fans everywhere, with good reason.
  19. The_Janitor


    Jun 30, 2012
    Madison, Wi
    Missed this post earlier but couldn't have said it better myself.
  20. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    DD Is one of my favorite bass player. I learned to play bass while listening to classic Alice cooper stuff