Any Charlie Tumahai (Be Bop Deluxe) fans out there?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by loendmaestro, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I've been on a huge Be Bop Deluxe kick lately. Bill Nelson's guitar genius is so wonderful & obvious, but does anybody have any love for Charlie Tumahai? He's pretty phenomenal. He's on all the records except Axe Victim. Great lines that really complement some already fantastic songs & some terrific backing vocals as well. A standout cut for me is "Autosexual", some pretty amazing jazzy chord work in that one.

    Anybody else dig his stuff?
    Eyesee7 likes this.
  2. FatherG


    Dec 16, 2009
    Yep. I was fortunate enough to see them a few times in concert in my wayward yute.
  3. I like him a lot. I have a BBD live album that is really good and I saw them open up for Golden Earring in the 70s. Greart show !
  4. funkarama


    Feb 9, 2013
    Great bass player who certainly added to the Be Bop Deluxe sound. Saw him live with Be Bop Deluxe o few times in the 1970s. One occasion in a big sports hall playing to about 50 people!
  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

    I checked them out after Bill Nelson was featured in Classic Rock: Prog a while back. Picked up the Sunburst Finish album. Good stuff! Sometimes kind of wonky, but a real refreshing change of pace.
  6. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Oh, yeah! In fact, I'm glad that somebody finally started a thread about Charlie.

    I caught a BBD show at Ferris College in Big Rapids, Michigan, in 1978. It was their tour for the Drastic Plastic album. Loved the material, loved the show! :cool:

    Not only did Charlie play really interesting, quirky, eccentric bass parts that were ultra-tight, but he also combined musicianship with a sort of simultaneous "choreography", which consisted of a series of little dance moves that he performed back and forth across the front of the stage while playing the bass, i.e. jumps, straddles, heel clicks, strides, poses, etc. etc. - all timed to synchronize perfectly with the rhythm of the music.

    Most impressive. And most entertaining as well.

    Methinks that Charlie really, really enjoyed performing. And it showed. :cool:

    Eyesee7 likes this.
  7. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    And he died far too young.

    Glad to see there are some fellow bassists that appreciate his talent!
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Supporting Member

  9. diptixon


    Oct 29, 2004
    Great band, great bassist... might be the FIRST guy I ever saw with a Spector NS bass, around '78 I think...
  10. I'm just listening to Live in the air age, I bought this album when I was 16 and it changed everything about music for me, love Charlie's bass playing. Can anyone tell me what amps and effects he used live?
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Telecaster bass modded with a J pickup by the bridge, a Peavey Series 400 head, two Peavey 3620 cabs, a Mu-Tron III, and two phasers that I'm not sure what they are, but given the times and the descriptions he uses in this interview I'm linking, I suspect one is a Maestro with the three buttons and the other is an MXR Phase 100.

    The Gentlemen of Rock and Roll
    woodyng2 and Stevehill like this.
  12. Thanks Jimmy, will give that a read.
  13. foal30


    Dec 3, 2007
    New Zealand
    When he went back to NZ he joined Herbs.
    Probably NZ's best known reggae band. Joe Walsh produced and played on one of their records.
    JimmyM likes this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    He was a big big talent, for sure. I was never a huge Be Bop Deluxe fan but I did like them, and I loved what Charlie did with them.
  15. Eyesee7


    Jul 17, 2005
    Absolutely!! So glad I found this thread! I was a huge BBD fan and when Bill Nelson sacked the entire band after their first album and brought Charlie in, the level of musicianship rose significantly! Plus he added great backing vocals and incredible stage presence, always with a big smile on his face enjoying the experience! As MysticMichael said, his lines were quirky, eccentric and ultra-tight, and he also did some very tasty chordal stuff.