Aurthur Barrow vs. Patrick O'Hearn

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by 77PBass, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. 77PBass

    77PBass Inactive

    Dec 5, 2007
    Check it out

    For my money, and I saw Arthur Barrow many, many times, and while I like him, I'll take Patrick O'Hearn. Thjis video is great because they are on the same stage at the same time. Clearly there was a competition going on.

    The real competition would be Patrick O'Hearn and Scott Thunes. I saw Scott far more than I saw saw Arthur and met Scott. Bastard as he was, he was probably Zappa's greatest bassist although my favorite is Tom Fowler.

    Discussion begin.
  2. Hahaha


    Sep 26, 2003
    Olympia, WA USA
    I watched Patrick O'Hearn play in a jazz club a number of times in 1977. I was really impressed with his skill and taste. What impressed me the most, besides his amazing chops, was his restraint. I must have seen him three times before he brought out his chops. At one point he let loose a flurry of rapid sixteenth notes that carried him the full length of the neck. I had never seen or heard anyone with that speed before, and I haven't since.

    I'm a little surprised at the career path he has taken. I was disappointed that he chose to play keyboards on the Missing Persons stuff rather than electric bass. I expected him to become a household name among bass players, but that hasn't happened.

    As far as the video posted, I don't thing they are really competing with each other. At that time Patrick could play far beyond the skill level he's demonstrating there.
  3. Jackknyfe


    Oct 4, 2014
    I prefer the band of Patrick O'Hearn's era, with him, Tommy Mars, Terry Bozzio, etc. compared to Zappa's sprichstimme experiments when Barrow was in the group. Tink is still an amazing bass player, though. It is hard to say who is better, I just enjoy the music of the Baby Snakes lineup far more than Man From Utopia's lineup.

    Joe's Garage is still my favorite album, and both O'Hearn and Barrow did excellent work on it.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    He plays some EB with Missing Persons, right? I always thought "Give" was EB...
    Knowing his association with Zappa & Bozzio, how about O'Hearn's New Age offerings? I bought 2 of the earliest's been ages since I played them: I recall not liking them too well.
  5. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Joe's Garage is great!
    That said, I would say my favourite Zappa band is the '74 group (George Duke/Chester Thompson/Ruth Underwood/Tom Fowler/Napoleon Brock). Lean & mean.
    A Token Of His Extreme I prefer over Baby Snakes, FWIW.
    ...Zappa was the only guitarist in the '74 band...IMO, that makes it even better than the latter ones.
  6. Hahaha


    Sep 26, 2003
    Olympia, WA USA
    I don't know if O'Hearn played electric bass with Missing Persons. He probably did. I only heard one record of theirs and I seem to remember it being synth bass. Even the drums were programmed. I read an interview with Bozzio and he gave his reason for doing it that way; something about preferring the sound of the drum machine to his set.

    I had some of Patrick's New Age records. They were decent enough for that idiom. He was into world percussion and I liked some of the grooves he came up with. None of it showed off his bass prowess. He also wrote the music for the TV show Falcon Crest. I never watched the show, so I don't know what that was like. I've wondered if he simply prefers to keep a low profile. That's what his career choices seem to indicate.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I don't recall Bozzio programming a drum machine...he did delve into playing electronic drums. More on that in a bit.
    (I do have an issue of Modern Drummer from that timeframe. There is an extensive feature on Bozzio & Missing Persons. I can re-read & verify he played those parts live).

    IIRC, Missing Person's debut (Spring Session M) was all synth bass…IIRC, the drums were real.
    The follow-up album had "Give"…I always assumed it was EB.
    Last year, I read Ken Scott's book…Scott was an engineer for The Beatles, Bowie, Elton John, Mahavishnu Orchestra, etc...he was also Missing Person's manager. In the book, both he & Bozzio say the use of the electronic drums on Rhyme And Reason makes the album unlistenable. They ask, "…what the Hell were we thinking? One of the best drummers in the world is reduced to playing these tiny sounding things".
    I loved that band & I thought the same thing...back in the '80s.
  8. Hahaha


    Sep 26, 2003
    Olympia, WA USA
    Actually, you're probably right about the drums being electronic, played live rather than sequenced. It's been many years since I read about it and I might not remember quite correctly. It really wouldn't make sense for Bozzio not to play the parts himself. But it also didn't make sense to me that Patrick O'Hearn would play keyboard bass when he was such a great EB player. (I think he plays upright really well also.)

    The only record I ever heard of theirs was the first album, so I have no idea about EB on other records. I wasn't into that sort of music at that time, but I wanted to hear what that lineup of musicians would do as a New Wave band. They may have been too caught up in following pop trends to realize that they could make a great record just playing their traditional instruments. I don't know. I'm just guessing.
  9. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I'm 90 billion percent certain that O'Hearn was credited with playing both electric bass and synth bass on Spring Session M.

    I'll be damned if I can hear any electric bass on that album, but I distinctly remember the credits mentioning electric bass. :)
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Just looked...the credits do say Synth Bass, Elec. Bass for O'Hearn.
    Assuming 'cause he probably was playing both in live settings?

    Those with Amazon Prime: '83 US Festival is available (free)...some decent Missing Persons' footage.
  11. 77PBass

    77PBass Inactive

    Dec 5, 2007
    I believe Patrick O'Hearn started doing soundtrack work in Hollywood and did the New Age stuff to keep his name out there.

    Joe's Garage is great but for my money the Tom Fowler era is the the greatest. Check this video out and tell me this band isn't the greatest Mothers lineup:

    btw...playing a precision not the Alembic.

  12. almost human

    almost human

    Sep 30, 2010
    Patrick by a small margin. That could change depending on which album of FZ i'm listening to.

    But Thunes is hands down my favorite of them all.