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BALCO's Victor Conte played bass w/ ToP!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by DigMe, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    This is crazy! I was reading an article written by Victor Conte in the latest issue of ESPN: The Magazine and apparently he used to be a professional bassist. He mentioned Tower of Power so I pulled up his name on allmusic.com and sure enough he's credited as a former member. I don't know their history or anything but did Rocco leave the band temporarily at some point? He also said that he played with Herbie Hancock. Those must have been live dates because he's not credited for that on all music.

    Pretty interesting article aside from that. He makes all kinds of claims about who he gave steroids to and whatnot. Crazy stuff.

    I didn't want to put this in Bassists or Misc. because Conte's in the news for the steroid thing mainly but I guess mods can do whatever if you don't want it here.

    brad cook
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i think victor is bruce's brother.
  3. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Yes Victor brother played for tower of power.
  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i think the story with victor was that he played bass when rocco was in drug rehab way back when. i could be wrong....

  5. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA
    I used to study with Victor when he was with TOP in the late
    70's. And he is Bruce's cousin?? Victor used to give lessons from Bronstein's Music in S.San Francisco many years ago- '78-82?? if I remember correctly as I was going to college. And one my friends was studying with Bruce at the same time.

    For awhile Bruce & Victor were playing with Lydia Pense (Cold
    Blood) and then the band broke up: Lydia was expecting her first child at the time and dropped out of the Bay Area music scene for awhile. I saw Sheila E. sit in for a couple of tunes
    one nite.

    One of the tunes I had to learn was 4 AM from Herbie's Mr.
    Hands album on Columbia, recorded in 1980 or so. Jaco was
    playing bass on that cut so Victor had to learn the lines for
    the tour. And then he used have me & other students learn
    the tune & slapping stuff.

    Victor used to tell me how he tried Jaco's bass and how dead it sounded when he played it. He tried my Lobue Bass (Alphonso's fretless 4 string in the 70's) and how much he liked it more than Jaco's bass.

    Years later ( '86) I lent my rig to Jaco & tried out his bass and liked it. I don't know if it was the same bass or not. As
    Victor did say it was a '61 or 62' Jazz stacked. The one I
    tried was similar tho. Jaco also tried the Lobue bass and
    liked too but felt it was too"wierd" to use on the gig that nite.

    At that time Victor was playing 70's Jazz and don't remember what year it was- but it did have the square inlays.

    I graduated from college in '80 and lost contact with Victor after that. He did mention he was pretty disillusioned with the music business and was going to try something else. I heard
    heard from other friends he was selling vitamins door to door.

    Nowdays; I just read the news about Victor.

    I think Bruce still lives in Reno or Vegas and plays locally.

    5 years ago one of the bands I was in, opened up for Lydia in San Jose and I chatted with her about the good old days.

    Dave- the sax player in the band I'm in now, sometimes plays with Cold Blood, and currently with TOP alumni.

    Tom Politzer (TOP current sax player) is our sub in case Dave
    can't make the gigs. www.bumpcity.com

    My band's web site is www.fortesmoothjazz.com
    if you see a few photos of Dave & Tom.
  6. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    Isn't that nuts?!? I'm reading the article, minding my own business, and all of a sudden there's a picture of him playing a bass! I was mortified. Interesting to find out about his musical adventures.
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I wonder if we played that game called "Telephone" and whispered the topic of this thread around a circle of 20 people it would come back as "Balki from perfect strangers went crazy on PCP."

    brad cook
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    the era he played with top was a bad one. waaaaay to disco oriented. i guess according to rocco, they kicked him out of the group because of his heroin habit and they wanted to make an example of him.
  9. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I read in a liner notes somewhere that he was Bruce's brother and that he was there (along with other bassists) during Rocco's drug rehab.

    When I first heard the name in the Balco scandal, some months ago, I wondered if it was the same guy.
  10. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    In the beginning of the Dateline or whichever similar show he was on a week or two ago, he played bass on camera, alone, for at least 30 seconds. I guess I know why they did that, but.... why?
  11. yarrum


    Nov 24, 2013
    Victor Conte is one of my absolute heros on fender bass. He did play on Tower Of Power's "We came to play".Also he played some wicked basslines on Harvey Mandel's "Shangrenade" album. A truly original player, check him out!