1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Berry Oakley: Why Doesn't He Get More Respect

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by martinmcfly, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. martinmcfly

    martinmcfly Banned

    Jul 3, 2011
    I hardly ever see the Original Bass player, Berry Oakley, of the Allman Brothers Band mentioned here in 'Best Bass Player Lists', and 'Bass Players Who Influenced You' lists. I know he died when he was only 23 so many probably aren't in touch with his awesomeness like they are with Bass players who are alive today. However, I really challenge everyone who isn't familar with him to check out his Bass playing. People say that Jaco was the breakthrough in Bass being a, 'Stand Alone' Instrument, but I think Berry's innovation easily rivals anything Jaco has innovated (and I love Jaco). Here's me TRYING to immitate Berry.
    Allman Brothers Mountain Jam Bass Solo Berry Oakley - YouTube
  2. pocketgroove


    Jun 28, 2010
    He is very good. I always liked the Allman Brothers Band and I always liked their bassist, but I never knew much about him.
    What a sad story, too.
  3. Toyoman


    Mar 3, 2007
    I have seen him mentioned here a good bit.He is one of my influences for sure.Just put his name in search here and you will see.
  4. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    He gets mentioned here once in awhile. I loved his playing and got to see him a few times.
  5. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    Certainly one of my biggest influences!

  6. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    I'm sitting right now about a mile from where Berry was born. Around here he is still thought of in the company of Jack Casady and Jack Bruce. Like Scott LaFaro, Berry left us way too soon. He left a great body of work behind for us to hear and try to play. We can only imagine what might have been.
  7. a few years ago, Bass Player did an interview with his son..who owns his original "frankestein bass" - but anyone interested should check out the Filmore live albuim or "eat a peach "-
  8. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    Probably because he's been gone longer than so many players on this forum have been alive.
  9. I've listened to him and although I respect his playing and the music, I just can't get into the allman brothers. I've never tried to play or transcribe their material though, so I don't have a good idea of how difficult most of their stuff is (though it doesn't sound that hard).
  10. applejack


    May 10, 2009
    San Diego
    I`m with you on why isn`t he more well known. I got to see Berry Oakley with the Allmans once. The man is why I started playing bass. 40 years later I still love hearing his playing, my fav is In Memory of Elizabeth Reed on the live album. Awesome stuff.
  11. woodsideh


    Feb 19, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Berry called this bass "The Tractor". He modified a Jazz bass by moving the neck pickup next to the bridge pickup and adding an early Guild Hagström bass pickup at the neck position. I had the pleasure of meeting Berry during the Filmore days and playing at the Love Valley Rock Festival in '71 where the Allmans headlined.

    Check out this thread...There some pics of the Tractor.
  12. faivy


    Nov 23, 2004
    Plenty of respect and admiration for Berry out there, I believe but I can see that it would be harder for younger people to "find" him.
    I've built my own Tractor replica using a Hammon Engineering Darkstar pickup. Berry was/is huge for me.
  13. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    For those of us who were around back then Berry Oakley was one of the stand out bass players. That was back when nobody dissed bass players for using a pick.
  14. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    I like Berry and the Allman Brothers, but I wouldn't put him in the same class as Jaco as far as influence and innovation. I just about wore out a copy of Allman Brother Live at Filmore East.
  15. He was very innovative, not only in playing, but in modding his bass. He was probably one of the first bassists to experiment with different pickup combinations like the famous Tractor.
  16. BassBob1


    Dec 21, 2010
    Berry was amazing and is one of my major influences. And I'm one of those players on the forum who have only been alive a little longer than he's been gone.
  17. Mountain jam at the ludlow garage is killer.

    Much love for Barry here.
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The guy's always in the right spot. What's not to love?
  19. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    He got plenty of respect from bass players back when. To me, comparing him to Jaco is like apples and oranges, but he belongs in the ranks of rock's true innovators, IMO. Thanks for bringing him up!
  20. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    The new issue of Bass Player (Esperanza Spaulding cover) has a transcription of "Melissa".
    Oteil Burbridge also offers up some insight on Oakley's playing style.

    Wow, Oakley was only 23 when he died?!?
    He was killin' in that band!