Butterfly Effect anyone?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Renaissance, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. What do you think we would be listening to now, if Jamerson wasn't the bassist for Motown? Almost every bassist who is currently making music list Jamerson as an influence. Even if they don't, the indirect influence could probably be made. Now we all know that Motown was very bass driven - BUT -what if the Motown bassist was a weak player? Would Motown have caught on? Would we even know who Marvin Gaye was? If Motown didn't catch on, what would have happened?

    I don't think it's completely out of the realm of possibility that our musical tastes could be WAY different than they are now.

    Any thoughts?
  2. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Cool idea for a thread, however, it'd be impossible to tell who we might be listening to now if 60+ years of bass playing was changed for a different direction.

    way different, indeed!
  3. Yeah, impossible to answer but I find it fascinating nonetheless. I mean, it wouldn't have taken much and the Beatles wouldn't have made it out of the garage.
  4. FilterFunk

    FilterFunk Everything is on the ONE! Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    Jamerson most certainly was all that, a side of fries AND a hot apple pie! But if there had been no Jamerson, Berry Gordy would certainly have found a great - even if not quite AS great - bassist to be his main guy. Motown would have never had a weak bassist; Gordy wouldn't have allowed it. Intriguing thought, though.
  5. ReiPsaeg


    Dec 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Don't forget that Jamerson had his own influences, he was into jazz upright players like Jimmy Blanton, Slam Stewart, and Percy Heath. Maybe we'd all be listening to them if Jamerson hadn't?
  6. Now we're getting somewhere. Crossroad 1 - Did Berry Gordy have the foresight to know that he needed a strong bass? It's easy to see now what Motown was, but seeing what Motown needs to be isn't as clear. If he had selected someone more melodic or "jazzy" and less rhythmic, would Motown even be known today? Would the "Funk Brothers" be known as the "Lounge Lizards"?
  7. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    My first thought was that I don't think the direction of music would have changed much. There is a misconception that Jamerson was the only Motown bassist. He was in fact one of several. Many modern bass players also list Paul McCartney, Carol Kaye, Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones and John Entwistle as influences as well so things might not have changed.

    The more I thought about it the more I realized that if Motown didn't have strong bass players it might have had such an influence on Disco, which was obviously very popular in the late 1970's and early 1980's. During this time there were basically two different camps when it came to music, Rock and Disco. I was into rock and was part of the "Disco Sucks" crowd even though I loved Motown. As I got older, I learned to appreciate the musicianship and influence of Disco. Whether rock players want to admit it or not, Disco also influenced the dance songs of the 1980's and 90's. Everything we listen to today was somehow influenced by artists and styles that came before. Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk, Rockabilly, Motown, Disco, Rock, Metal, Grunge, Ska have all influenced each other even if it is only in some small way.
  8. In spite of my original post, I didn't really mean to make this about Jamerson. He was a central figure in the Motown sound and for my conversation, a means to an end.

    I've always found "what ifs" to be interesting. It highlights just how fragile and unpredictable life is, as well as how easily small and insignificant events can have a major impact on our world.

    How does the music we listen to today, change if Motown didn't catch on? Would Beatlemania have ensued if the "first girl" didn't scream? Does Sir Paul really owe his fortunes to some random girl who started the wildfire by screaming?

    A man steps out of a store and bumps into someone on the sidewalk causing them to bump into someone else. This person stumbles off the sidewalk and into the street - not far but enough the limo driver passing by reacts and bumps his brakes ever so slightly. The limo slows just enough that Lee Harvey Oswald's bullet misses.

    No, I'm not high. :)
  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I think we'd still be listening. Most of the basslines were written out. Jamerson just enhanced them with his style of playing. Don't forget, Bob Babbit and Wilton Felder were just 2 other bassists on the roster and they played some classic basslines themselves!

    Jamerson did have the magic though!
  10. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    What if the classical composers didn't went the way of Dodecaphonism and Serialism ... Maybe we would listen more to classical music

    What if the jazz musician didn't took the road to Bebop and Free Jazz maybe we would still be listening to jazz

    What if the electric guitar, electric bass and drum weren't invented ... we wouldn't have any of the music we have now and we wouldn't see a dumbed down music since then.

    What if musicians were more educated ... we would have more interesting music now ... because rightnow the only difference between style of music is a new effect.
  11. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    There's nothing stopping you from discovering those guys now. I was a huge Blanton and Stewart fan well before I was introduced to motown.

    That's an interesting thought, but that's only one road. Not everyone took those roads you mentioned. While they both played together in the late 50s, why did Coltrane go toward the free jazz, sheets of sound style that he did while Miles plugged everything in and released "On The Corner?" Two very different musicians that at one point were on the same page.