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Carl Radle's Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by moptoptony, Jun 2, 2003.

  1. Does anyone know what kind of bass Carl Radle played? If you don't know, Carl Radle played for Derek and the Dominos and Delaney and Bonnie.
  2. According to what I found on the internet, he played a Fender Precision through a Fender Bassman amp (at least he did during the "Layla" sessions).
  3. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    Seen him live with E.C.
    He played a late 60's P-bass with a Jazz neck
    Also was one of the first people to plat Musicman Stingray.
  4. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    It's not very likely that anyone who does not know who Carl Radle was would know what kind of bass he played.
  5. bovinehost


    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    He was an early Music Man guy. I think when Clapton started using the MM amps, Carl must have been hanging around. Before that, Fenders.
  6. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
  7. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    There's a name I haven't heard in a while. He was everywhere in the '70's but I hadn't heard anything of him since he left the Eric Clapton band in the late 70's.

    My eyes lit up when I saw the link to CarlRadle.com but I was saddened to see he died in 1980.

    My appreciation of Carl refelected my maturity as a musician. In my first rock band as a 15 year old in 1980. The first song we learned was 'Cocaine' to which I thought "what a simple bass line". Flash forward to 2005, I'm 41, still in a rock band (with one guy from the 1980 band) and still doing 'Cocaine' (the song, I mean).

    I like to think I've learned a few things in 25 years of bass playing and I can appreciate my maturity in that song as Carl;

    1. Keeps it simple. A more complex bass line would have ruined it.
    2. Stay in the pocket. The groove of Cocaine is a "root on the two fifth on the four groove". Heck, Carl makes it simpler than that by ignoring the chord changes between the E and the D. He locks in with Jamie Oldaker's drumming peferctly put in a note onky where there has to be one. The 'Cocaine' groove works becuase it needs a lot of breathing room and Jamie and Carl's 'economical' style do just that.

    Although I never played "Layla" in a band, it's one of my favorite Radle bass lines. It's very busy and melodical that suites the song perfectly.
  8. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    He was playing a Fender when I saw him with Leon Russell in '72. A fine, solid player. There's a scene in the Mad Dogs & Englishmen movie where he's rolling something up... ;)
  9. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    I think I saw him in the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour band, thought that was a long time ago. Seems I remember that by the time the tour reached Hawaii, there was rumor that another bassist had taken over. I'm pretty familiar with Radle's face and his ever-present glasses, but...seems like the guy I saw at the show was someone else.

    Anyone confirm the mid-tour switch?
  10. lamborghini98

    lamborghini98 The Aristocrats

    May 1, 2005
    NYC; Portland, OR
    I whole heartedly agree with a lot of the comments you've made, and I have played "Layla" in a band. The bass line to that song has this amazingly simple sound, but its not so easy to play (Its not hard, though). The thing about that bass line is that it really really flows through all the chord changes brilliantly.
  11. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Yup, it's a great bassline.

    Anybody know whether Carl played it with a pick or with his fingers?

    I'd assumed it was a pick until I saw photos of him playing fingerstyle... now I notice there's a pick tucked into his stingray's pickguard in that photo above.
  12. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    He was playing mostly fingerstyle when I saw him...I think he swung both ways. :D
  13. Were there actually many of those MM Stingrays with a white pickup made (like in the pic above)? I think I had only seen one more before; Dougie Thompson's (Supertramp).
  14. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Carl is responsible for a lot of repetative left wrist and arm pain on my part.

    The endings to "Let It Rain" and all of "Motherless Children"
  15. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    In the book "Live at the Fillmore East : a photographic memoir" by Amalie Rothschild, there is a picture of Carl playing what looks like a Telecaster Bass with a split pickup... or maybe it's a Precision with a Telecaster neck.
    (The book is recommended-- some cool pictures, including the Band of Gypsys soundcheck, Janis Joplin and Tina Turner singing together, the Dead & Allmans, etc., etc.)
    Anyway, Radle was truly an underappreciated great. He had a unique way of combining blues/rock & roll lines with melodic ideas to create composed parts that were perfect suited to the songs. Of course, rock-solid time and a big, fat sound. A huge influence on me.
    (In addition to "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs", check out "Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on Tour with Eric Clapton", an absolutely smoking live album... rock & roll and gospel-influenced white soul. Carl holds the whole thing together.)
  16. Billy-Bob


    Nov 4, 2005
    So Cal
    Another of his great bass tracks is Bell Bottom Blues. Took me quite a while to get it right. Very elegant. I had two versions of this song to learn the bass from, the original recorded version and a live version with East on bass. Radle's bass lines make the song, where East's lines were nothing special (which surprised me).

    Radle was a much better bassist than he is given credit for.

    Billy-Bob :bassist:
  17. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    It's difficult to know exactly.

    Palle from the Dudepit has one...


    ...that's B001013, one of the earliest. The 1976 catalog has a stingray with a black pickup and other early Stingrays I've seen (serial numbers in the 20s) have black pups.

    A few customs have them...

    Randy Jackson's polka dot bass...


    Dave Jeffrey's basses...



  18. Thanks a bunch, dlloyd!:)

    I think some of MM's newer models (like the SR5 in the link) regularly come with a white pickup, at least the ones with a white pickguard. Old black pickguard SR's with white pickups just look kinda odd to me.

    Is the MM one actually the same pickup some of G&L's basses have in them (for example the L2000)?

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