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Dark Star - the song

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by Coughdrops, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Coughdrops

    Coughdrops Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Florida
    Dearest JMJ,

    This is a similar question to the Histoire thread. I was listening to Dark Star, off The Information, and noticed a very strong resemblance to the Stevie Wonder tune "Have a talk with God." - between the bass vibe and use of harmonica. I searched the forums to see if this subject had been broached... seemingly not. Was this something deliberate?

    The Information is the album I spent the least amount of time with over the years, and after reading that you really like this record and Sea Change, I had to give it a more focused listen. Great record and I'm glad I've come to really appreciate it. Midnite Vultures is still my fav ... altered my consciousness!

    Killer bass playing, J! Looking forward to checking out all the other albums you've been on!

  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    No, not deliberate at all, to my recollection. I wasn't privy to any discussion of or referencing to Stevie.

    Glad you enjoy that record. It really is a great one. And, as always, stoked to hear about the Vultures love. That record has such the spirit to it.

    Thanks a lot, Tom!
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    definitely not a direct cop, but there are some similarities. but in the end, they're both great songs and that's what counts. and not saying beck nicked it from stevie, but knowing the right people to steal from always served the beatles well. paul mccartney once said the beatles were the biggest musical thieves in the business. people steal from beck all the time, too.
  4. wellshuxley


    Apr 16, 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    Sea Change and The Information are my favorites too! If I had to pick one I would have to go with Sea Change. "Paper Tiger" has one of my favorite pick tones/bass lines in recent memory.
  5. Coughdrops

    Coughdrops Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Florida
    I certainly don't think of it as thieving, even if there is a direct reference. I like how Justin talked a lot about a person's music library and their taste in music in that BassplayerTV thing. Even if things aren't overt, you are drawing on all this music that you've listened too and it opens up all sorts of doors. It has been mentioned a lot, but Beck covers a lot of ground on his recordings, stylistically speaking.

    Back to transcribing so I can thieve some lines!
  6. Hizzoner


    Jan 6, 2005
    Chicago area
    Old thread but curious if JMJ could elaborate on the tone on DarkStar? Sounds like a P with old strings through an SVT but maybe some effects?

  7. the harp unstrung

    the harp unstrung They’s only two things that money can’t buy... Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2014
    On The Bus
    OH!!! Snap!.. I came here expecting to chime in on Phil Lesh's approach to playing "Dark Star"...Silly Hippie!
    Phil Zone and csala like this.

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