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Elvis's Bass Players

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by cassanova, Jul 15, 2001.


  1. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Im sitting here listening to some Elvis, and I really dig some of the bass Im hearing in it. Does anyone have a clue as to who this guy is? and who some of his influances were? Id like to research him (them).
     
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Bill Black was the bassist on the 50's recordings. Sun Records president, Sam Phillips selected Black.

    In the early 70's, like the Madison Square Garden album, it was Jerry Schiff.

    Sorry I can't fill in the blanks.
     
  3. I cant help you with the others, but Im a big big fan of Jerry Scheff, so I can help you out a little there. If you want to hear some more of his work, listen to The Doors album 'LA Woman', Jerry was the bassist on this album. Especially take note of Jerry's work on songs such as 'Riders On The Storm', in which Jerry's jazz roots are revealed, and "LA Woman" and "Love Her Madly" which have great basslines.
    Anyway heres a bit of a bio:
    Scheff grew up in California and mosty listened to and played Jazz, but later started listening to the black R&B stations. When he was 15 he started playing bass at jazz clubs frequented by the likes of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Scheff later joined the navy and played in the navy orchestra where he was taught music theory. He also moonlighted at various jazz clubs.
    He left the navy in '69 and played with a few groups before moving to LA. He first recorded with hippy group 'the Association'. He then played on many albums, but the sixties had hit, and he claims not to remember most of them. He recorded with the likes of Johnny Mathis, Neil Diamond , Sammy Davis Jr.,The Everly Brothers, and The Ventures.
    In 1968 he recorded an album (he doesnt remember the artist), and session muso James Burton told him about a band they were putting together for Elvis.
    He describes playing with the king like this: "The music was so intense. It was a kind of punk lounge music. I was playing very busy parts and to this day, I can’t listen to any of the albums we did , because everything is so intense feeling. For an example, listen to "Elvis Live at Madison Square Garden" my only excuse is, I dont think anyone else was playing bass that way at the time.
    By this time Jerry had really hit the hallucinogens and his bassing started getting different. It was about this time that he was asked by the Doors to play on 'LA woman'.
    He worked with Elvis until Presleys death. He then took the job as Bob Dylan's bass player and went on tour. During the tour he had a drug induced breakdown. After that tour finished Scheff continued to record and went on to play on many famous albums throughout the 80's and 90's and continues working as a session musician on many albums today. He still uses the same Ampeg B-15 (1964 model) mainly playing an old Jazz Bass with mandolin frets and a Jerry Jones "Dano" copy.
    Jim
     
  4. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Lakland has a pretty cool E-card on their website for the new Jerry Scheff model. Kind of gives a quickie overview of his carerr.
     
  5. Funny thing about this thread coming up now. I've been in contact with Jerry about interviewing him for Talkbass.com. He has agreed to the interview, and I'll be doing that very soon. As soon as his schedule allows. It'll be a phone interview which might be a little difficult because of his severe hearing loss. Meanwhile you can get more info about him by going to www.scheff.com/jerry/

    The website www.scheff.com also has info about His son Jason, who replaced Peter Cetera in Chicago, as well as Darin and Lauren, his other 2 bassist sons.
     
  6. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    GREAT! i love elvis bass lines and the doors too and hearing that there is a fil rouge in this bass player is really nice! i'll go to the website. thanks for the information that bass player is amazing and one of my great influence, it's great could give him a name!
     
  7. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Thanks guys, I really apreciate it. I love the guys playing and have been wondering for months who it was. I even like the guy playing bass on his 50's stuff as well. Im gonna look into him, thanks again My parents have lots of the artists albums that he played for, so it shouldnt be too hard for me to pick up on him.
     
  8. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Say, does anybody here know anything about this bass player named Jerry Scheff. I've been trying to -

    oh -


    um...

    nevermind.

    :D
     
  9. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    i do now
     
  10. barroso

    barroso

    Aug 16, 2000
    Italia
    herm
    an interview with him would be really appreciated!!
     
  11. Rockinjc

    Rockinjc

    Dec 17, 1999
    Michigan
    I saw Elvis down at the Quality Dairy just hanging out. I will run down there at lunch and, if he still is there, I will ask him about all this and get this all settled.

    :D

    jc
     
  12. Rockinjc

    Rockinjc

    Dec 17, 1999
    Michigan
    I thought I might clear something up. Jim Morrison never frequents the local connivance stores in my town, however he has been known to sit in on harmonica at the blues jam on south Washington street once in a wile.

    Elvis was just down the street looking incredibly well just a few minutes ago. I wanted to talk to him about this over a few pounds on fried chicken, but he is sticking to the melon diet these days. The king himself told me that Bill Black was his favorite bass player then he got into a Cadillac Fleetwood that had been converted into a jet hovercraft and flew away! ;)

    jc
     
  13. I've been working on questions to ask him and thought - maybe my fellow TB'rs would have ideas on what to ask a bass legend like Jerry Scheff. I have a lot of ideas already, but what the heck, there are probably great questions that I'm missing. Perhaps some of these ideas will be published.

    So guys and girls, if you have any questions you'd like to ask, you're ideas are welcome!
     
  14. I second that!!!
    hehe, yeah but I think he goes by the name Mr Mojo Risin' these days!
    I would love to know what it was like to work on one of classic albums in music history, 'LA Woman'. What was working with the Doors like? Morrison specifically? I would also especially like to know the story behind the bassline of 'Riders On The Storm', such a great bassline!
    I'd also be very interested in Jerry's experience in touring with Bob Dylan, that must have been an experience!
    Jim
     
  15. do any of you know where i cn get elvis bass tabb from?????????????????