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Famous bassist encounters...

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by b15fliptop, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. b15fliptop

    b15fliptop Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Ok , here's a potentially new idea for a thread...

    If you've met a famous bassist, share the experience.

    I've met a few, but the coolest (both the experience AND the player) was Chuck Rainey.

    I'm at winter NAMM around '95, checking out the amps at the Ampeg booth. It's about a half hour after the show started and the hall is pretty empty still. I notice that someone is standing next to me admiring the gear, look up... Chuck Freakin' Rainey! I extend my hand and say "Chuck Rainey! I have to shake the hand of my idol!" (doesn't it suck trying to think of something clever to say when you meet a celeb/your idol?). He couldn't have been cooler! He laughed, thanked me humbly, and went on to ask me if I played, talk about gear, etc. for a good 20 minutes. I'll never forget it. Truly inspiring to meet a guy of that stature with no attitude about him at all.
    Billyzoom and Lbsterner like this.
  2. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    I've had 7 encounters and a near miss that fit this thread. In chronological order....

    1) Way back in '79 my college's student union brought in Jeff Lorber Fusion. Danny Wilson was their bassist. He isn't what you'd call famous but at that time he was one of my 4 or 5 favorites. Listen to the "Water Sign" album and you'll understand.

    2) In the early '90's I went to see The Clarke - Duke Project at the Fox in Detroit. I scored 2nd row seats. For much of the concert, the seats directly in front of us were empty. Stanley Clarke stood on the seats in front of us and totally freaked out on a solo. :bassist: More on this one later.

    3) In '99 I was at the Southfield, Mi. Guitar Center wankin' away on a Warwick Thumb. This guy sits on the stool next to me and just totally goes off on a Conklin GT7. It was Fred Hammond. I quickly went back to playing scales.

    4) In 2000, Stanley Clarke was selling off a ton of his gear. I bought what I believe is the bass he was playing in my Encounter #2. :cool: Got to speak with him on the phone for a bit. Cool guy. Funny as heck.

    5 & 6) In the summer of 2002, I attended the Smooth Jazz Fest outside of Detroit. Fourplay is one of my favorite groups, ever. I met Gerald Veasley and Nathan East. Got both of them to sign my Hanewinckel. They were both impressed with the quality of the Hanewinckel. Harvey Mason kept telling Nathan not to sign it 'cause it wasn't a Yamaha Nathan East bass. Thankfully he was just kidding.

    7) July 4th 2002 The Brothers Johnson (another of my all time favorite groups) played a festival in downtown Detroit. Being the dork that I can be sometimes, I lugged my 13 lb Alembic 5 string in it's 5 lb gig bag to the festival in 90 degree plus heat. Got to hang out in the tent afterward with George and Louis. Louis thumped my bass a little bit. Both he and George signed the back of it with a Sharpie. Sad to say their signatures have completely rubbed off. :bawl:

    Near miss: Stanley Clarke played the Magic Bag in Ferndale (Detroit) last year. I contacted him and his agent after I bought my tickets. He remembered me from having bought the bass. When I talked to his manager on the phone, he said Stanley would be okay with meeting with me backstage after the concert. The site management was having no part of it. :spit: Seemed about 2 dozen people minimum had some special reason they were supposed to get backstage, so they let nobody back there. His manager did find me and he and I talked briefly. He was trying to arrange for me to speak with Stanley on the bus, but that didn't work out. Oh well.

    That's about it. I gotta meet a coupla VW's to complete my experience....Verdine White & Victor Wooten.


    Mr_O'B likes this.
  3. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Summer 2000: I had been in e-mail correspondence with Paul Scott (writer for the now-defunct 'Bassist' magazine). I knew that he knew one of my all-time favourite bassists, Colin Hodgkinson. I sent Paul my details and said that I would like to contact Colin sometime, perhaps to interview him for TalkBass. A couple of days later, my phone rang: "Can I speak to David please. This is Colin Hodgkinson." I couldn't believe it! He seems a nice man and we spoke for about half an hour about his current projects, his '70s band Back Door and more. Of course, there's a whole range of questions that I forgot to ask at the time!

    November 2002: Me and my brother went to the Musiclive (musical equipment show) event at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. Our primary reason for going was to see Michael Manring and Steve Lawson playing at the Bass Guitar Magazine stand. We got to watch two sets of amazing bass playing from less than 5ft away! Me and my brother both got our pictures taken with Steve and Michael. I'll have to scan them in sometime.
  4. Mental Octopus

    Mental Octopus

    May 24, 2003
    the only "famous" bass player i've ever met was Flea, it was a couple of years ago in NYC after a huge show and i was able to get backstage with my brother. he and John (Frusciante, guitar player for the RHCP) were extremely nice people. i only got to talk with them for a few minutes, mostly about sushi. i wish i had a camera.
  5. Las Olas

    Las Olas

    Apr 20, 2003
    Scarborough, UK
    I met John Patitucci a while back, at a Wayne Shorter gig. He was a very cool guy.


  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I had George Porter Jr (the Funky Meters, Gov,t Mule, etc.) call me up looking for a couple of Lovetone pedals. I'm not sure how he found out that I had some, or how to get a hold of me, but I thought that was kind of cool. I still didn't sell him my pedals though.

    Not that he's a bass player or anything, but when I first met Trent Reznor I thought that was pretty darn cool. Now we're just friends and it's not that cool anymore. :D He's a terrible bass player, by the way. I mean, really bad.
  7. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    My most famous meeting.
    Playing basketball In Ft. Ladadale in 1975.
    I was talking to local dude, once subject came on music
    he invited my to see him play that nite in club.
    Went to club, was totaly blow away.
    Cats name JACO.
    His wife Tracey was waitress at club.
    Meet him again later in Boston.
    slagheap likes this.
  8. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Wooten and his brothers played at my school a couple of times in the past few years. Nice guys.
    zontar likes this.
  9. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Haven't met any famous bassists (or bass players, or whatever you wanna call em). Met Dave Pirner from Soul Asylum in a smoking lounge at the airport in St. Louis, though. Mustered the courage to say "Hi. I dig the new CD." as I was hurrying to stub out my butt and catch my connection several years ago.

    I gotta say, man. You suck. I'd die to meet Reznor cause I'm such a huge fan. I'm holding myself back from emailing you to ask if there's any way I could get to tell him what a huge deal his music is to me. Just not gonna let myself do it.
  10. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Good that you have some restraint. One of the things that seriously annoys Trent is people telling him stuff like that. The biggest thing is people trying to get him to listen to their music, so they can ride his coattails to fame ala Marylin Manson. Poor guy has developed a habit of excusing himself from conversations from people pretty quickly, because he's afraid that if he doesn't they will ask him for something. I feel sorry for him, in a way. He was a much happier camper before he was rich and famous. :bawl:
  11. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    I can dig that, and everybody's got a right to their privacy and to just... not be bothered by their job all the time; which is why I'm not filling your inbox geeking out about you knowing him and making all these dumb requests.

    I would like to find out who does all the design work for the albums that Nothing puts out. I'm going to school for graphic design right now, and a buddy of mine and myself are working on starting our own company. We'd like to work mostly with smaller labels that do music that we like, and we're putting together a list of labels to send portfolio packets and stuff to; but that's getting this thread way off-course with questions that I'd have to contact the label for, so I'll quit on that.


    We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
  12. Metallideth


    Feb 19, 2004
    well i met (i wouldnt say a good famous bassist, but he plays bass and he is semi famous) the bassist from disturbed.

    I was at a local bands outdoor concert here and he pulls up in a limo and gets out, long story short i scared him away when i was yelling "i want money i want money!" man am i a money grubbing bastard or what? :D
  13. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Oh, I totally forgot when I met the band One Minute Silence. They're probably not famous or anything, but they blew away both Godsmack (who sucks anyway) and Sevendust (who I had really high hopes for) when they played here several years ago. We sat in the bar during Godsmack's set and made fun of them. :D
  14. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I was friends with the tech director for the Allman Bros back in the 70s and early 80s. I dropped in for a show in Springfield Mass, and walked up to the stage during afternoon setup to find him. Nobody stopped me, I just walked right onstage. A somewhat familiar looking character then asks me what kind of bass I am carrying. I start to answer, do a double take, and realize it's Jack Bruce. I got to hang out at the monitor board during his set, which featured Billy Cobham, Clem Clempsom, and Dave Sancious. Pretty sweet bonus for an ABB show...

    I was at a dinner party with a few close friends, and found myself face to face with, then jamming the next night with, Skip Battin, bassist for the New Riders, Byrds, and Flying Burrito Bros. He played piano mostly, and was very patient with my lame bass playing.

    Glen Moore from the band Oregon came over and talked to our group between shows one time for quite a while. This guy should be a lot more famous than he is, IMHO. Unbelievably cool guy, as well.

    I was mixing a Tony Furtado show in our tiny, 100 seat local club, and Myron Dove (Santana, Steve Winwood) shows up as the bass player. Another really cool guy.

    For some reason, I've met a lot more famous musicians who aren't bass players though.
  15. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    I've met Victor Wooten four or five times at various shows, and at a bass clinic with Steve Bailey who I've also met.
    I've met Bele Fleck and the rest of the Flecktones.
    Also met Regi and Joseph Wooten and Roy.

    I've met Death Angel a few times.

    I've also met James Hetfield for a brief second at a Death Angel show.
  16. I met Mike Gordon of Phish outside the Deercreek Amphitheatre in '98. Very cool guy, didn't talk much but very cool.
  17. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I met Vic Wooten, but it wasn't a concert or an appearance or anything - I was wandering around a guitar shop and heard some tasty slappin', stepped around the corner and there he was! Just in trying a couple basses out. This was maybe 5 years ago? I'm like "uhhh, do you know who you are?!?" We got to chatting and I told him that I played Show of Hands in the tat studio all the time while I was stabbin' people, and that they loved it. He asked if I'd give him a tattoo so I gave him my card, but he never called =0(. That was a cool meeting though. He was just in there with his people (manager, etc) chilling out. He signed the bass he played, for the shop owner or whatever, and then just rolled out.
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Some friends and I got to talk to Cliff Burton over the fence at Pine Knob(now DTE Theater) when Mettalica were playin' with Ozzy, in Clarkston MI. We asked what beer he was drinkin'? "Becks light" he said.

    A few months later he was killed in the bus crash. :(

    Us same guys talked with Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson of Megadeth about "Peace Sells" for about 45 minutes outside of Peabody's in Cleveland. They smoked all of our weed. I did get an autographed pic from them.

    I also know on a first name basis, Michael Davis from the MC5 & Destroy All Monsters. I can't tell you how many times we partied, did sing alongs or just talked about music together. Imagine having a sing along (me and Scott on guitars) of Rolling Stones songs with Scott Morgan(Rationals), Mike Davis(MC5), myself and my buddy Peter. Scott Morgan has one of the best voices.
    I never appreciated those moments then, I sure do now.
  19. I've shaken hands with Michael Manring and Jeff Berlin after clinics and Victor Wooten after a show, and I interviewed Billy Sheehan, Les Claypool and Doug Pinnick when I worked on a public TV music show with a friend of mine in the early 90s. I also met Dave Ellefson from Megadeth at a restaurant right around the corner from where I work (they were playing in town that night.) Those are the big names. I also met Greg Christian from Testament and interviewed Pat Badger from Extreme. And, perhaps most notably, I am friends with several killer bass players from right here on the board!
  20. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Victor Wooten was walking around my campus before a show all alone. I wanted to go up to him, but he was on a cell phone and I was all star struck so I chickened out. Damn shame too, I probably could have hung with him. He seemed a little lost.
    zontar likes this.

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