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Favorite Zappa basissts

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by 5intheface, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. 5intheface


    Dec 18, 2004
    I'm a fairly large Frank Zappa fan, thanks entirely to my drummer/best friend. He owns almost the complete library and whenever we hang out, we always are doing something with music, and it almost always leads around to how much we love Frank.

    I highly enjoy Scott Thunes, despite any personality problems he may and despite using a p bass with a pick. I've never heard some work a Fender P like that, especially so well with a pick. I enjoy his note choices, humor through the music and his interaction with drummer Chad Wackerman. They felt connect at the hip sometimes.

    Patrick O'Hearn is also very good, and reminds of Jaco. It makes me wonder what Jaco could've done with Frank....

    Roy Estrada just kind of played vamps, but had a good sound like most bassists of the sixties. Arthur Barrow also played some cool parts.

    After that, the only guy I can think of is Tom Fowler, and the only thing I've noticed about him is that in the Dub room special video, he's got a beautiful bass....
  2. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Listening to Zappa will give you brain damage!
    But ain't he great? I still can't get enough of Cosmic Debris.
    You know the 80's band Missing Persons Came from Zappa.
    He alway surrounded himself w/ great musicians.
    I miss him.
  3. 5intheface


    Dec 18, 2004
    Missing Persons was AWFUL. They used to come on during work all the time and Dale Bozzio's voice drove me nuts! None of those guys even showed off thier great musicianship either.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Missing Persons does beat Patrick O'Hearn's new age albums or Warren Cuccurillo's stint in Duran Duran. I liked MP ok. Not my favorite band by any stretch but they were OK.

    My favorite Zappa bassist is Patrick O'Hearn. The guy just had it going on. He was also a good showman and made the Zappa shows a lot more interesting with his and Adrian Belew's wacky humor. Zappa always called that lineup his funniest band and I'd have to agree.

    Scott gets a big second place finish, though. Scott's out of his mind, so that always helps me appreciate him.
  5. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I wonder if it was her see through top at the US festival that got me?
  6. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    Scott Thunes recorded "Valley Girl" right? If so, him. That song has a killer bassline
  7. what about Frank himself ? listen to zoot allures,he played bass on most of the songs on that album..all except two..black napkins(recorded live in Osaka Japan w\Roy Entrada on bass) and the song zoot allures,which was played by Dave Parlato..not to mention he also played synth,keyboards and guitar and doing lead vocals...probably my favorite Zappa album..I liked all of his bassist over the years.He was a true genius....
  8. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Thunes hands down.
    The man is nuts, but what a great player.
  9. DblG


    Apr 27, 2005
    Buffalo, NY

    I've noticed what he does on "Roxy-n-Elsewhere". My favorite Zappa album with some great bass playing. (IMO)

  10. The Owl

    The Owl

    Aug 14, 2005
    Atlanta GA
  11. 5intheface


    Dec 18, 2004
    I have yet to hear Roxy and Elsewhere, hopefully that damn DVD will come out sometime in our lifetimes though.......

    The 79 Baby Sankes band is very funny to watch, but on Does Humor belong in music? the '84 band was pretty hilarious too. Bobby Martin makes me laugh everytime I see him. And the like two times they show Allan Zavod he's pouncing onto his keyboard...
  12. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    My favorite is Roy Estrada. I don't care if he wasn't the technical wiz... his longevity and the demands made by Frank attest to the fact that he was no slouch. Tom Fowler is one of the guys that led me to think of fretless in a rock context. All said, I can't think of a bad Zappa bassist, so ranking them beyond my fondness for Roy and the MOI isn't my bag.
  13. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Scott Thunes all the way. Snag some Zappa bootlegs with him on it and prepare to have thine mind blown!
  14. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    How 'bout Bozzio's work with UK? That was some good stuff back in the day ("Danger Money").
  15. MAGUS®


    Dec 23, 2004

    Fowler, because of his great work on my fave FZ album " Overnite Sensation"

    Fowler again, on another favourite " Apostrophe " , but there were also another 2 bassists on Apostrophe. Jack Bruce and someone called ERRONEOUS. That could be a little FZ joke tho..

    Did anyone see FZ live ? I had the almighty good fortune to go see this genius just once when he played the Hammersmith Odeon in London in the mid 70's. Bozzio was drumming, and there was a huge Afro-American on bass - great man too.
    Eddie Jobson was messing about on leccy Violin.

    One of my all time fave gigs. Great memories
  16. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
  17. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Can someone explain why Scott Thunes was out of his mind?
  18. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    Don't forget Shuggie.
  19. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    You can read the interview:
    Scott Thunes: Requiem for A Heavyweight
    Bass Player Magazine: March 1997
    by Thomas Wictor


    There is a scan or a transcription somewhere else. You could copy the text from UniMuta site and make it more readable.

    I have no opinion on Scott's sanity. Frank trusted him in the bass chair and as Clonemeister, and that is all I need to know about Scott. Ever.
  20. MAGUS®


    Dec 23, 2004
    Hey - so THATS who Erroneous is. He really exists. You can never tell with Zappa. Like that vocal by " Ricky Lancelotti" on Zombie Woof off Overnight Sensation. I was sure that was FZ actually singing, but maybe it really is someone else.

    And the big Afro - American bass man - Ralphe Armstrong. Now you've given me his name i remember ! Cheers