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Greg Reeves

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by gratt, Apr 18, 2009.


  1. gratt

    gratt

    Oct 13, 2007
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    I'm a huge fan of vintage bass tones and I've always absolutely loved the bass tone on Crosby, Still, Nash & Young's Déjà Vu (particularly the bass solo section on the title track). Does anyone know what Greg Reeves' setup was on this album? I could make some uneducated guesses but I'm hoping some other people might be more in the know.
     
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Dunno- And it could very well be Stephen Stills playing that bit too, as he played bass on a lot of the studio stuff. Even more, it could be Greg playing one of Still's basses and/or amps. Apparently Stills is pretty adamant about bass parts and gear. I read once (it was on the 'net so it MUST be true! :bag:) that he once took Leland Sklar's bass out of his hands, said "play it like this", and Skalr quit on the spot.

    I'm betting the educated guess starts with a a P bass with flats, most likely LaBella Old Originals...

    I heard (again an uncited source) that Greg played on a famous Temptaions' record- I think it was either "Ball of Confusion" or "Pappa Was A Rolling Stone". I may have read that in either a history of CSNY or in Neil Young's biography "Shakey". Anyone else recall this tidbit of trivia or did I just get some wires crossed?

    jte
     
  3. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
  4. gratt

    gratt

    Oct 13, 2007
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    hmm, i don't doubtthat he didn't play all parts, but the album specifically says that he was the album bassist right on the front.. i have it right out infront of me

    i also suspected a p-bass with flats, it just cuts through really nicely.. i also think it sounds like one of those traynor bassmaster heads but again, i can't do much but guess
     
  5. gratt

    gratt

    Oct 13, 2007
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    but i had no idea stills was such a bass purist, that was a really cool fact!
     
  6. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    In all the videos & pictures I've seen with him, his live rig was a Acoustic 360 with either a Jazz or P-bass. Some great playing by him on Neil Young's 'After The Goldrush' album too.
     
  7. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    A time trip! Greg Reeves with CSNY 1969. Only 15 years old?

     
  8. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Hmm, I don't see anything there that would lead me to beleive that Stills played all the bass on Deja Vu. I know he did all the bass (and just about everything except drums, and probably even played some of those, on the first CSN album. But not everything- it sounds to me that it's David Crosby's rhythm guitar on "Wooden Ships", and a lot of the acoustic on David's and Graham's songs are Crosby too.

    jte
     
  9. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Can you point to a track that is absolutely the definitive Greg Reeves sound then? I'm curious. He seems to have evaporated from music after being fired by Steve Stills and replaced by Fuzzy Samuels.
     
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, the stuff on Deja Vu is pretty much a generic P bass/flatwound sound so it's not definitively anyone on any of those tracks. I was just asking because your post implied to me that the Henry Diltz link would have some information about your statement.

    jte
     
  11. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    From what I've read, one of the reasons he was fired was he thought CSN&Y should be doing some of his songs. He also started acting crazy.
     
  12. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    One of the kindnesses of history sometimes, is that the facts are between the lines.

    I don't think of a P-Bass with flats as a generic sound at all. It's a great pure sound on it's own. The player makes the music be as it is.

    Though Greg's playing in the clips I've seen would be generic, IMO. That was 40 years ago though, who knows what he's doing now?
     
  13. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    I guess so! If you believe Wikipedia,,,,,,,

    Greg Reeves began behaving erratically and was replaced in April 1970 by Fuzzy Samuels.[12]
     
  14. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    OK- Getting further and further from the original post...

    According to the book "Crosby, Stills, & Nash" by Dave Zimmer, David Crosby, and Henry Diltz, Greg came to the band via Ricky James (a/ka/ Rick James) who was in Neil's aborted Motown escapade "The Mynah Birds". Anyway, Reeves did indeed play on "Cloud Nine" by the Temps. And Stills passed over Kenny Passareilli because he was too young... Anyway, after Deja Vu was recorded, and CSNY is preparing for the 1970 tour, Reeves got fired. The book says "We had to do it", says Crosby, "because Greg suddenly decided he was an Apache witch doctor. He just flipped right out, man, and none of us wanted to argue the point with him"

    It goes on to say "Nash adds, 'Greg also wanted to sing some of his songs on the CSN&Y show, which I thought was ludicrous,only because the songs weren't great. We'll sing any song if it's great, but not jsut because it happens to be written by our bass player. So we had to let Greg go."

    Anyway, that's the stuff I was hoping to find in the Henry Diltz link. I'm still not going to presume that Greg didn't play on any of Deja Vu, given that he's reportedly on a real Motown hit, and he's credited on Young's "After The Gold Rush" too.

    BTW, I don't think that P/flats is a bad sound at all- my VS '62 P has had the same set of Lakland Joe Osborn flats on it for at least five years. I meant that the bass sound on Deja Vu is pretty generic due to the mix, the songs, etc. And there's not really a definitive Stephen Stills sound that's distinct enough to distinguish it from Greg Reeve's sound. Especially given Rick Rosa's comments that he used a different amp for his CSN(Y) gigs because Stills didn't like the sound of his regular rig.

    The comments from Crosby and Nash would also indicate why Reeves seems to disappear off the map after CSNY (all of 'em, not just Stills according to the quotes above) fired him.

    jte
     
  15. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Sometimes we need to get away from the OP's question to find an answer. No one yet is naming a track that Greg played on that defines him as in important studio player. I'm interested to know from a historical perspective what work Greg actually did in the studio. So we are looking for that info from my perspective. That could aswer the OP's question.

    The man (or boy) has been quoted as fibbing about his age to get the gig. I was surprised to read that. Hard to believe anything else he told anyone about his past experience in light of that. I don't think that any 15 year old could have been prepared for the lifestyle of of CSNY without experiencing some mental fatigue.

    BTW, Motown has been famous for giving credit to players who weren't on tracks. That's the axe that Carol Kaye has been grinding (Bernadette). It's the issue that Bob Babbit adressed when interviewed in "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" in terms of Jamerson possibly getting credit for some of his work.

    Hopefully this thread will shed some light on the mystery around Greg.
     
  16. LowBSix

    LowBSix Commercial User

    Mar 25, 2008
    818 ~ 805 ~ L.A.
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    It has been my understanding that Calvin "Fuzzy" Samuels was the bassist back then and that Stephen Stills played bass on many of the tracks....
     
  17. MR PC

    MR PC Banned

    Dec 1, 2007
    Fuzzy came in after Greg left.

    I've always thought I was listening to James Jamerson when I hear "Cloud Nine" by the Temptations.
     
  18. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    The liner-notes on the Temptations box set only list Babbitt and Jamerson as the bassist during the Cloud Nine era.
     
  19. what i keep thinking is that samuels ripped on "sea of madness" at woodstock. listen to it- LOUD....

    it's a shame about reeves though.
     
  20. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Except that was Greg Reeves, not Calvin Samuels.

    jte
     

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