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Herbie Flowers: UK Session Ace

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Winston TK, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. Winston TK

    Winston TK Hairpiece Adventurer

    Oct 8, 2001
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    This guy is absolutely AMAZING.

    I'm listening to the entire "Rock On" album by David Essex as well as the "Summer Holiday" album by Ian Gomm. Both great singer/songwriters, to be sure. But, what Herbie is laying down is beyond cool. Killer tones, too.

    Truly a 70's studio icon if ever there was one.

    Any fans out there?
  2. Herbie was also the bass player on the early Alan Parsons project stuff and he was in an instrumental band called Sky with John Williams the classical guitarist. Herbie also shows up on a lot of stuff that was recorded at Abbey Road Studios during the 70's and early 80's almost like he was the house bassist. I always dug his playing and tone.
  3. Futurebass


    Jun 22, 2005
    He played the classic bassline on "Walk On the Wild Side" by Lou Reed.
  4. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I remember he played some of the tracks on Elton John's early albums. He's a brilliant player.
  5. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    I believe he also did some work with David Bowie. Check out the "David Live" recording. A real kick *ss band with Herbie on bass and the late, great Earl Slick on guitar. Good stuff indeed!
  6. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Herbie did walk on the wild side? Wow, you learn something new everyday~!
  7. cetera


    Apr 29, 2004
    Surrey, England
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses & Cort Basses
    And of course he played bass on the classic Jeff Wayne 'War Of The Worlds' soundtrack.... :bassist:
  8. petch

    petch Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Medina, Ohio
    Here's a memorable bassline from Herbie: "Jump Into The Fire" by Harry Nillsson. Groove city...
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    He's got quite a reputation.

    In his autobiography, Al Kooper tells of using Herbie on one session. During playback, Al pointed out what he heard as a wrong note. Incensed, Herbie told him it was not. Long after the album came out, Al listened to the track again and noticed how Herbie's note choice sounded killer against the rest of the arrangement...the only thing was Herbie had been tracked first, so how could he have known to play that note?

    Al also mentions Herbie was fond of rolling huge spliffs during sessions and includes a photo showing just that.
  10. Drat, petch! You beat me to it!

    "Nilsson Schmilsson" was the first album I heard with Herbie playing.

    An image of that album cover from the excellent Super Seventies website:


    This album came out during the era of the original "Love Bug" Disney movies. I was crazy about "Herbie" at the time, and was also an amateur botanist, so the name "Herbie Flowers" worked for me! Plus, I definitely dug the guy's playing.

    If memory serves, Klaus Voorman played bass on part of that album as well.

    Here's a pic of modern-day Herbie, from zahzah.com:


    * * *

    Harry Nilsson, RIP (1/15/94)

    * * *

    Hooray! My 100th TB post! :D
  11. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    Herbie Flowers what a legend. Amazing playing and groove. I've just bought the War Of The Worlds live DVD and was gobsmacked to see Herbie doing it live nearly 30 years on. He's got to be one of my all-time favs. Have to look into more of his stuff.

    Wouldn't surprise me if he's been playing that 62-style blue Jazz since the year dot.
  12. You know the bit where the lid unscrews on the Martian craft? Scariest bassline EVER.
    Gave me some worrying moments as a kid did that one.:(
  13. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    I watched a small clip of him playing his basslines to Walk on the Wildside by Lou Reed . He said he got the idea of using tow basses because during sessions you go paid double if you overdubbed . So he figured out that he could record both Upright and electric and get paid alot better.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    He lives in the same town as me and teaches here - as well as playing regular gigs. :)
  15. Winston TK

    Winston TK Hairpiece Adventurer

    Oct 8, 2001
    Burnaby, BC Canada
    Bruce, you really do seem to be at the nexus of the universe!
  16. Mcgiver69


    Sep 28, 2005
    Yep he lives in Brighton ! I saw a master class he did for some school pupils and that was a killer. The guys is quite a character too.
  17. Mcgiver69


    Sep 28, 2005
    BTW I live near Brighton too!
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I can appreciate it must seem like that, to someone living in ...Canada...:meh: