hugh mcdonald

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by timmy, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. timmy


    Jan 2, 2004
    for as much as he plays with bonjovi does anyone have an idea about why thet dont make him a permanent member of the band?, are they trying to get alec back?
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Its not a matter of wanting Alec back, its a business/financial decision. They pay Hugh very well for his time and contributions, but they don't have to offer him a percentage interest in the entire business, including royalties, points, publishing, etc. etc. Its about the finances, not about "including" Hugh as a brother of the band. I'm sure this was made clear to him from the start, and he accepted.
  3. timmy


    Jan 2, 2004
    Thanks Eric , for some reason that was bothering me
  4. I wondered the same thing myself. I saw them play live twice this last tour, and when they show their video of the band doing various things, Hugh isn't in any of the shots. He's not with them on the plane, bus, hotel, etc etc. They briefly show him playing bass outside , and that's about it.

    My friend that saw both concerts with me kept using Hugh's lack of importance in the video as proof that bass isn't all that important! :meh:
  5. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Heh. They certainly don't want Alex back.

    He's a hired sideman just like Darryl Jones with the Rolling Stones. I'd take the gig in a second. Either of them.
    SteveC likes this.
  6. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Creed does the same thing! The Rolling Stones didn't make Ronnie Wood a full member until about eight years's all about money! BTW Hugh Mcdonald has been playing the bass lines on Bon Jovi albums since the beginning.
  7. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Hah, really? I've never thought much of Alec, but was he really that terrible a player?

    I mean, it's not like Bon Jovi's music is that hard to play, is it?
  8. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Exactly. So they could hire almost anyone to do the job. I don't know all the facts, but it could be that he was a difficult person, and that the band preferred a disciplined "professional" to a difficult "brother". It's not to do with skill.
  9. That's pretty much it.

    Alec was kept as part of Bon Jovi because he had the "look" for their live gigs back in the early days of Bon Jovi. He looked the part of rock star, so they kept him.

    However, with time and the band's image change, Alec became a liability. John and Richie said that he would drop time, was unprofessional, wouldn't practice, etc etc. And as someone noted, Hugh had always played in the studio for they just asked him to play live.
  10. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Actually, he really is that bad of a player. It's fairly common knowledge that most of his studio basslines had to be rerecorded. And, from what I remember, it was Hugh McDonald who was the studio doctor who came in and rerecorded everything. Hence, his getting the call when they finally booted him.

    The only reason they kept him in the band for so long was that he was their friend growing up and he was just kinda always in the band.

    I don't really remember the whole story--I really didn't want to waste too much brain energy with the Tale of Alec John Such. :D
  11. David Tyler

    David Tyler

    Apr 10, 2007

    I found those comments a bit insulting. Bon Jovi bass lines.. and, more specifically Hugh McDonald's bass lines, are more than pedal tones. Hugh's lines are melodic and energetic. You'll find a lot of fun licks to play and not so much mindless pedal tones.

    ... and I play a lot of material considered 'more progressive' like Rush. Whether you consider Jovi songs as mature or not, you should at least give credit for good songwriting.. and the bass is a huge part of that.
    Pier_ likes this.
  12. Dublin-Bass

    Dublin-Bass Guest

    Sep 24, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland
    I know this is on old thread but I do hope that since then your Friend has seen the "error" of that viewpoint? :D.

    Sometimes I find it amusing that some People don't know just how important the Bass is. They don't know that if the Bass is removed then, no matter how emotional or powerful a song may be, it will sound hollow and empty.
  13. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    I know both Hugh and guitarist Bobby Bandiera. Hugh has been the recording arm of Bon Jovi since the first album. Hugh didn't have the look or lifestyle, and was pretty busy with studio work back in the day. Jon, Richie, Tico, Dave and Alex were all young and had the look and life.

    When they booted Alec it was a decision to not replace original members officially. The faces of Bon Jovi are Jon, Richie, Tico and Dave. Bobby and Hugh, who have been with them for almost ever as touring guns, are thought of, by those of us here in NJ, as the other members.

    Alec was a pretty good player before he started to become the rockstar lifestyle. Which was almost instant with the fame. Shame.

    I think it would cheapen the band if at this point you added new members. I mean, Kenny Jones was always thought of as being a member of the Who, but not officially. They never replaced Keith, as they didn't replace John after he passed. The Who is Roger and Pete, with excellent stage guns.
    SteveC likes this.
  14. Dublin-Bass

    Dublin-Bass Guest

    Sep 24, 2003
    Dublin, Ireland
    I understand and kinda agree with it, its still a great gig though. Imagine if one of U2 left, its impossible to think of any one of them being "officially" replaced, or even replaced at all. I know Hugh's been with them for ages but I understand Bobby Bandiera only started Touring with them from 2004, though I do know he was part of Jon Bon Jovi's Solo Band in the mid 90s.

    When Bill Wyman left the Stones I think it was right that they only hired Darryl Jones and didn't make him or anyone else official. It would not have worked at all.

    Sometimes, except in certain circumstances, having a new face in a Band can somehow "tarnish" their Image (hope that makes sense??!!!) Nickelback is one example where the addition of Drummer Daniel Adair to the Band hugely added to their Sound and Image.

    True about Kenny Jones but he still appeared in Official Photos etc, same with Ronnie Wood in the Stones originally. I'm not totally sure how that works if in Hugh McDonald's case he doesn't appear in any Pics.
  15. Saryu


    Nov 13, 2016
    It's worth noting that the band is actually owned by Jon Bon Jovi, and all the members his employees. So whether Hugh is an "official" member or not makes no difference to how much he is paid; his payment (and the pay for the rest of the band members and the growing list of supporting musicians) is by negotiation with Jon.
  16. friskinator

    friskinator Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    This is all totally accurate. Not many people know it, though.

    It's interesting how non-musicians approach members of well-known bands. When Richie left awhile back, I commented to my wife that I couldn't believe they were touring without him. She laughed and said that she liked Bon Jovi, but other than Jon, she had no idea who any of the other members were. She said "as long as Jon shows up, it doesn't matter." I hated to admit it, but she was right.
    SteveC and andruca like this.
  17. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Losing Sambora has to be more costly though, he was Bon Jovi's best songwriter.
  18. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I read somewhere that Hugh was OK with not being an "official" member as he couldn't have done all the parallel work he did. If a fairy showed up and offered me any "mercenary" bassist job on any band in this world Hugh's spot might be top of my list (along with Daryl Jones' maybe). BIG band, BIG pay and exposure, minus the "inter-member" drama, ideal job.
    SteveC likes this.
  19. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    You're doing something right if you get to be a hired gun in a band that huge, indefinitely it seems.

    Oh and the band name is Bon Jovi for a reason.
    SteveC and andruca like this.
  20. Downwiththebass


    Mar 1, 2005
    I was talking to a lady (yes, slightly inebriated) who sat at the front of the club near my side of the stage for about three hours. She asked if I knew the lead singer (I sing backup harmonies), and asked if I was there to see the band.
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