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If they were here today?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by rockwarnick, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    So I was watching my screensaver of my favorite basses that I have found and saved from this site(thanks everyone!) and all of the innovations and advances that basses have made when I got to thinking....If jaco and jamerson were here today, what would be their rig/bass/setup/style of choice? what effects would jaco use? would he have a fretted bass? would jamerson get a fretless? woud they stick with fender? would he have a ramp? would he break the speed of sound?(just kidding) would they slap? tap? how would their techniques change? would either of them have signature basses made for them? what would their sig. basses consist of? what would they say about todays bassists/rigs/effects/etc.? Every one always says "jaco/jamerson only needed four"...do you think either of them would move on to 5+ strings?
    what would be different? or would they remain the same?

    i mean look at entwistle. his set-up, basses, and techniques changed dramatically over time however you always knew it was entwistle.

    try not to think of age as a factor. imagine them in their prime with sold out shows and things like that...
  2. Mcgiver69


    Sep 28, 2005
    Don't know about the gear but definitely I believe Jaco would be doing Drums & Bass.
  3. I don't know why, but I doubt they're gear would change much.
  4. Ian Perge

    Ian Perge Supporting Member

    May 11, 2001
    Evansville, Indiana
    Great usage of Entwistle in this thread. Didn't both his gear as well as his style of playing change consistently and massively from the beginning of The Who's initial Mod singles to "Little Manhattan" near his death almost 40 years later? Hasn't Babbitt's and Rainey's - in the latter's case, currently using 6-string USA Spectors and both using Phil Jones amps? We have evidence that their contemporaries have updated their gear along with the times as well.

    I think it's asinine to think that musicians, if they continue playing music (remember, some people simply stop for various reasons - Joe Messina of the Funk Brothers quit playing guitar from the '70s until he heard about "Standing in the Shadows...") would have stopped trying out new gear and new techniques. Of the ones who are aging and still play, the evident is largely to the contrary: as an example of gear, Clapton developed his own signature guitar that has continued to be upgraded electronically for almost 20 years now; as an example of technique, he spent several years playing and developing his acoustic playing when his son died in the early '90s. And if anyone says "That's a guitarist, I've got one name for you:

    Anthony Jackson. Talk about someone who has continued to develop both his technique as well as his technical sides...
  5. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    ...was that sarcasm? I don't know if im misreading your comment.
  6. TeeMartin


    Jul 18, 2006
    Cliff would be rocking in a sweet progressive rock band called Metallica.
  7. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I have two theories about Jaco, which might seem to point in different directions -

    1. Jaco was a pioneer bass player. The stuff he was doing hadn't been done before he did it. Unlike most of us, Jaco wasn't trying to sound like Jaco! So, if he were alive, healthy, and playing today, he would be continuing to expand the definition of the bass and its role in modern music. That would probably include using new variations and configurations of the instrument - ERBs, synths, you name it, I think he'd be into it.

    2. As Jaco's career progressed, he began to do his best work as a composer. Perhaps he would have continued down that path and blessed all of us with wave after wave of beautiful music. He would remain a bass player by nature, but we would see his writing branching into new genres, incorporating new sounds, and becoming meaningful to new audiences. Sort of like what Patitucci has done in the last ten years, albeit on a much smaller scale.​

    In reality, if Jaco had survived, it seems certain (from what I know about him) that things would have gotten worse and not better for him, so this is only a musing. Oh, and by the way, he did play fretted basses throughout his career.
  8. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    we yea, i sort of meant do you think it woul be more frequent?
  9. Moreau


    Jan 3, 2006
    i think with alot of these guys like Jaco and Jamerson, their brief time with us made us realize how much they contributed in a short time, but at the same time, they suffered from addictions and vices that have been the fall of many a rock star/musician. Half of the mystique is we will never have all the answers, they took secrets to their grave, but i will admit it would be cool to hear what they would be making as far as music.

    And the thing about the OX is cool, cuz every really well respected bassist seems to have a tone, then they let the playing do the rest. (no if only i can find a tone and concentrate on playing and not GAS lol)

    Sorry if I make no sense. most of what i say dont....
  10. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    everyone keeps talking about their healt/addictions. just look past that for a second.
  11. TeeMartin


    Jul 18, 2006
    I would have to agree with what's being said about Jaco. It's hard to look past his addictions because towards the end of his life it unfortunately became something much bigger than his musical career. I think his playing got worse as his health dwindled.

    But IF he magically overcame all of his addicitons and regained his health he would have released some sweet solo albums.
  12. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Jaco'd be rocking Bergie and AI, methinks. and playing Roscoes. but he also would be composing endlessly, perhaps even moreso than performing.
    Jamerson, i think, would be an SWR guy. i can see him playing Sadowsky's or Alleva-Copola's.
    Dee Murray would stick with Fender
    Phil Lynott would be an Ashdown man, with Spectors, or Ibanez.
  13. bassist15


    Mar 6, 2006
    Jamerson wouldnt have used a fretless or slapped. In The Standing in the Shadows of Motown book there is a story of him using a fretless in the studio once then destoying it after he was done becasue he hated it so much and he was right in the middle of the disco time and was asked to slap many times and refused.
  14. Sounds like a complete jerk with a rockstar ego...
  15. I once saw a drawing of Hendrix playing a Parker Fly Mojo... that drives you to the point.
  16. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    i hope you were kidding. maybe he didnt want to change. so what? his decision. im glad he didnt play disco.
  17. alexgeddy

    alexgeddy Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2007
    Jaco was diagnosed as bipolar.... If you read his biog.... this all comes out. when he was on his meds he felt he couldn't play... soo he went off his meds which led to his demise and death..... this is from his bio and tales from jaco...he was the greatest and we will never see or hear another

  18. BellBottomBlues


    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    I think Jamerson would still be playing that Fender P with the same strings on it if he could, though I doubt he'd be big at all. He wasn't in life for the most part and it took his death to get real recognition. Before you say he was famous, remember before he died he couldn't find work and he was listed as the guy who did all that motown $hit. That said, I still think he'd be plunking along behind some of the greatest hits around. Unfortunatly I think he'd hear most of the garbage that comes out these days and just up and retire.

    As for Jaco, I think he'd start releasing bad albums, try to go experimental or whatever with synths etc etc. Then I'd think he'd get tossed into rehab or commit suicide. Sounds grim, and I don't like Jaco, but thats how I see it going down. Then 20 years later some bass player would say that the world wasn't ready for him.
  19. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    I think Jamerson wouldn't have changed much.... Jaco, I think would have changed a fair bit if he'd gotten help, cleaned up, and lived.

    Entwistle changed a lot.... JPJ changed a lot (Jazz bass with flatwounds --> 12-string Mansons) Jack Bruce changed a lot.... Miles Davis changed a LOT...

    I think a lot of it has to do with how you see yourself, and whether you get bound up with a specific scene or genre you were part of. I don't think Jaco was the sort to continue on being 'just' a bass player, rather than a composer and bandleader. It might not always be a positive thing-- look at the last few years of Frank Zappa's life-- all the work he put into doing stuff on the Synclavier and not even playing guitar anymore, and no ambitions to tour at all after 1988. This was probably not a good thing.

    And yeah, some guys might have dropped out of music entirely. Jeff Beck's taken off four and five years at a stretch. Hendrix could have burned out in the early 70s and wound up driving a bus or something.
  20. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    How are you backing him up? He didn't like a fretless bass, so he smashed it? The comment "he was asked to slap many times" is vague, if the person doing the asking is a Motown producer, that's lame. If you are getting paid as a studio musician, if you are asked to do something, do it.

    I agree, sounds like a complete jerk with a rockstar ego.

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