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Interviewing bassist stories

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Arthritic_Tom, Mar 23, 2012.

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  1. Beat me to it. Absolutely. Stuff is gold- good on him on his book-to-be. Can't wait to get my grubby mitts on it.
  2. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    We're in bat country!!!
  3. cthomas5200

    cthomas5200 Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    Congrats, Tom! Looking forward to buying it
  4. Ok, now I literally have tears streaming down my face. STOP IT!!! (not really). L O friggin L, Tom. Great, great stuff.
  5. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    Congrats, Tom! Now, get to work and knock our socks off!
  6. Tom, there is an old psychologist joke this reminds me of: How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Just one, but the lightbulb has to want to change...

    buh dump bum...
  7. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    Just finished Tom's first book, "In Cold Sweat", and I can confirm, it is fantastic. Tom's a skilled interviewer, and the interviews are surprisingly deep and honest, far more so than anything you'd see in BP today. The Scott Thunes interview in particular was something else. Is there any way to see the article that interview was turned into?

    Also, Gene Simmons is a... well, I don't think I would get along with him.
  8. adriaanse


    Mar 28, 2012
    do you mean the article that appeared in bass player magazine? i have that online on my website: www.cidanka.nl/keneally/stbp0397.htm
  9. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    I'm sure I've said it before but... Best. Thread. Ever.
  10. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Thanks very much. Always gratifying to hear.

    Simmons is a deeply complex man who took careful handling. When I first opened the studio door, he was standing there talking, facing away from me, for what seemed like hours. It was an intimidation tactic.

    At the same time, I sensed that if I interested him he'd engage me, so after listening to him speak uninterrupted for about 15 minutes, I began challenging him in a way that showed him that I was going to allow him to get the best of me in the interview, but not out of deference. That would've bored him.

    I somehow cued him in that it was a total free-for-all, in which he'd get to totally control the conversation but in exchange I would get to more energetically challenge him than most other interviewers. It was a work of art, the way my memoir will be. It was a performance, and a great one.

    I always took my cues form my interview subjects, and it only got tense with one, where he told me to eff off for asking a question.
  11. OK you got me. I'll get 'Cold Sweat.'
  12. Yools


    Jul 24, 2009
    Deepinaharta, TX
    Make that only 7 left. Can't wait to get it.

    I also can't wait to get Ghosts and Ballyhoo. Congrats again, Tom.

  13. Sig worthy
  14. Yools


    Jul 24, 2009
    Deepinaharta, TX
    That is such a perfect metaphor...

  15. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    Roger Waters? :D

    (I, too, have written off and on for Bass Player going back a long while - I did the Esperanza cover story a couple of years ago, among other pieces)
  16. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    Yes! Perfect, thank you.
  17. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I can neither confirm nor deny. It just intrigued me that this bassist's record label said they had no contact information for him, including no contact information for his management. That's quite amazing. Did he just donate master tapes for his solo albums, sent in a package with no return address?

    Did the master tapes come with a note that said, "Use these how you will. No need for us to sign a contract so I can get paid royalties"?

    What a bighearted man, doing it all for free, simply for the sake of the art!
  18. bigswifty1


    Dec 8, 2011
    I'm late to this thread, and still wading happily through it - thanks Tom and Scott, some inspiring and illuminating material here. At the risk of being branded a "derailer", I notice a lot of people posting saying that they've never listened to Zappa and I can't stop myself from mention a couple of wonderful "starter" albums for those folks:

    1. "One Size Fits All" is a luxuriously produced studio album with lots of quirky but low-filth-quotient humor. More importantly, some really inventive, stirring music and fabbo playing.

    2. "You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol2" showcases much of the same material in a live setting with various live quirks thrown in by a band that knows the material well enough to turn it inside out and back again.

    Zappaphiles will correct me, but if I recall the bassist in both cases is Tom Fowler.

    Apologies again, all these mentions of Zappa, I couldn't help myself

  19. famousbirds


    Aug 3, 2009
    Much appreciated. I'd never really listened to Zappa before this thread. I made my through MAJNH, but any suggestions for particular or exemplary tracks would be great, especially those featuring the playing of Mr. Thunes.
  20. Arthritic_Tom

    Arthritic_Tom Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Here is what may be the best one minute and 43 seconds of bass on any Frank Zappa track, all courtesy of Scott Thunes. I always stop listening to the song after 1:43. Thunes refuses to take credit for it the bass line, telling me that Zappa wrote every note.

    Not to take anything away from Zappa, but why didn't he ever write anything like this again for any of his other bassists?

    Anyway, this one minute and 43 seconds expresses precisely why I was so haunted by the fact that Thunes had stopped playing live and only did musical favors for friends for so long. To me, this one minute and 43 seconds is packed with more creativity, emotion, and beauty than most musicians achieve in a lifetime of playing.

    Frank Zappa - What's New In Baltimore? - YouTube
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