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Jon Camp of Renaissance -any other oldtimers recall him?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Hifiguy, May 12, 2011.


    I was introduced to British Folk music in the Summer 1970: Pentangle, Fairport Convention..and later, Rensaissance...First time I saw Renaissance was at the Atlanta Fox Theater in ['77 ?]. Gentle Giant was one of the warm-ups..a prog fest if ever. A Georgia jazz-rock band was first..can't recall their name; please forgive.

    I had great seats up front and on Jon's side. At the end of the first song I felt a strange sensation. I had been lifted out of my seat a few inches and released. I felt this a few more times before realized Jon was playing more on Bass pedals than my other prog idol, Squire ever played on a Rick. Throughout the whole concert, Jon played rolling arpeggios on his Rick, while dancing a jig on Bass pedals and singing harmonies with Annie all the while. I haven't been the same since.

    Second time was at The High Museum; Symphony Hall..no warm up and lower volume.

    Thanks, Jon. You have been and still remain an inspiration.

    PS.. Although not named after your band, Atlanta hosts it's annual "Renaissance Festival" in early Summer, as well as a Celtic Festival in Spring at Oglethorpe University. Please come join us. And thanks for responding to us here, on Talkbass.
  2. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    As a prog player I am a huge Renaissance fan (and yes, I think that some of their best stuff is from "Azure D'Or"). I always thought Jon had great musicality and blended so well with Dunford and Tout. His playing in "A Song for All Seasons," "Jekyll and Hyde," or my favorite bass line of his from "The Love THeme" on "Scheherazade" have always inspired me. Jon taught me as much about countermelodic expression on the bass guitar as Chris Squire or Sir Paul, and I still listen to Renaissance almost every day.

    Jon... if you read this - thanks for the great music and the inspiration... I like others look forward to hearing what you've got coming up. Keep us posted.
  3. NelZ


    Apr 27, 2007
    near Philly
    I live quite near Ms. Haslam in PA. I've continued to support her performances and releases.

    Jon, have you gotten a lot of flack about the albums not crediting the actual composers of much of the music?

    I did not listen to a lot of classical music but in college my new best friend came from a classical background...Big Time., and pointed out the source of the songs.

    When I was going to the Academy of Music in Philly I have loved Rennaisance thru the years, play bass, and have actually "stolen" one of your solos about 30 years ago in a house band I was in...I "listed you in the bibliography" so I didn't really steal it...

    I showed up there with only a telephoto zoom lens, found out our seats were in the orchestra pit, not the orchestra, and have some amazing closeups of Annie and you.

    You had a Rick on a stand...fretless.

    Also, what was the "deal" with the inside photo regarding the - Sheherazade release ... the photo with 3 or 4 cars??

    Anyway, Thanks,
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Wow, how cool to discover that Jon Camp is a member of TalkBass! :smug:

    Jon, I have admired your playing so much - ever since I discovered the Scheherazade album around 1975 or so - then began to branch out into the Renaissance back catalog, while keeping current with the new releases, through Azure d'Or (definitely an under-rated treat, IMHO).

    I learned a lot about how to "color outside the lines" of playing the electric bass, by listening to McCartney, Squire - and you. In particular, I've always loved the light, bright, fluid counterpoint lines you played against John Tout's acoustic piano parts, while simultaneously holding down the bottom end and providing the rhythmic pulse of the band. Such a beautiful sound, and such sensitive, delicate, melodic phrasing!

    Thanks so much for your musical contributions. I hope we'll hear from you more regularly on TalkBass from now on...


    P.S. I had a serious crush on Annie Haslam at the time too. What can I say? I'm sure I wasn't the only one... ;)
  5. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I pick up a album a couple weeks back by the Prog Collective and it was nice to see Haslam on a song, always dug her.
  6. Jon Camp

    Jon Camp

    Jun 18, 2008
    Hi Everyone-not happy to see that someone thinks that i've not kept up with the times-absolute rubbish.
    I can't be responsible for the somewhat boring solo that's been posted on You Tube. I was having a lot of technical problems that night and some people love to take advantage of that.
    In others opinion i'm playing better than ever and from the people i've been working with lately it would appear to be the case.
    I'm no egotist but it's too easy to make comments on a forum like this that come from a completely uninformed viewpoint-that's why I don't visit very often.
    Hope all of you are well and continuing to push the bass to it's limits!
    I'm on Facebook and can be e-mailed at [email protected].
    B-Mac and jlepre like this.
  7. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Inactive

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Great to see a named player showing up on here. I was watching a fair chunk of a BBC In Concert video the other day of Renaissance playing in the late '70s. Looked like Jon had two tuxedo Rickenbackers onstage. I wasn't paying too close attention, but it seemed like the band was using backing tapes? Or perhaps I just wasn't seeing all the members in the video... I was pretty tired. :ninja: It all sounded good though, and I plan to check the band out further.
  8. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    What a treat! I saw Renaissance in the mid 70's at Radio City Music Hall in NYC two nights in a row. Those were the best concerts I ever attended. Unlike every other rock concert, Renaissance always played at a reasonable volume, such that you could hear and enjoy the music. The tone that Jon Camp achieved on all the albums was perfectly reproduced live, and I reveled in every note. Of course, the acoustics in Radio City Music Hall is legendary, so that only added to the experience. Wonderful memories :)
  9. Just a wild guess but I 'd bet that was the Dixje Dregs ( pre Dregs ) on that ' 77 Atlanta Prog Fest Bill .
  10. DIXIE DREGS-excuse typo.
  11. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ

    I actually still play the solo as a warm up all the time. Kind of stuck with me since seeing them at my old High School in '75
  12. Indiedog


    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    An old thread...but SO worthwhile!

    I too hold Mr. Camp up as one of the finest bassists ever. Renaissance played my high school in New Rochelle, NY! My chemistry teacher was a nut for them and made the show happen because of his passion for the band. He would even play the two albums for us in class. What a great show that was!

    So the question is: did we go to the same HS, Jlepre?
  13. woodyng2

    woodyng2 Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2015
    Oregon Coast
    Never got to see them back in the day,but the Live at Carnegie Hall album is a favorite.
    A double bill with them and Yes back then would've been heaven......
    rickwebb likes this.
  14. wagdog


    Mar 20, 2000
    Der Waffle Haus
    I still have Renaissance in steady rotation, mainly due to Jon's amazing playing. Like one of life's touchstones.
  15. Enumclaw Ed

    Enumclaw Ed

    Jun 11, 2020
    Enumclaw, Wa
    I first started playing bass due to Greg Lake and Roger Waters. Bought a 1973 Fender Precision then a 74 Rickenbacker after seeing Squire with their Relayer tour. Studied Squire for hours and then I saw Jon Camp in the Paramount in Seattle in 1975 and was blown away. Ashes Are Burning live is the best bass solo ever recorded. Listening to Squire's isolated bass tracks on YouTube and I'm thinking out of context of the composition, it doesn't make sense but then Steve Howe's isolated parts don't either. Thanks to Eddie Offord to make it all work! Pity they did not continue with him as their compositions suffered since then. Listen to Jon Camp's playing and tone, and you hear him flawlessly ripping scales between chords with melody in sync with the drummer that has not been heard recorded by anyone since. No, not even Geddy. I play with a pick and learned from Squire and Camp that the key to their sound is how they hold the pick. The pick is followed closely by the thumb hitting the string in milliseconds creating a harmonic overtone that rings nicer with a little chorus and delay. This technique also opens up popping the strings best heard with Camp doing fast scale runs on Ashes Are Burning live. His use of a bass volume pedal is sublime, a definitive archetype of the Prop Rock bass encyclopedia. Miss the Prog Rock bassists of the 70s, to include Star Castle (Yes clone), Gentle Giant and Rush before Geddy got into keyboards. Jon Camp-best bassist that ever lived-period. Don't think so? Check Renaissance's concerts on YouTube.
    Indiedog and son_of_mogh like this.
  16. His new band is, Band of Rain. They've been around, but Mr. Camp joined them in time to do their latest album, "Petrichor". He's been more active on Facebook lately, as well.
    B-Mac and Rocker949 like this.
  17. Indiedog


    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Great post!
    This thread deserves to live again.

    I too think Jon is highly original and one of the best players ever. I just shake my head when listening. Sooooo good!
    Rocker949 likes this.
  18. s van order

    s van order

    Oct 4, 2012
    Yes! Mr. Camp, please report in! How are you doing? You have a fan “bass” out here.
  19. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I broke out some live Renaissance recently, incredibly tight live band.
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