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Larry Graham

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Bassline1414, Aug 29, 2000.

  1. What can I say about this guy? He invented the art of slapping and is a great funk bass player. Even though a lot of his stuff is simple (Thank You) but he holds down a solid groove. This post is a tribute to THE MAN himself....
  2. I'm surprised that nobody replied to this, considering if it weren't for LG, there would be no Flea, Les Claypool, Victor Wooten, or any other top notch bassists there are today. If any of you dont know who Larry Graham is, he was the bass player for Sly & the Family Stone, and then he went on to form Graham Central Station. You should all check him out.....
  3. yeah... weird no one replied...

    but anyway, yeah! Larry Graham is great!!
    I can´t think of anything else right now and am going to sleep soon so.. l8er.. :)
  4. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Hmmm....Larry Graham....Isn't he the guy playin' with Prince these days?....:D
  5. I dont think hes in Prince's band or anything, but he did perform with him for his New Year's Eve concert...
  6. I'm not typically a slapper, but the other day I was thinking I can see why he came up the technique. I had heard the story that he used to play in a gospel group with no drummer, so he started slapping to add more of a percussive sound.

    I was playing a small function with one of my bands (a Scottish dance band) the other day. We played without 2 of our regular members including the drummer and I found myself adding a lot of extra percussive "slaps" to my playing that I don't normally do.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Hey, Rob-
    I think I might resurrect YOUR "Who Doesn't Slap" thread. :D
    It's always a treat hearing the Oldies' station spin "Dance To The Music".
    "I Want To Take You Higher", "Hot Fun In The Summertime", "Sing A Simple Song"...cool stuff that reminds me of being a kid in the late '60s.
  8. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I saw Larry perform here on UK television recently, with Prince/The Artist/squiggle. Larry was part of Prince's backing band, but stood right up front with him for the performance. They did a song called 'Pretty Man'. I think Prince was promoting the 'Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic' album in Europe at the time.

    Larry didn't slap, but he only used his thumb, playing with a downwards action (like most bassists did before the rise of fingerstyle playing). It was a pretty busy bassline, but he really dug in with the thumb. To play the notes quickly enough, I think there was a lot of hammer-on/pull-offs going on.

    No fuzz this time, just an excellent clean sound. Larry must be getting on a bit now, but he can still move with the best of 'em!

    Incidentally, my favourite Family Stone tracks are 'Ride The Rhythm' 'I Want To Take You Higher', 'Thank You' and the outro of 'Stand'.

  9. There are so many bassists he has influenced its not even funny: Flea (saw his instructional video, gave props to Larry), Bootsy Collins, Stanley Clarke, Les Claypool, Louis Johnson, Victor Wooten, and anyone else who has ever slapped a note on the electric bass. And yeah, the reason he started slapping is because the Gospel group that he and his Mom had lost both their bassist and drummer, forcing Larry, who was on guitar, to switch to bass. And since they lost the drummer he tried to imitate the sounds of the snare and bass drums, so he started slapping and popping.
  10. that´s pretty much what I was on my way to say.. :)

    but there´s one thing.. Larry didn´t influence Louis Johnson... Louis had never heard of Larry or heard slap so he sorta came up with it too, although larry was first.... :)
    just making a point. :)
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I STILL have a songbook that accompanies The Brothers Johnson's LOOK OUT FOR #1 album(I do save everything).
    Anyway, here's a snippet-
    "The brothers are able to strike a groove on tunes ranging from Miles Davis' "Round About Midnight" to Hungarian folk songs. Consequently, though Louis & George were GREATLY INFLUENCED by Larry Graham & Jimi Hendrix, their musical roots make them as much a part of Louis Armstrong & Charlie Mingus as is Freddie Hubbard or Stanley Clarke".

    Chuck Rainey used to say Monk Montgomery was the first to slap an electric bass.
    Does it matter? ...hardly.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Louis not influenced by Larry? Sorry, that's just not true. He was influenced just like I was back then, just like Keni Burke was, Aaron Mills, Nathaniel Phillips, etc., etc. etc. If you played Funk back then, for thumping and popping (as "we" called it;)), Larry was ground zero. Think about it. Louis grew up during Sly and the Family Stones heyday and he never heard of them?


    It wouldn't surprise me if Monk was the first. I don't know if he thumped AND popped, though.
  13. I don't know how many of you have had the opportunity to see Larry Graham live but I did and it was a hell of a show.

    It was in Mobile AL in 1977. My girlfriend and I were part of only a handful of white folks attending this little jam. I was there specifically to see the Isley Bros. But the undercard was definitely worth the price of admission. The show began with Hamilton Bohannon then progressed to Larry Graham and Graham Central Station. Geez-o-pete did he throw it down! By the time he was done with his set, an additional 20 minute solo (all done in blacklight) and ending with lighting his bass on fire, we were wore out! Of course the Isley's put on a top notch funkfest of their own but it was Larry Graham that made the night.
  14. markedwardchurch


    Aug 31, 2000
    Yeah, props to Larry Graham. But listen to "Fresh" ; he does (in my opinion) the two lamest basslines on the album. Rusty Allen and Sly Stone himself do the rest, and real funky too.
    Look at slyfamstone.com (I think) and there is also a link to Graham Central Station.

    I'm 25 and I mostly listen to Funk from this era - Sly, James Brown, a bit of P Funk....
  15. funkastorious


    May 26, 2000
    Mpls, MN.
    Uh, yes....Larry Graham is "in" Prince's band.

    Prince's "NPG" has been recycled a few times in the past 3-4 years, but Larry moved up to Minneapolis after he and Prince met (jammed) in Nashville about 3 years ago. At that time, Prince helped Larry put out a solo disc (GCS2000) under Paisley Park Records.

    Larry converted Prince over to be Jehova Witness (sp?) and Prince bought the house right next him for Larry to move in. They are both deeply religious.

    I talked to Larry last week at the TOP concert and he's doing very well. He and Prince typically have extended jam sessions that are open to the public at Paisley Park. Problem is, you don't know whether they are going to play or not...so it's kinda dorkie to hang around til 3:00am to find out. However, once they play, it's a great time.

    A friend of mine was asked to audition for Prince.....rumor being that Larry might be wanting to leave. That is ONLY a rumor though...

    Larry has a very unique style and certainly doesn't slap 100% of the time. Most often, he plays "banjo" style with his thumb and REALLY likes to play double stops and octaves.

  16. Larry is like Hendrix on bass!
  17. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    "The Jam" - Graham Central Station

    If there is anybody here who has not heard this song (look for the full length 8.5 minute version), you really should treat yourself. It's the heart of funk. Honorable mention to "Hair" from GCS.

    Sly was actually going to play bass with the Family Stone himself, until he heard Larry one day being played on a local radio station. (Larry and Sly are from the San Francisco Bay Area).

    I went to see Prince in concert a couple of years ago when Emancipation came out. Larry opened the show full on in white sequened jump suit and just drove the s**t out! He is still as funky as he wants to be. Incidentally, it has been said that Prince will play guitar behind stage while Larry is opening, just to warm up and to get to jam more. Also, toward the end of Prince's show, another local artist made a cameo. Carlos Santana. Prince and Santana traded licks on a dueling guitar solo/song that just got as funky as big foot funky toenail hairy ... oh, you get the point. Chaka Khan was also in the NPG at the time, but unfortunately there was no Rufus revival. Imagine my joy at seeing Larry Graham, Prince, and Carlos Santana all in one night.
  18. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    While watching Larry play...I always wondered how in the world he could play like that...while dancing around. I have a hard enough time playing...just standing still. :D
  19. marcelrobeerts


    May 26, 2009

    I, a friend of Marcel, am posting on this really old topic, because I am seeking this great guitar jam between Prince and Carlos Santana.

    Marcel has seen the video of this performance years ago, and really loved it. A lot!

    I am now teaching Marcel the Ways of the Internet, but... I CANNOT find this live concert (or song even) back. Not in mp3, not in video.

    Then I at least found this discussion, which references a great guitar solo between, among others, prince & carlos santana. Further Googling didn't give more results :/

    Now, after this long introduction, the very short question: can anyone help me finding this piece of music for Marcel? He would really love it! And my torrents, xemule, google don't give any results...

    So... Pretty please?

    : )


  20. marcelrobeerts


    May 26, 2009

    Sigh, last half year I've been looking for info. Now, because of this thread, I added the word "jam" to Google's Prince Santa search.

    Two months ago almost the exact same question I had here, was asked on prince.org forum.

    Still don't have the music, but at least some more info : )

    PM me if you have the video / mp3? So thanx if you would ; )

    Till repost!


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