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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by MasterChief, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. MasterChief


    Feb 4, 2003
    What exactly makes you a legendary bass player?

    Also, just for fun, name some bassists you think are legends or will be one day.
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Stanley Clarke - now
    Jeff Ament - not yet

  3. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    To me, their are very few legends. I agree on Clarke. Obviously Jaco, maybe Jamerson?
    I think Wooten and Claypool may be on their way. Some may say Flea is on his way, but I would disagree. Very good bass player? Yes. Legend? No.

    As for what makes a legend? Well, I think besides technical mastery, they also have to redefine the instrument. Is this an almost impossible task? Yes, thats why there are so few true legends.
  4. Legends... I like this thread:D .
    I think that Stanley, Jaco, Jamerson are legends.
    Victor Wooten and Les are on their way.
    I think that Flea too, cause, he might not be the best, but you must admit that he is the world`s most famous bassist.
    I think that Geddy Lee is a living legend-:D

    What makes a legend? It`s true that you must change redifine the intrument.
    But you must also be popular between bassist.
    There tons of great bassist that are overlooked.
    The fact that you die when you are young helps you to be a legend. Specially at the age of 28(i don`t know why, but tons of musicians died on that age, Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison,etc).


    P.S: The question for me is... How do you do to be popular between bassist?:confused:
  5. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    If Bootsy isn't a legend - I quit
  6. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    You make some valid points.
    If there were any justice, then Geezer Butler, John Entwistle (sp?), and Steve Harris would at least be considered. Unfortunately I dont think that will ever happen. In their own way they helped define bass for hard rock/metal, but; they never grabbed the spotlight ala Les Claypool.

    Good point about Bootsy Collins, I think he qualifies.
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I think you are officially a legendary bass player when people start using excessive hyperbole to describe your playing.

    they over glorify all your accomplishments, and you start to gain a reputation of being a lot more than you really are, all the while you are given a certain mystique that makes you even more appealing.
  8. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Let's see, the guy has been on more hits than probably any other bass player ever.
    He's influenced a countless number of bassists, including some "legends".
    A guy who has been on legendary songs and played with legendary artists.

    The best he gets is a maybe?
    He's one of the first electric bass legends.

    Click the link below and see the hit recordings he's been on. The list is too long to put into a post. And beside them being hits, they have awesome basslines. His basslines are the reason why they were hits.

  9. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    You beat me to it jive! There are legends and then there are those whos influence inspires legends. That inspiration is James Jamerson.
  10. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Here's some forgotten legends:

    Donald Duck Dunn
    Jerry Jemmott
    Robbie Shakespeare
    George Porter
    Larry Graham
    Leland Sklar

    What do they have in common? They made a SONG groove. They have played on countless hit songs and played for legendary artists. They helped shape a genre of music, not just the bass. They influenced musicians, not just bassists. Their playing is timeless. If you don't know who these guys are, you should look them up.

    Chops come and go. Good taste is timeless.
  11. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    The problem I have with your post jive, is that I have never heard of those gentlemen. I believe they were great players, but if very few have heard of them, doesnt that keep them from being a legend?
    Maybe they are legends in their field of music, but; not to the general bass playing public.
    I hope this isnt coming out wrong. As I stated, I believe they are probably great players. But, to me, legends should be a very very small group.
    I guess it goes back to the original question. How do you define a legend? I think we should first define the criteria we believe has to be met to become a legend.
    I defined some of mine above.
    Technical Mastery
    Redefining the instrument
    And I would add popularity as much as I hate doing it. The player in question would have to transcend their style of music. I think Bootsy Collins is a good example. I do not listen to funk, but I have heard of him, and I have heard him play. His playing and status have reached beyond the scope of his genre of music.
  12. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    You got a point there Vegaas, but it depends on the person. You've probably never heard of em because your scope of music is limited.;) There was innovative bass before the 80's, and bass does exist outside of rock & roll and jazz.

    I'm in my 30's and I love many styles of music so it's easier to for me to know the guys I mentioned. There's plenty of people out there who have no clue who Steve Harris or Geezer Butler are and don't care to ever listen to Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath. Doesn't mean that people who listen to Heavy Metal don't love em. I can also verify there are tons of people who never heard of Wooten or Manring or heard their playing. But, I am sure plenty of people have heard the guys I mentioned on a CD, radio, or TV whether they knew it or not.

    The guys I have mentioned do have technical mastery and redefined their instrument as well as their genre. They have displayed amazing flexibility. As far as transcending their style, well Butler only played heavy metal with one band. Same goes with Steve Harris, same goes for Flea. The guys I mentioned play BASS, not necessarily a genre of music or music for a particular band. Don't get me wrong, I love Steve Harris. Even though I don't play Metal anymore, he has influenced my playing.

    When I was younger, I thought Billy Sheehan and Stu Hamm to be "legends". They have increibly sick chops and were well known in their day, but I don't hear much about them now. They haven't permeated people's everyday lives in the way that James Jamerson or Paul McCartney has.

    Just to educate the young uns.
    Larry Graham was the bassist for Sly and the Family Stone. He basically invented slap bass.

    Donald Duck Dunn played on all the hit songs from Stax Records in Memphis. He was part of the house band called Booker T and the MGs. Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, and many others used him as the bassist. He helped define Memphis soul and R&B of the 60's & early 70's. When the Beatles met Dunn's band, Booker T and the MGs, they got on their knees and bowed.

    Robbie Shakespeare was the bass player and part of the producing team of Sly and Robbie. They defined Reggae and Ska, and played on many of the Reggae hits from Jamaica from legendary artists like Black Uhuru, the Wailers, Peter Tosh, and more. So for you Ska kids, thank Sly and Robbie for helping to form the music you love.

    Jerry Jemmott played with various Jazz/Blues/R&B musicians such as BB King, George Benson, King Curtis, and many more. Here's a link to his discography Jaco once said "I'm just a poor imitator of Jerry Jemmott"

    Leland Sklar has played with so many artists and is a key player in Nashville. He is one of the most recorded and sought after bassists in the country and pop world playing for people such as Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Hall & Oates, Jackson Browne, Phil Collins, Clint Black, Reba McEntire, and George Strait just to name a few. He's also on many soundtracks.

    George Porter played with the Meters, the house band for Crescent City studios. He's helped shaped the modern New Orleans style music and funk. He's the most obscure because people in the Big Easy support their local scene so much, they never had to leave. But if you like the modern New Orleans sound, you gotta love the Meters.

    To me a legend is someone who makes a great and lasting impact. Not just on the bass playing public, but on the general public. Also a bass legend makes other musicians legendary. Don't take it the wrong way, but if you want to define a legend, you should expand your scope of music. Then you will find true legends.

    just my $0.02
  13. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I'll never forget duck!

    he's easily my favorite bassist.

    He also played in the blues brothers band :p
  14. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    I agree with you there. I have been listening to different types of music lately to help expand my horizons. As for the bassists you have mentioned, thank you for enlighting me on their contributions. I will definlitly be looking into them.
    When it comes to Steve Harris and Geezer, they are my biggest influences along with Cliff Burton. Legends to me? Yes, but; I know they are not truly legendary players. But all had a hand in defining the metal bass player.

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