Michael Anthony: Bass and drum tracks to "Beautiful Girls" (1979)

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by A.K., Aug 16, 2014.


  1. Ralph Notoro

    Ralph Notoro Inactive

    Jul 14, 2014

    I'm not saying it isn't something a bassist wouldn't play or it had the mindset of a guitarist. I do them do, but I also play guitar , I assume you do too, and that knowledge of chord voicing helps.
     
  2. Not yet

    Not yet

    Mar 26, 2012
    That's the first time I've seen a video of Gary Cherone w them.... What were they Thinkin?
     
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  3. A.K.

    A.K.

    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Very informative post. Thanks for the insights. I am a big MA and Ellefson nut, too.

    I have the Sammy Hagar solo album from '87 where Eddie plays bass. I've only listened to it once, though. I may dig it out today and listen to it again. I remember Eddie playing some interesting stuff.

    According to Sammy, he and Ed Leffler conspired together to get Eddie to play bass on that album in order to keep an eye on him. He started drinking and doing coke more than ever after the "5150" tour and his dad's death.
     
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  4. That's so hot, great playing. I always thought it was MA on this track, although I am not at all up on who recorded what bass parts on which songs. I always thought this was the best VH bassline bar none, and one of their best tunes. It's so swinging, it has a great swagger to it. I hope it was MA playing!

    I heard a VH demo reel, supposedly their demo that got them "the deal", and from the bass playing on that, I know MA *could easily* have played this. (Unless that was Eddie's playing on the demo? Horror!) That demo stuff has almost prog like bass parts on those VH classics. It also has them playing live, covering some Led Zepp and nailing the heck out of it, DLR slaying on the Robert Plant impersonation and of course MA on bass.
     
  5. A.K.

    A.K.

    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    It was a truly bizarre and disastrous chapter in the band's history.
     
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  6. A.K.

    A.K.

    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    The nadir of the Cherone era: Eddie's piano ballad "How Many Say I."

     
  7. miner

    miner

    Oct 26, 2008
    Chicago
    Yeah, looking at your posts it seems like we have similar tastes in bass players lol!

    Those old demos are amazing! The Gene Simmons demo is my favorite VH album of all! And the Warner Bros demo had this track....

    VAN HALEN Gonna Take A Lot Of Drugs / THE WARNER …:
     
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  8. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    First of all, I've always been a fan of Van Halen, no matter if it was Dave or Sammy on vocals. I've admired Mike Anthony as a solid bassist and killer vocalist.

    I dug the groovy, slinky bass playing on "Beautiful Girls" from the first time I heard it in the radio when it was originally released. It was simply well done, and a great fit for the song.

    I first time I saw VH play live was during the Monsters of Rock tour in '88 with Metallica and the Scorpions at the LA Coliseum. Mike was given a bass solo in the middle of the set, and I have to admit I was completely underwhelmed. I'm not a solo bassist type guy, but I seemed to remember what he played was primarily crap with heavy delay and overdrive, with no musicality. It ended with him breaking a bass made of balsa or some other light wood in half over his head. Pure spectacle with no substance.

    Now I don't know if Mike was going through a bad time and if maybe his chops had fallen off, but I felt right then that there is no way that this was the guy who layed down the bass for Beautiful Girls. My guess is that Eddie played bass on that track, and probably several others (if not everything.)

    I did see VH once more in the early 90's, and to Mike's credit, his solo was much more musical and better in general. His work with Chickenfoot is solid as well.
     
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  9. miner

    miner

    Oct 26, 2008
    Chicago
    He's talked about his bass solo in interviews. You have Eddie who was one of the best guitarists in the world doing his guitar solo. You have Alex an amazing drummer doing his solo. Generally speaking, especially in rock/metal people don't really care for a bass solo. It doesn't matter how good you are at bass, in that context (hair metal concert) even Victor Wooten playing a solo would be underwhelming for almost everyone but bass players. So instead of trying to do a technical solo and trying to show off, he just ran around the stage making a bunch of noise and having fun trying to get the audience all excited and from what I could tell from all the live videos I've seen, it seemed to work well for him. Yeah it was goofy and it didn't take much if any skill, but that wasn't the point.

    A similar example I've seen was I was a a guitar clinic with John Pettrucci (Dream Theater). He was playing a bunch of weird complicated scales and talking about writing and practicing in different keys and stuff and most people just stood there with a blank look on their faces. Someone asked him about his tremolo system and if it stays in tune well like his old floyd roses. He kicked on a heavy delay and did some divebombs and trem stuff. Not really playing anything just hitting strings and bending the trem. Everyone there started screaming and clapping and got so excited over what he did, even though it was mostly a bunch of noise. After that he said something along the lines of "if I can get a reaction like that for messing with the bar, then I must have really been wasting my time with all the practicing I've done".
     
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  10. A.K.

    A.K.

    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I think Mike's solos were largely ridiculous (although they were much better beginning with the shag tour) and did a lot to undermine the reputation of his otherwise excellent bass playing.
     
  11. Ralph Notoro

    Ralph Notoro Inactive

    Jul 14, 2014
    Here's a suggestion. Do a one minute solo that is musical (and shows a reason for doing a solo) and then throw in a silly theatric to get some reaction and be done with it. Total time :1:30

    What's the point on running around like an idiot for 10 minutes showing everyone you have nothing musical to say?

    And if you can't do that -- don't solo. Hell, Steve Harris a GREAT bass player and he sees no reason to do a solo live.
     
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  12. A.K.

    A.K.

    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I think Mikey's solo also gave Alex the time to shotgun 3 or 4 tall malt liquors while Eddie did some blow.

    Hagar's tales of Alex's drinking in his autobiography are incredible. Alex is lucky to be alive.
     
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  13. joebar

    joebar

    Jan 10, 2010
    at least Al learned his lesson and remained sober-
    Ed did serious damage to his brain cells over the decades, not to mention his ability in later years-
    such great swing and swagger in this song though- might be the swingingest tune in rock.
     
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  14. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    The only time Ed played any bass on a VH recording are the 3 'new' tracks from the 2004 "Best of Both Worlds" compilation, and couple tracks on Van Halen III ("Without You" for example).

    EVERYTHING ELSE IS MICHAEL ANTHONY

    When you listen to to the pre-1978 demos, or any live bootlegs, you very easily tell the guy on the records and the guy playing live are one in the same.


    Excerpt from 1981 interview w/Mike:

    link: http://www.vhlinks.com/pages/interviews/ma/gp1081.php

    GP: Has your method of recording changed over the different albums?

    MA: No, not at all, except that the new album (Fair Warning) took a little longer to record - five weeks. We always write our stuff to be played live because when we're onstage, there's no rhythm guitar. Even though we've got all the wonders of the studio that we could use, that's the way we do it. And if we don't get it on the first two or three takes, we see no point in it. We don't want it coming out sounding perfectly in-tune after playing it so many times. We don't want to burn out, so we stop right there and go on to something else or take a break and drink a beer.

    GP: What are your favorite recording with Van Halen?

    MA: Let's see. From the new album, I like "Mean Street" for a straight-ahead rocker. And I really liked doing "Push Comes to Shove", because Ed turned me on to Percy Jones, the bassist in Brand X. I really got into his style of playing, so at the very beginning of the song I cop a little of his stuff. Playing that was really fun, real different from anything we've ever done before. But it's still got the Van Halen flavor. When we first heard it back, we'd just go, "Wow!"
     
  15. A.K.

    A.K.

    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Sammy himself said in his autobiography that Eddie played bass on AT LEAST 2 or 3 songs on every Van Hagar album. He's Mike's best friend. Why would he lie?

    For some reason the thought of EVH playing bass on a VH album makes people emotional.
     
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  16. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    Yes, I read that book....I believe we've been through this exercise before.
     
  17. A.K.

    A.K.

    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Again, though--why would Sammy lie about that?
     
  18. HEY HEY....Cherone is a great singer and a great showman. He could have made an excellent VH front man, if he didn't have to follow up DLR and Hagar and all the legendary drama. He was in a doomed situation, but when Van Halen calls and you're out of work, who's gonna say no?
     
  19. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx! Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    North AMERICA, USA
    It's Rock 'n Roll. You can't believe everything you read, whether it's the internet, a book, an interview, etc. Unless you were there, it's simply a matter of one person's story against another's. And for that reason I'll believe what I feel is the truth based on my many many years working in the music industry and factual information I've picked up along the way.
     
  20. Having focused hard on the bass tracks from the first couple albums recently, it's VERY clear that the bass playing on the first album is.... ok, and sometimes pretty good.

    The bass playing and tone on the second album is, GENERALLY, way better. That could mean anything - and may all be MA, possibly. It could also suggest different players at times.

    At times it's very similar sounding to the first album, but some songs, like the one this thread is about, have tone and attack and style very different from that of the first album. Of course, people change. I change in my playing depending on the needs, the producer, what I'm paid to do, my own choices and moods.

    I can, though, easily believe that some of this at least is EVH playing bass, and some is MA.

    I also could believe it's all MA.

    Whoever did it - some of that stuff, specially so all over the 2nd album, is really great rock bass playing.
     
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