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Mike Mesaros, anyone?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Blackbird, Dec 8, 2005.


  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    I just bought a copy of the Smithereens's Green Thoughts and got so into it I bought Eleven the following day. I find that the Smithereens were a very underrated band, as was their bassist Mike Mesaros, in my opinion as much of a bass stylist as Sting. Very tasteful and concise.

    Any other Smithereens/Mesaros fans? Favorite lines? I'll post mine later.
     
  2. fenwickbacker

    fenwickbacker

    Jun 12, 2004
    New Orleans
    I don't have much of their stuff, just 11. But Mesaro's lines are pretty good - I like "Girl Like You" and "Wipe Your Tears Away."

    I like his tone as well. Good call.

    Somewhat similar style (ok, maybe not) - but how about Michael Been of The Call. Unique tone and some real melodic lines. I like his attack in some of their "harder" songs - a nice trebly bite.
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    If you liked 11, you really should look for Green Thoughts. It's in the same vein, but a bit lighter and more melodic. Songs are more varied too.

    I've never heard The Call. I'll look into them.
     
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    another fan here...

    I remember when I first saw the video for "Blood & Roses"... I thought David Gilmour had a new band!

    Girl like you is a great tune... my favorite I think. It's been a while, I'll need to dig my cassettes out
     
    Squittolo likes this.
  5. They effin' rule! Mesaros is a whole lot of badass in one spot. His playing is more reminiscent of an aggressive McCartney to me. I love the Blood and Roses line, now because you mentioned Green Thoughts- I really love the tone on "Only A Memory." A lot of really great records. I loved everything up to Blow Up. I've seen them a couple times- I saw 'em about 2-3 years ago at Fish Day- it was a really great show and Mesaros was great.
     
    GloriaSeattle likes this.
  6. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    A couple bands I really like, but I forget about from time to time....The Call and the Smithereens...thanks guys!! I'll go dig some vinyl out. :cool:

    p.s. you hear Michael Been's voice in older movie soundtracks from time to time. :cool:
     
  7. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Mike and the Smithereens are fantastic.

    Isn't he the originator of the Rickenbacker Blackstar? One of the coolest basses ever.
     
  8. fenwickbacker

    fenwickbacker

    Jun 12, 2004
    New Orleans
    I pulled out the "11" cd and its a good listen. Girl Like You is a great pop/rock song. Which album had "Only a Memory"?

    I had alot of the earlier Call albums on vinyl/tape - some good songs on them - "Walls Came Down", "Everywhere I Go", "Into the Woods". I think one of their better albums is "Let the Day Begin".

    I think you can judge a band by the other musicians that sit in w/ them on albums - the Call had Peter Gabriel, Bono, T-Bone Burnett, Robbie Robertson - not bad company to keep.
     
  9. I'm pretty sure you're correct. http://www.rickenbacker.com/news_item.asp?news_id=8&news=old

    I've heard he's got SN#1. Number two belongs to Keith Brammer's brother.
     
  10. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    Green Thoughts.
     
  11. Fawkes007

    Fawkes007

    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Green Thoughts is great, but "A Date With The Smithereens" is probably their best album front to back. Much better than 11 IMO. I saw them at the Fillmore around 11 years ago and they were great. They had this back up band, The Grays, who were also fantastic. If you can find their CD (it is out of print, but maybe you can find it on the net) do so...called Ro Sham Bo.

    The night I saw them Mike was playing a Precision. In fact, the entire band was playing Fenders.
     
    Squittolo likes this.
  12. Just bumping this thread-

    I ripped all my Smithereens albums onto my iPod, and there's some great songs and some really great playing by Mike.

    Right now, my favorite line is "Cut Flowers" off 11.
     
  13. Hamrhed

    Hamrhed

    Dec 26, 2007
    Ky
    I would go so far as to say that Mesaros is one of pop music's great underrated bassists... One of my great regrets is that I never got the chance to catch Mike live, and he is no longer w/ the Smithereens (at least in performances). My favorite bass line is 'Blood and Roses' (both as a Smits track and to personally play), and I would be hard pressed to pick one album (their greatest collection and the lesser known but great 'Date w/ the Smithereens' come to mind)...

    The recent release "Meet the Smithereens" (which has the Smithereens covering the "meet the beatles" album) is outstanding w/ Severo "The Thrilla" Jornacion on Bass. I am still holding out hope that I will catch the Smithereens live someday soon as they are still very much alive and well...
     
    GloriaSeattle and selowitch like this.
  14. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    I love The Smithereens (and Mike Mesaros’ classic basslines) and The Call (and the late Michael Been’s basslines), two of my favorite bands with great songwriting and originality.

    I am not as familiar with Severo Jornacion’s bass work, but I assume he’s very good or even better.
     
    GloriaSeattle likes this.
  15. GloriaSeattle

    GloriaSeattle

    Sep 10, 2016
    PacNW
    Total Masaros FAN! Agreed, VERY much a stylist like Sting (and might I say for me, not only pleasing to the ear, but awesome eye candy for the ladies!) Last I read he went to culinary school and then got married and had kids and wanted to stay with his family more - why he quit the band. (Forgive me if I'm wrong but I was sensing some friction from the other band members for quite a long time with him (body language). As I said, I could be way off base.
     
  16. GloriaSeattle

    GloriaSeattle

    Sep 10, 2016
    PacNW
    Still grieving the loss of Michael Been - it's unreal to this day. Only uptick is he passed away doing what he loved and for his son.
     
    selowitch likes this.
  17. GloriaSeattle

    GloriaSeattle

    Sep 10, 2016
    PacNW
    I live out west and from what I can see they don't come out this far and stay on the east coast. Shame as we were rocking out to them tough all through the 80's and 90's, bands all over Oregon and Washington covering their work.
     
  18. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Definitely with you on Michael Been. Great bassist and vocalist for The Call.
     
    GloriaSeattle and jerry like this.
  19. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    Love The Smithereens! Loved his bass lines and tone, too.
     
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  20. selowitch

    selowitch

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Mike Mesaros was the man! Glad he's returning for the Betty Babjak Benefit Concert. That is cool.
     
    bass08053 and GloriaSeattle like this.