RIP Robbie Shakespeare

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by HotelX, Dec 8, 2021.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Thanks!:)
     
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  2. LeMaartien

    LeMaartien Always forward. Never straight.

    Sep 23, 2014
    Arcachon, France
    One of her best...

     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  3. DrummerwStrings

    DrummerwStrings

    Mar 27, 2015
    Philly
    None
    Here’s a Summer ‘82 hit I discovered when visiting cousins in NYC, Gwen Gunthrie’s “Should Have Been You”:




    But her biggest hit was “Ain’t Nothing Going on But The Rent” (Eddie Murphy used it for some laughs in his breakout stand-up movie):



    It took me about 10 years of playing records & glancing at jacket sleeves before I realized the Gwen Gunthrie, Grace Jones & dub credits were honoring the same duo. After that, every time I noticed Sly + Robbie in the credits, I slowly nodded my head.

    When I heard the BBC radio announcer mention ‘Robbie Shakespeare’, “uh-oh” passed my lips before I heard the rest of the sentence.

    EDIT: I should have finished reading the thread, excuse the repeats
     
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  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    True enough, Robbie Shakespeare was a titan in Reggae, but he was a low key influence in Funk, R&B, Dance music too. I bet a dollar to a dime that Robbie Shakespeare could bring the Funk better than most American Funk bassists could play Reggae.
     
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  5. One of my main influences.

    Watched this gig 30 times, when I was young. And bought a sunburst Jazz Bass with inlays shortly thereafter. Still haven't found the red pants suit, I want to wear on stage...
    Sad day, he was so great.
    Now 3 of my 4 favorite bass players are dead. Let's celebrate Robbie Bassbear.
    Shakespeare bass have your bright new ways...

    The way Shakespeare unplugs his bass and leaves the stage after Sly Dunbar has played with his drumsticks on his bass is one of those for me greatest moments in music that is engraved in my brain since then..., or let's say greatest moment in being the coolest bass player on earth.

     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  6. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    In the 80's I loved these recordings, still do. Marcus was also on these recordings.


     
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  7. DrummerwStrings

    DrummerwStrings

    Mar 27, 2015
    Philly
    None

    True dat! Low key does not mean low influence in this case.

    The Jamaicans had a head start, tho - they were listening, playing along to, & covering American (especially Do-Wop & Motown), Caribbean & local music long before most Americans heard of Reggae, let alone Ska. I agree Reggae has had a larger influence in the UK (& Globally): I was going to say maybe due to more immigration to a fellow Commonwealth nation, but that makes no sense - plenty of Jamaican-Americans. Maybe the # of UK immigrants is a larger % of the population - it is ‘A Small Island’... We can add it to same :eyebrow: List as the Metric System & Soccer/Football.

    Whatever - Thank God Good music rippled out, touched & inspired people, influenced more Good music & radiated out again. I was tempted to take a (cheap) shot here at spammed cut&paste beats with weak, Auto-tuned lyrics on top, but then I remembered how much harder it was back in 1982 to scale the Industry’s genre walls, let alone find good music. Compare YouTube/Spotify/iTunes/Pandora/RealPlayer/an internet search to: yelling into DJs’ ears, having conversations while shivering in line to venues, learning the schedules of knowledgeable record store staff, anxiously adjusting the radio tuner when you think you’re in range of SoCal or NYC so you can get a 3-4 week jump on the latest music (or whole genres - the 1st time I heard The Time sing ‘New Wave is Dead’ I thought “What’s New Wave? How did I miss it?”), waiting next to the radio to slam down the ‘Play’ & ‘Record’ buttons, & frantically scribbling notes on receipts & scraps of paper (in the ‘90s I remember going to Tower Records/bookstores & looking up bands/albums in a big ‘ol telephone book-sized tome I forgot the name of that’s been replaced by Wikipedia)...not all good times. Whoa - I just proofread & didn’t intended to write an essay - it’s obvious I’ve been reminiscing about old family & friends this afternoon. Peace & Happy Holidays!


    TL;DR -
    I should mention that the Gwen Gunthrie tracks - shoot, Grace Jones’ “Private Life” , all the Sly + Robbie tracks - should be listened to on a system that delivers Bass - it’s Dance music (don’t be afraid to get out of your chair).
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  8. This whole album is great
     
  9. howlin

    howlin

    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm Not There
    I got to see Sly & Robbie in '81 backing up Peter Tosh. He was playing a P bass thru an SVT. What a sound! I don't know how the FoH managed to mix the bass so clear. The over all sound was so deep I thought my head was going to implode.
     
  10. Sure it was a P bass? Seen him mostly with Jazz Basses, a Höfner earlier, a headless Steinberger and a bass with a P/J configuration in the 90s and during the last years only with Jazz Basses again, but never with a P bass?
    In 1981 with Black Uhuru he played a sunburst Jazz Bass with block inlays.
     
  11. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Canada
    I was surprised to see him playing a red Precision bass at Glastonbury in the 80s....Sparkly Red....Memory burn
     
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  12. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Canada
    Here he is with A Precision bass....Not the one I believe he played in 85 or so at Glastonbury

    ROBBIE-800x450.jpg
     
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  13. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Canada
    Wow! and another

    river?version=5624867&width=1340.jpg
     
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  14. That's cherry picking:)l We all make mistakes! I own two Ps, but for Reggae?


    My fav:
    robbie-shakespeare.jpg
     
  15. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Canada
    The last couple of reggae gigs I switched it up and used a Precision..Got great DUB fat sound going through my Mesa Subway D-800

    Also Dennis Bovell with Linton Kwesi Johnson used Precision basses...Huge Fat sound
     
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  16. LeMaartien

    LeMaartien Always forward. Never straight.

    Sep 23, 2014
    Arcachon, France
    Here's an interview from Barcelona with Sly and Robbie in 2008, with Robbie on a yellow cream-colored P bass.

     
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  17. I am resigning from all my private and public duties: I have falsely claimed that one - in a special case even Robbie Shakespeare - can not play reaggae bass with a Fender Precision!
     
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  18. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Canada
    I know right...I would have been right with you if I had not seen it with my own eyes!!!
     
  19. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    I saw him backing up Peter Tosh in the early 80s. He had two SVTs and a Beatle bass. Definitely made an impression on me. It was one of the loudest shows I've ever seen from the outset, but all that rumbly, slow oozing bass. He played on all kinds of music that lives inside me to this day. The first things that come to mind are Two Sevens Clash by Culture, and Grace Jones' early 80s Compass Point-era albums.
    See above. I must have seen him a year or two later. So much bass!!!
    Yes! And it was part of a run of great albums.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2021
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