the Billy Sheehan that i know

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by slagheap, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. slagheap

    slagheap Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    some years ago i met a pro road manager and we ended up talking for maybe a couple of hours spread over a few weeks. he oversaw, i suppose among others, a Mr. Big japan tour and a Journey south american tour, IIRC. we talked over a lot of stuff. he experienced most of the stuff that happens to stressed out road managers, the okay stuff and the bad stuff. anyway, he slammed Sheehan mercilessly for his attitude, demeanor, general behavior. i, however, have spoken to Billy after gigs, including once at some length, and found him to be a total mensch. i think the manager i spoke with was just burnt out and kind of bitter. whatever. here's the Sheehan i recognize:
  2. I have followed Billy's career for many years and he has always, always struck me as one of the nicest guys in the business. Not to mention an astounding musician!
  3. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Is it so inconceivable that Billy may interact with a fan differently than an employee or staff member?
  4. In consideration of all that I know and have read on Billy, including many contemporaneous accounts from other musicians and music biz folk, yes. I'm not saying that there isn't a possibility of a disconnect but I don't say 'one of the nicest guys in the business' lightly. Anyone can have a bad day or a bad week, but I have formed an opinion on Billy as a stellar guy through the consideration of many sources of evidence.
    rollie 55 likes this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I have has the same experiences with Billy. He seems to he a great guy.

    Once at a show in Raleigh, he (and Steve Vai) literally jumped the security fence and went out into the crowd signing things and talking bass with people for a very long time. We left over an hour after they had joined the crowd and they were still hanging out. He played people's basses, posed for countless pics, and signed whatever anyone wanted signed.
  6. Even the nicest guys in the business have people who don't like them. Billy never seems to lack for work, even though his style is an acquired taste.
    ThumbyAche and rollie 55 like this.
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    There's a lot of people I can only take in small doses. Nothing "wrong" with them, they're usually quite nice, but after a few hours I gotta get away. I assume there are people who feel the same way about me.

    Imagine being on tour with someone like that for a few months.
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    This is what perplexes me about all the hate when Sheehan is mentioned on here. He doesn't run his mouth about touchy subjects like some & he seems very modest to me.
    The only thing I can conclude is that the hate is spawned from envy.
    Mastodon2, cemunk, JaseyT and 8 others like this.
  9. I’m neither here nor there on Sheehan, but it would seem somewhat unprofessional to me of an upper level manager to speak in such terms of their peers. Every time I’ve had similar convos with people like that, the derision was way more tongue in cheek...a roll of the eyes at best. I’m not saying it’s shocking. I only know Mr. Sheehan as the nice fellow with the green bass.
  10. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  11. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Nobody is hating Billy in this thread
    jerry likes this.
  12. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    You'd need to have blinders on if you haven't seen the slagging off of him on here in the past.
    rtav likes this.
  13. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I usually don’t open praise/trash the player threads.

    This one caught me because I was expecting first hand anecdotes.

    Foiled again.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  14. roller

    roller Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    About 15 years ago, an out-of-town friend was visiting and as I was showing him around, we decided to pull into Sam Ash (as my buddy had never been to one). We step inside and are walking around, checking everything out... and after a few minutes, I head to the restroom. Who comes walking out and down the hallway toward me?

    Yup, Billy Sheehan.

    He didn't know me from Adam... but that didn't stop him putting on a big smile and asking, "How ya doin'?" Turns out, he was doing an in-store clinic that day and my buddy and I just happened to blindly waltz in that day. The clinic was solid and fun.

    Sheehan's friendliness that day has always stuck with me. I might not care for everything he's a part of, but he's a nice guy... no denying that.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
    rtav, Cliff Colton and rllefebv like this.
  15. Timmy-Watts

    Timmy-Watts I like bass. And airplanes. Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    When I was like 16 he did a clinic. Was very humble and down to earth. Afterward he stuck around and talked to everyone who wanted to talk to him, for hours, even the dumb kids like me. He treated every question as valid and did not look down on anyone. When it was my turn, he treated me as if I was the most important person in the room. I asked him some dumb question about tapping or something. And he picked up his bass and gave me a little mini lesson, and let me try it on his bass. He was in no rush to shrug anyone off. It was possibly the coolest famous bassist experience I have had. His encouragement to me as a very green novice nobody bassist really impacted me. That's my Billy Sheehan experience.
    PaulS, rtav, bobyoung53 and 15 others like this.
  16. Years ago my band was opener for Mr Big and Yngwie Malmsteen for a club date. It was before Mr Big had any music out and I’m guessing doing some small shows getting the kinks worked out.

    This was before smart phones or really the internet was a everyday part of our lives. Being in a touring road band, we were working on gaining traction ourselves. Long story cut short, I didn’t know who mr big, or Billy Sheehan was.

    After our soundcheck he came over, said we sounded good. I asked if he was working with one of the bands. reflecting back, I think he was amused that I wasn’t aware of whom he was. We small talked, and he even noodled on my bass a second, saying he “played a little”.

    He was genuine, down to earth, and seemed to enjoy talking to me and hearing about my band. There wasn’t a pompous word or action about him, and he seemed to love music and everything about it. He was very gracious and a guy you could really like.

    Later that night after our set, I heard them, and he absolutely blew me away with his talent.
    But talking to him, he was just billy from the block.
    bobyoung53, cemunk, JaseyT and 16 others like this.
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Inactive

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    Billy seems like a personable and talented person
    JGbassman likes this.
  18. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    He seems like one of the most down to earth Sceintologists that I've heard speak.

    Rev J
  19. Clark W

    Clark W Just Say No To Tort! Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    Envy tends to do that.
  20. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Ran into him and Dave LaRue at NAMM some years back. Talked with both of them for a good 30 minutes. Totally normal laid back dudes. Talked about music in schools, nostalgia music, records vs cds and how digital music platforms will destroy physical media... man that was a great day.