1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Tiran Porter - KNOW YOUR BASS PLAYER

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Tom Semioli, Apr 9, 2018.


  1. Tom Semioli

    Tom Semioli

    Dec 24, 2017
    New York City
    TIRAN PORTER KNOW YOUR BASS PLAYER (Link) Tiran Porter
    To my ears, they were a quintessential American band whose excellence as songwriters, instrumentalists, and recording artists was so profound that their generation took the Doobie Brothers for granted! From the time he hooked up with the San Jose collective in 1972 until he departed the band shortly before they split in 1980, Tiran Porter’s bass was a staple on FM and AM radio. An accomplished backing vocalist greatly inspired by Sir Paul, Tiran rendered a unique, funky plectrum attack coupled with a penchant for purveying melodic motifs which defined several rock standards including “China Grove,” “Listen to the Music,” “Long Train Runnin,” “Minute By Minute,” and “Takin’ It to the Streets” among others. My guess is that most folks assume that the Doobie Brothers are already in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.
    tiran.
     
    Polk Salad, elgecko, kobass and 4 others like this.
  2. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    They're not?! I should not be surprised.

    Love Porter...was just re-visiting Takin' It To The Streets.
    Even with McDonald, Porter is ripping it up on these tracks.
     
    elgecko and Tom Semioli like this.
  3. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Great blog! Thanks for sharing this with us!
     
    Tom Semioli likes this.
  4. Basshappi

    Basshappi

    Feb 12, 2007
    Tucson,AZ
    A great musician in a band filled with great musicians, I always loved his playing.
     
    Tom Semioli likes this.
  5. Tom Semioli

    Tom Semioli

    Dec 24, 2017
    New York City
    Thanks for reading!!!!
     
  6. Tiran is a really fantastic player. I love his lines in songs like "Long Train Runnin'" and "Takin' It to the Streets". Very economical but sometimes kind of tricky in the timing, kind of like Jamerson in a way, but more inclined to find a few patterns and use them consistently instead of Jamerson's tendency to improvise over a whole song. (I'm not criticizing either of them by saying that.) He added a lot to the Doobies' sound.
     
    Tom Semioli and soulman969 like this.
  7. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Owner - Dan's Music, Inc.
    The last few years I think he has worked mostly with Jerry Miller, the great guitarist from Moby Grape.
     
  8. Paulabass

    Paulabass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2017
    One of the guys that got me playing bass. I bought a Gibson EB3L because of him. Proved to me tone is in the hands, one of the worst basses ever created.
     
  9. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    ...all while singing some cool backing/harmony.
     
    Tom Semioli likes this.
  10. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Actually, except for possibly a couple of one-offs, Tiran hasn’t played with Jerry in over 20 years(Miller has long since moved from northern CA back to Takoma). I did see their trio at the Crow’s Nest in Santa Cruz ages ago. My wife is an old friend of Tiran’s, and we used to go up and visit him quite a bit before we both got sidetracked with elder care issues. He’s still doing fine, playing in bands in the Santa Cruz/Los Gatos area, one project being an album tribute band(like playing the entire ‘White Album’ and such). In 1996, we saw him in LA playing in a reconstituted version of Moby Grape; Bob Mosley was on stage, physically, but not so much mentally; he still managed to sing “Murder In My Heart”(that was a time-warp month for me, also on the bill was Spirit just months before Randy California drowned, then later I saw a reformed Box Tops with Alex Chilton, add to that the Sex Pistols on their reunion tour). Tiran has also performed with MG’s Peter Lewis separately; he(Lewis)is a great guy, very humble considering his mother was a notable 30’s/40’s movie actress(Loretta Young). The Doobies had evolved out of a failed back-up band situation for ex-Moby Grape Skip Spence, who, even then(1970-ish), wasn’t all there. The American Syd Barrett.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    Tom Semioli and dan1952 like this.
  11. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Owner - Dan's Music, Inc.
    I knew Miller had moved back to Takoma, but I had seen several clips of Tiran playing with him, I thought more recently than that. My mistake. My friend Dane Clark, who plays drums with John Mellencamp, has worked with Jerry Miller, Don Stevenson, and Omar Spence (Skip's son) on some recordings, and played with them at SXSW several years ago. Some clips are on Youtube - pretty darned great! I think he's worked some with Peter and Bob, too. I think Jerry lost most everything in a flood or a fire a few years ago - I know I read a while back about a couple of fundraisers for him. Omar had some legal issues a few years ago, too. The Grape can't catch a break! Nice to hear from another fan of the Grape!
     
  12. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    In addition, Peter's daughter Arwen goes around performing a lot of Grape material; I'm sure she means well and wants to continue her dad's and the Grape's legacy, but unfortunately she's not that great of a singer...


    Here's Peter, Tiran, Arwen and others performing a few years ago in the Santa Cruz area...


    I always felt that the Grape and Quicksilver Messenger Service(at least on their first 2 or 3 albums)were far superior and far more exciting than the Grateful Dead in the playing and songwriting department, but personnel issues and music biz crap took their toll. The Airplane as well, to a certain extent, except they would go off the deep end a little too much and were often a train wreck live. The Dead may have had that cult-like self sustaining organization to help them survive, but they just bored me to tears. Garcia solos always sounded like he was poking around notes for minutes on end in order to find that singular perfect one, while Cipollina's were artful compositions. The Grape were masters of 'guitar weaving' that Keith Richards always talks about.
     
  13. Interesting point of view. I never thought Quicksilver was all that great, really. Cipollina was wonderful, with a very distinctive style and sound, but the rest of the band was just okay. While I'm far from being a Deadhead, I think the Dead were a far more sophisticated and musical group overall. The songwriting on their best albums (Aoxomoxoa and Workingman's Dead in particular) is beyond anything Quicksilver ever did, and the interaction among the group live (as demonstrated on Live Dead's "Dark Star") shows that they listened and responded to each other on a level worthy of a top jazz ensemble. The closest equivalent among rock groups might be the Larks' Tongues edition of King Crimson, but that was a very different band with different goals and stylistic influences (and far less drug abuse).
     

Share This Page