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Tony Franklin

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by James Hart, Mar 3, 2006.


  1. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I searched and found one thread from 2001 on him specifically... plenty of mentions within fretless and unsung threads... but not on just him.

    I think it's time I start a new one :bassist:

    I've had a few 'main' influences over the years... Tony is one of the most important. He made me rip the frets out of my bass when I heard him in the 80s.

    To set it the times... I was 16 and had been playing for 4 years when I heard "Radioactive" on WNEW 102.7FM out of NYC. I was a classic rock kid... Sabbath, Zep, Bad Co, Tull, Rush, Skynyrd were all near the tops of my taste. I'd touched on Jaco and Stanley in my quest for a voice on the bass but hadn't grown enough to understand them.

    This blew my mind at the time and still sounds just as good to me. I wish the band would have stayed together longer.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=a-RBx1GcEY0
    (The Firm Live 1984 at the Hammersmith London)

    Anyone else dig his style?
    Anyone else GASing for his signiture bass?
     
  2. Yeah, definitely dug his playing. Mater of fact, my influences pretty much echo yours and did the same thing to my first bass. I ripped the frets out so I could do that harmonic slide he did and then learned Radioactive.

    I also did the same with Jaco, I didn't get it until later on. Once I was able to focus on the music and not just what the bass was doing.

    I know I still have some of The Firms cassettes filed away somewhere, but sadly after The Firm broke up he fell out of the limelight,



    Cool footage of The Firm. I agree, still sounds great.




    Is it me or does youtube download really, really slow?
     
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I paused it and moved on to other surfing. Went back and watched it later.

    I posted this on Tony's Yahoo! group, he dug the clip too... someone mentioned it was an MTV aired piece.
     
  4. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    Yeah Tony doesn't get mentioned here enough. Stellar fretless player, which is really a rarity in rock... especially in the mid 80's. His hair was pretty Kajagugu back then, IYAM. :D

    ... Is he playing a fretless Sabre or Cutlass? His current sig model is a fretless PJ, right?
     
  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    not sure... I was never really up on the MusicMan stuff. Yeah the sig is an unlined ebony board PJ. First 4 atring I've GASed for in a long time.
     
  6. duckbutter

    duckbutter

    Mar 30, 2005
    Yeah, he kills.
    Love his stuff with Blue Murder.
    He's also on Tony MvAlpines' 1995 CD Evolution.
     
  7. Even though I liked The Firm when he really hit me was with the Blue Murder cd!!!... His playing, his tone, everything was just right, and add to that Carmine Appice on drums!!!... It also was my first exposure to Jay Dee basses. They really seemed nice.


    I also want to check his signature bass from Fender, i traded my fretless and I really need one right now!!!
     
  8. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    I dig Tony Franklin too, I buy Gary Hoey albums mainly for Tony's work on them. I even have his video around here somewhere. When the Firm came out I already was all over it because I was already a big Page and Rodgers fan, but it was a big plus to hear fretless bass in the 80's! Like Mick Karn in Japan, it was a very refreshing sound in a over-produced decade!

    p.s. James, I'm probably at least 15 years older than you, but WNEW FM was on my radio dial all the time when I grew up outside NYC. It broke my heart when I heard they changed formats some years ago. FM was a relatively young medium when I was growing up, and WNEW was one of the best at it. IMHO
     
  9. I got the chance to meet him at NAMM this year, great guy, very down to earth.

    He told me he's currently enjoying his new son and recently did a loop disc for Sonic Foundry.
     
  10. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    yeah... it's really tugs at me now. My girl (7 years younger than me) enjoys older and current dance & club stuff... her favorite station currently is "New Mix 102.7 New York's Classic Dance Mix" :bawl:
    http://www.wnew.com/

    Where is Dave Herman, Where is Carol Miller (I had a wicked crush on that voice!)? Scottso left us the other year for the great gig in the sky.... Mr Marty is co hosting the morning drive on WRAT 95.9 local to me... but they are a heavier & newer station (I was the stations webmaster in 99-00)


    back to Tony, he's quite active in his own Yahoo! Group... stop in and say Hello to the man himself http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/tonyfranklin/
     
  11. I discovered Tony Franklin through Gary Hoey as well. I heard him with the Firm and Blue Murder, but somehow didn't really notice his playing until I got my first Gary Hoey cd. I met him at a bass clinic he had here in Jacksonville last year at Music Depot. He had some great stories to tell.
     
  12. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    :cool:
    Was a big influence on me.
    Alway dug his work with Firm.
    Wished they stayed together longer.
     
  13. Tony Franklin is the reason I play fretless. I never really heard a fretless on rock until the Firm and then on metal until Blue Murder. Both were great bands, and Tony's tone and lines are absolutely fantastic!
     
  14. Oh, and yeah, I have the wicked gas for his signature bass...
     
  15. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    +1 ...a little OT....I also think there would be a market for a five string fretless and fretted version of the bass. Fender dosen't make a decent P/J fiver. IMHO
     
  16. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Atlanta, GA!
    man, I miss all the cool cats.
     
  17. [​IMG]
     
  18. PhR

    PhR

    Dec 13, 2005
    Finland
    He also played on many Roy Harper albums.
     
  19. DGbass70

    DGbass70

    Jun 1, 2005
    Rochester N.Y.
    hi guys.....not sure if you know,he has a home page
    tonyfranklin.com

    some cool stuff there,not much but interesting
     

  20. Yeah, the first Blue Murder album kicked ass :bassist: I think that was the first time I ever heard a fretless bass.