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! :)

Ya ever feel bad for Cliff Williams?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by B-NoteCowboy, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. I mean, he is in a successful band and probably is set for life, but my gosh... talk about a bassist taking one for the team. root root root root root root root root.

    I love AC/DC's powerful driving sound, but I can't think of much I would less rather play as a bassist. Great example though of how sometimes less is more when it comes to getting the right sound or doing what's right for a song.

    Props to Cliff, the ultimate team player.
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have never once felt bad for anyone who the worst that ever happened to them is not getting paid millions not to play up to his capabilities.
  3. Well, that's a darn good point. Don't get me wrong. I'm not planning on taking up a collection for him. If I could pull AC/DC money for doing those lines, I would do it too. Just sayin...
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    This kind of gig is much harder to fill than it seems.
    Keeping accurate timing and dynamic playing with such simple lines for hours long can reveal difficult.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yes and no. It's not such a big deal to play like that if you have good time, though it is tough not to falter for some people. The hard part comes in avoiding all temptation to do something "amazing."

    BTW, I meant to say "I have never once felt bad for anyone who the worst that ever happened to them is getting paid millions not to play up to his capabilities." Not "NOT getting paid." Hell, I always get paid not to play up to my capabilities, and I do it for far less than Cliff! I don't see anyone feeling bad for me.
  6. BiggieZ


    Oct 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Maybe he's just one of those types that likes being a bit more "behind the scenes"...Kinda like an NFL lineman, or a defensive defenseman in the NHL....Maybe he gets a kick out of laying down a grinding, rooting groove.....I would'nt have any problem doing that.....after all....without a good foiundation, the greatest building will fall to the ground....How many times have you watched a band play and thought, "That would sound so much better if the bassist could just grove"....It takes all types....
  7. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    oh yeah when i'm licking 10,000 dollar bottles of champagne off super models in my LA penthouse right after i drove my ferrari...... oh wait
  8. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    I've always said that AC/DC is one of the bands I admire the most because the only "star" there is Angus. You never hear a drum or bass solo from them, for instance. Few bands are as tight-sounding. To me, AC/DC is the ultimate example and exercise on discipline. Something I learned from them: When I'm playing with my rock band, I stay mostly at the bottom of the stage. If I have to sing background vocals, I move to the microphone and go back after done.

    And yes, how many multi string-tap-slap-hammer-whatever players are still living in a small room trying to make it? Cliff Williams is the one who can laugh at those who criticize him for being "untalented" just because nobody has heard chops from him (Gene Simmons may laugh as well ;) ). He gets his job really well done. What's wrong with it?
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Beat me to it. I feel sorry for the guy who gets paid minimum wage to do a repetitive boring job, not a guy who's made millions from it. He has to work 2 hours a night, tops... and when he's done, all the booze/drugs/groupies/stds he can ask for. :hyper:
  10. AC/DC is by far my favorite band. No one can ever top them IMO. Cliff holds down the lowend and keeps the groove going all the time and it works wonderfully for the music. He'll throw in a cool lil bass bit (even if it is just 3 notes) here and there that makes the song even cooler.

    He's a good solid player and that is what a band like AC/DC needs. Only people I feel sorry for is those who have to play with a bassist who can't keep the groove going and makes the song seem out of whack.
  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    AC/DC cover story: My uncle has been in at least 12 cover bands in his lifetime, and subbed/gigged with a dozen others. The first time we played highway to hell, he looked at me and said, "You're the first bassist I've ever played with who played that song right!"
  12. Tom


    Sep 7, 2005
    Davis, CA
    Billy Sheehan once praised Cliff for the exact reason that he takes his job and does it well.

    I don't feel bad for him because I think what he does fits really well. I was listening to a band my dad turned me on to - Dio - and listening to "Holy Diver" I realized that the entire band was playing super simply in the background while Dio sang his nuts off. That certainly doesn't stop it from being an awesome song.

    You can also think about singers the same way. Sure, there are the sopranos singing the melody and maybe some counterpoint in the bass, but the harmony tends to be pretty boring and repetitive. Someone needs to hold it together. I'd go so far as to say that if your band is trying to be something like AC/DC - that is, staight-up, balls-to-the-wall rock'n'roll - Cliff Williams is a man to look up to.
  13. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Cliff Williams/Phil Rudd= The most powerful groove in rock!
    Those guys will leave you like a puddle of Jello after a live show!
    SEE THEM LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. Just to restate... I definately am not bagging on him or the sound. In fact the driving beat of AC/DC music is what makes it so freakin awesome. It's simple, but super tight and yes that is probably a lot harder to do than to fill up space with tasty riffs.

    I'm just saying... he's the ultimate team player and nobody but AC/DC fans or bassists really understand that he's as important as he is because he totally blends himself to what needs to be done.
  15. AmpegSVT


    Jul 16, 2005
    Canton Ohio USA
    It's all about the song. That style of playing fits perfectly with that music. If a root root root can make young girls dance or get young males angry en masse, you're onto something!
  16. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    i read this as "do you feel bad for cliff burton?" :meh:
  17. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Some folks learn, some don't. Why clog up the sound with more info than most folks are going to comprehend?

    We are talking rock 'n' roll here: In a live or recording situation, the simplest messages transmit the easiest. The songs and their message also should be simple...and of course good.

    If a song ain't any good, how's a solo or some slap gonna improve it?

    Millions of folks going to see AC/DC EXPECT to hear and see just what they've heard and seen before. Deviate from that, and it's early retirement.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Heck, I don't even feel bad for Stanley "Tookie" Williams.
  19. bassbully43


    Jul 1, 2005
    I always admired Cliffs playing and AC/DC is my Fav. Cliff keeps great time and lays it down ....wish i could grab a gig like that i'd do it all night long :p . funny thou...my singer said to me in practice after our guitarist ripped an extended version of Cocaine...do you ever gret bored playing a bassline like that...you know ...over and over little change? I said nope I just hold it down and thicken it up and think of the song without it....he said ya i see what your saying... it would suck.
  20. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Now, now, the door on those kinda subjects has been slammed shut.