Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bass-ic Instinct

Well, the upshot of the weekend is that I am now a bass player.

Back in my teenage years, it always seemed the least appealing of all the instruments available (except perhaps keyboards - I REALLY didn't want to be a keyboard player).

Something about bass back then suggested that it wasn't a terribly exciting instrument to play, that it lacked the glamour of playing lead guitar or the possibility of making as much noise as the drummer.

But over the years, as my musical tastes have broadened, I've come to realise that the bass is, when played well, one of the most exciting instruments.

Nowadays, some of my favourite musicians are bass players: Mani, whose thunderous bass graced both of The Stone Roses' albums and every Primal Scream album since Vanishing Point; Didz Hammond, a bass player so good that Carl Barat poached him from The Cooper Temple Clause to play in Dirty Pretty Things; John Entwhistle, a man whose nicknames included "The Ox" and "the Jimi Hendrix of the bass" for good reason; and Noel Redding, one of the few bass players who could have kept up with James Marshall Hendrix.

Sadly, my bass playing will never bear comparison with any of those illustrious names. But I'm quite taken with my new toy, and I think that I've taken to playing the bass more easily than I did the acoustic guitar.

So prepare yourselves for my solo album of bass lines. If it's good enough an idea for Mani, it's good enough for me.

(Mani's Freebass album is actually a collaboration with fellow bass players Andy Rourke of The Smiths and Peter Hook of Joy Division/New Order. Rumour has it that guest vocalists on the album will include Bobby Gillespie, Liam Gallagher, Tim Burgess and Ian Brown. Which sounds like absolute bedlam and the makings of the best album ever.)

1 comment:

Philip said...


I'm imagining you cranking out the bass lines to the Violent Femmes (debut album, Slash Records 1982).

You'll have to audio blog some riffs.