Bassists We Have Met

@MikeC Man, what a cool story. :sunglasses: :+1:

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Great story, @MikeC! I think you have a talent for writing, and if you don’t already, you might want to do something with that :+1:t3:


Charles Mingus around 1977 at the Erickson Hall Kiva at Michigan State University. I was standing in the lobby waiting for auditorium doors to be opened and there was a big man standing in the hallway minding his own business. It was Charles Mingus! Nobody waiting in line knew it was him except me! I couldn’t believe it. They all came to hear Mingus and he was just standing right there without anyone paying attention to him! I got the nerve up and went over to him and introduced myself. I was only about one year into playing bass and had a lot of questions, but he and I had a wonderful fifteen minute conversation. He was cordial and very patient answering my questions. He told me something that has been my mantra since that day……”John, when you get it in your soul that you will never stop learning jazz, then you can call yourself a jazz musician.” How fricking cool is that!!!, that he paraphrased his “Better Get It In Your Soul” to give me advice!! When it was time to go in, I took my seat and he went up on stage. He looked my way and pointed at me and winked then started playing. I’m still amazed to this day that no one was paying attention to him in the lobby.
I also got to talk to Lester Bowie of the Art Ensemble of Chicago at the same venue. My seat was up by one of the railings near the stage and Lester came out wearing his iconic lab coat about five feet away from me to check out the crowd. He actually said hello and we had a very quick conversation. After about five minutes the lights dimmed and he looked at me, shook my hand, and said “Nice meeting you John, but time to go to work!” That was great! Unfortunately, I was not able to meet Malachi Favors.
Anyways, besides meeting, shaking hands, and talking to Catherine Bach, those are my lifetime claims to fame……
The one musician I’ve always wanted to meet is the bassist who actually inspired me to play bass because she was so hot I figured I’d play bass and meet hot women like her…maybe even her!!...Suzi Quatro……but, that dream of this Detroit boy has yet to be realized…………


Mingus! Holy crap, that’s fantastic. What a jazz pioneer. Good on you, man.


Best thing ever!!!

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:rofl: perfect


Ive had the good fortune of making friends with some great players. Lee Sklar is a dear friend, who actually came to watch a rehearsal of mine at Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, where i also met Tony Franklin, who was a counselor, as well as Tommy Black, and Sean McNabb

These are just the bassists i got pictures of.




That’s awesome.


One of THE most underrated players too. His work with Whitesnake on their album is awesome. His playing is so Funky for a Rock guy :ok_hand:

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Met this guy a number of times over the years. When he released his book “Behind the pumphouse”, he really talked allot about how he grew up, and how he developed the lyrics for allot of his music. I think what I love most about him is how down to earth he is. On the song “Hats Off” he mentions he pulled some weeds and bought a four string. That really is how his youth was. If he wanted something, he worked for it. Its very relatable. And he’s a very modest person. No self absorbed ego like many great musicians.


Cool pic. Les Claypool rocks!

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I met Frankie Poullain. Don’t know if that counts, because I purchased a VIP experience package for a concert and you got to meet the band (The Darkness) and take a photo. Sadly I never received the photo. I don’t mind though, the VIP experience was fun and quite a ‘small’ gathering.


Spent the weekend driving down to Germany to a little hamlet in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Northern Germany to see the Dutch soul/funk/acid jazz outfit “Tristan”. Normally, they play (slightly) bigger clubs and venues, but it was kind of a home game, as the drummer’s parents live there and he has built his studio there as well.

It was a nice warm evening, super fun gig, and there was ample opportunity to talk to the entire band. Super chill and nice people, and I joined them after the gig for a late meal and a lot of crazy banter.

Best of all, of course, was to hang with my bass idol Frans Vollink :smile:


I have to live vicariously through my father for this kind of stuff, but the story is too cool not to tell. This takes place back in the late 60’s, in Orlando, Florida. Thanks to a riot after a rock concert, the city of Orlando banned all rock concerts in the city.

My father was a hippie attending college at UCF before it was called UCF. Being the hippie that he was, he started going to every city council meeting and giving the same speech about how they should rethink their decision etc etc. Eventually, they got tired to seeing him and basically said “Mr. Crispy Sr., we’ll allow concerts again BUT you will be personally responsible for anything that happens.”

This essentially made my father the de facto official promoter for the growing City of Orlando. Any band that wanted to play in this growing market had to go through my dad. He worked with Kiss, The Who, The J. Geils Band, David Bowie and pretty much any other band.

He had stories like the times he would be blasting all over the state in the days leading up to the concerts collecting ticket money from all the head shops (this was before Ticketmaster, mind you) and making the trip in a beat up VW Microbus while my mother and her friend were in the back with piles of wadded up bills trying to sort and count them.

There was a concert with David Bowie, in the peak of his Ziggy Stardust days. On the way to the venue, the truck carrying all his costumes and such went off the road and wound up in a swamp. Instead of cancelling the concert, Bowie was just like we’ll make due. So the concert went on with Bowie doing the whole thing wearing just a pair of overalls that he had at the time. Neat thing about that one is, after his death, there were all these tributes and such and they played a clip of Bowie fondly recalling that particular concert as one of his favorites.

Side note: J. Geils Band was my dad’s favorite band to work with. Said the concert always made him money, the band was very down to Earth and were some of the nicest people that he worked with.

There are FAR too many more stories to list here.

This lasted until the early 70s. That’s when music corporations were taking more interest in the process. They started doing things like “We’ll let band A play in your city if you also agree to let band B…which we’re trying to build up…play as well.” My father started losing as much money on band B as he made with band A. Then, along came the New York Dolls. The record company required the New York Dolls have a concert and, if so, then they would book The Who.

My dad lost so much money on the New York Dolls that even having The Who still left him in the hole. If I ever wanted to get him riled up as a teen, I would put on Buster Poindexter’s “Hot Hot Hot” and wait for the rant (the lead singer of New York Dolls went on to adopt the Buster Poindexter persona).

But I digress

At that point, the winds of change had long since blown through with the city. They we also starting to let other promoters get started. My father decided to walk away from the whole mess.

He’s in his 80s now and I’m trying to get him to write down or audio record every story he can remember while he can remember so that maybe I can put it together into a book.


Great stories! Do one better, set up a iphone as a video camera and you and him sit down with his favorite refreshing beverage and just get him talking. Tell him not to worry about the camera/phone and he’ll just be talking to you. Then you’re getting audio and video in a very unintimidating way. Make it a weekly thing and you’ll have tons of good history and you’ll get to know him even better. A win-win!


That’s fantastic! I hope he makes the book.


When I was a teenager (a long, long time ago) my friends and I went to an AC/DC concert in Nashville. We clawed our way to the very front row and Angus was so close I could see the sweat drop off his nose as he lit that lead guitar on fire. Haha.
During their final song I threw my AC/DC hat onto the stage. Lead singer Brian Johnson took off his own hat and put mine on for the rest of the show!
Unfortunately he didn’t give it back so I was out an AC/DC hat but gained a memory that makes my old ass smile still to this day. Haha

Not a bass player but a cool story nonetheless. Haha


Went to my kids’ school musical last night.
It was a production of Hairspray-this is a school with a strong performing Arts element so the production was as good as anything a professional theatre would put on. Pretty fantastic actually.
All live music by the kids too.
Anyway to the topic.
One of the parents, who I also used to work with is SIL of Brian Ritchie of Violent Femmes fame. I have known this for several years but never had the chance to meet as they live in Tasmania (I think), basically the other end of the country.
I didn’t actually get to meet him but could have if I wanted to, as he was just there as an uncle and I didn’t want to fanboi.
His wife could see that I obviously recognised him though.
He is a very tall 60 summat guy who blended in with everyone else and kept to himself.


Never really met anyone of big fame, I did meet Sharlee D’Angelo when he was playing bass for Mercyful Fate, super cool and laid back dude. Very chill.

Biggest claim to fame is talking to drummer Paul Bostaph (Exodus/Slayer). Some of my mates got backstage when Exodus were playing and they tried to get me to come down. I was fairly stoned and said no, the my phone rings again and it’s Paul Bostaph asking me to come to the show. Was pretty funny. Nice guy.

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