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Thread: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    I think of such bass players all the time. The first three bassists for Jethro Tull, for example. I can't even remember their names.

    Graham Gouldman of 10cc comes to mind. His stuff is incredibly melodic but not a rip of McCartney.

    Peter Cetera during the greatest days of Chicago

    so many more

    Jeff Lynne as a bassist--pure genius.
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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Mel Schacher of Grand Funk Railroad

    that's what I was noticing the most about the album Phoenix I've been listening to for the last week or so. This was my introduction to rock bass, even on the crappy stereo system we had at the time.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Larry "Fuzzy" Knight, for over two decades leader and bassist of the "Blowin' Smoke Rhythm & Blues Revue" and before that, one of my favorite groups, also largely unsung, Spirit.

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    Mel Schacher of Grand Funk Railroad

    that's what I was noticing the most about the album Phoenix I've been listening to for the last week or so. This was my introduction to rock bass, even on the crappy stereo system we had at the time.
    I was just talking about what an underrated and under played bands they were. Mel was excellent.
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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by OldStrummer View Post
    Larry "Fuzzy" Knight, for over two decades leader and bassist of the "Blowin' Smoke Rhythm & Blues Revue" and before that, one of my favorite groups, also largely unsung, Spirit.
    I've listened to Spirit but I didn't know Knight--which goes to prove our points.
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    Forum Member melody's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Larry Gram...

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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    In my part of the country, "New Mexico" music is big, you probably don't hear much in other areas. The bass player is expected to carry the beat, lay the foundation, and even add harmonies to the melodies.
    Back in the day, my buddy had put a country act together, and made a few bookings when his bassist broke his arm. He was desperate, even wanting me to cover for the first gig. I introduced him to Armando, a great player from Mexico who was working in a local band. We went to AZ on Saturday to hear them, and they sounded good. Armando came over on break, and we talked, (his english wasn't very good then). He said "Stormy tells me, play it straight man, play it straight, but you know what, it's HARD to play it straight!"
    Here's the "Godfather" and his brother doing one of his signature songs, La Puerta Negra


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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    John Lodge of The Moody Blues is pretty underrated.

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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    I always thought Muff Winwood (Spencer Davis Group) and Bill Wyman (the Stones) laid down a pretty solid bottom end for their respective bands. And who could forget Jack Casady (Jeff/Plane) and David Freiberg (QMS)? Both were known for their mountains of onstage gear and truly monstrous sound. Dale Peters (The James Gang) and Felix Pappalardi (Mountain) are a couple of my favorites as well.
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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    I always thought Muff Winwood (Spencer Davis Group) and Bill Wyman (the Stones) laid down a pretty solid bottom end for their respective bands. And who could forget Jack Casady (Jeff/Plane) and David Freiberg (QMS)? Both were known for their mountains of onstage gear and truly monstrous sound. Dale Peters (The James Gang) and Felix Pappalardi (Mountain) are a couple of my favorites as well.
    Each of those is worthy of accolades. Wyman is one of my favorite bassists (Keef ain't bad either).
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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by phantomman View Post
    I always thought Muff Winwood (Spencer Davis Group) and Bill Wyman (the Stones) laid down a pretty solid bottom end for their respective bands. And who could forget Jack Casady (Jeff/Plane) and David Freiberg (QMS)? Both were known for their mountains of onstage gear and truly monstrous sound. Dale Peters (The James Gang) and Felix Pappalardi (Mountain) are a couple of my favorites as well.
    I have contended for years that the two most influential bassists in modern music were Jack Casady and John Entwistle. Before they took the stage and thundered their way into musical history, the bass was simply one component of a rhythm section, largely unnoticed and relegated to the background.

    Not long ago I bought a 20th Anniversary Jack Casady Signature Epiphone bass. And I'm not even a bass player!


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    Forum Member phantomman's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Entwistle was the undisputed king IMO and I don't think anyone thought him to be "underrated". His rig never failed to move air hundreds of feet from the stage. The last time I saw The Who perform he was playing four Sunn Coliseum heads through eight cabs of various configurations -- several 4 x 12's, some 2 x 15's, a couple of folded-horn 1 x 18's, and a pair of huge subs. Seismic-inducing to be sure!
    "When injustice becomes law then rebellion becomes duty."

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    Forum Member Offshore Angler's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Bob Babbitt, Carol Kaye to name a couple.
    "No harmonic knowledge, no sense of time, a ghastly tone, unskilled vibrato, and so on. Chuck is one of the worst guitar players I know" -Gravity Jim

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    Bob Babbitt, Carol Kaye to name a couple.
    I know the average Joe doesn't know who C Kaye is, but she's universally lauded by those in the know. She deserved to be a star, but my god, the work she did for others made that music better. She's a great bassist and doesn't suffer fools.
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    Forum Member CoyotesGator's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by Offshore Angler View Post
    , Carol Kaye.
    Aye.
    What happend?
    Who let the magic smoke out?

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    I'd wager that countless "name" acts have had their careers enhanced or revived due to the addition of work by the Wrecking Crew. I'd win that wager, too!

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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by CoyotesGator View Post
    Aye.
    Who's more underrated than women?
    I'd submit some women here.
    Tal Wilkenfeld.
    Rhonda Smith.
    What can I say? Nothing much, but I really love women in general. They deserve as much recognition as anyone else.

    Yes, I'm a fan of Jeff Beck, so I'd also mention Phil Chen. "Freeway Jam" is one of my favorite songs to listen to in the car. Great bass line.
    JMO,
    Bill
    Last edited by vinyl; 03-31-2020 at 11:42 AM.

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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    I don’t know if he’s among the underrated ones but I rarely see anyone mention Noel Redding whenever a “name the best bassists” debate is set.

    Too many people say they like Jimi and ignore that a lot of what you hear is backed by a killer, ROCK SOLID bassline.

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    I'll add Patrick O'Hearn to the list. A multi-instrumentalist and composer, O'Hearn came to prominence with Frank Zappa, and then went on with Missing Persons. He's played with the likes of Dexter Gordon, Joe Pass, Terry Bozzio, Mark Isham, and Peter Maunu. He's released 13 albums since he went solo, and has scored several films.


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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Ron Blair

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    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    ..

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    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by vinyl View Post
    Who's more underrated than women?
    I'd submit some women here.
    Tal Wilkenfeld.
    Rhonda Smith.
    What can I say? Nothing much, but I really love women in general. They deserve as much recognition as anyone else.

    Yes, I'm a fan of Jeff Beck, so I'd also mention Phil Chen. "Freeway Jam" is one of my favorite songs to listen to in the car. Great bass line.
    JMO,
    Bill
    Tal Wilkenfeld is great!

  23. #23
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    when I saw Les Paul at the Iridium back in '05, there was a blonde gal from Oz playing bass for him but I don't know her name. She was really good.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    I think of such bass players all the time. The first three bassists for Jethro Tull, for example. I can't even remember their names.

    Graham Gouldman of 10cc comes to mind. His stuff is incredibly melodic but not a rip of McCartney.

    Peter Cetera during the greatest days of Chicago

    so many more

    Jeff Lynne as a bassist--pure genius.
    A lot of the session players who, not until recently, have got the recognition they deserve. I will have to go with Joe Osborn. He has one of the funkiest bass lines ever on the 5th Dimension's Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In. Played on a 1960 Jazz Bass, with flatwound strings, and using a pick.

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    One i haven't seen mentioned that I think deserves inclusion here is Leland Sklar. Appearing on some 2,000 records, Sklar (to me) epitomized the bass riffs of the California folk-pop-rock scene. He was (and is) a highly-regarded session bassist, who has provided the "bottom" for artists such as James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt and Phil Collins.

    He and other backing musicians like Danny Kortchmar and Russ Kunkel appear on a lot of the albums from that era I have.

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Most Underrated Bassists of the 60s and 70s

    Sklar is really respected among bass players, but the general public has no idea how many hits and great albums that he's played on. I was lucky to see him with several different acts in the 70s and early 80s. The man is incredible. My gosh, when I was a teen, he looked 100 years old---and he was a young man then! He doesn't seem to have aged because he always looked old.

    The folks of 70s California rock owe a lot to Sklar for his ability to play for the song.
    Guitar freaks of the world unite!

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