Friday, January 30, 2009

100 Greatest Rock Bass Players

Bass players don't always get the same recognition as a lead guitar player, lead singer or drummer. There have been many great bass players in rock history. I have scoured through several lists of great bassists; and find that the list below includes all the best of them. You can disagree with the order as do I; however many lists have Paul McCartney, Flea and Getty Lee as the top 3 bass players. My number 1 pick would be John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin (See photo below). Please comment on your top 3 Rock Bass Players.

1. James Jamerson (Funk Brothers, session man)
2. John Entwistle (The Who)
3. Larry Graham (Sly & The Family Stone)

4. Chris Squire (Yes)

5. Jack Bruce (Cream)
6. Tony Levin (King Crimson, session man)
7. Geddy Lee (Rush)
8. Paul McCartney (The Beatles)

9. Louis Johnson (Brothers Johnson, session man)
10. Anthony Jackson (session man)
11. Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

12. Marcus Miller (session man)

13. Les Claypool (Primus)

14. Chuck Rainey (session man)

15. Billy Sheehan (Niacin, Mr. Big, Steve Vai)

16. Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath)
17. Will Lee (session man)

18. Michael Manring (Attention Deficit, session man)

19. Nathan East (Eric Clapton, session man)

20. Rocco Prestia (Tower Of Power)

21. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)

22. Abe Laboriel (session man)

23. Stuart Hamm (Joe Satriani)

24. Donald "Duck" Dunn (The MGs)
25. Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs)

26. Bob Babbitt (Funk Brothers, session man)

27. Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead)

28. Steve Harris (Iron Maiden)

29. Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna)

30. Cliff Lee Burton (Metallica)

31. John Myung (Dream Theater)

32. John Deacon (Queen)

33. Willie Weeks (session man)

34. Carol Kaye (session woman)

35. Aston "Family Man" Barrett (Bob Marley & The Wailers)

36. Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire)

37. David Hungate (Toto, session man)

38. Robert "Kool" Bell (Kool & The Gang)

39. Joe Osborne (session man)

40. Phil Chen (Rod Stewart, session man)

41. Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band)

42. Freddie Washington (session man)
43. Nathan Watts (session man)

44. Louis Satterfield (Earth Wind & Fire, session man)

45. Andy West (Dixie Dregs)

46. Bootsy Collins (Funkadelic)
47. John Wetton (King Crimson)

48. Greg Lake (ELP)

49. Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge)

50. Mark King (Level 42)

51. Mike Watt (Minutemen)

52. Bernard Odum (James Brown, session man)

53. George Porter Jr. (Meters, session man)

54. Mike Gordon (Phish)

55. Bernard Edwards (Chic)

56. Ryan Martinie (Mudvayne)

57. Willie Dixon (session man)

58. Andy Fraser (Free)
59. Trey Gunn (King Crimson)

60. Dave Schools (Widespread Panic)

61. Berry Oakley (Allman Brothers Band)

62. Jerry Jemmott (session man)

63. Roger Glover (Deep Purple)

64. Bill Black (Elvis Presley)

65. "Sweet" Charles Sherrell (James Brown, session man)

66. Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)

67. Billy Cox (Band Of Gypsys)

68. Bruce Thomas (Elvis Costello & The Attractions)

69. Gary "Mani" Mounfield (Stone Roses)

70. Felix Pappalardi (Mountain)

71. Mike Rutherford (Genesis)

72. David Ellefson (Megadeth)

73. Matt Freeman (Rancid)

74. Ronnie Baker (MFSB)

75. John Alderete (Racer X, Mars Volta)

76. Robert Trujillo (Suicidal Tendencies)

77. Duff McKagen (Guns N Roses)

78. Marshall Lytle (Bill Haley & The Comets)
79. Bill Gould (Faith No More)

80. Ray Pohlman (session man)

81. Me'Shell NdegéOcello (session woman, solo)

82. Doug Pinnick (King's X)

83. Tommy Cogbill (session man)

84. Glen Cornick (Jethro Tull)

85. Pino Palladino (session man)

86. Randy Coven (Steve Vai)

87. Tim Commerford (Rage Against The Machine)

88. Doug Wimbish (Living Color)

89. Thomas Miller (Symphony X)
90. Mick Karn (session man)

91. Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam)

92. Ron Wood (Jeff Beck Group)

93. Michael Lepond (Symphony X)

94. Dave Hope (Kansas)

95. Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones)

96. Leo Lyons (Ten Years After)

97. Timothy B Schmit (Eagles)

98. Rex Brown (Pantera)

99. Bobby Sheehan (Blues Traveler)

100. Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Great White - Once Bitten

Great White, a Bluesy Hard Rock band, was at their peak 20 years ago. Great White's 1989 album …Twice Shy, which featured the Top 5 hit "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", went double platinum. Read below a brief background of the band; followed by the number one music video "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" in the Burger King Top 5 Rock Video count down. Then terribly in 2003, tragedy hit with the horrid fire at a Rhode Island night club. Read the Great White stories below and enjoy the music video. Kenny Leibow

Band Background
Great White came together in 1978 in the Los Angeles area, the brainchild of singer Jack Russell. The group played blues-influenced hard rock in the style of Led Zeppelin, updated for the MTV generation. The band was first known as Dante Fox, and its original lineup consisted of Russell on vocals, Mark Kendall on guitar, Lorne Black on bass, and Gary Holland on drums. Playing first in small local clubs, the band gained a following, moving up to larger venues and changing its name to Great White along the way.

The band's first recording was an EP called Out of the Night, which was produced by Don Dokken, founder of the band Dokken, and financed by the group in 1982. Another record,On Your Knees, quickly followed in the same year. The EMI record label signed the band on the strength of these releases, but dropped it after sales of its first recording with the label, Great White, failed to meet expectations.

After leaving EMI, Great White moved to Capitol Records, and there its fortunes soared, and the group enjoyed widespread popularity throughout the rest of the decade. Great White's fourth album (and first Capitol release) Once Bitten hit the Billboard Top 30 chart in 1987. The band also picked up a Grammy nomination in 1990 for Best Hard Rock Performance for "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" on its followup Twice Shy album, released in 1989. Other songs for which the band became well known included "Face the Day," "Rock Me," and "Save Your Love." The group's last successful Capitol recording was Hooked, which was released in 1991.

At its peak, they were the main event at 20,000- to 60,0000-seat arenas and shared the stage with top bands such as Kiss and Iron Maiden. Great White became popular in an era of "hair metal" bands who filled football stadiums and dominated MTV playing loud music and sporting wild hairdos and heavy makeup. Most of these bands fell out of favor and even stopped playing when this era drew to a close. Great White, however, found a way to keep playing, perhaps because unlike many other popular metal bands of the time, they focused first and foremost on the music they played, instead of merely cultivating a flashy image. The band turned to smaller clubs as their bread and butter, touring in lesser venues and cutting albums on independent record labels after being dropped by Capitol Records in the early 1990s.

…Twice Shy
Released 1989
Capitol Records
Track Listing

1. Move It
(Kendall, Russell, Niven, Lardie)
2. Heart The Hunter
(Kendall, Russell, Niven, Lardie)
3. Hiway Nights
(Kendall, Russell, Niven, Lardie)
4. The Angel Song
(Kendall, Niven)
5. Mista Bone
(Kendall, Niven, Desbrow, Montana)
6. Baby's On Fire
(Kendall, Russell, Niven, Lardie, Montana)
7. House Of Broken Love
(Russell, Niven, Lardie)
8. She Only
(Kendall, Russell, Niven, Lardie)
9. Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Jack Russell — Vocals
Mark Kendall — Lead guitar
Michael Lardie — Guitar & keyboards
Audie Desbrow — Drums
Tony Montana — Bass

Produced and arranged by Alan Niven and Michael Lardie
Engineered by Michael Lardie

Great White - Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Tragedy 2003
Tragedy struck while the band was on this new tour, which they dubbed "Play On 2003." The Station, a nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island, was packed for the band's performance on February 20, 2003. The show featured pyrotechnics--three spinning wheels of sparks that were harmless if they struck people, but that could ignite flammable materials. At the start of the band's show, the pyrotechnics went off, shooting sparks at the ceiling over the stage. The sound insulation behind the band caught fire, and from there the blaze spread rapidly to the nightclub walls.

Many fans at first thought the flames were part of the show, and panic did not strike until the ceiling caught fire. The wooden nightclub was engulfed in flames almost immediately, trapping the audience, band, and crew inside. Because of a loophole in Rhode Island law, the building was not required to have a sprinkler system, and the blaze swept through the building unchecked. Michael Powell and Christopher Lee of the Washington Post called the fire "one of the worst such tragedies in the nation's history." Among the dead was guitarist Ty Longley, who had joined the band in 2000.

Accusations flew between the surviving members of Great White and the nightclub's owners. Club owners claimed that the band did not have permission to use pyrotechnics during its show, while the band claimed that the club owners had been duly informed and had presented no objections. Fire department officials said that neither the band nor the nightclub had applied for the required permits before setting off pyrotechnics, and furthermore, that no permits would have been granted because of the size and construction of the nightclub.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'll Give You All That I Got - Lyrics

The band was rehearsing in the Warehouse for a few hours. (To learn more about the Warehouse, read the blog entries from July, 2008.) This was the first time we played the song with keyboard accompaniment. I definitely wanted to capture it on tape. Three quarters of the way through the song, someone points out to Deniz that he made a mistake on the last verse he sang. I remember waving everyone on to continue to play the song. Deniz then repeated the verse correctly and the song was played through to the end, which made the song almost seven minutes long. After the song ended, you hear Deniz saying he messed up, in his own humorous way.

The lyrics to the song was written 21 years ago, and has since been lost. Because of the poor quality of the recording, it took me several hours to recreate the lyrics below. The mood created by the guitar made these lyrics fit perfectly to the song. Lawrence's guitar solo in the middle of the song was the Mystix signature. Everyone sang background on the chorus. You can really escape in this song if you just listen to the music and follow with the lyrics.

I'll Give You All That I Got

I woke up from a dream last night
Saw your lonely face
If only you can see my light
I long for your sweet embrace

Day after day I think of you

Standing by my side

I’m on my way what will I do

I remember all that you’ve done

I won’t forget you

Oh but I’ve tried
I won’t forget you

You always be mine

I saw the way you started here

With your heart that’s on the rise
Then we sat and made more tears

All I see is your scary eyes

Call you on the telephone

I’ll always feel for you

With all the chances to be my own

And I know all that is true

I won’t forget you

Oh but I’ve tried

I won’t forget you
You always be mine

Always be mine

Always be mine

Always be mine


I woke up from a dream last night
And saw your lonely face

If only you can see my light
I long for your sweet embrace

Day after day I feel for you

Standing by my side

I’m on my way what will I do
I remember all that you find

I woke up from a dream last night

And saw your lonely face

If only you can see my light
I long for your sweet embrace

Time after time I think of you

Standing by my side

I’m on my way what will I do
I remember all that you’ve done

I won’t forget you
Oh but I tried

I won’t forget you

You always be mine

I won’t forget you
Oh but I’ve tried

I won’t forget you
You always be mine

I won’t forget you
Oh but I’ve tried
I won’t forget you

You always be mine

I won’t forget you
Oh but I’ve tried

I won’t forget you
You always be mine

I won’t forget you

Oh but I’ve tried

I won’t forget you
You always be mine

I won’t forget you

Oh but I’ve tried

I won’t forget you
You always be mine

I won’t forget you

Oh but I’ve tried
I won’t forget you

You always be mine

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Guns N' Roses - Sweet '88

Back in 1988 I was not a big Guns N’ Roses fan. It was mainly because they were an LA band that was together for a short time, and then hit it big with their debut album "Appetite For Destruction ". Specifically in 1987 Guns N’ Roses started to build a following with their numerous live shows, but the album didn't start selling until almost a year later, when MTV started playing "Sweet Child O' Mine." Soon, both the album and single shot to number one, and Guns N' Roses became one of the biggest bands in the world. My view at the time was that they were a commercial band. This album was Guns N' Roses high point and it was almost certain that they hit their peak as compared to the less successful albums that followed. Because of their impact during this time period, it would be criminal not to give Guns ‘N Roses the proper recognition.

Here is some interesting information about Guns N’ Roses without spewing a whole biography. Their 1987 major label debut, Appetite for Destruction, produced by Mike Clink, went on to sell 25 million copies worldwide and reached number 1 in the USA a year after its release date. The song "Welcome To The Jungle", the second track released from the album (after "It's So Easy"), gained notoriety after it was used on the soundtrack of Clint Eastwood's 1988 film The Dead Pool. The band's musical style, onstage presence, and bad boy rock image helped usher in the new era within the dominant hard rock scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s. While glam metal was the leading genre in record sales, video charts, and radio airplay, Guns N' Roses offered a grittier, more traditionalist take on rock music, which helped to popularize the sub-genre known as sleaze rock and won many fans who admired their apparent authenticity. The band enjoyed worldwide success from 1987 through 1993, but clashing personalities of different band members brought about the end of the original line-up. Today, frontman Axl Rose is the only original member in the band's current line-up; he has now served as lead singer for 22 years.

Appetite For Destruction Track List
1. Welcome to the Jungle
2. It's So Easy
3. Nightrain
4. Out Ta Get Me
5. Mr. Brownstone
6. Paradise City
7. My Michelle
8. Think About You
9. Sweet Child O' Mine
10. You're Crazy
11. Anything Goes
12. Rocket Queen

Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine

Monday, January 5, 2009

Moscow Music Peace Festival 1989

The Moscow Music Peace Festival was held in 1989, and was an effort by the Make A Difference Foundation and rock producers and organizers in the US and USSR. It was held over two days at Lenin Stadium in Moscow, and was essentially the first festival of its kind, that is, that openly was presenting Western heavy metal acts with an emphasis on international cooperation on preventing drug abuse.

The acts presented were Skid Row, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, MotleyCrue, Gorky Park (a Russian act), Ozzy Osbourne, and the Scorpions.

All the acts were in the heavy metal genre and apparently all in favor of the cause they were presenting, which was the continued efforts of the US and USSR governments' to prevent drug abuse, especially by young people who listened to this sort of music. This took place was reported to be the largest rock stage in the world at that time, which was about 6 city blocks long.

What is interesting about this event, from the video of the performance, which is publicly available, is the openness and freedom that the audience had compared to the relative underground nature of the music. The militia stood by, by and large just enjoying the show, as many fans waved the Russian Republics' flag (openly displaying the current nationalist feelings).

Sadly, the musicians from the West were a conceited lot, and implied that USA had a monopoly on rock music, that only they had the capability of presenting a "Russian Woodstock," which was simply not true. Mkrtchian in Armenia, showed us that the Soviets could do a fine job on their own, and the concerts organized by Pugacheva and Troistky for Chernobyl were only a few examples of the concerts they could present. The West often provided the tools, but the Soviets had the desire and ingenuity to make rock 'n' roll their own way.

Download a 7MB film of John Bon Jovi's summary of the event

Hear only the soundtrack of this film (mp3)

In 1991, after the failed coup that led to the dissulution of the Soviet Union, a second large outdoor concert featuring such acts as AC/DC and Metallica, was sponsored in Moscow by Time/Warner.

Read the Article by William Schmidt of the New York Times (29 September 1991)

The Moscow Peace Music Festival as stated above promoted "say no" to drugs and headlined great heavy metal / hard rock bands such as Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne and the Scorpions; however after looking at the entire concert, which you can purchase on DVD, the live performance of Cinderella's "Nobody's Fool" was one of the best. Cinderella has always been typcasted as a Glam Hair Band, but they have written some really good songs. See their live performance below at the Moscow Peace Music Festival in 1989. Ken Leibow

Cinderella - Nobody's Fool
Live 1989 Moscow Music Peace Festival