The bass player, part of the engine in any band and there is one band that has had some of the best bass players of all time …. Metallica!
One in particular …. Cliff Burton.
Cliff Burton played the bass like no other before him. Many when first hearing Cliff play for the first time, thought he was on lead guitar.
Cliff joined Metallica in 1981 and stayed with them until his untimely death on the 27th September 1986. Whilst on tour in Sweden on their tour bus, the band drew cards to decide who slept where, after Cliff drew the Ace of Spades he chose to have Kirk Hammet’s bunk. Around dawn, the bus driver loses control and the bus skids and rolls over several times, throwing Cliff from his bunk and he was pinned under the tour bus. The driver blamed a patch of black ice for the accident, this has been disputed many times and in particular, from the other members of Metallica.
Later in 1986, Jason Newsted joined Metallica from the band Flotsam and Jetsam and remained with them until 2001. His debut with Metallica was on the ‘Garage Days Revisited’, but his first studio album with the band was ‘And Justice for All’ in 1988.
Roberto Agustin Trujillo joined Metallica in 2003. He also was a member Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Black Label Society, Jerry Cantrell and Ozzy.
Mainly a finger style bassist, but Roberto on occasions uses a pick and also the slap bass technique.
It is not just Metallica that have the monopoly on great bass players, there have been many past and present that are worth a mention … not forgetting a certain bassist from West Bromwich…..
Phil Lynott … lead singer and bassist of Thin Lizzy. He moved to Dublin to live with his grandparents whilst still at school. In the late part of 1969 Thin Lizzy was founded, becoming one of the biggest names in rock history, until 1984 when they finally split up.
Unfortunately, Phil finally succumbed to the excesses of his lifestyle and died on 4th January 1986, he was aged only 36.
Thin Lizzy are still performing today with Ricky Warwick (The Almighty) as the lead singer.
Geddy Lee, lead vocalist and bassist for the canadian rock band … Rush. Formed in 1968, Rush are still going strong to this very day, Geddy has collected many awards in his career and in 1993, he recieved the “Best Rock Bass Player” in a bass players readers’ poll.
Flea co-founder of the Red Hot Chillie Peppers, famous for his aggressive slap bass style, he is regarded as one of the best rock bass players of all time.
John Entwistle was an English bass guitarist, songwriter, singer and record producer, who was best known as the bass player for the rock band The Who, his style of bass playing influenced many rock bass players. John died of a heart attack on the 27th June 2002, aged 57.
And now for God himself….
Lemmy…. lead vocalist, bass player, song writer and founding member of the band Motorhead. Fired from Hawkwind after a drugs bust in Canada, Lemmy went to form Motorhead in 1975. Famous for his gravely vocals, facial warts, excessive drug and alcohol use, sexual exploits and sometimes his bass playing; Lemmy has done everything and usually to excess as well.
A ‘saw this & thought of you’ must for guitarist son – Facebook link very useful. Thanks. 🙂
I started playing bass because of Cliff Burton and Geezer Butler. Every bass player mentioned in your blog is on the money. Thanks giving bass players the interest they deserve. I’d love it if you took a listen to my stuff.
Thanks, I’m glad you liked the post. I will definitely check out your music.