Last weekend I had the chance to see something special. Bass Player LIVE! 2013 was a 2 day event in Hollywood, including musician clinics and exhibitors during the day, and an awards show and concert Saturday night at the Fonda Theater. I knew going in that the list of players nothing short of impressive, but I had no idea what I was in for. Starting with the Red Carpet arrivals, it was a Who’s Who of Music, Metal, and Bass. That’s Zakk Wylde above, with Black Label Society bassist John “JD” DeServio.
The list of player players for the night read like a supergroup, but the night was a tribute to 4 people:
Starting with Lee Rocker, the night kicked of great. The former bassist for the Rockabilly band The Stray Cats, watching Rocker plays is just plain fun. Even Slim Jim Phantom was there!
Pictured below arriving to the show is Jason Newstead, of Newstead and Metallica fame.
Next up it’s Rex Brown of Kill Devil Hill, and previously with Pantera.
Then I saw Billy Sheehan. At this point I knew things were going to be unusual. This was just too much talent for one stage. Billy is associated with so many acts it’s impossible you haven’t heard him on something – we’re talking Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, UFO.
The night’s surprise for me was the Young Gun Award winner Tal Wilkenfeld. I had not heard of her before, but I. Will. Not. Forget. Her. This girl is so amazing that she has worked with Jeff Beck, Trevor Rabin, and famed producer Don Was. Saturday she was joined on stage by Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fame.
I found this video of Tal from a few years ago. Note Jeff Beck’s reactions to her playing:
After the Tal Wilkenfeld performance there was a tribute to great Willie Dixon. He passed away in the early 90′s, but Willie was the blues. His grandson, and great-grand daughter, were there to accept the award, and then came the show. Wow. This was like watching greatness happen in front of you. The whole time you just don’t believe it’s happening. If you think you don’t know Willie Dixon… you might be wrong. Hoochie Coochie Man, Little Red Rooster, Bring It On Home (Yeah, the Zep tune) were all Willie’s.
Singing for this part was Bernard Fowler, a backing vocalist for the Stones for over two decades. And on bass… Darryl Jones. The Stones bassist since the departure of Bill Wyman. Oh, and the stand-up bass player in the 3 shots above? That my friend is the talented Don Was!
Next up it was the Geezer Butler tribute. OK, lets stop a minute and talk about Geezer. When you listen to anything from the Geezer days with Black Sabbath you hear Geezer. There are a ton of great bass players in rock and metal. Geddy, Chris Squire, Newsted, Entwistle, and many more, but Geezer influenced many of them. Geezer Butler is an amazing player, writer, and performer.
On stage with either in the tribute portion, or at the end when Geezer joined in you had a group of performers I will never see again on the same stage. That’s too bad, because man that was good. That’s Charlie Benante, of Anthrax on drums with Geezer above. Dug Pinnick, pictured below alone and also with Rex Brown, was so good I started researching him.
Here’s Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour:
Below we have Sebastian Bach, followed Rudy Sarzo.
Next up, Megadeath’s Chris Broderick & David Ellefson, followed by Jason Newsted:
Here’s a shot I didn’t expect, That’s Zakk Wylde on harmonica, with Anthrax bassist Frank Bello.
That shot above is Corey Taylor, Frank Bello, and Chris Broderick – together on stage!
Bottom line, this was special. If you get a chance next year to see Bass Player LIVE!, run to buy tickets. Seriously amazing.