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Total Watts

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  1. I love that tune - appeared on the radio (Light Programme) very regularly in the 60s alongside the occassional Beat record, Cilla, Lulu and Acker Bilk. The bass line is great and a perfect example of "The Knack" bass sound. I had thought it was duplicated with a double bass. This style was used in the US studios - Carol Kaye talks about using a "Dano bass" for the tic tac sound (which she sometimes played), whilst other musicians duplicated on "string bass" and "Fender bass" - so no doubt the Dano is a good means of getting the sound. As is a Stingray (particularly one fitted with mutes) where you can boost the bass on the EQ if needed. On left hand muting, I thought everyone did that as part of playing a bass guitar - you can control the level of muting with your fretting hand very effectively - unless it's just the way I learned to play/developed my bass playing style - I've always muted with both hands - dependent on the sound required!!
  2. Jaco was very R and B (which is where funk and disco bass had its roots) - but River People has a disco style octaved bass part with hi hat sixteenths - pure disco!! Jaco appeared to be into sequencer style lines - also appeared in River People. Even Teen Town could be considered a sequencer-style line. The real big break for 'disco' was Saturday Night Fever - not only the singles and album but the film - but it was around in R and B style bands before that. An early example being Love Hangover, Diana Ross (octaved bass part; hi hat sixteenths).
  3. Twin humbuckers all Colin on in both, or single bridge humbucker only. Plenty of Bernard Edwards style focussed, fat note thump!!
  4. You're right - I saw him with Hillage (may have been Gong) - prog with a groove funk bass player - fabulous!! Very hippy also. @Bean9seventy is quite right that this style of playing influenced very widely - even pure show biz orchestras started to have funk bass players - you were as likely to hear it on The Two Ronnies as anywhere else! Ive said this before here, but if you turned up to an audition in the early 80s (unless it was punk or maybe ska), if you couldn't slap you'd probably not get the job 😬 But to quote Marcus Miller in his interview with @Silvia Bluejay and @Happy Jack in those days you needed to be able to hold down a groove as well if not better than the next guy to get the job - perhaps doesn't seem to be as important these days πŸ€”
  5. Now then, @Bean9seventy if you think I'm too hippy and non-street (though I will admit to having played slap bass in the street at least once or twice) you'll definitely think these two Brits were far too hippy (they certainly had long hair) but Neil Murray, in his pre Whitesnake days with one of the Canterbury sound bands with Dave Stewart, played a whole section of slap bass on a recorded piece, and I saw Alan Spenner play a sort of slap bass short solo with Kokomo..... Alan Gorrie also played some with the Average White Band (but he is Scottish.....) 😏 - more so in the 80s though (for instance Sweet and Sour; Into the Night). I agree with you regarding Larry Graham - his slap bass was not really that well known until Graham Central Station.
  6. Bernard (from the live performances Ive seen) plucked the strings very close to the bridge - I wondered if that influenced the level of overtones on the upper strings (and maybe they're heightened by the level of compression in use). Whatever, it's a great performance of a great line. Love the bass sound as well - some modern producers could learn a thing or two from this - I'm astonished hearing modern disco with such imprecise and wooly bass sounds - just hearing the subtle use of both very short notes and longer and in some cases, slid ones in this is an eye opener - the magic is in the subtlety (although not on here the reversed hand claps in the instrumental break is another example of clever production ideas) which all combined create a magical and classic disco song.
  7. It certainly appeared with the Crusaders (Pops Popwell) before that late 70s era - they were very much jazz funk. Thinking back, and the mention of famous players and instructional videos, I saw the Brothers Johnson when they were part of Billy Preston's backing band in the early 70s - quite by accident - they supported the R Stones on a UK tour - I'm pretty sure LJ was using the style even then - Billy Preston and his band were superb in fact blew the decidedly average main act completely off - the only saving grace was the Stones' tight rythmn section and the presence of the wonderful Mick Taylor on guitar. The rest was pure s**te!!!
  8. The first time I heard or saw slap bass being played knowingly was Car Wash by Rose Royce (bass player Lequeint "Duke" Jobe). In fact the whole first album of Rose Royce is littered with it. The fact the song features slapped bass only breakdowns at the end of each chorus - and appeared on a popular feature film of the era, and a UK top 10 single leads me to suspect this was the biggest and earliest exposure of slap bass to the general public. Though Larry did it with Sly, and I saw Woodstock multiple times when the film first released, on those singles of the late 60s the slap bass is not really that audible - slap and pop is on Thankyouforletting etc etc and audible - but I hadn't heard that until about 20 yrs ago when it was referred to in a Bass Player article and I looked it up. The concept of properly audible bass, especially live, didn't emerge as a more general thing except in occassional situations (Andy Fraser for instance) until the early 70s (Acoustic and other solid state amps helped a lot). Rose Royce had been around for a good couple of years under separate guises prior to Car Wash and the slap bass had no doubt been a feature of Duke's playing previously given the amount and standard of it on that first RR album. In fact Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is features a slap/pop breakdown (again after every chorus) which is a direct lift of a Larry Graham fill (of which there are a cornucopia) from Graham Central Station's song Release Yourself. (I later found out LG was using double thumbing on that track - hence I could never get the sound right ) - it must be one of the most OTT bass parts I've ever heard - along with Hair from the same era - as with Funkadelic a herbal based studio fug can be imagined!!!! Except for Larry, I reckon it must have appeared on soul/funk tracks since at least 1975 as I was actually using it by then (although I was playing Jazz Rock and prog). Of course, Stanley Clarke used it quite a lot both with Return to Forever and with his own band - and the influence that turned him on to electric bass, Colin Hodgkinson also used it. For people like me who had heard it but not seen it, we didn't know they used their thumb and I for one developed a technique rather like Stan Seargent using a combination of tapped and heavily pulled strings to achieve the sound. So @Bean9seventy I think it was probably popular from earlier in the 70s than you're thinking - maybe 74-75 (I think I copied some of Stanley Clarke (with Return to Forever) and Colin Hodgkinson (with Back Door) phrases). I also copied every LG fill off Release Yourself and used them all in my own playing. The world would be a far worse and bass playing would be a much less enjoyable and exciting place without it 😏
  9. The ash borer issue is a fairly recent phenomena - it remains to be seen whether any other manufacturers have experienced problems which have got into production - I think Musicman was the first manufacturer to stop using ash (for scarcity reasons) - Fender was at least 6-12 months later (presumably they keep more stock, or else respond to external factors slower). Musicman still use it for the Joe Dart signature bass (recently made available to buy internationally from 'The Vault' - and yes - I have been considering it!!! ) The other bass I mentioned seeing discussed on the Internet was discussed by the owner on the Musicman bass forum. Musicman make far more guitars than basses but I'm not sure what other instruments they use ash for these days. Certainly not Stingrays.
  10. Possibly one of the original Wal JG series basses - Alan Spenner (Roxymusic and Kokomo)? @TrevorR has a copy/photo of a list with names against serial numbers for the early Wal JG basses
  11. Conversely there's only two that i haven't heard of (songs) - the Kylie Minogue and Maria McKee - also a notable year for the first in a series of overtly religiously themed Christmas singles by Cliff Richard - this one failing to make number 1 until after Christmas - much as I like Cliff's rock and roll and some of his pop stuff, these singles did result in me changing radio channel if they came on - I think this was when radio 1 banned him as well!!! The thing with number 1 singles by year, you miss out stacks of good songs, which were in the charts during the year - 1990 being no exception - wasn't there a famous Beatles single kept off number 1 by Englebert Humperdinck (he from Leicester) with Please Release Me sometime in the 60s - apparently appealed to many females, especially middle aged 😬
  12. I've read about one other on the Internet - I think they replaced the bass as it was brand new (had a small hole appear in the body). No wonder they stopped using ash and will definitely keep an eye on my recent ones.
  13. If you're talking new basses from the US, many retailers won't ship direct to the UK - you need to get someone to buy it in the US and then send it to you. I suppose there's less risk now that instruments are generally exempt from aspects of CITES that caused a problem previously - you've still got the hassle of customs and VAT though. In the earlier 2000s (when Β£1 bought you $2 worth of US goods - yes folks it's not that long ago - and definitely before the age of the garagista (sic)) it was even worth flying to the US, buying a bass and bringing it back in a gig bag. Even allowing for customs etc.
  14. Wow that looks great πŸ‘
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