Ali McMordie is the first bass player I heard. I can still vividly remember sitting in my neighbours bedroom at the age of 13 and listening to Suspect Device on his Amstrad tower hifi. It was a complete gestalt moment. It was the first time I heard the bass and understanding it as a separate instrument. From that point, on I was hooked on SLF and when I eventually bought my first bass at the age of 16, Ali was the player that taught me everything I needed to know about playing the bass. Melody and movement within even the most aggressive songs was possible. No boring plodding away. The bass could play a tune all by itself yet add so much to the song without over crowding it.
When I started a YTS at 18 it’s fair to say I was obsessed with bass and music. It consumed my life. So when I met a fellow bass player in the same office I was ecstatic to be able to gas about players, music and gear all day.
It was this friend that opened the door to Rush and Geddy Lee. This influence came at the perfect time for me to be able to aspire to greater levels of musicianship. Geddys playing floored me. “How can anyone play the bass like that??” Another vivid memory is listening to a C90 compilation on my Walkman of Rush made by my coworker, on the overnight National Express to London to visit The 1988 British Music Fair at Olympia, little or no sleep with the soundtrack of Free Will, Cinderella Man, YYZ and all Villa Strangiato. For over 30 years, the unlikely combination of Ali McMordie and Geddy Lee have been the two main musical influences in my playing, the mainstays in my listening habit and made me a complete SLF and Rush bore to my friends. Needless to say, a black 76 4001 and a 79 Guild 302 are in my collection.