Friday, August 15, 2008

Epitaph: "More Bass"

Jerry Wexler died on Friday, a true genius for the music scene dating back to the late 40's. He was 91. The NY Times has a nice obit here. Strange dude but he promoted many artists you will know. Scroll down to the bottom of the obit and somebody said his tombstone would read "More Bass."

Being an old tuba and sousaphone player I rather liked that, and was always into black rhythms that back then was so controversial. As I migrated to electric bass and then the finger-picking the guitar, I was always a bass man. And it's about time to set the record straight!

Leo Fender invented the rock 'n' roll guitar as we know it, but it was always the singing and the bass that matters. That "wall of sound" was perfected in later years, but it always required a big booming bass. It is no coincidence that one of the most famous artists alive is a bass player named Paul McCartney.

It is sad that so many of the true instigators are leaving us, but what was cool was that Jerry Wexler didn't even like beatniks or hippies, and could barely stand bands like Led Zeppelin. But he was part of the Grand Experiment on the leading edge, and brought a works of what they used to call "race music" to our attention. Over 60 years later, the vision still works.

More bass, man.

1 comment:

Rob Nixon said...

To compare Larry to Led Zeppelin is like comapring apples to oranges.

I am a huge lyrics and bass fan myself!

Great blog entry man!