Deadsplinter Up! All Night: The Bass

Bass! How Low Can You Go?

Today it is all about that bass.  When I first discovered rock and roll it was all about the guitar for me.  Then I got a drum kit and that was fun but I never got it and still not a big fan of the drum solo.  It wasn’t until in high school when I became good friends with a bass player that I realized how important it was to bands.  Often in rock, the bass player gets lost in the background.  That was my initial thoughts at least until I heard what John Entwistle could do.

Then my world was rocked when I found Primus and that the bass could be the main instrument of focus on a consistent basis…

When I first moved to Washington we used to go to this small Irish bar in Seattle and watch this rockabilly band from Tacoma play.  The band was good but the bass player was the show.  Check out his antics in this mashup of band highlights.  (The sound quality is not so good) The band, The Dempseys went on to appear in the movie Walk the Line as Elvis’s band.  I started really appreciating stand up bass at that point…

I got into funk specifically because I love bands that feature the bass.  Here’s a few of my favorite current bass players…

Doug Johns


Joe Dart

Sorry, I’m just nerding out now but it doesn’t matter if you like bass solos or just basslines.  Let’s hear some of your favorite songs with a cool bassline or bass player or just some memorable tunes.  Thanks for your support.



  1. First, the man who inspired generation of air bass players like me…the great Tim Bogert.  He’s an OK bass player, but he has defined how rock bassists can look cool while still being complete dorks.

    Then, maybe the greatest bassist who ever lived, Ron Carter

    And finally, a lesser known great, Matthew Parrish



    • A very close personal friend of mine (and former student) is probably the top bassist in Chicago.  He plays jazz, rock, classical, does studio work, and is sought after for symphony and opera pit work.  We make merciless bass player jokes about him.  For example:

      Q:  How do you know when the stage is level?
      A:  When drool comes out of both sides of the bass player’s mouth.


      Q: How do you get a bass player off your porch?
      A: Pay for the pizza.

  2. The great Tommy Cogbill played bass on this, which appeared on the Goodfellas soundtrack, so I’ll link it in honor of Ray Liotta.

    Cogbill also played on Son Of A Preacher Man, Chain Of Fools, Funky Broadway, and other hits.

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