Rumblings Archives (2009)
Rumbling archives: 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014

Week of December 28, 2009 - January 3, 2010

Bassist Jeff Berlin pays tribute to Charlie Banacos (videos included)

Oscar D'Leon recovering from heart attack

U2 bassist Adam Clayton suing former assistant

Esperanza Spalding continues to shine as jazz's bright new star

Ace of Bass: Mark King in the USA (includes video)

Home away from home: Avishai Cohen in Paris (video included)

Primus memories - 1987 (includes Les Claypool video)

Brian Torff and the greatness of the Jazz Underground

KISS' Gene Simmons says sleeping with 4,600 is "believe"able

Jack Bruce revisits Cream classics with Robin Trower (video included)

Paul McCartney: "I'll never retire!"

Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Jackie Greene are the Philharmonia

Sting says church feels like home

Week of December 21-27, 2009

Jaco Pastorius: Portrait of Jaco - The early years 1968-1978

Remembering Ray Brown (1926-2002)

Jack Casady keeps on truckin' with Hot Tuna

Michael Anthony: Friendship with Sammy got him booted from VH

Paul Randolph: Diversifying listeners

Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra

Christian McBride: Here Comes McBride

David Ellefson isn't sure he wants to read Dave Mustaine's new book

RHCP's Flea joins the Joe McElderry Fight

Motorhead's Lemmy interviewed by Reality Check TV

Paul McCartney gets back to his German roots

Busy times for Phil Lesh, Bob Weir

Frost Over the World - Interview with Roger Waters (video)

Sting: What I've learned

Timothy B. Schmit builds a solo career

Week of December 14-20, 2009

Jazz bassist Brian Torff is "In Love With Voices"

Charnett Moffett: Improvisational Artistry (video included)

Christian McBride on piano jazz

Esperanza Spalding opens for Obama's Nobel Prize speech (video)

Bachman & Turner together again (audio clip included)

Henry Grimes: A jazz bassist is back in action

Richard Bona makes you sweat (includes video with Bobby McFerrin)

John Paul Jones: Led Zeppelin's best-kept secret

John Paul Jones, from Zeppelin to Them Crooked Vultures (interview)

McCartney: "It would have been interesting to work with John again"

Phil Lesh sits in with the Black Crowes

Scott Ambush tours the world as Spyro Gyra's bassist

Under Your Skin, video interviews with Stanley Clarke & Lenny White

Rock Star Sting delivers indestructible fun (ABC news video)

Timothy B. Schmit promotes Expando album; career history

Week of December 7-13, 2009

John Paul Jones' career woe: Life after Led Zeppelin?

Paul McCartney rocks Hamburg 49 years after first Beatles gig

Phil Lesh plots "Further" course with Bob Weir

Sting in the hotseat

Manitoba's Steve Kirby lives on the bass line

Young jazz bassist, Daryl Johns, reaches for the top

Christian McBride: Getting the Inside Straight
(includes video of Christian giving a private tour of his home!)

David Ellefson talks about Hail's visit to Lebanon (video included)

Randy Bachman to reunite with Fred Turner (no word on Overdrive)

Glenn Hughes autobiography due out in 2010

Paul McCartney's retching ritual -- what he does before each show

James LoMenzo interview -- he's played with rock's greats

Avishai Cohen continues to reinvent himself

Bootsy Collins creates new fight song for Cincinnati Bearcats

Jack Bruce on his music: "If I don't play, I become a beast"

Anthony Jackson: The Bass Guitar Virtuoso

Week of November 30 - December 6, 2009

Ubiquitous bassist Christian McBride interviewed by All About Jazz

Esperanza Spalding a bright light on the double bass

Q&A with Gene Simmons of KISS

Sting is feeling the cold

Spotlight on Christian McBride (see videos)

Late bloomer Paul Firak of Las Vegas Philharmonic finds home on bass

British bassist Jeff Clyne dies

Lemmy found asleep in doorway, mistaken for homeless man (video)

Les Claypool continues trek behind "Fungi"

Sting offers a "spooky, ghostly" seasonal album

Week of November 23-29, 2009

Mark you calendars now: Canadian Rockies Bass Bash, April 24,2010

The Bass "Strummit" is coming in January

Bill Wyman goes back to his roots

Jazz bass player Janek Gwizdala takes the guerilla approach

Charlie Haden: Family & Friends

David Hungate inducted into Musicians' Hall of Fame in Nashville

Eberhard Weber's Colours repackaged for ECM's 40th anniversary

Esperanza Spalding performs at White House Poetry Jam (video)

Gene Simmons speaks Hungarian to wounded soldiers (video)

Gene Simmons Axe Bass is released

Michael Anthony says Eddie Van Halen "has it in" for him

Paul McCartney receives Gershwin prize for popular music

Sting claims he once confronted a ghost

Dean Brown: new live album with Will Lee and Dennis Chambers

Bass Day UK is coming!

Will Lee rocks at Pennsyvania middle school (video)

Phil Lesh reunites with former Dead-mates for East Coast tour reviews new Paul McCartney biography

Fernando Heurgo: Latin jazz/Chacarera bass master

Entry: Doug Ramsey reviews Linda Oh's new release

Reclusive Queen bass player John Deacon shuns the limelight

Michael Anthony talks Chickenfoot and Van Halen

ELP's Greg Lake launches redesigned, with Live Chat

Six Minute Century recruites new bassist Michael Millsap

Sting to perform with Phildelphia Orchestra in January

Christian McBride at the Bistro in St. Louis (video)

Bill Wyman talks about his Rhythm Kings and life after the Stones

Lindsey Horner "shares" time with the 21st Century


Week of November 16-22, 2009

Richard Bona: The Ten Shades of Blues (plus video with Bobby McFerrin)

Ray Brown Trio (Summertime video)

Timothy B. Schmit has a winner with new Expando CD

JazzTimes: Remembering Scott LaFaro

John Paul Jones speaks about Them Crooked Vultures

John Patitucci's new Remembrance release

New Gene Simmons Axe Bass

Geddy Lee to appear as guest judge at Canadian cook-off

Flea starts new music school (watch video)

David Hungate inducted into Musicians' Hall of Fame in Nashville

Christian McBride knows a lot about Frank Sinatra

Dr. Rock interviews Chris Squire (plus vintage Yes video)

Ron Carter: Super Sideman

West, Bruce (Jr.) and Laing reunion tour (watch video)

Week of November 9-15, 2009

Bootsy Collins tells his story to TV's Unsung

Free-rolling Bill Wyman: A wildly successful solo artist

Listen To the Bass: Part 1 - Percy Heath (video included)

Spotlight on Camaroon bass hero Richard Bona

Paul McCartney: A Life -- new biography by Peter A. Carlin

Nikki Sixx checks in about books, theater, radio and more

Bachman versus Bachman - and Turner - over "BTO" use of name

Esperanza Spalding to perform in Orange County (video included)

David Ellefson discusses Northern Light Orchestra
(audio interview and video clip)

Evan-Flory Barnes: Acknowledgment of a Celebration

Ben Williams: Leading from the bottom

Charles Mingus' Ah Um deemed part of Crucial CD Collection

Need to send a press release? David Ellefson can promote it

Jazz Police review of Joe Martin's "Not By Chance"

Week of November 2-8, 2009

John Clayton closes Festival Miami in style

Lemmy is still motoring on after 45 years of rockin' hard

Michael Anthony says Chickenfoot will go on

New jazz recording from Linda Oh

Stanley Clarke Trio: Live at Catalina's (video included)

Sting tickets on sale (slideshow included)

Adam Clayton says "the music fan" is an outdated idea

The Norwich Evening News interviews Bill Wyman

Jazz St. Louis interview with Christian McBride; downloadable podcast

David Ellefson on life after Megadeth

Sting talks to Wall Street Journal about his new CD (see interview)

Gene Simmons to speak at a Saskatoon business luncheon

John Paul Jones: Timing was perfect for Them Crooked Vultures

Lemmy has no regrets about missing his son's upbringing

Les Claypool's Purple Pachyderm Pinot Party

Look out for Brandon Rose: He's a bassist! He's great! He's eleven!

Theolonious Monk semi-finalist Raviv Markovitz plays DC

Paul Gill stretches out his talent with "full, buoyant tones"

Nikki Sixx to host two new radio shows

Paul McCartney is surprise guest at NYC's Frank Loesser Celebration

Enough is enough! Bill Wyman kicks 55-year smoking habit

Esperanza Spalding in Nevada

Stanley Clarke goes acoustic in San Francisco

Ronnie Scott's celebrates Jack Bruce

Week of October 26 November 1, 2009

John Clayton with Jeff Hamilon: Rhythm is their business

Richard Bona speaks from Istanbul

New Paul McCartney biography takes a different perspective

Revolutionary bassist Sirone dies in Berlin at age 69

Bass master Victor Wooten shows how it's done

Sir Paul McCartney announces European tour

David Ellefson and Hail! give first-ever heavy metal show in Lebanon

JazzTimes reviews Ben Allison's new Think Free CD

Richard Bona is living the dream; concert at Turkey's Atbank Jazz Fest

Motorhead's Lemmy wants to die on stage

Honorary Beatle Klaus Voormann releases A Sideman's Journey

Rudy Sarzo's latest blog post (plus Quiet Riot video)

Mingus, Mingus, Mingus (and a couple of others)

Oteil Burbridge jams with a Florida high school class (includes video)

John Patitucci: In the spotlight

Robin Trower and Jack Bruce: Seven Moons Live review

Paul McCartney releases track listing for new DVD

Michigan State alum Ben Williams wins Monk jazz competition

Sting says Police reunion would be "dreadful and gratuitous"

Avishai Cohen - Portrait of a musician without boundaries

Ben Allison releases Think Free, his third for Palmetto

King Records and the beginning of Bootsy Collins

Week of October 19-25, 2009

Jack Bruce and Robin Trower release live album

Paul McCartney to record album with Yoko Ono?

Sting to release seasonal album, If On A Winter's Night

Santi Debriano's bass instincts

New Charlie Haden documentary mixes race, politics and music

Christian McBride does more than just make music

Flea gets a wake-up birthday video (watch it here)

Gene Simmons on his ego, Playmate, kids and more

Tadias interviews Tommy T

Jeff Berlin performs in "super jazz trio" in Bangkok

Michael Manring releases Equlibre CD with David Cullen

Nikki Sixx biography royalties to be auctioned to fans

Timothy B. Schmit previews Expando album in LA

Devil's Halo -- the latest from Me'Shell Ndegeocello

Week of October 12-18, 2009

Mr. Big -- all set to rock!

Thelonious Monk International Bass Competition winner announced

Gene Simmons' tips for success: Have sex (not drugs)

"Paul is Dead" rumor stil fascinates forty years later

Stanley Clarke thrills the fans at Yoshi's

Timothy B. Schmit to promote new Expando CD with showcase gigs

JacoFest coming to NYC's Iridium club

Charlie Haden rambles into Vancouver

David Ellefson traveling to Palm Beach (includes video)

Thom and Flea: Rock's odd couple

EJ Parker: From Cleveland to Shanghai

To boil or not to boil - conversation (and video) with Camilo Estrada

Trio of Joy: Jeff Berlin, Scott Henderson, Dennis Chambers

Bernard Harris -- Live video from lefty piccolo bassist

Bass Player LIVE! update:
Charlie Haden, Rocco Prestia, Tal Wilkenfeld

Tom Hamilton recovering after cancer returns

Bassist as leaders - Lots of new CD releases


Week of October 5-11, 2009

Mr. Big -- Back together for good

Bill Wyman keeps busy with Rhythm Kings, etc.

Christian McBride on his band, new CD and touring

Stanley Clarke trio at the Dakota (includes video)

KISS on Letterman - Gene licks Dave (including video)

Think Free - New release from Ben Allison

Good Evening, New York City
Forthcoming release from Paul McCartney

Rocco Prestia's new TC Electronic bass amp

Ron Carter's new autobiography reviewed

Stanley Clarke explores acoustic jazz

Christian McBride's new Kind of Brown release

Flea enlisted by Radiohead frontman
Thom York to form new supergroup

Robin Duhe "back in stride" after bout with cancer

John Paul Jones jams with Sara Watkins

Stanley Clarke's latest fusion project

Jon Burr's "Jon & Lynn" named Band of the Week

Times Online likes new Richard Bona CD

Week of September 28-October 4, 2009

Paul McCartney finally signs with a major label

Steve Benne Tennessee double bass recital

Dave Holland speaks to the Ithaca Journal

Esperanza Spalding - Playing for the President

No new record deal for Paul McCartney after all

Adam Linz launches jazz series, releases new CD

Gene Simmons: "Something happened in Detroit"

Metallica's Cliff Burton: To Live is to Die
(available in the FBPO store)

Multi-necked guitars and basses Check this out!

New "Lemmy" documentary due this year

McCartney CD/DVD of summer shows coming

Essay by 10-year-old Paul McCartney surfaces

Ron Carter - The best things in jazz are free

Sting and Prince Charles send SOS to the world

Timothy B. Schmit's Expando release

Will Lee's "Fab Faux" Beatles tribute band

Duff McKagan's South America Tour

Megadeth's James Lomenzo discusses Endgame

Sting attempts "to open up opera"

Lemmy was meant for the road

Glenn Hughes added to Scott Ford benefit show

Julia Adamy and the female bassists of UNT

A conversation with Ben Allison

Esperanza Spalding: From the
White House to Fairbanks (and beyond)

Peter Cetera's post-Chicago career

The Lowdown: Chris Wyse of OWL

Charlie Haden and Francis "Rocco" Prestia
to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards

New Paul McCartney album due in November

Bill Wyman to join "Faces" for reunion tour

U2 "resident sophisticate" Adam Clayton speaks

Don Friedman remembers Scott LaFaro

Lemmy Kilmister: Interview outtakes

Steve Harris to close his Santa Monica bar

John Patitucci Trio's "Remembrance"


Week of September 21-27, 2009

Victor Wooten on J.D. Blair and "Two Minds"

Mr. Big reunion CD, DVD releases on tap

Joe Martin - Staying busy in the Big Apple

Michael Anthony/Van Halen: The saga continues

Will Lee on "Fab Faux" Beatles tribute band

Bassist/Composer Alexis Cuadrado to perform world premier of Noneto Iberico

Scott LaFaro celebrated in book and album

Edgar Meyer discusses a bass player's life

A Jaco appreciation, 22 years after his death

Lemmy surprises Metallica fans

Update on forthcoming Jack Bruce biography

Bill Wyman announces Rhythm Kings UK tour

Rush to auction Geddy Lee bass and other rock memorabilia for humanitarian charity

Kiss fans to see new outfits, new stage and millions of dollars' worth of new stuff

Gene Simmons on life, Wal-Mart, Obama's health care plan and more, NY Post

Sting to act as honorary starter in England's prestigous Great North Run

Ed Friedland reviews new MXR bass pedal

Geddy Lee muses on Massey Hall Watch video

A New Day from Mimi Jones Read article

Week of September 14-20, 2009

Dave Holland: 21st Century Mingus Read article

John Patitucci:Celebrated jazz hero Read article

Chris Brubeck Paves His Own Path Read article

Why Peter Cetera Left Chicago Read article

Lemmy on sex, drugs and life Read article

John Hebert, the Andrew Hill legacy Read article

Conversations With Cachao
Paquito D'Rivera tribute Read article

Why Bill Wyman hates Guitar Hero Read article

Week of September 7-13, 2009

Autographed P-bass to be auctioned to raise money for ailing Deftones bassist Read article

Flea to receive humanitarian award Read article

Adam Clayton's Croatian vacation Read article

Lefty Bass Day Read article

Week of August 31-September 6, 2009

John Clayton, Christian McBride, Rodney Whitaker to share stage
(Stanley Clarke to perform, too)
Detroit International Jazz Festival

"One Night of Bass" Sept. 7

Legendary bassist/keyboardist Larry Knechtel dies

KISS to recreate classic 1975 album live

Lefty Bass Day announced

Week of August 24-30, 2009

Van Halen Guitar Hero: Michael’s out, Wolfgang’s in
In spite of all the “nice words and cordiality,” it looks like there may be some acrimony between Eddie Van Halen and Michael Anthony after all (I know, I’m as shocked as you are!). You may find it interesting that the Van Halen Guitar Hero release, which only includes songs from the David Lee Roth era, has digitally inserted 18-year-old Wolfgang Van Halen’s bass playing to performances that were recorded some seven years before he was born. You’ll get a chance to see for yourself when Guitar Hero 5 comes out September 1.

Novoselic and Simmons to appear on the big screen
Marking what could be a new trend of picking bass players for cameo roles on the silver screen, Nirvana co-founder Krist Novoselic and KISS frontman Gene Simmons are appearing in separate movies set for release this year. Novoselic was picked by writer-director-comedian Bob Goldthwaite to appear in a scene with Robin Williams in his forthcoming comedy “World’s Greatest Dad.” Simmons was tapped by Mike Judge of “Office Space,” “Beavis & Butthead” and “King of the Hill” fame to play a (jerky) LA lawyer in his new film titled “Extract.” We’ll let you be the judge of their acting abilities. “World’s Greatest Dad” opened August 21; “Extract” opens December 3.

Motown arranger Van De Pitte dies
David Van De Pitte, one of the primary arrangers for Motown, died of cancer on August 9. Born in Detroit on October 28, 1941, Van De Pitte was a bass player, often calling on Motown legend James Jamerson to sub for him on gigs. Van De Pitte eventually became chief staff arranger for Motown from 1968-72. He and Jamerson shared a mutual respect, with Jamerson having said that Van de Pitte was the only one he trusted to write bass lines for him, including Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” which Jamerson played note-for-note, exactly as written. In 1971, Van De Pitte was nominated for a Grammy for best arranger for that album.
In addition to the “What’s Going On” album, Van De Pitte arranged songs for the Four Tops, Temptations, Jackson 5, Eddie Kendricks, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and many others. As music director, he was also responsible for live performances and concert tours for Gaye, Diana Ross, David Ruffin, Martha & the Vandellas, George Clinton’s Pariliament Funkadelic and others. He also served as adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Wayne State University from 1979-83. [Editor’s note: Dave was my teacher at Wayne State University. I knew him well and learned a lot from him. He will be missed.]

Week of August 17-23, 2009

David Ellefson announces online lessons and words of wisdom
Megadeth and F5 bassist David Ellefson has announced online bass guitar lessons “for a limited time.” In addition to bass playing, Dave will handle consulting and artist coaching, all through the American Rock Star Academy. His regular YouTube series covers topics like getting paid, the ins and outs of royalties and other insights on how the music business works. More information is available at

Lemmy to give away a lesbian?
English model and singer Samantha Fox is scheduled to tie the knot with her long-time partner/manager Myra Stratton. Scheduled to attend is Motörhead bassist Lemmy, who, we’re told, may be giving the bride away. The wedding, which is rumored to take place in Siberia, of all places, could possibly be officiated by Liz Taylor of BONEY M, whom we understand is a pastor. The times, they are a-changing.

Michael Anthony puts his house on the block
Chickenfooter and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony is asking $2.295 million for his 5,894-square-foot home in Glendora Hills, CA. The house, built in 1989, has five bedrooms and four baths.
In case you didn’t know, in addition to his own line of Yamaha basses, Michael has his own line of signature food products, Mad Anthony Café, where he offers hot sauce and mustard and such.

Week of August 10-16, 2009

New “secret” superstar band has a name
It looks like that new band we told you about, the one with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, FOO Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, has a name. The band will be called Them Crooked Vultures, according to Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes, who let the name slip during an interview on a Winnipeg radio station a week or so ago. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to know that yet – but we do! As with everything else, FBPO will watch what happens and report back to you.

John Clayton and Jim Widner elected to JEN board of directors
Bassists John Clayton and Jim Widner have been elected to the board of directors of the newly formed Jazz Education Network (JEN), an organization created in the wake of the dissolution of the International Association of Jazz Educators. Clayton, a long-time jazz superstar, conducts the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and has seven Grammy nominations under his belt. Widner is director of the jazz studies program at University of Missouri-St. Louis and runs several summer jazz camps. The two bassists are among seventeen new directors who took office on July 1. In a similar spirit to its predecessor, JEN will promote jazz as an art form by advancing education and creating performance opportunities for young jazz enthusiasts. For more information, visit the organization’s website.

Greg Lake shows support for “Voice in a Milliion”
Former King Crimson and ELP bassist/vocalist Greg Lake is one of several high-profile musicians showing support for Celebrity Classic Media Group’s “Voice in a Million,” scheduled to be launched at London’s 02 Arena on September 23. The project is to increase public awareness of the millions of orphaned and abandoned children who need homes and families. Organizers are hoping the 4,000 singers at the September concert will mark the beginning of what they hope will culminate in the recording of one million voices in all. They are currently seeking large singing groups, schools and choirs to step forward and become part of the cause. A “One Million Voices” CD and a TV documentary are scheduled for release in November 2010. For more information, visit the Voice in a Million website.

Week of August 3-9, 2009

Jack Bruce receives death threats for anti-Zeppelin sentiment
Watch what you say about Led Zeppelin, especially if you’re Jack Bruce. The former Cream member and rock icon revealed last week that he had received death threats from Zeppelin fans all over the world for derogatory comments he made about the band at the Classic Rock Awards last May, as well as in a follow-up interview next day. Bruce had said the band was “lame” and told them, “You’re crap and you’ll never be anything else. Cream is ten time the band Led Zeppelin is.”
Bruce says he was just having fun and the whole thing got blown out of proportion, largely because of technology like YouTube and Twitter. He acknowledged that things just aren’t what they used to be and you really have to be careful what you say. True enough, Jack (and a lesson for us all!).

Sting to be honored by Academy of Music
The Academy of Music has announced that Sting will be the special guest at institute’s forthcoming anniversary event this winter. The former Policeman will perform a selection of his hits at the academy’s 153rd Anniversary Concert and Ball, scheduled for January 30, 2010. 
The Philadelphia Orchestra, under the direction of conductor David Hartley, will accompany the band. Concert tickets are $200, with proceeds benefiting the orchestra and the Academy. For more information, visit the Academy’s website.

Gene Simmons’ Tongue Insurance (and other celebrity coverage)
What do you do with your tongue when your trademark involves sticking it out? Why, you insure it, of course. That’s exactly what Gene Simmons has done. According to 24/, the legendary KISSer’s tongue is insured for $1 million.

Just for fun, we thought you’d be interested in analogous insurance coverage for other celebrities, as reported by this news service (even though they’re not bass players!).

Rod Stewart’s voice: $6 million
Dolly Parton’s breasts: $600,000 (that’s $300,000 apiece, if you’re keeping score)
Jennifer Lopez’s, um… behind: $27 million (another fun fact: that comes to about $100,000 per square inch)
America Ferrera’s teeth: $10 million
Mariah Carey’s legs: $1 billion (yes, billion, with a “b”)
Keith Richards’ middle finger: $1.6 million (for musical reasons only, no doubt)
David Lee Roth’s semen: $1 million (Don’t ask!)
Week of July 27-August 2, 2009

Resonance Records to offer Scott La Faro double tribute
Nearly fifty years after his tragic death in an auto accident in 1961, Scott La Faro will be immortalized with a CD and book, paying tribute to the jazz bass virtuoso’s musical legacy. The CD, titled Pieces of Jade, includes previously unreleased material, including a rehearsal with Bill Evans and La Faro’s trio work with pianist Don Friedman and drummer Pete La Roca. It also includes an interview with Bill Evans. Resoncance Records, publisher of the CD, will release the work under its Heirloom division. A portion of the proceeds will go toward funding the Scott La Faro prize, part of the jazz competition sponsored by the International Society of Bassists. Release date is scheduled for September 8.

In addition to Pieces of Jade, Resonance Records also plans to release Jade Visions” The Life and Music of Scott La Faro. The book was written by La Faro’s sister, Helene La Faro Hernandez. For more information about these products and more, visit the Resonance Records website.

RTF lineup tweaked
It’s still Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Beginning September 2, however, guitar duties will be assumed by original Return to Forever six-stringer, Bill Connors. The concert, to be held at LA’s Hollywood Bowl, will kick off a fall tour of the modified band, now called “Corea, Clarke & White.” The group will also include violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and vocalist Chaka Khan. Details are sketchy about whether or not Connors will join the band’s European tour. Perhaps they’re waiting to see if the chemistry is still the same after thirty-five years. See the FBPO “Calendar” page for the group’s itinerary.

Cookin’ With Bootsy
Cincinnati fans got an eyeful (and a mouthful) last week as Bootsy Collins appeared on “The Cooking with Caitlin Show” with his wife Patti. Having already demonstrated his funk mastery over the years, the Boots-Man ably demonstrated his culinary prowess to everyone’s delight.
After rolling up their sleeves, the couple immediately got to work, chopping, stirring, blending, etc., right in the middle of the city’s Fountain Square. End result: avocado whip, fish & chip sandwhiches and Rainbow Rice Krispie treats (with plenty of jelly beans!). Festivities included plenty of cooking, eating and dancing.

Simmons kicks off trading on Canadian exchange
Gene Simmons rang the opening bell for the Canadian Stock exchange on July 17. The KISS frontman was the guest of honor (or, rather, “honour”) at Canada’s financial capital, kicking off the day’s trading. The distinction comes on the heels of his performing similar duties for the New York Stock Exchange on Wall street last November.

Week of July 20-26, 2009

McCartney returns to Ed Sullivan Theater after 45 years
Reminiscent of the famous London “Rooftop concert” in 1969, Paul and his band performed atop the “David Letterman” marquee outside the Ed Sullivan Theater to the delight of thousands of fans who watched from the streets below July 15. The set included several Beatles hits (Get Back, Helter Skelter, Back in the U.S.S.R), as well as selections from the Wings catalog (Coming Up, Band on the Run, Let me Roll It).
The mini concert was held in conjunction with Sir Paul’s appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman” (his first, believe it or not). It also marked the first time McCartney had been back at the theater since that legendary Beatles gig on “The Ed Sullivan Show” back on February 9, 1964. Wednesday’s show can be viewed on and

And as if that weren’t enough history, Paul’s in New York to perform two shows at Citi Field on July 17th and 18th, marking the first-ever concerts at the Mets’ new home. You may be old enough to remember (but probably not) the Beatles performing the first-ever concert at the Mets’ old home, Shea Stadium, back in the mid-60s. See the FBPO “Calendar” page for Paul’s complete itinerary.

Tom Hamilton is latest victim in “Aero-sick”
What’s going on here? The good news is that guitarist Bradley Whitford is back on the gig. The guitarist had to miss the opening dates of Aerosmith’s current U.S tour while recovering from surgery for a burst blood vessel, which occurred when the rocker banged his head while getting out of his Ferrari. Steven Tyler is also deemed well enough to perform again, after recuperating from a leg injury sustained at a show in Connecticut. The mishap resulted in the band being forced to cancel seven concerts of the tour (hold on to your tickets, if you’ve got ‘em, though; the shows will be rescheduled). Guitarist Joe Perry is said to be doing fine also, following knee surgery earlier this year.

Now it’s bassist Tom Hamilton’s turn – again. Hamilton, you may recall, underwent radiation treatment in 2006 for throat cancer. This time, it’s a more mysterious “non-invasive surgery” that will be sidelining the bottom man for a bit. Filling in will be David Hull, bassist from Perry’s “Joe Perry Project” and occasional Aerosmith fill-in.

Week of July 13-19, 2009

James Jamerson to be inducted into Fender Hall of Fame
Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) has announced the induction of Motown legend and bass superstar James Jamerson in the FMIC “Class of 2009.” Jamerson was a key architect in the Motown sound in the 1960s and a formidable contributor to the recordings of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and many other Motown stars. He is often referred to as “the father of the modern-day bass guitar.”
Fender created the Fender Hall of Fame in 2007 to honor and celebrate “historically significant” contributors to the company’s legacy. The 2009 induction ceremony will take place on August 7 at the Tempe Center of the Arts in Tempe, AZ. Also being inducted is Japanese entrepreneur Masmitsu “Mike” Yamano. For more information, visit Fender’s website.

Jack Bruce to receive Honorary Doctorate
Several decades after dropping out of school so he could “just get on with it really,” 66-year-old Jack Bruce will become an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University. The Glasgow native was a founding member of the ’60s rock group Cream, along with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker, and composer of the band’s super hits “I Feel Free” and “Sunshine of Your Love.” While still a teenager, Bruce was admitted to the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, though when school officials disdained his liking for jazz, he dropped out and pursued less traditional musical avenues. And the rest, they say, is history…

Week of July 6-12, 2009

Jazz legend Jymie Merritt to be honored in Philly
On July 12, the Philadelphia Jazz Heritage Project and the University of the Arts will honor their own native son, jazz bassist Jymie Merritt, as one of the city’s most distinguished jazz musicians. The ceremony will take place on the university campus as part of Philadelphia Jazz Fair 2009.
Merritt is best known for his work as bassist for Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers from 1958-62. He has also performed with Jimmy Heath, Philly Joe Jones, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Benny Golson, Tadd Dameron and scores of other jazz luminaries. He is the father of “Conan O’Brien” bassist, Mike Merritt.
The senior Mr. Merritt is the founder of the Forerunner movement in Philadelphia, whose mission was to unite performing artists in the name of community and creative exploration. From 1998 though 2005, Jymie held a steady gig as part of a jazz duo with pianist Kenneth Gates at The Prime Rib, a Philadelphia restaurant.
The award will be presented by bassist and fellow Blakey alumnus, Charles Fambrough. Also being honored is pianist Trudy Pitts. For more information, visit the project’s website.

John Clayton to be Artist-in-Residence at Detroit Jazz Fest
John Clayton has been confirmed as artist-in-residence at the 2009 Detroit International Jazz Festival. In honor of the festival’s 30th anniversary, Clayton was commissioned to compose a new work to be performed at this year’s festival Labor Day weekend. The new composition will be performed by Detroit-based Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, along with the Clayton Brothers.

Now You Too Can Sound Just Like Jaco!
Wanna sound just like Jaco? Now you can. All you have to do is buy a library of samples and – presto! – you’re Jaco! A Sonoma, CA company called Orange Tree Samples released a new library called “Iconic Bass: Jaco” on June 23. Through extensive sampling, Orange Tree claims they’ve come about as close as anybody (maybe closer) to replicating Jaco’s sound, complete with all the nuances, natural and artificial harmonics, various articulations, muting and more. The library operates in Kontakt 2 and Kontakt 3 formats. For more information on the new Jaco product, as well as Orange Tree’s other bass libraries, visit the company’s website.

John Paul Jones Involved in New Project
Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones is spending time in a Los Angeles recording studio these days, along with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme and Foo Fighter/Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. News of the three rock legends working on an album apparently confirms rumors of the collaboration, which have been running rampant since 2005. No word has surfaced yet regarding the band’s name, nor the album’s title or release date.

Toronto Indy Drivers to get KISSed Off
What do Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry, late actor/comedian John Candy and KISS frontman Gene Simmons have in common? They all will have been grand marshal of Toronto’s Honda Indy. Race officials announced that the honor (excuse me… “honour”) at this year’s event, scheduled for July 10-12 at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, will be bestowed upon Mr. Simmons. Simmons has been involved in marketing the IndyCar Series for several years through his affiliation with Simmons Abramson Marketing.

Don’t Look Now, but Lemmy’s in the Fashion Business
Motörhead’s bass-playing fashionista Lemmy Kilmister is launching his own clothing line, replete with hoodies, jeans, hats, T-shirts and more. In addition to the iconic Motörhead logo on all clothing, select items will also include the band’s favorite quotations, ace of spades graphics and other screenings, giving that “motorcycle fashion” look. Mr. Kilmister has yet to announce when the merchandise will be available to the public.

Nikki Sixx Writes Foreword to Joey Kramer’s Anti-Heroin Book
Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx has written the foreword to Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer’s new book, “Hit Hard: A Story of Hitting Rock Bottom at the Top” (HarperOne), which chrnonicles the details of how the rocker confronted his own situation. Kramer’s book, released June 30, is intended to help individuals battling substance abuse, a situation all too familiar to both Sixx and Kramer. Sixx’s contribution comes on the heels of his own book, “The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star,” released by Pocket Books last October.

Paul McCartney Helps Neil Young Finish Tour in Grand Style
Fans at a Neil Young concert got quite a surprise last week. Young was performing with his band at London’s Hard Rock Calling Concert in Hyde Park on June 28th. As he closing his set with the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life,” none other than Sir Paul McCartney himself walked onstage and joined right in. Naturally, he did it in dramatic fashion, waiting for just the right moment to sing (the “Woke up, fell out of bed…” part).
Young’s Hyde Park concert marked the final performance of a two-year tour, where he often closed his concerts with the Beatles classic. It didn’t take long for the crowd to recognize Sir Paul. An epic singalong quickly ensued, guaranteeing a splendid time for all.

Week of June 29-July 5, 2009

Jamerson, Babbitt, Funk Brothers to Get Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
At long last, the Funk Brothers are getting their due, as they are about to become immortalized with one of America’s highest forms of recognition: having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Legendary bassists James Jamerson and Bob Babbitt are among the group of brothers responsible for an incalculable effect on music and culture in the latter half of the 20th century.

The Brothers, which also included Joe Hunter, Earl Van Dyke, Johnny Griffiths, Benny Benjamin, “Pistol” Allen, Uriel Jones, Eddie “Bongo” Brown, Jack Ashford, Jack Brokensha, Robert White, Eddie Willis, Joe Messina, Dennis Coffey, Melvin “Wah-Wah” Ragin and “Funk Sister” Bobbye Hall, were the Motown sound. According to the “Standing In The Shadows of Motown” documentary, the Funk Brothers played on more #1 records than the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys combined. The star is set to be dedicated sometime in 2010. FBPO will be monitoring progress as details become available.


Robert A. Russell says: 
June 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm

With all due respect and appreciation, artistic justice will never be truly served until the man responsible for easily 90+ percent of Motown’s greatest bass lines and, thus, direction of the Motown groove, James Jamerson, is given a star of his own. Period. I grow weary of his contribution being somehow placed alongside that of Bob Babbitt, as if Bob were equally responsible for the Motown sound. He was not. The main body of Bob’s extraordinary performances can be found in the work he did in Philadelphia - not Detroit.

Stu Miller says: 
June 30, 2009 at 10:04 pm

For the point of clarification…there are 13 “Funk Brothers” and NO “Funk Sisters” LOL!!!…The 13 members featured in the Standing In The Shadows Of Motown documentary as well as thse nominated for the Granny Lifetime Achievement Award and the Hollywood Walk Of Fame are as follows…
Joe Hunter. 
Earl VanDyke
, Johnny Griffith
, Joe Messina, 
Robert White, 
Eddie Willis, 
Benny Benjamin, 
Richard “Pistol” Allen, 
Uriel Jones, 
James Jamerson
, Bob Babbitt, 
Jack Ashford and 
Eddie “Bongo” Brown. 
There were many other outstanding musicians who contributed to the Motown Sound, however, the actual Funk Brothers (as self defined) are those I have listed above.

Stu Miller says: 
July 6, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Hi Robert,
I can tell you that Bob Babbitt has always acknowledged Jamersons unique contribution to The Motown Sound and to the evolution of the instrument in general (see his book where he opens with a terrific tribute to James). Many of us in the bass community credit Jamerson with being the greatest electric bassist of all time. That, however, does not in any way diminish Babbitt’s many contributions to The Motown Sound. At some point, James (for various reasons) was unable to keep up with the pace at Hitsville, and Babbitt was the man indeed in Motowns time of need, and contributed with some memorable bass lines, particularly on much of The Temptations Norman Whitfield era work and his brilliant contributions on Marvin Gayes “Whats Going On” project. Thus, The Funk Brothers must be recognized as a single entity, and those 13 “members” being recognized most particularly by each other. Earl VanDyke was certainly the primary keyboardist and quasi “bandleader”, however, that too does not diminish the work of Joe Hunter and Johnny Griffith in the development and unique sound of The Funk Brothers. I believe that James would say much the same.

Entwistle Foundation to Host Art and Memorabilia Show
“Rock art” enthusiasts will have an opportunity to view rare collectibles, assorted handiwork and more at the Classic Rock Cares Art and Memorabilia show, sponsored by the John Entwistle Foundation next month. Entwistle, in addition to being bassist for The Who, was also a prolific artist, having created numerous pen and ink drawings, mostly of other rock & roll celebrities. Many of the drawings and personal items were donated to the foundation by the late bassist’s estate.
Featured objects to be displayed from Entwistle’s collection include hand-written song lyrics, personal diary entries from Woodstock, itineraries from The Who tours and unpublished book chapters. Of special interest is Entwistle’s Buzzard Bass, a prototype graphite instrument built from the bassist’s original design and used in live performances by The Who. Estimated value of the one-of-a-kind relic: $500,000.

Also to be featured is a collection of signed memorabilia from rock pioneers, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and several others, as well as a huge collection of vintage concert posters estimated to be worth over a million dollars. Rounding out the show will be video presentations and live music.
The show will be held at the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center in Ft. Myers, FL, beginning Friday, July 17th, and continue through the weekend. Activities will be topped off with an exclusive VIP event Sunday evening.

The John Entwistle Foundation provides music education to children in need. For more information, visit the foundation website.

Kobain’s “Cheap Bass” Fetches Over $40k at Auction
It was actually a Sears-model bass, but the new owner obviously saw value in it, having come up with $43,750 for it at a Christie’s auction in New York June 23rd. The instrument, once owned by the Nirvana front-man as a teenager, was used to record two early demo tracks at Cobain’s aunt’s house near Seattle, according to the auction house. Along with the bass came a photo of a young Cobain playing the instrument, as well as a letter of authenticity signed by the late rocker’s aunt, Mari Earl. And you thought Sears’ stuff wasn’t worth anything!

Tom Hamilton Reaches Out to Help Military Personnel
Inspired by fellow “Aerosmither” Joey Kramer, bassist Tom Hamilton provided 20 tickets (same as Kramer) to military personnel for the band’s show in Bristow, VA, June 21st. The 40 recipients, members of the U.S. Marines and Navy, are receiving treatment and therapy at the National Naval Medical Center. The group, which calls itself the Wounded Warriors, is made up of members of the armed forces who sustained injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan. Others wishing to help the cause are directed to the USO website.

Film Festival Features the Life of Charlie Haden
“Charlie Haden: Rambling Boy” will be shown on closing day of the Maine International Film Festival on Sunday, July 19th at 3:30 p.m. The film covers the story of Charlie’s life, from the time he sang on his parent’s old-time bluegrass radio show in Iowa at age 2. Charlie maintained his “back to the roots” theme for his most recent album, “Rambling Boy,” released by Decca Records last September and nominated for a grammy award.

Week of June 22-28, 2009

Paul McCartney To Provide Music For Animated Film
Paul McCartney has signed on to provide a score of original songs for a new movie, based on a children’s book the former Beatle wrote with Geof Dunbar, which was published in 2005. The movie, “High in the Clouds,” will be directed by Rob Minkoff, director of The Lion King. The story is about Wirral, a squirrel coming to grips with life in the land of Animalia, whose citizens are called upon to defend themselves from the would-be destroyers of Megatropolis. Though McCartney has contributed to film soundtracks in the past (“Live and Let Die” and “Vanilla Sky” among them), “High in the Clouds” will be the first major animated film for which he’s provided an original score since “Yellow Submarine” in 1968. The new film’s release date has not been announced.

Sting to Release “Winter” Collection This Fall
Citing winter as his favorite season, Sting is scheduled to release a new album, “If On A Winter’s Night…” this fall. Dedicated to the coldest season, “Winter” will feature two original compositions, as well as a collection of songs, carols and lullabies. The album will include a line-up of guest musicians who, along with Sting, will portray interpretations of traditional music of the British Isles, including a Newcastle ballad, and English “begging” song and a 14th-century carol. “If On A Winter’s Night…” is scheduled for release October 27.

Nikki Sixx To Expand His Fashion Empire
Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, who launched his own clothing and accessories line, Royal Underground, in 2006, is about to make his products available in England. Beginning in July, Brits will have available to them Royal Underground’s hoodies, T-shirts, jewelry and the rest of the company’s products. Sixx says most of his inspiration for his designs came from England in the first place, so it just makes sense to hawk them over there. The high-end fashions, apparently, have caught on with the right people, including Fergie, Tommy Lee and Courteney Love, all of whom are alleged to have been spotted wearing Royal Underground while out and about.

Novoselic to Wahkiakum County: “Never Mind”
Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic withdrew his candidacy for a county clerk position less than two weeks after throwing his hat in the ring. Novoselic had announced his run for clerk of Wahkiakum County in southwest Washington state out of protest of the state’s political system, which allows candidates to pick their own party affiliations. The election paperwork he filed states that he was running as a member of the “Grange Party,” a reference to a local civic organization in Deep River, Washington, which Novoselic heads. The organization is called The Grange and it is not a political party. Satisfied that he had made his point, Novoselic pulled the plug on his candidacy and said that the political parties should nominate their own candidates.

Gene Simmons’ Latest Promotion: For Men Only
You’ll never guess where Gene Simmons is promoting his A&E “Family Jewels” show. The fearless marketer has put his likeness on (are you ready for this?)… urinal cakes! And as if the novelty of peeing on the KISS man’s face wasn’t enough, we’re told that if you hit the thing in just the right place, it actually speaks. It may surprise you (but probably not) that fans are actually stealing these must-have souvenirs from right out of the bottom of the select man-toilets where they’re placed. While Simmons discourages making off with his new marketing trinkets, he cautions the thieves to wash them before taking them home. Thanks, Gene.

New Bass Faculty Members, Courses at LA Music Academy
The Los Angeles Music Academy has announced the addition of two new bass faculty members and three new courses to its Bass Department. Joining the faculty will be Andre Berry and Doug Ross. The new courses are Fretless Bass, Extreme Electric Bass and Studio Bass. These courses, as well as several new electives, are scheduled to be offered in the fall 2009. The announcement was made by Jerry Watts, the academy’s Bass Department Chairman.

Week of June 15-21, 2009

Christian McBride’s resume: Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, David Sanborn, … Willie Nelson?

The still quite young Christian McBride has already performed and/or recorded with some of the most celebrated jazz musicians of our time, including McCoy Tyner, Sting, Bobby Watson and Freddie Hubbard, to name but a few. On the heels of a Chick Corea/John McLaughlin tour, McBride is also keeping very busy with his own group, Christian McBride & Inside Straight, which has a new release, Kind of Brown, slated to hit the stores June 16th.

As of August 25th, you’ll be able to hear McBride on yet another new recording, which is somewhat of a departure for him (well, it is and it isn’t). The project is a new release by none other than Willie Nelson, who is putting out an album of jazz standards (on Blue Note Records, no less). You may recall (but probably not) Willie’s 1978 recording called Stardust, produced by Booker T. Jones(!), which included such evergreens as “Georgia On My Mind,” “Blue Skies” and “Moonlight in Vermont.”
The new collection is called American Classic and has a heavier jazz bent. Produced by Tommy LiPuma, American Classic features duets with Diana Krall and Norah Jones and includes classics like “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Angel Eyes,” as well as string arrangements by Johnny Mandel. Rounding out the rhythm section are Joe Sample on piano and Lewis Nash on drums. The album was recorded at the urging of Blue Note president, Bruce Lundvall. With that kind of line-up, American Classic ought to swing pretty well. Especially with McBride laying down the bass grooves!

Trent Reznor Named Webby Awards Artist of the Year
Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor was named Artist of the Year at the Webby Awards in New York on June 8th. The honor was given out of recognition of Reznor’s innovative use of the Internet last year, when he released NIN’s Ghosts I-IV and The Slip albums exclusively online. He even took it a step further by offering up The Slip as a free download.

Reznor was also lauded for spearheading a fundraising campaign to pay for a heart transplant for Eric de la Cruz, a patient whose claim was denied by his insurance company (see related FBPO story, Reznor, NIN Come to the Rescue of a Dying Man). The drive was conducted by soliciting contributions for special backstage passes and other perks as part of the current Nine Inch Nails/Jane’s Addiction (NIN/JA) tour. Latest reports put the total amount raised at nearly $1 million.

Hugh Hopper: April 29, 1945 – June 7, 2009
Hugh Hopper, best known for his “fuzz bass” work with The Soft Machine, died on June 7, losing his battle with leukemia. Hopper began his career in 1963, when he worked with the Daevid Allen Trio, along with drummer Robert Wyatt, before forming the influential Wilde Flowers, the precursor to Soft Machine. His style is often described as containing elements of psychedelic and free-jazz and sometimes jazz/rock fusion.
After playing on and off throughout much of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Hopper formed a new band with former Soft Machine members Elton Dean, John Marshall and Allan Holdsworth in 2002. The band, known as Soft Works, recorded three albums: Live at Zaandam, New Morning – the Paris Concert and Soft Machine Legacy.
Hopper recorded two solo albums for Burning Shed, a UK-based Internet label, and did some work with Japanese musician/composer Yumi Hara Cawkwell in a duo they called HUMI. A planned 2008 tour of Japan had to be cancelled because of Hopper’s health. After being diagnosed with leukemia in June 2008, Hopper underwent chemotherapy, but his health deteriorated rapidly. He will be missed.

Krist Novoselic announces run for public office
Former Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic has announced his candidacy today for clerk of Wahkiakum County, a tiny community of 4,000 in southwest Washington state. Novoselic filed his papers under the “Grange Party” category, in reference to his longtime activisim in the Grange, which is a rural community organization that espouses the virtues of agriculture and political populism. Be sure to check back with FBPO for regular updates as the story unfolds.

Gene Simmons sells his own kidney stone on eBay
So, what do you do with a kidney stone after you pass it? Well, if you’re Gene Simmons, you see if anyone might want to buy it! It seems the ever-enterprising KISS frontman, determined to make good out of bad, put his passed stone up for auction on eBay and fetched a tidy $15,000. The proceeds, he says, will go to charity.

Week of June 8-14, 2009

Flea’s house available
Bass player Michael Balzary, better know as Flea, has put his Malibu home up for sale. The house, which is a little over 27,000 square feet, has four bedrooms and four bathrooms and sits on a two-acre lot with private beach access. Flea reportedly paid $9.98 for the place in 2006. Current asking price: $13,676,000

Michael Anthony: Did he quit Van Halen, or was he fired?
Eddie Van Halen and Michael Anthony apparently have very different recollections of the latter’s departure from VH. According to Van Halen, Anthony left the band of his own accord at the same time Sammy Hagar left. When David Lee Roth came back, Eddie says, Michael also wanted back in but was told “no dice” because he had already quit the band. Michael, however, contends that Eddie fired him to make room for his son, Wolfgang Van Halen to take over the bass duties. So, what really happened? The world may never know.

Billy Cox Inducted Into Hall of Fame
Jimi Hendrix bottom man Billy Cox has been selected for induction into the Musicians Hall of Fame Nashville. The announcement was made June 2nd by Grand Ole Opry star Steve Warner and the Rascals’ Felix Cavaliere. Cox will share the induction honors with country superstars Chet Atkins and Charlie Daniels, as well as surf guitarist Dick Dale and the ’80s rock band, Toto (including bassmaster David Hungate). The inductees will be honored in Nashville on October 12.

Week of June 1-7, 2009

Reznor, NIN Come to the Rescue of a Dying Man
Nine Inch Nails bassist (and multi-instrumentalist) Trent Reznor took things into his own hands when he learned of a man who’s insurance company wouldn’t cover his heart transplant. Reznor posted a plea on the NIN website on behalf of Eric De La Cruz, who has been unable to obtain coverage for the operation because of Nevada Medicaid rules, which disqualified him because of a pre-existing condition. In exchange for donations, NIN is offering fans a variety of perks, including hanging out with the band before the show, having dinner backstage, special picture-taking privileges, coming to soundchecks, etc. – the bigger the donation, the bigger the perk. So far, the effort has raised over $850,000. More information can be found of the NIN website.

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament mugged outside Atlanta recording studio
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was attacked and robbed outside an Atlanta recording studio on April 27. According to police, Ament and a band employee had just pulled up to the back of Southern Tracks Recording in an SUV when three men wearing black masks and gloves and brandishing knives ran out of the woods, smashed the windows of the vehicle and robbed the bassist of $3,000 in cash and over $4,000 in goods. Ament required treatment for a head laceration he received after the thieves chased him and knocked him to the ground, stealing his passport in the process.

Though Pearl Jam has made no official statement on the incident, we’re happy to report that old Jeff apparently is feeling well enough to perform with his bandmates on the first-ever broadcast of “The Tonight Show,” starring Conan O’Brien, scheduled to air on June 1. Speculation is that the band will perform songs form their upcoming studio album – the one they were working on when the incident occurred.

New Paul McCartney compilation due in 2010
At long last, it looks like McCartney fans will finally be able to get that compilation of Paul’s solo works that’s been in the works for decades. Originally conceptualized around 1978 as “Cold Cuts and Hot Hits,” the idea was to release a two-record (yes, record) set, with one disc showcasing Wings hits and the other containing a collection of B-sides and lesser known material. But for a host of reasons, including pressure from the record company and the shocking death of John Lennon, the project just never took off. Even so, hard-core collectors still managed to acquire bootlegged copies of “Cold Cuts” (the non-hits portion), in spite of the fact that it was never officially released. Now, the entire project will be available in a forthcoming boxed set (of CDs!), due for release sometime next year.
FBPO will continue monitoring the project’s progress. Be sure to sign up for the FBPO weekly update e-mail, which also keeps you informed with breaking bass news alerts, as they happen.

Thousands Turn Out For Final Tribute to Tisdale
Family, friends, musicians and adoring fans turned out on May 21st to pay their final respects to former NBA star and celebrated bass player, Wayman Tisdale, who lost his two-year battle with cancer on May 15th (see story, below). The ceremony and memorial service included a three-mile procession of Tisdale’s casket in a horse-drawn carriage through his hometown of Tulsa Oklahoma. Among the attendees were former NBA players John Starks, A.C. Green and Kenny Gattison and musicians David Koz, Marcus Miller, Jonathan Butler, Kirk Whalum and Toby Keith. An estimated four- to five-thousand people were in attendance at the event. The family has requested that those wishing to honor the memory of the departed make a donation to the Wayman Tisdale Foundation.

Jazz bassist and former basketball hero, Wayman Tisdale, dead at 44
Jazz bassist Wayman Tisdale passed away May 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, following a two-year battle with bone cancer. He was 44. A basketball star, first at the University of Oklahoma, the 6’ 9” Tisdale was also a gold medal Olympian and a twelve-year NBA veteran, having played for the Indiana Pacers, the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns before embarking on his musical career.

Since he was a child, Tisdale always had a fascination for the bass and had grown to be a big fan of Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller. Tisdale began making his mark in the music business even while he was still in the NBA. Among the jazz luminaries with whom he collaborated are George Duke, Jeff Lorber, Bob James, David Koz and many others. His 2008 release, Rebound, enjoyed critical acclaim. At the time of his death, Tisdale was planning a tour that was to take place this summer. He is survived by his wife, Regina, four children and one grandchild.

Watt’s a Stooge!
Rock/jazz/punk/alternative bassist Mike Watt is back with the Stooges, perhaps in a quasi-permanent capacity. Watt, who took over for the late Dave Alexander the last time Iggy et al reunited, will assume the role of Stooge bassist left vacant by the passing of Ron Asheton in January. FBPO will be monitoring the band’s progress, so be sure to check these pages often.

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