Global Bass Online March 2000
Finally, after months of talk here it is…
GLOBAL BASS Magazine !
For weeks now I have been mulling over exactly how to begin this ‘bold new project’. It actually was getting to the point where I was becoming concerned as to whether this would ever truly get off the ground. Why the trepidation? Well for years I have been working on and publishing a general music publication featuring articles on mainstream artists like Shania Twain, Gino Vanelli and so forth. Great stuff and interesting people, but as a long time bass player myself these interviews never really got to me in the place where I live. I realized from Day One that if I was going to start this whole Bass magazine thing up it had better be good. At no time did I want something I cared about as deeply as this new magazine, this Global adventure, to end up being just another ‘fanzine’ similar to my other venture.
This magazine had to reflect truly innovative musicians with something to say. Any bass player that was to grace our cover had to be someone that had clearly contributed something tangible to the craft of bass playing. It had to be someone who has taken chances and pushed back supposed limitations. There must never come a day when any artist would be featured on our pages, much less our front cover, whose sole claim to fame is some affectation or contrivance. Neither should the front cover been assigned to an artist merely because they are ‘popular’ and that all the ‘kiddies’ would in turn pick the mag up just to see what that ‘artiste de jour’ was saying.
Also at no time would the term or title ‘genius’ be handed off to some character just because their publicist, their record company or their endorsement advertiser instructs or pressures us to do so. Yes we want people to pick up the magazine and read it, but we really want our readers to pick this magazine up consistently because they respect and trust what we have to say and are willing and excited to be learning along with us as we speak to the masters of our craft.
That way we will not only get readers, we will keep `em.
Oh, and one other thing, if the term ‘GENUIS’ ever does find its way onto our front page, it will be well and truly deserved…it will also be a rare event, a heartfelt compliment, and a very real assessment. No one will ever find a pair of kneepads in our offices, if you catch my drift… .
To answer the question as to what brought about this whole idea for a new magazine about bass players and their equipment?
Well, the turning point came one day when I was contacted by BMG Music Canada, and asked if I would be interested in an interview with the Progressive Rock giants YES. I leaped at the chance and requested that the interview be with their bassist, a long time ‘hero’ of mine, CHRIS SQUIRE. Shortly after that interview I happened across the web site for ALCHEMY RECORDS and noticed that MICHAEL MANRING was one of their artists, along with Gary Willis.
Well, the wheels in my beady little head started turning! From my experience with my other magazine it seemed that I had no difficulty getting interviews with many of today’s top mainstream artists, so why not turn that ability towards something that I truly cared about…the bass and the artists who play them.
So now here I sit a few months later with tons of great interviews in place, conducted with some of the key bass players of our time. In the first issue alone we have CHRIS SQUIRE of YES, TONY LEVIN of King Crimson, Peter Gabriel’s band and a multitude of other recording projects (including his own). Then there’s GARY STRATER, an incredible bassist from the `70’s Progressive Rock group STARCASTLE…ADAM NITTI talking about his frighteningly-good new album ‘BALANCE’, as well as acoustic wizards STEVE LA SPINA & JOHN LEITHAM. Moving on from there is an in-depth chat with that brilliant fretless player I mentioned before, MICHAEL MANRING. For our very first Cover Story Artist we have a Canadian on board. Four, Five and Six string Bassist and Bandleader ORIN ISAACS, taking time away from his role as musical director on Canada’s premiere award winning comedy talk show OPEN MIKE with Mike Bullard, to tell us about his first solo recording “Where I Am”.All this in our premiere first issue!
Many of the interviews are already in place for the second issue as well, including our Cover Story Artist DANN GLENN. Dann turns out to be one of most interesting individuals I have ever interviewed. DANN tells us the fascinating story of his life, from his days as a soldier in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, his close friendship with JACO PASTORIUS, to the release of this his ninth solo bass album, “LITTLE TOY HORNS’.
Dann has given me insights into some behinds-the-scenes situations that I am still wrestling with. Weeks after having spoken to him some of the things that he has told me about, some truths about such thing as the last days of JACO and the source of the titles for some of the cuts off his newest release, songs like ‘SHAME SHAME HANOI JANE’, are still rattling around in my soul. The hardest part about transcribing this interview will be deciding what would be better left unsaid, such is the personal power of this man. Things perhaps left unsaid not because DANN is rude or common, because he is neither, but because he pulls no punches. After our chat I realized that the lines drawn in the sand with this interview will go a long way towards defining what this new magazine will be about. It has given me much pause for thought.
Also in the second installment, a talk with Carol Kaye, Speed Demon RANDY COVEN, fresh off The Millenium Tour with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, BUNNY BRUNNEL and another hero of mine; the incredible JEFF BERLIN, STEVE CLARKE (no, not Stanley, but close!) and BEAVER FELTON. Rest assured that by the time the second issue comes to print even more bass players will have signed on for interviews and reviews on all their new releases.
We will also be welcoming articles and reviews on bass related equipment of all types and as the issues progress, lesson pages and opinions and viewpoints many and varied will present themselves.
We welcome your input, your suggestions and requests. We also welcome your criticisms but ask that you temper that criticism with very real suggestions for improvement. Wanton slagging will be ignored.
One final word on my thoughts for this magazine. Since the first day I picked up a bass in `65 I’ve felt that this instrument is such a profoundly unique thing. It is not now, nor was it ever just a ‘4-string instrument for simpletons who can’t manage a guitar’. When I hear the magic that people like Michael Manring, Chris Squire, Orin Isaacs, Dann Glenn, Tony Levin (and the list goes on forever) can weave from this magnificent instrument, my heart soars. I am proud to be a bass player. Just for the record I don’t even own a guitar nor do I have the wish to play one. It has simply never appealed to me. When I see the limitless things that our chosen instrument can do, that old adage comes to mind…“Why fix it, if it ain’t broke?”
So welcome to the first issue of a brand new magazine exclusively about Bass players and for Bass players. Write us, e-mail us or even phone us, we will answer. Let us know whom you would like to hear from. We are in the business of connecting you the reader and fellow bassist to others of our kind all over the world. This is a Global adventure, hence the nameGLOBAL BASS Magazine.
A special thanks has to be said here before I sign off for this issue. I want to thank all the people I interviewed for this issue and the next. I learned a lot from all of you and there wasn’t a jerk in the whole pile. You are Class personified! Also without going all weepy eyed here, the pages you are now reading would not be remotely possible if not for the tireless input, enthusiasm, guidance and creative brilliance of webmasters MARTY STRAUB and DAVE GESCHKE. If you ever feel like being thoroughly immersed in all things wild and wonderful about bass playing, visit their web sites. You will not be able to leave without finding at least 5 things about bass and bass players that you never knew before. They both have proven to be the most incredible allies and I am truly indebted.
Editor & Publisher
GLOBAL BASS Magazine
385 Fairway Road South, Suite 4A-200
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2C 2N9
March 1st, 2000
Also if you have any questions and can’t reach me, please feel free to direct that info to Marty or Dave.
Dave Geschke’s site can be found at…
In both cases take and pen and paper, you’re gonna need it!
Copyright © 2000-2009 Global Bass Online