When I look at the cover of this months issue, I can't help but think of just how much Tim
Bogert affected my decision to start playing bass in the late `60's. He probably did that for a lot of us, including Billy Sheehan, who counts Tim as The Man who started it all for him.
Even before Chris Squire and Stanley Clarke, Tim took rock bass to the very front of the stage. Other bassists like John Entwistle and Jack Bruce were stellar players as well, but they still had a tendency to stay on the back burner, providing the solid, and I mean solid, background to the rest of their respective bands.
Tim however was one quarter of a group that consisted of 4 lead players, all of them demanding equal time. These days Tim enjoys a less competitive lifestyle, preferring instead to work occasionally with some of the ex-members of his old band Vanilla Fudge, riding his motorcycles and occasionally putting out an album with his good friend and long time drummer Carmine Appice.
Alain Caron, our Cover Story, is the perfect continuance of what Tim started 35 years ago.
His recent album, "Call Me Al" is a bass players dream. Alain covers the bottom end so deftly, leaving nothing out, yet at the same time giving room for the song to breathe. He says in his interview, he has learned when to step forward and when to step back. His solos have purpose, and that purpose is to propel and complete the song. Unlike many solo instrumentalists of any ilk these days, his songs are not vehicles for his ego.
One of more unintentially hilarious concerts I saw a few years ago featured a famous rock guitarist. The band was built around and named after this 'artist'. The songs, and I loosely call them songs, were nothing more than loose structures for this guys solos. The moment the singer shut his mouth, off this player went and no one had the nerve to stop him until the nanosecond before the next vocal verse.
The panicked look on the singers face is something I won't soon forget. He knew he was one of many and that if he stepped on his bosses Very Important Solo's, he'd be unemployed pretty fast. Oh sure the chops were impressive, but after a while it all started to sound the same. After it is all said and done, the song is what matters, the rest is just noise.
That brings me to something I have noticed with most if not all of the albums I have been receiving lately for interviews. There is a definate tendency to return to some good song writing, which is reassuring. After a few too many 64 and 128-note bars, it's good to hear a return to some fine melodic lines.
Speaking of melodic lines, in next months issue, we will be featuring the first interview anywhere with Jeff Berlin on his new solo album. That is one serious buzz! I've heard a few things from him over the phone in our conversations and I have to say, you better be sitting down the first time you hear this new one!
Another amazing character is Adam Nitti, now putting the finishing touches on his newest project. We will be sure to talk to this guy when the final product is ready. Adam is another example of a fine song writer and a fine player.
In the coming months we will have Cover Stories and Special Features with the likes of Gary Willis, Billy Sheehan, John Entwistle amd many others, plus many new features, so bookmarks us and visit often!
February 15th, 2001