I started my musical journey playing bass guitar. The heroes, the stars, that inspired me were Chris Squire (of Yes), Greg Lake (of ELP), and John Wetton (of King Crimson, Roxy Music, and Asia). Squire passed in 2015. Greg Lake late last year in 2016. And now I just got news from Phil Manzanera that John Wetton has died. These three (with Ray Shulman of Gentle Giant and Paul McCartney of The Beatles) revolutionised bass playing. Melodic, intricate, tight as tacks. And, they all sang while doing this. Since the pinnacle of the mid 1970s, bass playing has been in retreat. Nowadays, most bass playing is little more than 8th notes on the root of the chord, which is pathetic, and I blame U2 (among others…) for this crime against culture. But that is another post for another day. This is Wetton’s day.
I leave you with a live rendition of one of the best songs he ever performed on – Starless by King Crimson. What I especially admired about his playing was his tone – he had this growling crunchy tone that was very unique and incredibly powerful and engaging. A superb player. Heroes are born, but heroes die. Starless: