Hammer of the Gods

Ray Manzarek 1939 - 2013

The Doors keyboardist and founding member, Ray Manzarek died at the age of 74 in Germany. The Doors formed after Manzarek met Jim Morrison in 1965 on Venice Beach in California. The legendary band went on to sell over 100 millions records worldwide. Morrison died in 1971, but Manzarek carried on the Doors on and off, well into the 21st century.

Sometime in the late 70's, after a gig by the Los Angeles punk band X, Manzarek introduced himself to the group. During the conversation, the band told him they were going to make a record and Manzarek offered to produce. So Exene Cervanka, John Doe, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake went on to record their first four records, Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under The Big Black Sun and More Fun In The New World. These records were extremely influential. They showed that a punk could not only be raw and visceral, but intelligent, soulful, insightful and down right entertaining. The hippie understood and embraced punk rock and produced some of it's finest moments. Thank you, Mr. Manzarek.

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Thunderous Headache: Krist Novoselic / Nirvana

During a live performance on the 1992 MTV Music Awards, with an estimated audience of 300 million worlwide, Krist Novoselic tossed his bass 20 feet into the air but failed to catch it. This resulted in one Rock n' Roll biggest blunders, as the bass smashed into his melon....derp!

 

 

 

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Chi Cheng (Deftones) R.I.P. 1970-2013

Chi Cheng, bassist and founding member of the Deftones passed away early Saturday, April 13, 2013. For more than 4 years, Cheng has been battling for his life after suffering extensive injuries from a car accident, which had left him in and out of a coma during that time. He was rushed to a Sacramento, CA emergency room after his heart had stopped and was pronounced dead around 3am. He left this mortal coil with his mother singing some of his favorite songs, softly into his ear as he slipped from this earthly realm. May your soul rest in peace.

July 15, 1970 - April 13, 2013

 

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Hammer Of The Gods

This photo just skirts the border of being ultra-mega cool. It just happens to be missing one key element....

....JOHN PAUL JONES!!!

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Wreck N Roll Motorcycle Bass

Couldn't find much information on these basses. The are made of old motorcycles and car parts and are the creations of a gentlemen named Ezra, who works under the moniker Wreck N' Roll. There is a video of one being played on his website, and it sounds pretty good. The sound is closer to that of bass guitar rather than a traditional upright. With it's pronounced mid range growl, I'm sure they don't get lost in the mix like many dog house basses tend to do.

 

 

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Rich Mullins / Karma To Burn: Appalachian Avalanche

I remember vividly the first time I experienced Karma To Burn, it was at the Kings Head Inn, there were a couple of very forgettable local bands on the bill and Karma To Burn, hailing from Morgantown, WV. Shirley, the owner of King's Head at the time had played me their demo and asked if my band, who were a three-piece instrumental band at the time, Fool's Holiday, wanted to play with them. Unfortunately we couldn't do the gig because our drummer had to work. But my guitarist, Matthew O. and I decided to go to show at meet the band, to make a WV contact. Even before the band took the stage, I was impressed by the bass rig, it was SWR-900 head, powering a SWR Henry 8x8 and a SWR Big Ben 1x18 cabinets. First thought, this bass player better be bad ass to have a rig like that or what a waste. Thankfully, Rich Mullins, the bassist for Karma To Burn, blew my friggin' mind apart (and my ear drums) that evening. Been a fan ever since.

This was very early on in the K2B story, it was 1995 and the band had only been together for a year. This was actually one their first shows south of WV, prior they had only been gigging around WV, Pennsylvania and Ohio. On that night, you could literally feel every single note Mullins played. His bass was up front and prominent in the mix. His tone was very punchy, almost Geddy Lee-like. His playing style though, not just the volume, is what really got me riled up, drawing upon equal parts Lemmy and Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order) breathing fresh air into the heavy, sludge riffs of the band. His wide leg stance and aggressive picking style was a huge part of the bands live appeal.

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Norwood Fisher: Fishbone

My first exposure to Fishbone was via television, courtesy of USA Networks "Night Flight". It was the video for "Party at Ground Zero", a bouncy, high-energy ska number performed by six equally energetic punkish/new waver black cats! Love at first sight! But it's wasn't only because I thought they looked cool, they sounded PHAT! Most ska was too upbeat and thin sounding for my ever increasing, angry young man, hardcore tendencies back then. But this band just sounded thick, every player held his own and it was deeply rooted in the humongous bass playing of Norwood Fisher.

And although I became a fan immediately, getting the records, finding out as much as I could about the band through fanzines and the such. It wasn't until a couple of years later did I truly "get" what Fishbone were truly about. This didn't occur until the night I first saw them live, it was at the Kings Head Inn and it was, to this day, one of the most powerful performances I have ever seen by any band. Every member was a like a powder keg going off repeatedly, just explosive and emotional. One of the most vivid memories I have of that show was of Angelo Moore prancing around atop of the bar, with club owner, the late Mr. Sherry chasing below him, on the floor, waving his finger and shouting "Get down off my bar, GET DOWN OFF MY BAR!!" Another vivid memory was that of, standing just 3 feet away for Norwood Fisher and watching, listening and feeling every single note that man played that night. I thought my heart was going to explode with joy!

 

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