How long have you been playing?
Started guitar at 10, bass at 14. I was under the (false) impression that all musicians wanted to be the best they could. Praticed bass playing to Cream, Yes, Mahavisnu Orchestra records. I didn't play with anybody till I thought I was good enough. That was 6 years later. That's when I started learning some people only played enough to get by. I was VERY surprised. I had over 6000 records in my vinyl collection. Had everything from Tibetian Exorcism Rites to PDQ Bach, Bix Beiderbeck, Yo Yo Ma solo cello Bach pieces and a LOT of ECM records. ECM let bassist do solo albums. A lot of players take a break and have families. I have never taken a break. In 38 years I have never lost my calluses on my hands. Still find guitar picks in the washer. I got into music when I played a record that was possibly my oldest brothers. My parents had the usual Dean Martin, early sixties white bread schlock. Trashy pulp music. I picked up a heavy vinyl record on the Crown label with a watercolor of a guitar player and put it on expecting something like Wes Montgomery to come out. Instead, it was John Lee Hooker. Steely distorted solo blues guitar came blasting out of the Heathkit tube record player my dad had built. It hit me like a lightning bolt and I felt the power of the "real deal" blues, the spiritual depth of this music. After that I was changed.....or ruined. I had the religion. I may have 11 or 12 at the time and I knew I wanted to make that sound. Feel that electricity, that crackle. I wanted to steal John Lee Hooker's soul. Or just borrow it for a while till I got my own.
What gear do you use?
Favorite stuff is a Wal fretless bass, '58 Plaintop Les Paul Standard, Marshall JCM 800, '35 00-18, '56 Fender tweed Deluxe. I have a LOT of stuff. Magnatone M 10 amp, '57 Danelectro Twin Twelve, '71 Pro Reverb, '63 Firebird 5, '67 Trini Lopez Standard, Tweed Bassman re-issue, '82 Moderne re-issue, '76 Explorer, Marshall JTM 30, Mesa Boogie Studio .22.....and a few more noisy things. And a bunch of fuzz boxes. Never been married, no kids either.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, early Clapton. Listening to the Beatles taught me how to arrange music. Jimi taught me there are no rules in music. Clapton taught me to aspire for a tone. Probably the best advice I would give to a younger musician is don't confuse technique and music. Playing fast isn't better. Typing fast doesn't make you write better stories! Also, the silence between the notes is just as much music as the notes themselves. When you stop playing, people are(hopefully)sitting on the edge of their chair waiting for the next notes. Silence is tension.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
Years ago in the late eighties I counted myself to have been in twenty plus bands at that time. For about 13 years I was never NOT in a band. I just seemed to go from rehearsal to rehearsal. Alternative, top 40(great school) blues, jazz. Almost all as a bassist. Played guitar at home working to be good enough to actually go on stage at a jam. BTW, the first jam I went to in KC, Mo. I arrived early enough to watch the band set up. My name was first on the list. I watched 10 or 12 players go up and after four hours the band said goodnite. I never got to play and I was crushed. That was my lesson about a host band and their "friends". Right then I decided if involved in this situation myself, everybody gets to play. For many young kids it is their ONLY chance to play. They made the trip to support your gig. Pay them back by not shutting them down.
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
Hendrix, Coltrane, Miles Davis, Steve Tibbits, Brian Eno, Duane Allman, Bill Laswell......All extremely imaginative musicians who didn't hire a backing band of faceless drones for their masturbation. Musicians working WITH musicians.
Robert Duckworth hasn't uploaded any pics yet.
Robert Duckworth hasn't uploaded any music yet. Sup with that.