Author Archives: Bruce

Spot the Riff!

Here’s a good old ‘Northern Soul’ track from Don Covay and the Goodtimers, with a riff that was shamelessly stolen by a New Wave popster bass player … no prizes for guessing who … or for what song.  

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One for the Album

Here’s another find in the magic loft! … a Polaroid I took (according to the date on the back) in 1981 … I can’t remember where. It’s not AIR studios or Abbey Road, so it looks like it must be in the McCartney offices in Soho Square.

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Believe it or not!

Believe it or not, this exquisitely crafted instrument (which I made myself!) is what I began learning to play bass on.  I found it in my Mum’s loft over Christmas — I thought it had disappeared years ago. Note that it has an eleven-fret octave instead of twelve — which means that I was probably playing in some kind of Indian tuning — particularly as the frets were positioned more or less at random.  Even so, I learnt Green Onions and many other … Continue reading

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The Band That Prog Remembers (a little)

Following on from my earlier post The Band That Prog Forgot… I just got an e-mail from Clouds organist, Billy Ritchie (r).  Apparently, on his website, Jon Anderson of Yes has finally acknowledged (a little) the vital role Clouds played in the inception of Prog Rock — and in the careers of the many who embraced it. Clouds were very important in those early years.  I remember them performing Paul Simon’s America at a Marquee concert and at a gig in … Continue reading

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How long did they think they could get away with it!

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For further information, go to the Profile Bass page. The first thing about it that stood out was that the pickup is probably the loudest P-bass style pickup I’ve ever heard, and the low end response on it is astonishing! For sure, this bass can rumble the house! But it also has a clear ringing high end when the tone control is dialed up. Also notable is the sustain, hit a note and it’ll ring for nearly a minute … The … Continue reading

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What’s the Score?

I’m away for a week to Wales, so here’s a collectors’ item to keep you going.  This is when the Quiver and Humble Pie boys met the Pink Floyd for a game of soccerball.  Willie Wilson, Quiver’s drummer on the left, me, and Roger Waters and Nick Mason.  Others there were Jimmy McCulloch and Steve Marriott.  My friend, the noted wit and bon viveur John Hughes, asked if it might not more accurately be designated as a game of ‘Spot … Continue reading

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The Band That Prog Forgot

In 1967 it was unheard for an unknown band to be asked to headline at the Marquee club in London.  But the Marquee’s manager, John Gee, believed 1-2-3 to be the best band he’d ever seen — a Scottish trio comprising of Harry Hughes, drums; Ian Ellis, bass and Billy Ritchie, organ (l to r on photo).  Often John Gee had to come on stage and interrupt to calm the audience and tell them that if they wanted boring R&B … Continue reading

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