Bobby Sledd Creative Page
B A S S; the final frontier. Sound familiar? If anyone would have told me, when I was playing guitar, that I'd not only be become a bass player, but fall in love with the instrument, I'd have labelled them crazy. But that is what happened. Call it fate, destiny or any mythical description that pops into your mind. Bass is what I've been about since I turned nineteen years old.
In Junior High School and High School, I performed on the guitar with a class mate at assemblies and class functions such as the senior carnivals. Guitar was my world from age twelve. The first song I played on the guitar was Down on the Corner; CCR.
I was into rock n roll and motorcycles, who wasn't. My family would drive back east to South Carolina every other year on vacation, so I'd hear all the pop rock and southern rock on the radio. I didn't know who Rick Derringer was then but I sure dug his tune. As I grew older I recognized more artists I enjoyed listening to because now I was playing them in cover bands.
My introduction to blues came through Otis Redding. Man!! The Blues. Going to church all my life gave me a foundation I never thought of when growing up, it was what you did. My folks new a couple in town. The wife was mine and my brothers babysitter and the husband was a cadillac salesman. What great people they were. They have passed, but won't soon be forgotten. See, they were also ministers at a nondenomenational church in the Palm Springs area. They had a guest singer/preacher at their church one day when I went. At nineteen, with my own car and money from a good job, church is not exactly first on your list of things to do today. I was there because of an invite from my parents. I'd only seen churches like this on tv or in the movies.
Man. If I knew there was this type of music and musicians in church.................That's where things took off for me musically. The evangelist there asked me if I'd play bass for him on a short tour up the coast of Cally. Without knowing what I was getting into I said yes. Hey, I was gonna be on tour with this guy that had a record out. I bought a PBass copy and plucked along. The church music there was southern gospel. not quite soul but soulful. Walking lines and some finger funk was being learned and loved. I was writing my own bass lines to these choruses. I was B A D baby.
My brother had decided to get married and the tux guy went to a gospel church in a different city. He asked me to come be a guest musician at their church so again, I said YES. I was learning of all the great gospel bassists and motown bassists and funk style bassists of the time and found their styles and groove fit mine, or vice versa. So there I was, the only white guy in an all black church. The church was like the one in the Blues Brothers flick. IT ROCKED!!! I never paid much attention to the surroundings at the time because I wanted to do well. I must have done well. The drummer kept looking back at me like Yeah boy, You Go! I was in absolute heaven. After that, all I wanted to do was practice and play soul music. I did move on to other genres, even hard rock/metal, but that soul sound always came through. I got alot of gigs because of that, again without knowing why.
I moved from that area to keep my little carreer rolling. In and out of studios and gigs, meeting new people along the way.
Good times and bad times but I was playing and trying to squeeze as much fun out of life as possible. It ain't always easy to be a sideman, but times were changing and bass was becoming a frontline instrument so I knew I'd better become a standout. There are alot of standouts in the L.A. area as far as players. I learned lots about people but resisted change. I wanted to stay me and grow as a musician. I believe music is like golf, you can become very good at it but never master it. It is a life long journey. One of which I am loving. I have learned to keep my options open. So while I perform with a really good Soul/R&B Latin, Dance band, I keep room on my schedule for the other musical events that come my way. If you need any assistance in this arena please don't hesitate to contact me. I enjoy meeting new people and giving them the satisfaction of good lines on their projects. I always remember this quote, "You don't have to be the best, just a good one". the reverend BFG
Thanks for taking the time.
Updated: March 10, 2010
Join the Virtual Sheet Music® Affiliate Program to earn cash instantly (30% commission)
© 1999-2017 Musicians Page and Virtual Sheet Music, Inc. All Rights Reserved.