Monday, April 4, 2011

In Memory of Berry Oakley

You will not find Berry Oakley's name on the Rolling Stone list of the 10 greatest bass players of all time, as chosen recently by the magazine's readers.  Listen to the Allman Brothers' album Live at the Fillmore East and please tell us why?

(Nor will you find James Jamerson of the Funk Brothers, Larry Graham of Sly and the Family Stone, Donald "Duck" Dunn or Bootsy Collins on this list.  We weren't even going to bring up Tina Weymouth, but we watched Stop Making Sense again last week and couldn't help ourselves.)

We take up defense of Oakley today, though, on what would have been his 63rd birthday.  As most of us remember he died in 1972 following a motorcycle accident within a few blocks of where bandmate Duane Allman was killed just a year earlier. Spooky stuff.

We loved Oakley's contributions to the Allman Brothers and believe he should be on anybody's list of favorite bass players.  We realize this is subjective stuff, but just follow "Whipping Post" through its 23:03 run and see if you don't agree.  "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" might also help convince you.

Here is the Rolling Stone list:

1. John Entwistle, The Who
2. Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers
3. Paul McCartney, Beatles
4. Geddy Lee, Rush
5. Les Claypool, Primus
6. John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin
7. Jaco Pastorius, Weather Report, et al
8. Jack  Bruce, Cream
9. Cliff  Burton, Metallica
10. Victor Wooten, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones


  1. These lists are all a joke but this is the most asinine one yet. Jameson and Dunn and Willie Dixon should be 1,2,3.

  2. Our buddy Psycho Ward just sent a video clip that reminded us of Michael Rhodes, the amazing session player from Nashville who can get a groove on with the best of 'em.