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Taken from Ultimate-Guitar (Sep 19, 2023)

That Time Doug Wimbish Crossed Paths With Jaco Pastorius

"The next day, I pulled up in my Pinto, drove him out to the place, and the guys freaked out - they didn't know I was bringing Jaco out."

by gregprato1

Jaco Pastorius & Doug Wimbish. Photocollage
Jaco Pastorius & Doug Wimbish. Photocollage

Bassist Doug Wimbish's musical career has contained countless highlights - providing the bassline in the hip-hop classic "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It" by Melle Mel, appearing on recordings by such renowned/respected artists as Mick Jagger, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Annie Lennox, and Al Green, among others, laying down the low-end for Living Colour since 1992, etcetera. Additionally, he crossed paths with bass legend Jaco Pastorius back in the late '70s, as he once told me for the 2018 book, "The 100 Greatest Rock Bassists".

"I was fortunate enough to see Jaco Pastorius - right before the 'Heavy Weather' record came out," Wimbish remembered. "I was actually in the studio with him - I lucked out because he was playing in Hartford and he was playing with Herbie Hancock's band for a brief moment, and I met him backstage at the Bushnell, and I had a conversation. I was about to sit in my seat, and he's like, 'No, you can watch the whole gig from here.' So I watched the whole gig a few feet away from him! And right before that, he was like, 'I just came out of the studio with Weather Report in Miami.' He had the entire 'Heavy Weather' record on a Maxell tape. He's like, 'Would you like to hear the record we just finished?' So, two other guys from the local radio station happened to be there as well, and their station was right next to the Bushnell, so I went to the Bushnell, saw the concert - his playing was phenomenal - and then after that, I heard the entire 'Heavy Weather' record."

And it turned out that Wimbish got to spend more time with Pastorius the following day.

"Jaco had his Ampeg amps and this looping thing, but he was like, 'There is a place here I heard about, called ElectroComp, and they have a synthesizer bass that they're working on' - because John McLaughlin had told him about it. I'm like, 'It just so happens I know the guy. I can take you there.' The next day, I pulled up in my Pinto, drove him out to the place, and the guys freaked out - they didn't know I was bringing Jaco out. They had retro-fitted an acoustic Ovation bass - this is '77. This company also does government contracting for Polaris submarines and sonar. They use the company for, 'We need you guys to come up with a way to put something in our submarine so that if there are whales in front of us, we can disperse them through sending out tones.' But on the side, they also experimented with synthesizers. So, I brought Jaco out there, and lo and behold, they had one of the first bass synths, and he was experimenting with it. So I was around cats that were killer players, but they were about the tone. All of this went hand in hand."




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