Most people probably think that the lead guitarist gets all the action with all that shredding and head banging on stage.
Drummers often get to jam with the crowd as well by pounding on their sticks or slamming to the beat. There is, however, a guy on stage that appears to be playing it too cool, looking steady as he plays his instrument.
The bassist is probably the most underrated band member of all time. Why? Probably because he makes bass guitar playing look easy, with calculated foot taps and occasional headbanging while casually flicking on his bass.
In reality, playing the bass is just as hard as any other guitar. You be the judge.
Cliff Burton of Metallica
Burton was actually discovered by two of Metallica’s band members, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich during their trip to Los Angeles. Burton was performing on stage with his previous band when Hetfield and Ulrich heard “this amazing shredding”, which they originally thought was a guitar.
To their surprise, it was actually Burton’s bass solo! He was so good with what he was doing that they decided to recruit him to play for Metallica.
Metallica is one of the most famous heavy metal bands of all time, with nine Grammy awards under their belts. A great rock band needs an equally great bassist as well! Burton played for Metallica for four years, until his untimely death in 1986.
John Entwistle of The Who
John Entwistle is the bassist of the English band, “The Who”. His band is considered as one of the most influential bands of this time, selling millions of records around the world.
His musical inclination started when he was just seven years old. He started playing the piano but he didn’t find it that enjoyable, so he switched to trumpet and French horn when he joined the school band.
In school, he then met Pete Townshend; both of them became members of The Who. Both guys decided that the rock n’ roll genre was the way to go, so Entwistle decided to switch to bass guitar instead.
Entwistle’s style varies from Burton because their bands play a relatively different subgenre of rock (the other plays heavy metal and the latter plays hard rock) but they have other things in common.
For one, they are well known for their bass solos. Lucky as they are, Burton and Entwistle are given ample spotlights by their bands. They have bass solos on records and even solos during concerts. It’s amazing how their bands appreciate how special these two are!
Hall of Famers
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an authority in recognizing the best and most influential figures in the said music genre. Both Burton and Entwistle are inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to pay homage to their greatness.
Together with their band, Entwistle joined the roster early on in 1990 while Burton joined the list posthumously on 2009.
A lasting memory
Both music greats already passed away into the great bass rainbow in the sky. Burton died in an unfortunate bus accident while on tour with the band, with him being thrown out of the bus window and getting hit by the bus itself.
Entwistle, on the other hand, died from a heart attack due to a cocaine overdose. He was found unresponsive the next morning.
There are a lot of great musicians but there are a few that takes time to perfect their craft. Legends often leave this earth too soon, too soon for us to appreciate their talent immensely.
Clearly, Burton and Entwistle left the scene too early, and the music world will deeply miss them.