They may not get the glory like lead singers and guitarists but any great rock band you can think of usually has a great bass player holding down the low end. Ever since Leo Fender introduced the Precision Bass in 1951, rock bands have anchored their rhythm sections around the 4-string electric bass guitar, replacing the unwieldy, acoustic double bass with it’s more portable and easily amplified offspring. Initially relegated to the back of the bandstand, Paul McCartney in The Beatles and The Beach Boys‘ Brian Wilson helped raise the instruments’ profile in the early 1960s and when Cream‘s Jack Bruce plugged his Gibson EB-3 into a Marshall amplifier stack, bassists were ready to take on those pesky guitarists in the volume wars. Take a gander at these master bassists, old and new, and see if you can recognize them just by their instruments.
Though always the bassist in his legendary original band, this 4-stringer also played lead guitar on several notable recordings of theirs.