Jane's Addiction, Flipper, and Filling Those Familiar Shoes

The Ripper Bass - Designed To Rip Your Ears Off!
I want to thank Duff McKagan for the props in his column. And I want to extend my appreciation of his bass playing - especially in the introduction to "Sweet Child O' Mine." The interplay between the guitar harmonics and bass set up a big song perfectly.

When I played in Flipper, I was also in the situation where I played someone else's bass lines. At first, it was like playing a cover song but I had to remind myself that no - I was in Flipper! That realization compelled me to try and play the lines as faithfully as possible. I wouldn't dare trying to change the music of a band that's so important. Plus, Bruce, who did all the vocals in the version of Flipper I was in, played bass half the time in the old version of the group. He'd switch with the late Will Shatter. In other words, the bass player I was replacing was standing right next to me!

I wrote about Dio in Black Sabbath in my last column. There's also real cool Sabbath record released after Dio left to do his solo work. I love Born Again, their album with Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan. The stand out tracks are "Trashed" and "Zero The Hero". Check this out: when Sabbath toured the album, they performed the Deep Purple tune "Smoke on the Water". So there you have it - the Sabb's, at that moment behind Gillian doing someone else's riffs!!!

Flipper tried to do the Nirvana tune "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" but it never really came together. I do have to say that it was nice to play a Nirvana song.

I'm glad that Duff is in Jane's Addiction. He's playing with peers. Even though they didn't sell a lot of records, I felt the same way with Flipper. It's about the music. Joining a longstanding band is stepping into a new relationship among many old ones in the group - so that's a challenge in itself. My "new dude" feeling wore off with Flipper and after a little while I felt at home. Don't forget that Duff is tight - both on bass and as an individual so what a score for Jane's.

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