Fretless Questions, player bio, photos, videos, music, and more
Fretless Questions: Bob Daisley
FB: How long have you been playing fretless bass?
Bob Daisley: The first time I played fretless would’ve been around the early 1970s but I began playing guitar in 1963 and bass in 1964.
FB: What influenced you to play fretless?
Bob Daisley: Probably Boz Burrell – Bad Company, he was a friend.
FB: Are you self-taught or did you take lessons?
Bob Daisley: Guitar lessons at first then self-taught with bass.
FB: Who are your main fretless bass influences or favorite players?
Bob Daisley: Boz Burrell (Bad Company) and Ronnie Lane (Faces) when he used his Zemaitis acoustic bass. Favorite – Jaco Pastorius – he was innovative and original.
FB: Do you play upright, electric, or both? Which do you prefer?
Bob Daisley: Electric and acoustic – I prefer my ‘Ronnie Lane’ acoustic Zemaitis (made by ‘Dave of England’).
FB: What was your very first fretless bass? Do you still own it? Have you had or played others?
Bob Daisley: First- a Hagstrom I bought from Boz Burrell. Unfortunately I don’t have it any longer. Favorite – the Dave of England Ronnie Lane acoustic Zemaitis. Others include a Fender Precision (no longer owned), an Ibanez (still have it), and a Rob Allen (still have it).
FB: What types of strings and fingerboards do you prefer?
Bob Daisley: Picato round-wound strings, ebony/rosewood board.
FB: What playing styles do you use?
Bob Daisley: Mostly finger-style for a more subtle ‘upright’ feel/sound.
FB: What bands or projects feature you playing fretless bass?
Bob Daisley: There are a few tracks featuring fretless bass that I’ve done over the years, I just hope I can remember what they are…
The ones I do remember are:
“Here Comes the Queen” – I used Boz Burrell’s (Bad Company) fretless Precision for that track. From the Widowmaker album entitled “Too Late to Cry”.
“The Other Side of Midnight” – Guild fretless, not sure of model but was a single-pickup, solid body. From the Uriah Heep album “Head First”.
“Spiders” – same Guild fretless. From the Ozzy Osbourne album “Bark at the Moon”.
“Empty Rooms” – Fender Precision fretless. Live version (probably more than one) with Gary Moore.
A few tracks on the Ozzy Osbourne album “No More Tears” – using a Fender Precision fretless again. I played on all tracks on the album and the fretless tracks should be obvious. I know “Mama I’m Comin’ Home” is one but there are more on that album.
“The Liar” – Fender Precision fretless. B-side of single “Miracle Man”, Ozzy Osbourne from the album “No Rest for the Wicked”.
I used a fretless acoustic bass on a recent track with the Hoochie Coochie Men album entitled “Danger: White Men Dancing”. The track is entitled “Over and Over” and the bass was a replica Zemaitis made by David Brewis, trade name ‘Dave of England’. I had Dave, who was given all Tony Zemaitis’s patterns and parts before he died, make the bass as a replica of Ronnie Lane’s acoustic four-string fretless. It sounds a lot like an upright, lovely beast! There may be a few more but I didn’t use a fretless that much, only on certain tracks/occasions.
FB: Do you have a favorite song you played fretless bass on or some notable songs or experiences?
Bob Daisley: “Here Comes the Queen” – Widowmaker and “Over and Over” – The Hoochie Coochie Men.
FB: What would you say is unique about your fretless style?
Bob Daisley: I don’t regard myself as a great fretless player.
FB: Are you still actively playing fretless bass?
Bob Daisley: Occasionally, when the song/performance calls for it.
FB: Do you have any basic advice for bass players looking to take up fretless or those who are currently playing?
Bob Daisley: For precision in finger-position/pitch/notes, it’s sometimes good to have ‘guide frets’ on the finger-board made in the wood.
FB: Do you have websites or social media sites you would like to share?
Bob Daisley: www.bobdaisley.com
From Wikipedia.com (full Wiki link):
Check out the autobiography by Bob Daisley entitled “For Facts Sake”. This book is 325 pages long with over 480 photos, many of which were taken by Bob himself over his 45+ year career in the music business. It contains the whole story of his life as a musician spanning from his early childhood to today, and features stories about his experience with some of the most amazing bands and people in Rock and Roll history including Chicken Shack, Mungo Jerry, Widowmaker, Rainbow, The Blizzard of Ozz, Uriah Heep, Ozzy (and Sharon) Osbourne, Gary Moore, Black Sabbath, Don Arden, and many more. This book is a must read, with amazing stories from such a long, successful career.
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