Hello all, we are now in March, 2012... 'RizMum' blog sure is getting slower now, but as promised I will try my best to keep on going... and its been awhile now since my last post (T_T) and to update this took me almost a year, anyhow, this will be my final year so you guys know how it is when the big "E" comes. So guys, see you in my next post and keep on SHREDDING!!!! And as always please feel free to drop a suggestion/ideas via e-mail, Thanks

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Billy Sheehan (Talas/Mr. Big)

Name: William Sheehan
Born: 19th March, 1953 (Buffalo, New York, USA)

Profile: He is an American bassist known for his work with "Talas", Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, "Mr. Big" and "Niacin". Sheehan has won the "Best Rock Bass Player" readers' poll from Guitar Player Magazine 5 times for his "lead bass" playing style. Sheehan's repertoire includes the use of chording, two-handed tapping, right hand "three finger picking" technique and controlled feedback. However, Sheehan is also noted as a steady "true" bassist, fulfilling the traditional supportive role of the electric bass in the rock rhythm section.

History: Sheehan's first instrument was an acoustic guitar that he borrowed incessantly from his sister, he bought his first electric guitar soon after. However, when he saw Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge) using a Fender Precision bass with a maple fingerboard, he switched to the bass.

Billy Sheehan's first electric bass was a Hagström FB, which was soon sistered by a Precision bass similar to Tim Bogert's. After acquiring the Precision bass, he removed the frets from the Hagström. Over the years, he heavily modified the Precision bass as well, adding a neck pickup and additional support for the bolt-on neck, which Sheehan considers its greatest weakness. The neck pickup was added for what he referred to as "super deep low end" modelled after Paul Samwell-Smith (Yardbirds). The Gibson EB-0 type pickup in the neck and the original split Precision bass pickup each have their own separate output jacks on the bass itself, allowing for control of the tone via the bass. Sheehan also uses two amps to achieve his signature tone, one with full distortion and notch filtering to sound more guitar-like for solos, and one super clean for the low end of the neck pickup. This bass has been retired, but he affectionately refers to it as "The Wife".

Sheehan’s first full-time gigs came with "Talas", they played a mixture of cover songs and original material. They remained one of Buffalo’s most popular local bands for over a decade. Sheehan also played with a band called "Light Years" in the late 70's, though he eventually went back to "Talas" and played in a show that saw him acquainted with guitarist Michael Schenker, who would help him land a job touring with band "UFO" in 1983.

After the tour, Sheehan went on to play with metal band "Thrasher", though his involvement with them didn’t last. Eventually Sheehan was brought on board with David Lee Roth, as a guitarist for his second solo album. Sheehan helped with the album but left soon after, and by 1988 Sheehan and Paul Gilbert (Racer X) formed a new band called "Mr. Big".

Mr. Big met with some initial success, hitting hard with hits the likes of "Addicted to that Rush" and "To Be With You". After "Mr. Big" was disbanded, Sheehan continued to bop around with various bands until he debuted solo in 2001 with 'Compression'. A second solo album, 'Cosmic Troubadour', was released in 2005. Currently, he is doing clinics and workshops all around the globe with fellow virtuoso bassist, Dionald Tubang.

Influences: Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge), Johann Sebastian Bach, Jimi Hendrix and Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)

Axology: Fender P-Bass, Yamaha Attitude series, Epiphone Rivoli EB232, Taylor AB3 and Alvarez Artist Acoustic Bass 4070BK

Signature song(s): See Saw (Talas), Shy Boy (David Lee Roth) and To Be With You (Mr. Big)

Link(s): (Official website)

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