Basspiration Wednesday – 5/27/2015


Toto version 2.0 with lead singer Joseph Williams (third from the right) and bassist Mike Porcaro (far right) replacing Bobby Kimball and David Hungate.

A recent article on Mix Magazine online entitled “When Sessions Reigned Supreme: The Players, Studios from L.A.’s Golden Age” has completely fired my imagination. The article tracks the late 70s/early 80s heyday of the Los Angeles session musician scene. This is a music scene responsible for churning out hit after hit and yet, for whatever reason, still hasn’t yet received the acclaim it deserves. The musicians responsible for this scene reads like a who’s who of great musicians: David Foster, Jim Keltner, Bob Glaub, Danny Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel, Waddy Wachtel, Dean Parks, Leland Sklar, Greg Phillinganes, Richard Page, Steve George, the Porcaro brothers—Jeff, Steve and Mike—Steve Lukather, David Paich, Michael Omartian, Jay Graydon, Ray Parker, Larry Carlton, and John Robinson.

Documentary films about session musicians are not uncommon. The Wrecking Crew have one. The Funk Brothers got theirs. The Swampers of Muscle Shoals are featured in their own doc, as well. So why no documentary love for the players that made up the LA session scene of the late 70s/early 80s? I don’t really have an answer. That’s the story that needs to be explored by some budding documentarian needs to explore — why are all of these folks the Rodney Dangerfield of the music business (“no respect”). Someone needs to get started soon as several of the key voices of the scene have already passed away.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get back to listening to some albums graced by these musicians.