I’ve had the pleasure of working on many projects with the amazing Gary Lunn. His bass playing really hits home with my personal music, and his sense of timing, melody, not to mention his perfect pitch are a joy to work with.
Here’s 5 questions I asked him lately.
1. What made you want to start playing bass?
My older brother was a saxophone player in his high school’s jazz ensemble. He brought home Chicago’s second album and I heard the song “25 or 6 to 4” from it. I knew immediately that I wanted to play the bass. Shortly after that experience, I was given my first album which was Abbey Road by the Beatles. Paul McCartney pretty much sealed the deal. Early in my seventh grade, I heard the flip side of “Money Runner” (From the movie “Dollars”) which was a song called “Money Is” that was produced by Quincy Jones and sung by Little Richard. Whoever was playing bass on that song blew my mind. My parents gave me a bass for Christmas after that.
2. Who are your bass heroes and why?
My early influences were Paul McCartney and Peter Cetera for their melodic lines, Mel Shacher (Grand Funk Railroad-my first exposure to rock) for his rock-solidness and originality, Chris Squire for the new voice he created for the bass, (“Roundabout” still amazes me), Larry Graham for the invention of slapping, Mark King for speeding it up to light-speed, and David Hungate for showing us all how to not only lock perfectly with a drummer, but how to compose a bass part all the way through the song, FOR the song. Jaco Pastorious and Pino Pallidino were my first serious fretless influences, but I sure “stole” a lot of lines from Jimmy Johnson. Gary Willis is from an alternate universe that I am still trying to get to. :) I could never do what he does. As one of the most “have-it-all” bassists, I love everything Marcus Miller has ever done. From chops to pocket, he is one of the most balanced bass players I have ever heard. The fact that he can slap “Teen Town” still blows my mind every time I hear it.
3. What’s your favorite bass right now?
My favorite bass changes from day to day. My current favorite is my ’71 Fender Precision (sunburst, rosewood neck, loaded with ’80’s DiMarzio pick-ups), but it will always be at the top of the list. I’ve had it since I was 11 years old and it always feels like home to me.
4. What was your favorite gig?
I played in the house band (all session guys) for a very prestigious, private party about 15 years ago. Besides playing for Peter Cetera and Amy Grant, we played most of Michael McDonald’s hits with the man himself. It was surreal. As far as a favorite road gig, when I toured with Amy Grant in 2003-2004, it was the most fun, comfortable, integral gig I have ever been on. So far, she’s been the best “boss” I have ever worked for.
5. What are your dreams for the future creatively?
I would love to produce a project that contained 10-15 of my favorite songs from 10-15 different genre’s. They would all be extremely challenging for the bass and feature the bass, but every song would have a different lead vocalist indigenous to the style of each song. I wouldn’t use a lot of different players because the musicians that I personally know right here in Nashville can play ANY style.
Want to get an idea of Gary’s work as a player?? Check out this link! http://www.allmusic.com/artist/gary-lunn-mn0000739855
We’re also working on a solo album with Gary. It will have all the songs that have featured Gary on Player A albums, but also a few new ones. We’ll be sure to let the Player A faithful know when it’s ready.