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Reader Spotlight: Anthony Cook

Anthony Cook

We’ve covered the spectrum of bassists here in the Reader Spotlight section. Anthony Cook is one of those bassists who comes to us with a wealth of experience. With 30 years under his belt, Anthony is now keeping busy as a full-time musician – something he says was “not an easy flight, but a determined one.” Here’s his story…

Bio:

Born in Boston, Mass. and raised in California. I made a career in the field of education and raised three children, all the while keeping my eye on the music world, determined that one day I would be playing bass guitar in some full time capacity. I am a member of several blues organizations, and an ASCAP member with my own publishing company, “Pecados, Hearts & Bones”. Over the last 30 years I have had the opportunity to play and record with many national and international artists/bands. I also like sharing my music journey & experiences with middle and high schools. It is important for young people to know that you are never too old to follow a path you are passionate about, but get an education, or learn a trade & have other career options. Most professional musicians these days are doing multiple careers/jobs to make ends meet. Set some personal goals that include your music aspirations, but make sure they are realistic. Music can be a major part of your life, even though it is not your primary source of income. Clear a pathway and have a vision!

Location:

Los Angeles, CA, United States

Day gig:

Full time independent musician… That being said, my journey started by making my career in education; Middle and High School Teacher, Principal, and District Office Administrator. By day, an educator and, for 30 years, by night, I transitioned to the bass chair for several bands. Not an easy flight, but a determined one, knowing that one day I would take music on full time.

Years experience:

30 years

Bands & Gigs:

I have played and recorded with several bands/artists that have garnered worldwide radio AirPlay and music reviews. I now play bass for The Skylarks, an Americana Roots Rock band in Los Angeles. The Skylarks are being played on worldwide syndicated radio stations, have been featured on television and commercials, and just completed a tour from the California desert to the sea.

Gear:

  • Lakeland Custom P/J Bob Glaub Model
  • Nash New Vintage 1963
  • Fender 60’s Jazz Road Worn
  • Fender California P/J Special , 1998
  • Fender P-bass Anniversary Model
  • 1951 Fender Re-issue Tele Bass
  • Martin BC-15-E Acoustic Bass
  • Michael Kelly Firefly Acoustic Bass
  • Aguilar 500SC
  • 1970’s Model 120 HD music Man
  • GK RB 800
  • MarkBass CPM 210 Combo
  • TC ELECTRONICS BG-250 Combo
  • AMPEG Porta Bass
  • Jorge Schroeder Cabs-15,1012,and 12/15 Cabs (A cab maker I highly endorse)

Why I play the bass:

I was always drawn to the “heart beat” of any song I listened too. The bass lines were always the first thing to jump out and catch my ears. I was a late starter by most standards, beginning in my late 20’s. A friend of mine who was a working bass player decided to hang it up and took his bass and amp to a pawn shop. When I asked him when he was going to pick up his gear, he stated that his bass playing days were finished! He had no intentions of reclaiming his gear. He knew I was very much interested in learning bass, and offered me the pawn shop claim ticket… Without hesitation, I grabbed the claim ticket and my journey began!

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

I would like to think I bring positive energy to a band and encourage team effort. I always challenge myself to compose a unique bass line that complements the songwriters vision. Creating lasting MOJO to a tune is my ultimate goal. In addition, I am grateful that I have worked with a few artists that demonstrate excellence, humility, and inspiration in the music world. My time playing bass with Tony Melendez, Composer/Songwriter who was born with no arms and learned to play guitar with his feet. Tony went on to play for many audiences, including The Pope, Opening World Series Game, and many more. I am also proud to have played with the very talented Ralph Schuckett, Keyboard player, producer, and TV /film composer. Ralph has worked with everyone from Carole King, Todd Rundgren, Lou Reed, Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, Rodney Crowell, Cher, and the list goes on!! And finally, playing and recording with Phil Jones, the man behind the drums, and percussion whiz for The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, Joe Walsh, Neil Young, & Bob Dylan

My influences:

I don’t have to go much further than the amazing rhythm sections of the past: Muscle Shoals – The Swampers, the real man in the hood, David Hood, STAX- Memphis Soul with Duck Dunn, Motown-with Hitsvilles Saint James “The Hook” Jamerson, The Wrecking Crew – Carol Kaye and Joe Osborn, The Section – with the amazing “Bearded Wizard”, Lee Sklar. My list wouldn’t be complete without: Bob Glaub, Pino Paladino, Paul McCartney, Dee Murray, Tommy Shannon, Willie Weeks, Stanley Clarke, Tony Garnier, James “Hutch” Hutchinson.

More on the web:

Music can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon, & CD Baby.

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