Reader Spotlight: Mark Petersen

Mark Petersen

Meet Mark Petersen, a bassist who grew up in the 70’s, when bass was bass, and people knew it. He says he’s played bass long enough that he’s “[ripped off] Geezer Butler as much as I [has] Flea.”

Mark is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of March 17, 2014. Here’s his story.


I am a child of the 70’s, who was spoiled by the legion of awe-inspiring bassists who populated that decade, and I subsequently dedicated myself to listening to, and learning from, every pioneering low-ender to hold down the music that I’ve listened to since then.


Troy, NY U.S.A.

Day gig

Instructional Designer and Art Historian (I am currently under contract to write a college textbook on Ancient and Medieval art).

Years experience

Due to early dementia, I lost count, but it’s been long enough that I recall ripping off Geezer Butler as much as I have Flea.

Bands & Gigs

I am currently in a cover band, the Kemp Avenue Band, that tries to honor all “Classic Rock” played between the 1970’s and now (we understand, and respect, that “Classic Rock” is a fungible term).


Spoiler alert–I’m an SD Curlee fanatic:

  • 1977 SD Curlee Int’l fretted and fretless basses
  • SD Curlee Plus fretless bass
  • SD Curlee Plus II fretted basses
  • SD Curlee MP II fretted basses
  • SD Curlee prototype Eagle fretted bass

Why I play the bass

Large numbers confuse me, so I thought that 4 strings would be easier to wrap my head around than 6. But seriously, bass is like the force of gravity that keeps the Great Pyramids from falling down (did I mention that I’m into Art History?), and, as Mike Watt once said, it is a noble effing deal to hold down the low end!

My bass superpower/claim to fame

I’m told that I have an instinct for finding just the right part, whether minimalist or over the top, to fit a song. As part of that, I am also able to find just the right tone for a given song.

My influences

Too long to count, but… James Jamerson, Carol Kaye, John Entwistle, Jack Bruce, Chris Squire, John Wetton, Geddy Lee, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, D’Arcy Wretsky, Stefan Lessard, Tal Wilkenfeld, etc.

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