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Reader Spotlight: Graham Drew

Graham Drew

Meet Graham Drew, bassist with one very cool day job. Graham also has not one, but two answers to our “Superpower” question, which makes him even cooler to us. Here’s his story…


I started playing bass at the age of 13, starting out in a school band. After spending several years into my early/mid 20’s playing bass for various groups in and around London I switched to guitar in 1994, playing in the female fronted rock band Jade Fox in London and Florida between 1996 and 2003. After playing guitar in several bands in Florida I moved to Northern Virginia in 2008 and fronted the Pink Floyd tribute band ECHOES for two years in the David Gilmour role of lead guitarist and lead vocalist. I returned to the bass when I joined the Washington DC area alt-rock band drumfish in 2011, and in the process rediscovered my first love – the electric bass.


Washington DC, USA

Day gig:

Session bassist as well as being a beer specialist at Whole Foods Market.

Years experience:

34 years

Bands & Gigs:

I play in several bands and also play gigs and record with a diverse cross-section of singer/songwriters and artists in the Washington DC Metro area, covering all styles from reggae to rock, pop, blues and Americana and everything in between.


As a former guitar repairman and builder I have acquired many basses over the years, most of which have been personally customized by myself. My collection includes Fender Precision and Jazz Basses, Music Man Stingray and Sabre Basses, and everything else from Ibanez Blazers and Musicians to Hofner Clubs, Fender Musicmasters and my own Drew & Sebastian instruments. The crown jewel in my collection is my late father’s 1964 Eko Modello 990 hollowbody bass which I acquired several years ago and lovingly restored. My main rig is a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 amp head run through two Avatar cabs – a 2×10 and a 2×12 – both of which are equipped with neodymium magnet speakers.

Why I play the bass:

Initially, hearing Pino Palladino on Paul Young’s version of ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat’ really opened my ears, and then Mark King of Level 42 and Geddy Lee of Rush.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

Claim to fame: I once held (and tried to play) one of Paul McCartney’s famous Hofner Violin Basses at the shop of British luthier Dick Knight when I took one of my Music Man Basses to him for a setup in the early 1990’s.

Bass superpower: a P-Bass tone that comes up through the floor and rattles your lungs.

My influences:

Geddy Lee, Mark King, Paul Simonon, Bruce Foxton, Robert DeLeo, Pino Palladino, Kim Clarke, Paul McCartney, Mick Karn, Percy Jones, Jaco Pastorius

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