In Memoriam: Remembering the Bassists We Lost in 2019
At the end of each year, we take a look back at all the best it had to offer. We also take a moment to remember all the bassists who left us. Each one of them helped to shape the musical world, from pop to jazz to black metal. They may be gone, but their music will always live on.
Join us as we remember the bassists we lost in 2019.
Eric Haydock (January 5, 2019)
Haydock was a founding member of the seminal rock band The Hollies, who became one of the largest British bands of the ’60s. He was a proponent of the Fender VI bass, which he used on the band’s early hits like “Just One Look,” “I’m Alive,” and “Look Through Any Window.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with The Hollies in 2010.
Lorna Doom (January 16, 2019)
Teresa Ryan, aka Lorna Doom, was the bassist for the L.A. punk band The Germs. She joined the band in 1976, playing until Darby Crash’s death in 1980, returning for a reunion in the mid-2000s.
Jorge Casas (January 31, 2019)
Casas laid down the low end for Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. The Cuban-born bassist was Estefan’s musical director for 34 years after he put together an arrangement for the song “Anything For You,” which would be her first number one hit. Casas also worked with David Coverdale, Jimmy Page, and Julio Iglesias in addition to his work on film soundtracks.
Peter Tork (February 21, 2019)
Tork was a member of the ’60s sensation The Monkees. Before he joined the TV-based band, he was already a working musician in the Greenwich Village folk scene. Their first four albums went to number one in the U.S. with hits like “Daydream Believer” and “I’m A Believer.” He quit in 1968 to start his own group and production company.
Stephan Ellis (February 28, 2019)
Ellis joined the popular ’80s band Survivor in 1981 just in time to record their second album, Premonition. The next year they were approached to write a song for Rocky III that turned into the smash hit “Eye of the Tiger”. The song earned Ellis and Survivor a Grammy for Best Rock Performance. He recorded three more albums with Survivor before quitting in 1987. He would rejoin their ranks over the years for reunions.
Jeff Andrews (March 14, 2019)
Jazz bassist Andrews was a mainstay of the New York scene. His incredible chops and musical voice led him to work with the top names in the genre including Wayne Shorter, Bob Mintzer, Michael Brecker, Mike Stern, Vital Information, Herbie Hancock, and many more.
Scott Plummer (March 25, 2019)
Plummer was a member of the extreme metal band Viraemia. His playing went due to a clip of his playthrough of the band’s song “Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation,” which features sweep arpeggios across his 10-string bass.
Frank de la Rosa (July 5, 2019)
Double bassist de la Rosa got his start playing percussion in Latin night clubs. At the age of 23, he picked up the double bass and took lessons from renowned teacher Frederick Zimmerman. From there, he moved to Las Vegas and became the house bassist for the Sands Hotel where he performed with The Rat Pack, Paul Anka, Chubby Checker, Barbra Streisand, and Nat King Cole. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where he played with Harry “Sweets” Edison, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan.
Larry Taylor (August 19, 2019)
Taylor was a founding member of Canned Heat, with whom he performed at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. Their hits “Going Up the Country,” “Let’s Work Together,” and “On the Road Again” were anthems for their era. He also worked with the Monkees (performing on “Last Train to Clarksville”), Jerry Lee Lewis, John Mayall, Tom Waits, Albert King, Buddy Guy, and more.
Kim Shattuck (October 2, 2019)
Shattuck was the singer The Muffs, but she started as bassist for The Pandoras from 1985 to 1990. More recently, Shattuck used her bass skills in The Pixies after replacing Kim Deal in 2013.
Larry Junstrom (October 6, 2019)
Junstrom was the original bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd but left in 1971 before their first album. His connection to the Van Zant family continued when six years later he joined Donnie Van Zant’s band, 38 Special, who would have the hit “Hold On Loosely.” A hand injury forced him to retire in 2014 after 37 years with the group.
Erik Scott (October 11, 2019)
Scott got his first break in 1974 by picking up a gig with Flo & Eddie. After recording a pair of albums with them, he recorded music for TV including the shows Starsky & Hutch and Charlie’s Angels. In 1980, he was hired by Alice Cooper for the Flush the Fashion world tour. He would write and produce for the band through the years. Other credits include the genre-bending band Sonia Dada, Mavis Staples, and numerous solo projects.
George Chambers (October 12, 2019)
Chambers was the eldest of the Chambers Brothers, best known for their hit “Time Has Come Today.” He began on vocals and washtub bass during the group’s early gospel period, switching to electric bass as they helped to create the psych-rock scene of the ’60s. The band broke up in the mid-70s, reuniting occasionally.
Timi Hansen (November 4, 2019)
Hansen joined the band Mercyful Fate in 1981, helping to usher in the first wave of black metal. He played on five albums throughout the band’s history and formed the band, King Diamond, with the singer during Mercyful Fate’s first break in 1985. He was scheduled to take part in the upcoming Mercyful Fate reunion in 2020 but was forced to back out due to illness.
Kelley Looney (November 4, 2019)
Looney is best known as the longtime bassist for Steve Earle and The Dukes, with whom he first recorded the 1988 album Copperhead Road. A Nashville native, he also worked with Billy Joe Shaver, Eddy Arnold, Tom Kimmel, Deana Carter, and more. He released a solo album, Black Sheep Blues, in 2014.
Doug Lubahn (November 20, 2019)
Lubahn was a session bassist best known for his work with The Doors, especially the track “Love Me Two Times”. He worked on the band’s sessions for Strange Days, after which they asked him to join the band. He refused, instead wanting to focus on his band Clear Light. He also performed with Dreams, Pierce Arrow, Billy Squier, and more.
Dave Riley (December 24, 2019)
Riley was the bassist for Big Black, a punk rock band featuring producer Steve Albini that paved the way for DIY indie bands. He recorded two albums with the band before they split in 1987.
Elijah Nelson (December 29, 2019)
Nelson was a founding member of the Seattle death metal band Black Breath. The band, which recorded three albums, was renowned for their combination of melodic Swedish death metal, American hardcore, and black metal.