Monday, June 28, 2010

Forgotten Superstars-Carl Radle

Ryan sends me this note of the passing of the Kinks original bassist Pete Quaife at the age of 66 and Quaife's passing began to make me think of my favorite bassist Carl Radle.
Radle is the first musician to be profiled in our forgotten superstar series.
Radle died far too soon at the age of 38 in 1980 from complications of alcohol and narcotics,but left some excellent work behind as his legacy.

Radle first came to my attention through his work with Gary Lewis and the Playboys,but was well known for his connection with Eric Clapton in both touring with Clapton's band and worked as a focal point of Clapton's solo work throughout the seventies.
Carl also can be heard as a key performer on George Harrison's "All things must pass" album,which was Harrison's first post-Beatles solo work and featured "My Sweet Lord" and "What is Life?" as Harrison's launching pad to solo stardom.
Radle can be seen on the concert film of Harrison's Bangledesh benefit concerts from Madison Square Garden in 1971.

Radle was one of the top studio bassists of all time having worked with performers that ranged from Art Garfunkel to Leon Russell,John Lee Hooker,Donovan and Rita Coolidge among others.
Just reading that list shows the versatility of the skills of Carl Radle.

I suppose what I liked best about Radle on the bass was the way he was able to stand out while remaining in the background,as dumb as that seems to read.
Radle's play stands out as being part of the music without the flashy performances that all too often occur with standout musicians.
Great enough to be heard as terrific,yet humble enough to blend into the band and create a greater sound is the ultimate compliment for any musician.

That was the greatness of Carl Radle.
More on Carl Radle can be found at a tribute site here.

Photo Credit-Carl


Unknown said...

Carl Radle is a legendary Rock & Blues bassist. He belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame !

Shawn said...

I agree wholeheartedly!