BASSIST EXTRAORDINAIRE, FILM MUSIC COMPOSER, and star sideman Benny Rietveld has played with an amazing array of top acts, from Sheila E to John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis to Carlos Santana. In between traveling the world and laying down a solid foundation for the stars, Benny finds time to host his New York band, gig, and record solo projects.
Benny has one foot in the film and production business since writing the score for the 1997 film, Brooklyn Rules. He is currently pushing to complete a full HD concert and instructional film.
What is your idea of a perfect gig?
One where I’m present and living in every note as it goes by—a free bottle of Grey Goose is also good.
Which of your instruments would you refuse to sell, and why?
Probably my Tune Bass Maniac Deluxe. It’s the one I played with Miles Davis and I also recorded “Smooth” with it.
If you could transform yourself into any other musician for just a day, who would it be?
What is your third all-time favorite record, and why?
It’s almost impossible to name a first, so a third could be practically anything.
If you had never picked up a bass in your life, what would your day job be?
Writer on The Simpsons.
When was the music business nasty to you?
It was never nasty, I just didn’t know any better and made poor and uninformed decisions.
Who are your musical heroes?
The people who continually support music, film and the arts.
What is your goal for the coming year?
To write and/or direct a film.