Bass Player LIVE!just became Graham Central Station and Groove Ground Zero with the news that bass and funk icon Larry Graham will be performing and accepting Bass Player’s Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 22 & 23 in Los Angeles. The Beaumont Texas-born, Oakland, California-raised Graham forever changed the face of bass and music with his invention of slapping—or as he refers to it, “Thumpin’ and Pluckin’.” Arguably the single most innovative and influential technique in the instrument’s history developed when a teenaged Graham was forced to compensate for the absence of a drummer in his mother’s trio. Soon his booming bass and baritone voice caught the ear of Sly Stone, setting the stage for Sly & the Family Stone’s total dominance of the musical landscape from 1968-1972. Two years later, Larry launched the powerhouse Graham Central Station and then scored a #1 hit as a solo artist with “One in a Million,” in 1980. All the while, bassists far and wide were grabbing J-Basses and arching their thumbs. Graham’s indelible impact has been acknowledged by such masters a Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Victor Wooten. Larry remained the father of funk through the ’90s, gracing discs and tours with Clarke and Eddie Murphy, and joining forces with Prince in 1997. He continues as the ultimate showman and thumbslinger globally, both with the Purple One and with his reformed Graham Central Station, now working on a new CD.
Graham’s participation completes several historic themes at this year’s Bass Player LIVE!, as he shares Lifetime honors with fellow ’60s Bay Area trailblazer Jack Casady and Funk Brother James Jamerson, who will be honored with BP’s first posthumous Lifetime Award. With this much live low-end legendry onhand can you afford NOT to be in Los Angeles in October?