Take Five: Cordell Crockett

Forever famed for their none-more- catchy 1992 hit ‘Everything About You’, California’s Ugly Kid Joe reformed in 2010 and continue to deliver their brand of funked-up rock in venues around the globe. Here, their long-term bassist Cordell Crockett reels off five albums with killer bass playing that made him the man he is today…



1. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band

sgt pepperI know it seems clichéd to mention Mr McCartney, but considering that he still plays his old Beatle bass to this day better than 98 per cent of players today, I don’t care. I chose Pepper because as a baby I would stare at those satin suits for hours, while listening to this record (thanks, Mom!). Even John Paul Jones, Geddy Lee, Sting, and Steve Harris dig this guy. Paul’s bass-lines teach me how to use alternate roots to chords better than anyone else.


2. Earth, Wind & Fire – Gratitude

earth windOne of the greatest live records of all time, Gratitude’s two- LP set is the most influential record in my life. You can learn so much about playing a groove by playing it with two drummers simultaneously. This album features two drummers and percussionists as well. Verdine White’s fretless work is awesome. Many bassists of today owe him a lot of ‘gratitude’ – see what I did there? – if they stopped posing for a moment and thought about it.


3. Stanley Clarke – School Days 

stanley clarkeWhile my mom and sisters inspired me to play bass, my father Jim Crockett gave me my first bass and amp. Since he was the publisher of GPI Publications, he had friends who offered advice to me from time to time. Stanley Clarke was one of those friends. He suggested I use an MXR Dyna Comp pedal, which I did immediately. Without that, attempting to learn what I heard on School Days would have been much more difficult. His solos transcend the bass: it just happens to be the instrument he chose. Lucky us!


4. Brothers Johnson – Blam!

brothers johnsonWhen I was 13 I got to visit the Bass Institute Of Technology in its infancy. I got even more lucky when one of the students showed me how to slap the bass like his idol, Louis Johnson. Every gig I play with Ugly Kid Joe I use that technique with pride. I saw Louis live, and heard the most incredible sounds out of a bass ever! There’s a reason that he was Quincy Jones’s go-to guy for Michael Jackson. Blam! showcases a bass solo, on a Stingray, that’ll floor you! But check out how he supports the track the rest of the time…


5. Van Halen – Women And Children First

van halenProbably one of the hardest gigs to have as a bassist is supporting the greatest guitar player of all time, Eddie Van Halen. Add to that, a singer who is as crazy as Patsy Klein, and a drummer who uses four kick drums, and you come up with a guy who clobbers his bass and sings like a lark – Michael Anthony. This, their third album, has the most high- energy performances of all their records, in my opinion. I used to always go for the fast tracks on those albums. ‘Romeo’s Delight’ and ‘Lost Control’ are the shit!


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