Bob Dylan’s Bassist, Q&A with Jerry Scheff

.

Boomerocity interviews Jerry Scheff, the author of Way Down, who played bass with Bob Dylan. (Happy birthday, Bob!)

Randy: Many authors, after completing a book, will often second guess what they should or should not have included in their books.  One clear image of Jerry Scheff that I gleaned from Way Down is that, whatever he does, he does and moves on.  That said, I still asked him if there was anything he wished he had or hadn’t included in his book.  His answer was short, direct and to the point.

Jerry: Being that I wrote the book as a musical history of my life I am satisfied with everything as it is.

Randy: Jerry is a monster talent and has played with and for some monster talent.  With such a long list of musical dignitaries who he has supported over his distinguished career, I was naturally curious who he wished he could have played with before they passed away.

Jerry: There isn’t enough disk space in my computer to list everyone I wish I had played with. Where would I start? Probably Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Chopin, Louis Armstrong, etc.

Keep reading at boomerocity.

Way Down

In this candid and perceptive memoir of his 45-year career, bassist Jerry Scheff takes us onto Elvis’s private jet, on tour with Bob Dylan, and into the studio with The Doors. A stalwart presence behind some of the greatest names of popular music, Scheff has also played with Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, the Association, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, and Nancy Sinatra, to name just a few. Eschewing hype, Scheff provides a behind-the-scenes perspective, from having worked sleeves rolled up, side by side, with the great artists in their factories.

The Doors Examiner Interviews Jerry Scheff

 

Examiner.com’s interview with Jerry Scheff about his new autobiography Way Down.

DE: You started as a session musician that morphed from playing gigs while you were in the Navy. Do you think this kind of networking still works today?

JS: Actually, I started in clubs in my mid-teens. I lived near San Francisco Ca. and
over the years a few of those contacts had some bearing on my career. I think these days all you have to do is look at the big number of young players that are constantly rising up from the masses and making names for them selves. They didn’t just appear in a puff of
smoke; they networked their way up.

Doors fans know that Jerry Scheff played bass on “L.A. Woman” and in his new book “Way Down Playing Bass with Elvis, Dylan and The Doors” (see the Doors Examiner review Jerry Scheff: Bass Player for a Classic Age) he details his experiences with some of the biggest legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Jerry was kind enough to answer some questions for The Doors Examiner and Doors fans.

DE: You started as a session musician that morphed from playing gigs while
you were in the Navy. Do you think this kind of networking still works today?

JS: Actually, I started in clubs in my mid-teens. I lived near San Francisco Ca. and
over the years a few of those contacts had some bearing on my career. I think these days all you have to do is look at the big number of young players that are constantly rising up from the masses and making names for them selves. They didn’t just appear in a puff of
smoke; they networked their way up.

DE: You worked with Elvis, That Even impressed Jim Morrison. How did you like working with Elvis?

JS: Working with Elvis was always great. He was always respectful and loved musicians. I left his band for about two years in 1973 but it was because of the whole entourage that surrounded him. I was one of the only “Yankees” at the time and that was a little awkward for me but he personally could not have been a nicer guy.

DE: In “Way Down” you didn’t spend a lot of time on the LA Woman sessions. Could you take us inside the studio? What was it like recording with the Doors? What was the atmosphere of the sessions like?

JS: The sessions were business as usual. Jim was soft spoken and friendly. Like I say in the book, I never saw him or any of the other guys stoned on anything except a few beers. I didn’t live with them. I only saw them in a business capacity. I never witnessed an argument between them. Just calm dedication to the project.

Keep reading this interview on examiner.com…

Way Down: Playing Bass with Elvis, Dylan, The Doors and More – The Autobiography of Jerry Scheff (Backbeat Books)

In this candid and perceptive memoir of his 45-year career, bassist Jerry Scheff takes us onto Elvis’s private jet, on tour with Bob Dylan, and into the studio with The Doors. A stalwart presence behind some of the greatest names of popular music, Scheff has also played with Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello, the Association, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, and Nancy Sinatra, to name just a few. Eschewing hype, Scheff provides a behind-the-scenes perspective, from having worked sleeves rolled up, side by side, with the great artists in their factories.