This page is my personal
Tribute to all the Great Acoustic and Electric Bassists
who have been an influence on me, and to other bassists across the globe.
Be on the lookout for Los Angeles' premiere original Prog band Heliopolis, featuring my good friends and former band mates Jerry Beller (drums) and Mike Matier (guitars).
My heart has been so very sad with the recent unfortunate and untimely demise of four of my greatest musical heroes. They were all living legends:
John Wetton (12 June 1949 – 31 January 2017)
Greg Lake (10 November 1947 – 7 December 2016)
Keith Emerson (2 November 1944 – 11 March 2016)
Chris Squire (4 March 1948 – 27 June 2015)
Squire, Lake, and Wetton were the triumvarat of standard-bearers for progressive rock bass, vocals, and composition, and are amongst my greatest influences.
Keith was a peerless composer/performer/instrumentalist in a class by himself. I was very thankful to have had the opportunity to meet him and work with him.
The essence of their beings lives on in the glorious music they gifted us with.
What can I say that hasn't already been said about the great Jack Bruce. One of my greatest influences on bass and vocals, this fiery Scottish multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/composer, he left us on 25 October 2014. I got to see him give a fantastic performance with the legendary Cream- live at Madison Square Garden- in NYC in October of 2005- a concert that I was fortunate enough to attend, thanks to my High School rock band buddies!
With great sorrow I must report on the most untimely demise of one of the most talented, generous, and extraordinary musicians and human beings I have known: Bobby Vince Paunetto. Vinny passed away on unexpectedly on 10 August 2010, after years of struggling with Multiple Sclerosis. He was a master vibrophonist, Grammy nominated Latin-Jazz composer, and a very dear personal friend. He is sorely missed.
On 24 October 2002, my paisano, acoustic
upright & Fender electric player, live & studio bass
DOMANICO, left us.
He is greatly missed, and will not be forgotten. This site is dedicated to his memory.
See more about him online at: The Chuck Domanico Tribute Site
All were active players right up to the time of their passing. They leave a tremendous legacy of brilliant innovation at the forefronts of their respective idioms of Acoustic Jazz, Electric Rock, and Jazz & Symphonic Ensemble playing.
May their spirits create deep rumblings of peace and harmony throughout the heavens.
A little about me-
My name is John Rotondi. I have played electric bass guitar since about 1970. My first bands were started while attending The Bronx High School of Science with my buddies Stew (Dr. Z!), JohnnyZ, Mitch, (guitarists) and Alan (drums). We're all still buddies, and even though we all live in different parts of the country now, our love of music still remains a common bond! In fact, most of us gathered to attend the 2005 Cream Reunion Concert October 21, 2005 at Madison Square Garden in New York for a reunion of our own! What an awesome show- and Jack Bruce rocked as hard as ever!
Bassically, I love the electric bass as an instrument of creative expression. I also love excitement in my music- excitement generated by a quality composition executed by inspirational players- and I have been inspired! In my work as a professional sound engineer, I have had the chance to work with, meet, speak to, and be inspired firsthand by the work of musical legends such as:
Bassists: Stanley Clarke, Abe Laboriel, Will Lee, Neil Jason, John Patitucci, Anthony Jackson, Jimmy Johnson, Neil Stubenhaus, my friend and great player Glenn 'G-Man' Govier, and the late Chuck Damonico and Bernard Edwards.Keyboardists: Keith Emerson, John Beasley, Mike Lang, Ralph Grierson, Michael Boddicker, Phil Wolfe, Grant Cooper
Guitarists: Keith Richards, George Doering, Tim May, Dennis Budimir, 'Doctor Z' (Dr. Stew Zweikoft), 'JohnnyZ '(John Zaff), Mike Miranda, Bob Miranda, Mike Matier, RickyZ, Chuck Kavooras, Joey Brasler, Bruce Watson, and the late Tommy Tedesco
Drummers: Billy Cobham, Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd, Steve Shaeffer, Harvey Mason, Alex Acuna, Jerry Beller, Alan Alhades, Keith Owings, Wendell Yuponce, Eric Chun, and my awesome cousin Keith Duran
Percussionists: Lenny Castro, Larry Bunker, Alan Estes, Joe Porcaro, Bob Zimmitti, Emil Richards
Trumpet: Randy Brecker, Malcolm McNab, and my late grandfather, Al Gonsher (who inspired me to play trumpet... he also played a mean violin as well!)
Sax: The Late, Great Michael Brecker, Gato Barbieri, Joel Peskin, Eric Marienthal, my paisano Perry Gentile, and the late great Gil Melle
Composers: John Wiliams, Bill Conti, David & Thomas Newman, Bruce Broughton, Basil Poledouris, Dennis McCarthy, Jay Chattaway, Alf Clausen, Mark Isham, Perry Gentile, Wendell Yuponce, and the late great Elmer Bernstein (who was a client of mine), Jerry Goldsmith, Gil Melle, and my beloved friend, the late Bobby Vince Paunetto RIP.
now liquidating all my gear to help pay for medical
and living expenses.
Contact me if you have a serious interest in my first-class collection.
MY PERSONAL STAGE AND STUDIO GEAR
Available for purchase.
Serious Inquiries only please:
Custom Made Ken Lawrence 4 String Rare Yamaha Prototype TRB-6P Original 1972 Rickenbacker Stereo Bass-My First Real Bass Fender Fretless Jazz Bass (MIM) with Duncan Pickups
Fender Squier Double Fat Tele w/Dimarzio Burstbuckers (Not Shown) Amps & Cabs: Hartke 3500 w/2 X 4.5 XL cabs; Fender Bassman 70, Duncan Convertible 100, Duncan 84-50, Carvin/Celestion 4X12 cab, Fender Bassman 70 amp
Strings: I may experiment with various strings from time to time, but I generally use Alembic CX-3 Strings on my basses when possible as well as RotoSound RoundWounds. For electric guitar, I like Dean Markley strings.
Custom Built Ken Lawrence 4 String 'Associate' Bass
I joined Ken at his Arcata, CA workshop to hand select the woods for my dream bass:
Chechen Wood Top on Swamp Ash Body, w/bolt-on Rock Maple Neck w/Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard.
Bartolini Pickups and matching bipolar 9VDC powered preamp w/3 band EQ, switchable mids, Hipshot D-Tuner.
Thanks Ken! (Ken also makes awesome fretless basses!) CURRENTLY AVAILABLE
My Yamaha TRB-6P Prototype, AKA 'The Ironing Board'!
This 6 string contrabass guitar plays so smooth and silky, and really sings!
Purchased at the LA Vintage Guitar Show a couple of years ago... BTW, the only non-vintage axe there-
I really lucked out on this one! Multi-laminated neck-through body construction.
Looks like a bookmatched quilted maple top? Active pickups, plus piezo pickups in each bridge saddle!
This was part of an estate sale purchase by the guitar dealer I got it from... The late owner was quite prolific, and his energy lives on in this axe. Was strung with D'addario Slow Wounds. SOLD
My Original 1972 Rickenbacker Stereo Bass AKA 'Ricky'!
this brand new with my hard-earned $325 in
1972 on 48th Street in NYC.
My love of Yes/Chris Squire, Renaissance, and Paul McCartney made this the only axe for me-
I could never relate to the Fenders of the time...
Mods: While doing some Jaco palm slams, cracked the original face plate-
the new face plate I made is quite unique: it follows the contour of the horns, and is hand cut from solid aluminum plate- indestructible!
Plus, Phase Reverse switches for both pickups, and bass cut switches for each pickup to allow for different tonalities...
Also, custom hand cut recessed string paths into the treble pickup frame to allow for extra-low guitar-style action!
The Ricky sounds awesome through my vintage silver-face Bassman 70!
~1992 Fender HMT Acoustic/Electric Bass.
This was my last bass purchase. I had not played bass in 7 years due to my injuries. I was on the east coast, and my other instruments were in storage. I decided that I needed an instrument on my travels- something extremely light (7.2 lbs.) yet musical. It is a beautiful bass! However, I was in too much pain to make use of it.
It now resides with one of my favorite people and bassists on the planet, Glenn Govier, who performs regularly in NY/NJ.
Late model Mexican-made Fender Fretless Jazz Bass.
This was purchased used for a mere $175 as a 'beater bass' to learn fretless on...
It is actually a most excellent bass, and I feel the it is as expressive as any of my exotics!
I took to the fretless very quickly, realizing that learning all those Jaco and Percy Jones tunes
(which never sounded very good when I played them on frets) really sound right on a fretless!
This bass plays very well, and has a very sensual growl... I can't help but think of Jaco when I hear it (not that I could ever play like him!)
I replaced the stock hummy pickups with Seymour Duncan humbucking J-Bass replacements.
Currently strung with RotoSound 'Swing Bass' Strings.
I LOVE MY HARTKE BASS GEAR!!I use a Hartke HA3500 MOSFET head, with TWO 4.5XL Cabs, for a full 4.5XL stack-- I top this off with a Trace Ellliot 4052H 'Bright Box'- formerly owned by Greg Lake!! The amp and cabs are clean, crisp, accurate, and project a massive, rich tone from each of my instruments. The Hartke cabs are FOR SALE. 1 is in a road case.
...They should be paying me to say that!
For electric guitar, I have a versatile Seymour Duncan Convertible 100W EL-34 1x12" combo, as well as a Duncan 84-50 2 X 12 combo
As a backup bass and guitar amp, I have a Fender Silver Face Bassman 70 amp. With my Ricky, this is THE Chris Squire tone!
I Dedicate this site is to the memory of Chuck Domanico.
He touched me with his grace, his humanity, and his music.
This Site supports a FREE TIBET
and is Dedicated to World Peace
and the Benefit of all Beings!
©2017 John B. Rotondi
Website Programmed and Maintained by John Rotondi
Updated 31 January 2017