By Jeff Ganz
In the category of “Bassists That Deserve More Recognition”, the first one that comes to mind is Bobby Lichtig.
Bobby is probably best known for his fine bass playing on Seals & Crofts’ biggest hits, but was also an accomplished woodwind player and songwriter. Bobby was also my first cousin, whom I admired my whole life, hoping to model my career after his.
Bobby’s bass sound, both live and on record, was the epitome of what a superb musician could do with a Fender Precision Bass. Later in his career, Bobby had one of the first and one of the best B.C. Rich basses I ever saw or heard, certainly in his hands. Bobby first came to the public eye as a member of The Last Ritual, recording an album for Capitol Records in 1969. He joined Seals & Crofts as their sole accompanist on bass and flute in time for their second album Year Of Sunday, released in 1971.
Bobby’s bass playing on “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl” are textbook examples of how to be a distinctive and sensitive accompanist. In 1975, Bobby joined the L.A. based super group Bonaroo; they did one album for Warner Brothers Records. There are three particular moments I remember fondly with Bobby. The first one was in 1972 when he stopped by my parents’ house – on his way to play with Seals & Crofts at Carnegie Hall! The second was in 1991 at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, California when he came to see me playing with Johnny Winter.
The third moment was in 2011, when I visited Bobby at his home in Woodland Hills, California after not seeing him for many years. It was a terrific reunion, complete with ice cream. Bobby passed away in 2012 of long-time complications from a traumatic head injury.
Bobby Lichtig Remembered by KYBP Readers:
Blake Lichtig: As his son, this made me so happy to read and thank you for writing this!!
Preston Bealle: I love Seals and Crofts to this day, and always noticed the tasty bass playing without being aware of who it was. I especially like the work on “Fiddle in the Sky”. Glad to find out he’s remembered here.
Karla: I knew Bobby waaaay back in the 60’s when he worked at the Coney Island Pub in NYC. He introduced me to Jimi Hendix first album. He was such a nice person.
Keith McGee: What a great discovery! I loved the bass on Seals & Crofts albums, and many years ago I discovered the name of this fine musician. So sorry for your loss, to hear of his passing. He left a great musical legacy.
Kenny Martel: It was late in 1963. We (“The Madisons”) had already been together for more than two years playing after school dances, Synagogue & Church dances and some local teenage night clubs. Our compliment was two guitars, drums and saxophone (no bass). Suddenly, “The Beatles” were EVERYWHERE and THEY had a bass player! So did our local competition: “The 3 Jacks!” It was obvious…one of us HAD to learn bass! Also “obvious”…neither “The Beatles,” or “The 3 Jacks” had an (obsolete) saxophone! Consequently, the necessary “assignment” fell upon our sax player……Bobby Lichtig!
Clark Garmen: In the mid-eighties and again in 2011, Bobby was our bass player in ‘In Transit’ with Arista and RCA Records. What a great band and bassist!
Rhonnie Bender: As Bobby’s sister, your article made me smile……
Bobby Lichtig Sound & Vision…
Seals & Crofts:
Midnight Special with Seals & Crofts “Summer Breeze” https://youtu.be/DTv0K2SUlCY
Live TV performance of “Diamond Girl” https://youtu.be/Vgl2sk391ds
Tonight Show with Johnny Carson “Hummingbird” https://youtu.be/XK_hffjACV0
“We May Never Pass This Way Again” https://youtu.be/8Dw8R6kIKyw
“Sudan Village” https://youtu.be/-0VDA6-xvG8
“Fiddle in the Sky” https://youtu.be/2STEkoTFm7k
“Year of Sunday” https://youtu.be/qYITQmUJ8eY
“Melody Maker” https://youtu.be/rjllZ6Y-ivM
“Sally Ann” https://youtu.be/bV1atlfEltU
In Transit (1980) https://youtu.be/2oUhFLqnSHM