Doug Wimbish (Sugar Hill, Living Color)

Courtesy of Doug Wimbish Com – Photo Karstens Staiger

By Thomas Semioli

“I’m not just a bass player, I’m a sound-system…”

What James Jamerson is to Motown, Doug Wimbish is to Sugar Hill Records….

Among the most versatile, accomplished, and influential players ever to pick up the instrument, Douglas Arthur Wimbish’s body of work spans funk, hip-hop, dance, rock, pop, metal, blues, soul and permutations thereof.

Inspired by the sounds of his 1960s youth blaring from AM/FM radio – Sly Stone, Miles Davis, and George Clinton – Doug immersed himself in music theory studies at Hartford Conservatory. At Jackie McLean’s Artist Collective workshops, Wimbish began to collaborate with guitarists Skip McDonald and Barton Campbell, drummer Harold Sergeant, keyboardist Hubert Powel,l horn players Randy Boss and Otha Stokes as the Wood Brass & Steel ensemble.

With Skip, drummer Keith LeBlanc as the house band rhythm section for Sugar Hill Records, Doug commended to anchoring several watershed sides including Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message,” and “White Lines” to site two…and the rest, as they say is history.

With his Sugar Hill pedigree, Wimbish migrated to London in the early 1980s, founding TackHead – a highly acclaimed ensemble which was an innovative meld of industrial, hip-hop, hard rock, and electronica.  Though their commercial success was limited, they were role models for platinum selling rap metal rockers Rage Against the Machine, and Faith No More, among others.

In the UK, Doug’s visibility blossomed and he began to work on stage and in the studio with such high-profile artists including Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Seal, Madonna, Joe Satriani, Annie Lennox, Ron Wood, Billy Idol, Lauryn Hill, and Mos Def, to cite a few.

Doug replaced Muzz Skullings in Living Color in 1991 for several tours and slabs. A composer, solo recording artist, producer, and arranger, Doug is an exemplary soloist, pocket player, and melodic catalyst – his weapons of choice include Spector 4 and 5 string instruments.

Doug Wimbish Sound & Vision

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five “The Message”

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five “White Lines”

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five “New York New York”

The Sugar Hill Gang “Sugar Hill Groove”

Afrika Bambaataa & James Brown  “Unity”

Madonna “Erotica”

TackHead “Mind and Movement Control”

Living Color “Open Letter”

Ron Wood “Testify”

Doug Wimbish “Revolution”