[ inside ]
A Bass Odyssey
Mickey & Sylvia (Love Is Strange)
Pillow Talk (Sylvia Robinson)
Sly & The Family Stone
Gary (MF) Williams
Jackie McLean (Teacher)
Harold Sargent (Wood Brass & Steel)
1976 — In The Beginning
Wood Brass & Steel
Dance Funk Band
Original Sugar Hill Rhythm Section
HIP-HOP’s ORIGINAL RHYTHM SECTION
— called the “world’s best”
by the New York Times.
Skip “Little Axe” McDonald (guitar)
Keith LeBlanc (drums)
Doug Wimbish (bass guitar)
Sugar Hill Records
“Rappers Delight” — In so many ways a fraud, but still the record that lit the Hip Hop fire that rages hotter than ever, forty years later.
“The Message” — Although credited and inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, Grandmaster Flash does not appear on the Hip-Hop Anthem.
Instead, it was Melle Mel (and The Furious Five)who are heard on the legendary recording, despite the inaccurate history.
“White Lines” — The Robinsons rejected Spike Lee’s Video, starring Laurence Fishburne.
— Tom Silver
STYLE WARS (1982) — A documentary film, following a number of (B-Boy) graffiti writers (painters) whose canvas was the New York City subway system (cars and stations) in the early 1980s. The film includes Mayor Ed Koch expressing his tough-on-crime opinion on what he calls vandalism, not art. No matter, the film includes much footage of the fine, graffiti art that crisscrossed Manhattan and the Boroughs on rolling canvases.
Wood Brass & Steel
(Platinum Records) Hartford, Connecticut. Broken van over the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey, trying to make a 4AM gig in Harlem. Joe Robinson, Platinum Records owner, taps Skip, Keith, and Doug to be his house band for Sugar Hill Records, a new label he and wife Sylvia created with the purpose of committing to vinyl, a new sound their son had introduced them to.
The neighborhood called it Hip-Hop, and it was serving as a soundtrack to New York City’s B-Boy community, made up of break dancers, graffiti writers, and MCs/DJs. The Sugar Hill Rhythm Section backed the label’s artists, including Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, The Furious Five, Angie Stone, and others, and like Motown’s Funk Brothers, remained nearly anonymous, while those out-front artists became kings of the neighborhood.
Keith, the skinny white kid, who was usually hidden behind his drum kit during shows, was often confronted by locals before and after playing the ghetto parks. On more than one occasion, to avoid such moments becoming violent, Skip and Doug had to confirm Keith’s honest answer that he was the drummer in the band.
Then there was the time in Tennessee, when it was Keith who spoke on Doug and Skip’s behalf, as they were canoeing on a lake, and three local teenagers were joking about the “niggers on the pond.”
Sugarhill Gang World Tour 1980
LONDON — I don’t know how you do it in America, but over here we play more than one song a fucking set.
AMSTERDAM — Red Light District
BERLIN — Torch-lit, Black Forest road to a stage on a medieval castle grounds.
WASHINGTON D.C. — George Clinton
• BEAT STREET @ THE ROXY
Bernard Fowler takes the lead in the climactic Beat Street scene at The Roxy (Downtown NYC). At the time, Bernard was a NYCiti Peech Boy, singing with Larry Levan, the popular DJ at The Paradise Garage, a dance club, even more downtown.
After that, Doug and his Sugar Hill bandmates moved to London and with On-U Sound Records founder/producer Adrian Sherwood formed an Industrial, Electro Funk band they called
By 1990, Tack>>Head had become a most popular live band in Europe’s underground club scene, especially in London, where they caught the attention of Jeff Beck, Seal, Annie Lennox, the Rolling Stones, and a guitarist named Vernon Reid who, at the time, was staking his musical claim in Downtown New York City, playing a brand of extreme Fusion, called Outside or Free Jazz by those who consume it. Many musicians back home in America were in the know, including the likes of: Moby, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Joe Satriani, and many others who Doug has provided his musical services for, on record, on stage, and in production.
DOUG WIMBISH is probably best known as LIVING COLOUR’s innovative, electronic, and ambient lead bassist, that’s true, but looking deeper into Doug’s history, one sees that his impact and influence on the world’s musical culture is much more vast and significant than often written or recognized.
For more than 40 years, Doug has been one of the most sought-after electric bassists, and has collaborated with many of the world’s best known, and most talented musical artists.
Having participated in the making of so many popular recordings, in every musical style, and in every corner of the globe, it’s hard to find a community that hasn’t been exposed to Doug’s music.
To get an idea of the respect Doug has earned within the music industry, consider that One Week in 1992, he received personal phone calls from Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, and Seal, all asking him to join their bands. Now, consider his turning them all down, choosing to stay with his LIVING COLOUR bandmates.
1992 — JOE SATRIANI / THE EXTREMIST
The decision in 1992 to stay on with LIVING COLOUR, as a permanent member, didn’t slow Doug’s work with others. He went on to record, produce, and tour with dozens of well-known artists, including the Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, Herb Alpert, Annie Lennox, Madonna, Carly Simon, Al Green, Billy Idol, George Clinton, Afrika Bambaataa, and James Brown.
Doug w/ Will Calhoun (Living Colour), Bernie Worrell (Funkadelic), Dr. Know (Bad Brains), collectively called BLACK JACK JOHNSON, served as Mos Def, Hip Hop’s newest voice’s Rock N Roll bandueled the Hip-Hop evolution musically, and Mos Def’s Hollywood and Broadway (acting) career more specifically.
In the Summer of 2007, Doug received a call from and old producer friend, asking him to join in the playing and making of a Goth-Metal record by a Finnish Rock Opera Diva named TARJA TURUNEN. Doug said “yes,” and helped with TARJA’s first solo record, MY WINTER STORM. After, Doug accepted TARJA’s request that he accompany her on her first solo tour, as has done so ever since.
“I gotta get this,” Doug says while talking from a ferry crossing a fjord off the Finnish coast. A minute later, Doug is back. “That was Charlie Watts,” Doug says, “Inviting me to the premiere of ‘Shine A Light,’ next week in New York City?”
“Pass It Around” is a tune on Doug’s first (all-instrumental) solo record, TRIPPY NOTES FOR BASS (2000).
2007 — TARJA TURUNEN
My Winter Storm / NightWish
Doug does most of the vocals on CinemaSonics (2008), his second record, which also includes vocals by a number of his long-time bandmates, most notably, Skip “Little Axe” McDonald and Bernard Fowler.
“Bi” — LIVING COLOUR at the Highline Ballroom in New York City (10/28/09), the last show of an American Tour in support of THE CHAIR IN THE DOORWAY. Doug’s daughters Nova and Olivia, in the crowd, watch dad (face-to-face)as he takes his extended solo.
• TARJA TURUNEN
— photograph by Kari Helenius (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Doug onstage with Tarja Turunen (Finland, 2007)
“PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” —
TARJA TURUNEN (vocals),
TONY TURUNEN (guitar/vocals),
DOUG WIMBISH (bass),
MIKE TERRANA (drums),
ALEX SCHOLPP (guitar),
MAX LILJA (cello),
MARKUS HOHTI (cello),
MARIA ILMONIEMI (keyboards).
THE ICE PRINCESS
After playing on TARJA TURUNEN’s MY WINTER STORM, the singer’s first solo album after leaving her longtime band NIGHTWISH, Doug was asked to play on the new band’s first European Tour in the winter of 2007, and has played on all of Tarja’s four subsequent World Tours in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Between touring with TARJA, Doug spent most of 2009 on the road with LIVING COLOUR in support of The Chair in the Doorway, and toured with all his old English ON-U SOUND mates (MARK STEWART + MAFFIA, LITTLE AXE, and TACK>>HEAD.)
2009 — TACK>>HEAD
New York Time @ The Highline Ballroom
2010 — LIVING COLOUR
Experience Hendrix U.S. Tour — w/ Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Ernie Isley, Eric Johnson, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Billy Cox.
2011 — In addition to the continuation of “EXPERIENCE HENDRIX,” and finishing TACK>>HEAD’s new SHARE>>HEAD album, Doug joined LAURYN HILL on JIMMY FALLON’s Late Night television program. Soon after, Doug was asked to join Lauryn on the road, starting with a show at the Los Angeles Coliseum with MUSE and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE on the “RISE AGAINST THE MACHINE” tour, and ending in New York City, headlining the ROCK THE BELLS TOUR.
ART DECO WEEKEND
2012 — Doug was asked by The Miami Design Preservation League to produce a Music Festival as part of MDPL’s Annual ART DECO WEEKEND. After a successful inaugural that featured Vinx/Jungle>>Funk, Adam Falcon, David Pastorius, Ladell McLin, DJ Rampage Global, and Miami’s own Suenalo, Doug returned in 2013 with another All-Star lineup that included violinist Christian Howes.
2013 — Sugar Hill Reunion
@ Sully’s Pub & Tiki Bar (Hartford, Connecticut)
The Bridge @ Art Deco Weekend (Miami Beach)
2014 — The Bridge @ Art Deco Weekend
2015 — The Bridge @ Art Deco Weekend
The Bridge @ Ocean Drive (Art Deco Weekend) Miami Beach
2016 — Fight for Freedom & Fashion
The Bridge @ Bushnell Park (Summer Jazz In The Park) Hartford, Connecticut
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (Orlando, Florida)
Freedom Sounds (Sept. 24, Washington D.C.)
National Museum of African American History and Culture (Opening)
2017 — Ne
WIMBASH WEST HAVEN (SCHOOLED IN ROCK)
2020 — Just Missed The Virus
BLUES CRUISE (NEW ORLEANS)
ROCK N ROLL CRUISE (FORT LAUDERDALE)
THE ODYSSEY CONTINUES
As NASA’s Voyager continues on it’s exploration of our Solar System,
It could be said that Doug’s musical journey began in Hartford, Connecticut, when he was a kid in the late 1960s. Inspired by what he was hearing from his older brother, Victor, who was most interested in the Rock and Soul of the day.
and of course
After picking up a guitar, one hot, summer day in his aunt and uncle’s appliance/music store in the Bahamas (Freeport?) Doug found early guidance from his brother Victor’s bass-playing friend Gary Williams, who marvels at how quickly Doug’s virtuosity showed itself.
By the early ’70s, as a HARTFORD CONSERVATORY student of jazz saxophonist JACKIE McLEAN (who was also a teenager when he started his professional career, playing on MILES DAVIS’ DIG Album in 1951) Doug’s career in music was firmly established.
A Journey Through Time and Space
1976 — Doug’s first “real” job was with guitarist
SKIP “LITTLE AXE” McDONALD
HAROLD SARGENT and
WOOD, BRASS & STEEL.
It was then that Doug, Skip, and Keith (THE ORIGINAL SUGARHILL RHYTHM SECTION)
JOE and SYLVIA ROBINSON
as the house band for their recently formed SUGAR HILL RECORDS. As Hip-Hop’s ORIGINAL RHYTHM SECTION, the three wrote, played, and recorded many of the genre’s original anthems, including “THE MESSAGE,” “WHITE LINES,” and “THAT’S THE JOINT,” before picking up rather suddenly, and moving to London (“fleeing the Robinsons for their lives”).
It was in England, that all three started a musical collaboration with producer ADRIAN SHERWOOD’s ON-U SOUND RECORDS label, that resulted most significantly in the creation of the Industrial Funk band called TACK>>HEAD, and a musical partnerships that remain strong today.
1978 — With a talent that was immediately apparent, Doug was recruited to play bass on MUSIQUE’s KEEP ON JUMPIN’ (12″) with the dance hits “KEEP ON JUMPIN'” and “IN THE BUSH,” which were (along with Wood, Brass, & Steel’s “FUNKANOVA”) both mainstays of the Late-’70s New York City club scene at STUDIO 54, THE PARADISE GARAGE, and DAVID MANCUSO’s LOFT.
Not since WOOD, BRASS & STEEL had Doug, Skip, and Keith’s instrumental abilities been completely appreciated. Despite a New York Times writer calling them “THE WORLD’S FINEST RHYTHM SECTION,” the band went mostly unnoticed, as nearly all the early hip-hop attention went to MCs, DJs, and Graffiti Writers, rather than the musicians who were actually playing the music.
1983 — SUGAR HILL mate KEITH LEBLANC (with the blessing of Malcolm X’s widow (BETTY “QUEEN” SHABAZZ) recorded the landmark “NO SELL OUT,” considered the first effective use of “sampling” committed to vinyl. “No Sell Out” is a 12″ single on which Keith cuts pieces of MALCOLM X speeches and mixed them with his own experimental, electronic drum beats. SUGAR HILL owners JOE and SYLVIA ROBINSON, without Keith’s knowledge or approval, steal the master tapes, and press 500,000 vinyl copies of “NO SELL OUT.” On the record’s label, writing credit is given to “SUGAR HILL RECORDS,” with no mention of Keith. Keith then makes a legal claim for his artistic, and financial rights to the record, and wins the case in Federal Court. The Robinson’s legal defeat proves to be a significant blow to their already suffering SUGAR HILL Label. By 1985, The Robinson’s Hip-Hop Empire had fallen, having been rolled over by RUN DMC, THE BEASTIE BOYS, and most importantly DEF JAM RECORDS.
1984 — DOUG, SKIP, and KEITH, with MELLE MEL (“THE MESSAGE” vocalist), write and record “VICE,” a song on the original MIAMI VICE SOUNDTRACK Album produced by JAN HAMMER. From the moment of the song’s release, Joe Robinson insisted Sugar Hill was owed a substantial percentage of the proceeds. Fear of Joe Robinson was a serious consideration in the ORIGINAL SUGAR HILL RHYTHM SECTION’s move to London.
1985 — DOUG, KEITH, and SKIP contribute significantly to “SUN CITY,” the Anti-Apartheid Anthem attributed to MILES DAVIS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, U2, HERBIE HANCOCK, and nearly every other pop star of the day. Despite playing, and doing production work on the iconic recording, Doug, Keith, and Skip are not listed in the credits.
w/ Jeff Beck
— Japanese Television
After seeing Doug playing a Tack>>Head show in London, Jeff Beck asked him to play bass on his upcoming tour, being shared with Carlos Santana, who Doug also collaborated with later.
In a move to London that Doug describes as “running for his live” from Sugar Hill Records owner Joe Robinson, who demanded a cut of his “Miami Vice” and “Sun City” money, Doug quickly came to the attention of many of England’s musical elite.
Jeff Beck @ Ronnie Scott’s (London)
In the interview section of JEFF BECK LIVE AT RONNIE SCOTT’S (DVD), Beck mentions Doug in a recollection of how his current drummer VINNIE COLAIUTA came to join his band.
UPON REACHING LONDON, Doug and his SUGAR HILL mates (SKIP McDONALD and KEITH LEBLANC) went straight to work with ADRIAN SHERWOOD (ON-U SOUND), and attracted the immediate attention of England’s musical elite, including THE ROLLING STONES, and JEFF BECK.
Beck invited Doug to join his band, and took him on his 1986 SUMMER TOUR OF JAPAN, which also featured STEVE LUKATHER, SIMON PHILIPS, JAN HAMMER, and CARLOS SANTANA and his band which included ALPHONSO JOHNSON.
1986 — “MAJOR MALFUNCTION,” a result of KEITH’s FURTHER ELECTRONIC EXPERIMENTATION, makes use of the Mission Control [NASA] dialog during the tragic EXPLOSION OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER. With Skip, Doug, and Adrian Sherwood all part of the recording, it is considered by many to be the FIRST TACK>>HEAD RECORDING.
1987 — ADRIAN SHERWOOD wisely recruits his new favorite FUNKY AMERICAN BAND (Doug, Skip, and Keith) to back a number of ON-U SOUND’s politically aggressive vocalists, including GARY CLAIL and MARK STEWART. An album of tunes with Clail called “TACK>>HEAD TAPE TIME” is the first time the name “TACK>>HEAD” had ever been used as a recording credit.
1988 — FRIENDLY AS A HAND GRENADE, Tack>>Head’s first full-length album features American singer BERNARD FOWLER, a member of LARRY LEVAN’s NYCiti Peech Boys of PARADISE GARAGE fame, and who had just joined the ROLLING STONES for their STEEL WHEELS WORLD TOUR.
BERNARD’s SOULFUL INFLUENCE moves Doug, Skip, and Keith (THE ORIGINAL THREE) back toward their Funky, Rhythm & Blues (American) Roots … a change that became much more apparent on Tack>>Head’s second (and last) album, STRANGE THINGS.
1990 — TACK>>HEAD’s over-the-top, aggressive virtuoso live performances quickly earned the band a cult-like status in the [post-punk/pre-trip-hop] LONDON UNDERGROUND. One fan, MICK JAGGER, asked if he could make a guest (vocal) appearance on TACK>>HEAD’s second album, STRANGE THINGS. The band obliged, and Mick sings (background) on “Take a Stroll.”
1992 — After the dissolution of TACK>>HEAD in 1991, Doug was recruited to participate in a number of high-profile ROLLING STONES projects, including the band’s BRIDGES TO BABYLON album, and on a number of solo records produced by the individual members: MICK JAGGER, KEITH RICHARDS, CHARLIE WATTS, and RONNIE WOOD.
— Also in this period, Doug played on records produced by DEPECHE MODE, BILLY IDOL, GEORGE CLINTON, CLARENCE CLEMMONS, MICHAEL HUTCHENS, and J. GEILS.
w/ Carly Simon
— video (CarlySimon.com)
In support of her 1995 release, LETTERS NEVER SENT, Carly Simon and her band (with Doug playing bass) did a surprise) show in the Grand Central Station Concourse (NYC).
“HAVEN’T GOT TIME FOR THE PAIN”
— In addition to his 1995 gig with CARLY SIMON (writing, playing and producing on her album LETTERS NEVER SENT), Doug’s has received high praise from other vocalists who he collaborated with, including ANNIE LENNOX (primary bassist on MEDUSA and DIVA), SEAL (SEAL),AL GREEN (YOUR HEART’S IN GOOD HANDS), CANDI STATON, MELBA MOORE, FREDDIE JACKSON, WILL DOWNING, MICHAEL BOLTON, and MADONNA.
BACK IN THE USA
It was in a week soon after his return to America (after the first demise of TACK>>HEAD) that DOUG received calls from MICK JAGGER, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, and SEAL (who appreciated Doug’s playing on his “Crazy” popular debut), all asking him to join their bands. Having already been recruited to fill in for original LIVING COLOUR bassist MUZZ SKILLINGS on the band’s South Americn leg of its 1991 World Tour, helped in Doug’s decision to turn all three celebrity offers down.
LIVING COLOUR welcomed DOUG as an equal member, and subsequently he contributed (as a writer, player, and producer) to 1993’s STAIN, the band’s third full-length studio album.
STAIN earned immediate and widespread critical acclaim, but with the onslaught of Seattle Grunge, the record went largely unnoticed publicly. Despite a well-received world tour, LIVING COLOUR (moved mostly by guitarist VERNON REID) decided to call it quits before the end of the year.
w/ Style Scott (On-U Sound)
— video (YouTube/Wobbleon1)
During his short, abruptly ending stint with LIVING COLOUR, Doug had mantained his musical relationship with both his ORIGINAL SUGAR HILL RHYTHM SECTION partners and ADRIAN SHERWOOD’s ON-U SOUND crew in London. This (DUB/REGGAE) performance from Carnival ’94, in Brighton’s Stanmer Park, (May 30, 1994) sees DOUG and SKIP McDONALD joining STYLE SCOTT’s DUB SYNDICATE (ON-U SOUND) which includes producer Adrian Sherwood on the mixing desk, playing the same “live” roll as he always did with TACK>>HEAD.
— Also in this period, Doug recorded and toured with additional On-U Sound associates, including LITTLE ANNIE, BIM SHERMAN, STRANGE PARCELS, and BOMB THE BASS.
THE BLUESMAN COMETH
1994 — AFTER LIVING COLOUR’s DISSOLUTION, Doug left New York City, and returned home to his loft/studio in Hartford, Connecticut. It was then, the first time in nearly 15 years, that Doug was without any obligation to a specific band or project.
For the first time Doug dedicated his time to developing a musical style of his own …
THE DARK, MOSTLY INSTRUMENTAL, AMBIENT SOUND HE’S KNOWN FOR TODAY.
1996 — This was also the period when Doug strengthened what remains today as one of his tightest musical bonds … that he has with LIVING COLOUR drummer and bandmate WILL CALHOUN. It was Will who Doug went to most when working on his own music. When the time came to commit material to disc, and to play out live, Doug and Will call their new DRUM/BASS, AMBIENT WALL-OF-SOUND THE HEAD>>FAKE SOUND SYSTEM.
After producing two full-length demos, HEAD>>FAKE partners with jazz vocalist/percussionist VINX (DE’JON PARRETTE), call themselves JUNGLE>>FUNK and embark on an Eastern European Tour.
So well received was JUNGLE>>FUNK, Zebra Records released a self-titled disc made up of live recordings from the tour, and eventually, the record was voted 1999’s “Best ‘Jazz’ Album” in the Czech Republic.
Taking note of the new HEAD>>FAKE sound in America was none other than HERB ALPERT, who invited DOUG and WILL to write, produce, and play on the Tijuana Brass/A&M Records’ new album, COLORS. Pleased with the results, ALPERT received praise from critics and fans, called the HEAD>>FAKE + ONE record an “incredibly modern recording,” “a sort of urban-jazz-brass fusion,” and “Alpert’s best effort since his multi-platinum (1979)record, RISE.
2000 — At the end of what had been THE MOST EXPERIMENTAL 1990s, DOUG FELT READY TO RELEASE HIS FIRST “SOLO” RECORD. Influenced by WILL CALHOUN’s WORLD-WIDE NATIVE RHYTHMS AND BEATS and ADRIAN SHERWOOD’s SONIC EXPLORATIONS, Doug uses his mastery of FREQUENCY MANIPULATION and ELECTRONIC EFFECTS and produced his own MYSTERIOUSLY MELODIC, DARK, AMBIENT, and EVOCATIVE SOUND.
When asked about the title of his first solo recording, Doug answers without pause, “After hearing the master, it struck me as a continuous string of TRIPPY NOTES FOR BASS.
In The Post-Apocalyptic Area
w/ Living Colour
— video by dave hogerty (original>>noise)
The band closed its show (December 28, 2001) at the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida with a Jimi Hendrix standard, “Crosstown Traffic,” a tune Doug also covered often when playing with TACK>>HEAD.
December 21, 2000 — DOUG and WILL were playing a HEAD>>FAKE gig at the Legendary CBGB’s with “guest” LIVING COLOUR vocalist COREY GLOVER. Coincidentally, LIVING COLOUR guitarist VERNON REID was in the audience, and when asked, joined the others onstage to play an old LIVING COLOUR standard, a cover of the TALKING HEADS’ classic, “MEMORIES CAN’T WAIT.”
It was the first time in seven years that all four LIVING COLOUR band members had played together … and they enjoyed it enough to go out on a 2001 REUNION TOUR.
Having the tour INTERRUPTED BY THE 911 ATTACK ON THE TWIN TOWERS, Living Colour considered calling it quits again, but instead decided to makeup the cancelled dates later that year.
The tour’s last show was in NYC’s Central Park on New Year’s Eve, 2002, in front of large, enthusiastic “hometown” crowd. Positive enough were the feelings for each individual member, that they decided to stay together and record a new album.
2003 — COLLIDEOSCOPE (LIVING COLOUR’s FOURTH STUDIO ALBUM)
HEAD>>FAKE: LIVE IN THE AREA OF PRAGUE,
recorded the previous winter by PETR TOMAIDES (TOMATO22)
Czech Republic nightclub called LUCERNA.
CollideOscope included much of the early, guitar rock LIVING COLOUR was known for, but also featured the Bass, Drum, and Electronics Doug and Will had developed (as Head>>Fake) during the Living Colour’s hiatus.
It was almost as if the band had brought two halfs (one LIVING COLOUR and one HEAD>>FAKE) together to make the CollideOscope album whole. Reminiscentof VIVID, VERNON REID’s “FLYING” is a more traditional, well-written, evocotive, melancholy description of the 911 attack on the World Trace Center, where as, “A ? OF WHEN,” with it’s sampled dialogue and Industrial Beat might have been more comfortable on an early HEAD>>FAKE demo.
In the first couple of years after the LIVING COLOUR REUNION, the band effectively combined both qualities in its live sets, but it was six years before the members were enough in sync to write and record their next studio release, 2009’s CHAIR IN THE DOORWAY.
2004 — TACK>>HEAD REUNION
Despite having been on the wildest of professional rides, circling the globe and passing through every culture and genre of music, Doug has always stayed in touch with his well founded roots. With SKIP McDONALD, and KEITH LEBLANC, his ORIGINAL SUGAR HILL RHYTHM SECTION mates, Doug has continued to tour extensively, and has played on Skip’s next for LITTLE AXE albums (HARD GRIND , CHAMPAGNE & GRITS  STONE COLD OHIO , and BOUGHT FOR A DOLLAR, SOLD FOR A DIME ). Doug, Keith and Skip also tour with original TACK>>HEAD (ON-U SOUND) vocalist MARK STEWART, calling themselves MARK STEWART + MAFFIA, and the three also contributed significantly to Stewart’s 2008 album, EDIT, his first in nearly 20 years.
Black Jack Johnson
w/ Mos Def,
— video (HBO/Reverb)
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?…. When MOS DEF reached out to friend WILL CALHOUN, asking him to assemble a band that could best help him deliver a HIP-HOP MESSAGE with ROCK ‘N’ ROLL AGGRESSION, Doug was first on Will’s list to sign up for the mission. Then adding BERNIE WORRELL (keyboards) and BAD BRAINS guitarist DR. KNOW, Mos’ new BLACK JACK JOHNSON band came to be.
After a live NYC show recorded at the Bowery Ballroom for HBO’s Reverb, the band recorded two albums, BLACK ON BOTH SIDES (2002) and THE NEW DANGER (2005).
Tack>>Head / 2004
Doug’s daughter Nova (7-years-old at the time in 2007) was armed with her Daisy guitar when photographed standing outside Doug’s Asylum St. loft/studio in downtown Hartford, Connecticut, with the gold-domed state capital building rising out of Bushnell Park in the background. Later that night Nova made her first WimBash appearance as a performer.
2005 — Starting with a TACK>>HEAD REUNION in 2004 (the band’s first performance in 14 years), Doug began hosting a show at Sully’s Pub & Tiki Bar, a tiny beer bar/pizza joint near his home in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. The annual “WIMBASH,” as it was named in 2005, features Doug playing with a number of his world-class musician friends, as well as select local bands, providing the opportunity to see artists, who more often play large venues in large cities all around the world, in a much more intimate setting.
2012 — In its ninth year, Doug’s WIMBASH continued to grow in popularity and attracted more and more talented musicians to his NOVA SOUND FAMILY. In addition to the hometown (Hartford, Connecticut) shows at SULLY’s, Doug partnered with ROCKHOUSE ENTERTAINMENT to present three WIMBASH WEST shows in Anaheim, California; with THE DREAM PROJECT in Dominican Republic for two Caribbean shows in Cabarete; and with ORIGINAL>>NOISE for the Miami Design Preservation League’s ART DECO WEEKEND in Miami Beach (2012-2015).
Future of the Blues
Always the Original Sugar Hill Rhythm Section
WOOD, BRASS, & STEEL
LITTLE AXE — The Wolf That House Built.
Rising proudly from the ashes of Tack>>Head,
Skip, Doug, Keith, and Adrian all worked on individual projects, and always when together,
working with Skip’s material, Skip called the band “Little Axe,” a name he had gone by
since his starting as a young bluesman in Dayton, Ohio.
When together, working with Skip’s material, Skip called himself and the band
“Blues/Gospel/Dub Crash” … The Future of the Blues.
— Real World Records
STONE COLD OHIO — A 2006 interview, with SKIP “LITTLE AXE” McDONALD, ADRIAN SHERWOOD, DOUG WIMBISH, and KEITH LEBLANC on PETER GABRIEL’s Estate (Real World Studio) just outside of London.on his estate outside of London. Having just finished Little Axe’s fourth album, STONE COLD OHIO, the band was on location to headline that night’s concert celebrating the REAL WORLD RECORDS’ 30TH ANNIVERSARY.
The video also includes clips from Little Axe’s live performance that ended with the band being joined by Gabriel and friend ROBERT PLANT and playing a number of classic GENESIS and LED ZEPPELIN tunes.
Impressed with the band, Plant invited Little Axe to open for him on the West Coast (US) tour he played the following year. The band obliged.
When putting Bernard out front, Tack>>Head called themselves Bad Dog.
FRIENDS WITH PRIVILEGES (2007).
School of Rock
2013 — Doug established an ongoing relationship with the SCHOOL OF ROCK, and has since included a second day of educational workshops to his WIMBASH events, and also invited the students to perform as part of the next day/night’s show.
— video by dave hogerty (original noise)
BRANDON “TAZ” NEIDERAUER — A fan favorite at the (Sept. 13, 2014) Wimbash at Sully’s Pub & Tiki Bar in Hartford, Connecticut was 12-year-old guitarist Brandon Niederauer, playing the Allman Brothers classic “Whipping Post” with his brother Dylan (bass), Nicky Winegardner (vocals/guitar), and Henry Thomas (drums).
“TONGUES ON FIRE” — A Tribute to The Black Panthers (Paris, France / February 6, 2010)
Doug’s solo in Living Colour’s performance of David Murray’s musical interpretation of Emory Douglas’ revolutionary art. Since his participation in the 1960s, Douglas has been known as The Black Panther Party’s “Minister of Culture.”
Emory Douglas (Black Panther Ministry of Culture/Artist)
Celebrating the Blues
“The Way You Move” … Doug with Will Calhoun (drums) and Bernie Worrell (keyboards) at a post-Katrina performance benefitting a New Orleans educational program for underprivileged local students.
BOUGHT FOR A DOLLAR, SOLD FOR A DIME
— Little Axe’s 2011 Real World Records release.
— video by dave hogerty (original>>noise)
— One of Doug’s vocal performances on his second solo album, CinemaSonics.
Still a member of Living Colour, Doug has played with a long list of the world’s finest musicians, including the Rolling Stones (together and individually), Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, Annie Lennox, Carly Simon, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Billy Idol, James Brown, Afrika Bambaataa, Al Green, Tarja Turunen, Mos Def … and many others.“Danger”
Published on May 14, 2009
Journeyman bassist Doug Wimbish playing ‘Quasimodo’ at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This footage was shot in 1999 during a VPRO television program called ‘Moondive.’
‘Moondive’ put together different musicians with one mission: to create enough material in one week for a live show on Friday. Participating musicians for this edition: Doug Wimbish (bass), Peter van Bergen (saxophone), Huib Emmer (electronics/guitar), Stefan Robbers (electronics), Gerard Bouwhuis (piano) and Alison Goldfrapp (vocals).
b/ Little Annie (On-U Sound)
— “Strange Love” b/ Little Annie
HIP HOP CHANTEUSE
Annie Bandez was 16 years old when she bid adieu to “the Sixth Borough” (Yonkers, New York) and dove headfirst into downtown New York’s music scene. She lived at the Chelsea Hotel and went to the opening of Studio 54. A late ’70s Suicide performance at CBGB’s blew her rapidly-expanding little mind and taught her to never settle for mediocrity. After seeing her early outfit the Asexuals at Max’s Kansas City in the late ’70s, Frank Zappa raved about Annie to Songwriter magazine:
“This girl was wearing winter underwear with a black leather coat on top of that.
She had a paper bag with a bottle of vodka in it, and she was screaming about Thorazine and being in a mental hospital and it was real!”
— Frank Zappa
That’s the great thing about Little Annie Every time you read about her, or see one of her paintings, or listen to her sing, you discover something new.
The Girl Can’t Help It — 1956
American Graffiti — 1973
Phantom of the Paradise — 1974
Rocky Horror Picture Show — 1975