82 thoughts on “Legendary bassist Les Claypool of Primus. Early 1990s. Arguably the most talented player to ever pick up that instrument from any era, any genre, in all of music history. An absolute master.

  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    They’re all incredible musicians. I remember reading about how Les would drive Ler in the studio to hit harder and more dissonant riffs, take after take after take.

    Having said that – Les is very good at playing Les-style. He’s definitely the best at that. Best player of *all* genres? Yeah, that might be a bit of starry-eyed fandom, overstating things a bit

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Obligatory Primus Sucks! Saw them with Fishbone in 1991. They were awesome!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    First time I saw Primus was in 1991. Opening for Anthrax and Public Enemy in Irvine, CA. Primus stole what was a very weird show.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    PRIMUS SUCKS

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    I remember seeing this hilarious goofball my first time in San Diego. You had this tall, gangly dude who looked like a hillbilly standing behind a big fucking base and dressed in red long underwear, unlaced Docs and had an old engineer cap sitting on top of a crazy amalgam of dreadlocks and a Mohawk.

    He then just blew the fuck off the roof of the place playing Tommy the Cat and Jerry was a Race Car Driver – this was right before their debut Suck on This! dropped and I was a fan immediately.

    Never missed a show when they were in town and they were always stellar.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Pretty bold statement……….. but they say everyone has one

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Say baby, do you wanna lay down with me

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Tony Levins would like a word.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    yeah that’s just your opinion man.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Seeing them do Rush’s Farewell to Kings later this year. One of the best bassists alive playing music by one of the other best bassists alive. Gonna be wild.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Went to LaLa Palooza (have no idea how to spell that!) in like 93? I think. Southern California. Was there for many of the bands. But super excited for Alice In Chains. They were the headliner’s. Primus went on right before them. We were right in front of Les. Blown away. It was amazing. We knew one song, probably. Maybe two. Didn’t matter.

    Whenever I’m asked about the best concert I’ve ever been too, I say this. Not even because it was the absolute best show, but because he played the best instrument I’ve ever seen played. Those hands were massive and, even as stupid stoned kids, we knew it was something spectacular. We bought the next possible tickets to a Primus show we could and watched him again asap.

    Feels like a million years ago, and like it was yesterday. Thanks for bringing it up. It was an absolute delight to “discover” this gem back in the day.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    I think Geddy Lee might have some thoughts on this. While singing lead vocals (well), slapping the bass (also well), and playing keyboards….with his feet.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    But Primus sucks. :]

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    In the Fishbone documentary that came out a while back both Les and Flea said Norwood Fisher was the best bass player they ever heard.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Primus sucks!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    What about Victor Wooten?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Um, Jaco Pastorius?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Chris Squire

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    What about Billy Sheehan?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Primus Sucks

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    All I know is Jerry was a racecar driver and he drove so goddamn fast, he never did get no checkered flag but he never did come in last.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    His collaboration with Sean Lennon is really interesting. Claypool definitely isn’t the type to just stick with one style for too long (kinda reminds me of Picasso, but for music)

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    I don’t listen to blanket statements.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    What about Larry Graham ?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    we do best in life avoiding these sweeping statements but there are times when we close our eyes and it’s the truth . He’s a good bassist and very unique and special . That’s beautiful in itself

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    I’m supposed to see Primus again next month, but while Les is a great bass player, Geddy Lee is probably the best on bass and Peter Hook is up there.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    What about Geddy Lee from RUSH?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Jaco enters… *”I’m John Francis Pastorius III. I’m the greatest bass player in the world.”*

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    First time I ever saw Primus was when they opened for Rush in the early 90’s. I had never heard of the band and consequently wasnt in a hurry to get to the show. They had just started playing when I was making my way to my seat and I was like, what the fuck am I hearing? I then stood there watching him play and was like “I can see why Geddy wanted Primus to open up for them”.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Primus Sucks!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    We get it, you are a fan.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Wait, I thought his name is Alowishus Devadander Abercrombie. What gives?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    I’m pretty sure I wrote the very first Primus review in human history. Les and I went to the same community college and I reviewed one of their first shows. I’ll see if I can dig up the photos if people want even OLDERschoolcool.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Me, glancing and pointing at at Geddy Lee.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Lol that title! Jeez. He’s awesome, but take it easy brah

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Two things: Watching 90s Les strut with his bass is still fucking wild. And 2: this thread title gave me anxiety because I thought he died.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    My favorite bass player of all time! I love me some Claypool. Primus, frog brigade, oyster head.. Man

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Admittedly I’ve never been much on Primus, but the Claypool Lennon Delirium is one of my absolute favorite bands.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Les Claypool is a God amongst mere mortals

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    The man was even too good for Metallica! He auditioned and they decided he was just too damn good and unique and they told him they would only hold him back! True story…

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorius, and Marcus Miller all say what’s up.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    claypool, flea, and tim commerford are the masters to me. without them primus red hot chili peppers and rage against the machine would not sound the same. thank god for them. they brought the funk back. there music is like some weird archaic enchantment that puts your mind and body into motion. primus made me laugh and open minded, the red hot chili peppers made me dance and open my heart, rage against the machine made me fearless and opened my eyes.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    john entwistle period.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Can confirm.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Just saw their Rush tribute show, it was fucking great!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    As far as I’m concerned Les belongs in any discussion about the greatest bass players of all time, he’s not even a show off in the usual way a virtuoso often is, just an unbelievable ability to make crazy and unusual grooves.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    I love Primus and I love claypool. BUT. I am fairly certain even he would say that Geddy Lee is the greatest to ever pick up a bass.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    [Insert my favorite bassist] would like to have a word.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Man, Les is great, but this title is horse shit. Jaco Pastorius has been argued for decades to be the greatest bass player of all time.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Phil Lesh

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    The key idea to take from this, is that there are many bass players that pushed boundaries. The idea that a bass could be a front line instrument was insane before these guys came along.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Les uses technique that is incomparable to other bassists. Playing lead bass. The speed, the changes. All while singing (live).. say what you want about other incredibly talented bassists. Les is in a league of his own. 🤌🏼🤌🏼🤌🏼

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Victor Wooten would like a word…

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    His name is mud

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Ya know you’re doing something right when ya show up to try out for Metallica’s bass player & they reject you because you’re too good

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Not subbed to this subreddit, but i’m a bassist and absolute fan of Primus.

    Les Claypool is what some would call a “cool cat”. Total whackjob with an obsession about thick-skinned pachyderms, but his music is really unique and he plays the bass like he invented it.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    His name is Mudd!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Jack Casady would like a word

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Not my favorite but I’m surprised no one has mentioned Billy Sheehan yet.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Primus Sucks

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Les is technically gifted to be sure but his style is divisive. Plenty of others have rattled off other great bass players who all have their own styles and sounds.

    IMO, Les could play their styles as well, possibly just as well as they could or better, but he chooses not to.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    I don’t know much about playing bass, but that’s a great photo.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    My name is mud

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Sorry, but,Carol Kaye!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    primus sucks!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Finally saw them in 2015? in Hershey. They’ve always been my all time favorite band growing up, so it was far past time to see them. I screamed (like an idiot) “Mr. Knowitallllllll!” after every song, hoping…praying. What had to be about 20 songs in, Les goes up to the mic and says “we don’t usually do this, but….” and fuzzily yells “they call me mr. knowitall, I will not compromise.” I lost my shit, and so did everyone around me as they killed it. Best concert of my life.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Gary Lee Weinrib would like a word….

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Justin Chancellor

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    And one of the least pleasant people I, or anyone I have compared notes with, I have ever met!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    I GET TO SEE THEM THIS SUNDAY!! Theyre playing Rush’s Farewell to Kings album, I’m so stoked

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Primus is my go to music when I need to let some angst out. Les is amazing. I mean Wooten is great, Jaco is so talented, and Flea is one groovy mutha but nobody gets me bopping like Claypool!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Love Les, but he isn’t even top 10 all time.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Saw Primus at the first Lollapalooza and it was one of the most impressive live performances by any bassist I’ve ever seen. Whole band for that matter but damn…watching Les sing, perform AND play some off-measure, gnarly ass runs without missing a lick.

    **queues up Wayne’s World “We’re not worthy” clip

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Larry Lalonde is also an amazing player, able to complement and build on Claypool’s wild genius.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Jaco Pastorius. That is all.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Larry Graham would like a word.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Jaco has entered the room.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Geddy just chuckled a little.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    There are 2 types of bass players: Jaco Pastorias and all the others.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    My name is mud

    Reply
  • August 26, 2021 at 6:18 pm
    Permalink

    Jack Cassidy from Jefferson airplane? Quadrophonic sound from a bass guitar while tripping balls

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *