Jack Bruce, Larry Graham, John Entwistle, Chris Squire, Bootsy Collins, Les Claypool, Phil Lesh-is there a drummer among us who hasn’t fantasized about playing with these and other giants of the bass guitar? Matt Abts of Gov’t Mule recently got the chance to do just that, albeit under the saddest of circumstances.
Last August, the hard-rocking trio’s bassist, Alan Woody, was found dead at the age of forty-four in a New York hotel room, the victim of a heart attack. After several months of mourning and indecision, Abts and guitarist Warren Haynes decided to continue as a band, and they conceived a unique tribute featuring Woody’s idols in his stead.
“We started making a list and getting in touch with bassists he admired,” Abts explains, “and nobody said no. It did turn into a scheduling nightmare, but once we got past that, it was just an amazing event.”