billy sheehan plays bass

Billy Sheehan

Billy Sheehan has participated as a bass player on dozens of records over the course of his phenomenal and incredibly eventful career. He has toured the world for decades. His unique playing style and sound design is valued by fellow bassists and die-hard fans alike.

I was watching The Beatles concert at the Ed Sullivan show and heard the girls in the audience squealing. I immediately thought, “I want a job like that too”.

Billy Sheehan’s distinctive playing style, talent as an arranger, and involvement in numerous projects led to the predictable result of a string of platinum and gold releases, as well as iconic concerts, which are still watched in the same breath today.

billy sheehan

Billy Sheehan creativity, Talas and mr.Big

Billy Sheehan began his career as a musician in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, in the early ’70s. This is the now iconic band Talas. In the summer of 1985, he joined David Lee Roth when Dave left Van Halen to start a solo career.

Along with Steve Vai and Gregg Bissonette, Billy recorded the legendary “Eat ‘Em and Smile”, which reached platinum status and went worldwide. A tour in support of the record became incredibly successful.

In 1987 Billy Sheehan takes a radical turn in his career, and forms his own band, Mr. Big. The band quickly gained popularity, and stayed on the Billboard charts for up to three weeks.

Mr. Big stayed in business until their official demise in 2002. The guitarist was, incidentally, the incredible Paul Gilbert.

Mr.Big reunited in 2009 and went on a world tour, which predictably caused a huge stir, selling out long before the start of the tour. Furthermore, throughout his career Billy Sheehan has recorded as a session bassist with a variety of world-class musicians.

Billy Sheehan interesting facts

Over nearly four decades Billy Sheehan has played in many bands, and used a variety of bass guitars. Billy’s music has also changed many times, from the hard rock of the 80s, to the fusion project The Winery dogs. Some interesting facts:

Billy Sheehan's Wife (bass)
The Wife
  • Billy Sheehan’s main bass guitar is so unique that a separate article could be written about it. It is a Yamaha Billy Sheehan Attitude. The prototype for this bass guitar was a Fender precision bass, which Billy Sheehan himself redesigned. This bass guitar went down in history as The Wife.
  • Over the years, Billy has been involved in dozens of projects with some of the most influential musicians in the world. Steve Vai, Richie Kotzen, Mike Portnoy, Paul Gilbert, the band UFO, and many others.
  • Started playing bass at 17 to keep up with a friend.
  • Didn’t study music notation and academic music. But studied and experimented a lot on his own.
  • Says Paul McCartney and John Entwistle influenced him the most.
  • Virtuoso with a three-finger technique.

Billy Sheehan has had a tremendous and undeniable influence on the modern bass guitar, and on generations of bassists. And what is important – he keeps on creating and searching for new things in music, and doesn’t even think about resting on his laurels, sighing for the glorious 80’s era! And that makes me happy! Know more at the official website.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Similar Posts

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments