Pete Sears

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“It’s like a tear in the hands of a western man… tell you about salt, carbon, and water…”

Pete Sears, who also distinguished himself as an in-demand keyboardist, was the perfect choice to succeed the legendary Jack Casady in Paul Kantner’s ever-changing Jefferson collectives.  Though Pete’s tone and approach to the instrument were poles apart from Jack – both were exemplary accompanists and improvisers.  

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A prolific plinker, composer, producer, and solo recording artist, Pete forged major contributions on seminal sides by Rod Stewart (Gasoline Alley, Every Picture Tells a Story, Never A Dull Moment, Smiler), Hot Tuna, Grace Slick, Nick Gravenites, Papa John Creach, Robert Hunter, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Kathi McDonald, and Starship to cite a very, very select few.

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As a bassist – most notably in Jefferson Starship, Pete’s grooves and upper register forays cleverly merged the band’s multi-dimensional vocal arrangements as rendered by Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Paul Kantner, David Freiberg, and Mickey Thomas in various configurations. Sears’ extended bass solo was a highlight at many a Starship show. 

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A master pocket and melodic player who occasionally rendered killer slap passages (“Hot Water”) Pete utilized a custom instrument created by one of Jerry Garcia’s favored craftsman, Doug Irwin (which went missing for 40 years and was recently returned), along with Fender and Rickenbacker.

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Pete continues to rock on the bandstand with Moonalice, and Harvey Mandel, among many others. Stay tuned for a Pete Sears KNOW YOUR BASS PLAYER interview…