“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.
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.
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.
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.
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…