Bobby Lichtig by Jeff Ganz

Jeff Ganz and Bobby Lichtig

Jeff Ganz and Bobby Lichtig

By Jeff Ganz

In the category of “Bassists That Deserve More Recognition”, the first one that comes to mind is Bobby Lichtig.

Bobby with Seals & Crofts

Bobby with Seals & Crofts

Bobby is probably best known for his fine bass playing on Seals & Crofts’s biggest hits, but was also an accomplished woodwind player and songwriter. Bobby was also my 1st cousin, whom I admired my whole life, hoping to model my career after his.

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Bobby’s bass sound, both live and on record, was the epitome of what a superb musician could do with a Fender Precision Bass. Later in his career, Bobby had one of the first and one of the best B.C. Rich basses I ever saw or heard, certainly in his hands.

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Bobby first came to the public eye as a member of The Last Ritual, recording an album for Capitol Records in 1969. He joined Seals & Crofts as their sole accompanist on bass and flute in time for their second album “Year Of Sunday”, released in 1971. Bobby’s bass playing on “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl” are textbook examples of how to be a distinctive and sensitive accompanist. In 1975, Bobby joined the L.A. based super group Bonaroo; they did one album for Warner Brothers Records.

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There are three particular moments I remember fondly with Bobby. The first one was in 1972 when he stopped by my parents’ house – on his way to play with Seals & Crofts at Carnegie Hall! The second was in 1991 at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, California when he came to see me playing with Johnny Winter. 

The third moment was in 2011, when I visited Bobby at his home in Woodland Hills, California after not seeing him for many years. It was a terrific reunion, complete with ice cream.

Bobby passed away in 2012 of long-time complications from a traumatic head injury. He leaves behind a rich musical legacy worthy of detailed exploration.

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