Negative Creep wrote:
Jones is a bass legend. I dont really see how Casady and Lesh are more influential.
They are definitely more creative, but influence? I just dont see it.
JPJ is a bass legend 75% because of the band he was in, not his playing. I love his playing and consider him a candidate for top 20 creativity ever on bass (in rock) - though he's on the margins there - and yeah, that's nothing to scoff at haha. The Lemon Song is one of a handful of songs I think could be considered the definitive rock bass performance EVER. It's a bass masterpiece.
But consider influence. JPJ didn't do anything new. Anything. That kills him compared to the top tier of influence guys. JPJ was basically a Jamerson/Babbitt style blues rock bassist, just a very, very good one. But he didn't break any new ground. The only song I can think of where he really broke new ground was Achilles Last Stand, and it's notable. But in general he was kinda derivative, just very good. You can hear everything he was doing (minus Achilles and a handful of other songs) earlier in Jamerson and Babbitt.
Lesh would possibly get influence over JPJ even if it were just that he's the greatest/most influential jam band bassist by far, but then factor in his insane creativity and the fact that he invented a style all on his own that has been widely influential. It's not that close imo.
Casady was one of the main guys pushing the boundaries of bass in the 60s, shoulder to shoulder with McCartney, Jamerson, and Bruce. Not only did he co-invent 'lead bass' style, but he also was the first bassist I'm aware of to show the world how to do long improvised solos right (along with Bruce), and he was the greatest boundary pusher when it comes to effects use of the 60s generation. He also has a distinctive and highly creative style which has been widely influential -- I hear his fingerprints on lots of later bassists. He mainly gets influence over JPJ for his effects use but also for being one of the inventors of rock bass basically, one of the people on the Mt. Rushmore of bassists (Lesh is there too) who laid the groundwork for everyone else, who invented an important part of rock bass's DNA, and who has extraordinary indirect influence (and also very good direct influence) as a result.
Put differently, it's fairly close between the three (Lesh, Casady, JPJ) in direct influence probably, but throw in indirect influence and there's a significant gap in overall influence.