Ron Blair

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Ron Blair
Ron Blair, 2017-08-28.jpg
Blair performing in 2017
Background information
Birth nameRonald Edward Blair
Also known asRon Blair
Ronnie Blair
Born (1948-09-16) September 16, 1948 (age 70)
San Diego, California
Genres Rock, heartland rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Bass guitar
Years active1976–1986
2002–present
Associated acts Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Ronald Edward Blair (born September 16, 1948 in San Diego, California) is an American musician notable for being the bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was originally the band's bassist [1] from 1976 to 1982. In 2002, he returned to the group after a 20-year hiatus, replacing his own replacement, the late Howie Epstein.

San Diego City in California, United States

San Diego is a city in the U.S. state of California. It is in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Bassist musician who plays a bass instrument

A bassist or bass player, is a musician who plays a bass instrument such as a double bass, bass guitar, keyboard bass or a low brass instrument such as a tuba or sousaphone. Different musical genres tend to be associated with one or more of these instruments. Since the 1960s, the electric bass has been the standard bass instrument for funk, R&B, soul music, rock and roll, reggae, jazz fusion, heavy metal, country and pop music. The double bass is the standard bass instrument for classical music, bluegrass, rockabilly, and most genres of jazz. Low brass instruments such as the tuba or sousaphone are the standard bass instrument in Dixieland and New Orleans-style jazz bands.

Contents

Biography

Blair's father was a Navy man, so the family relocated every few years throughout the United States as well as within Japan and Hong Kong. As a teenager in Japan, Ron was in a locally famous rock band. But it was the music scenes in Macon, Georgia, and Gainesville, Florida, where Blair felt most at home. In Gainesville, Blair was a member of the band RGF. His sister is Janice Blair, a singer who was married to Gregg Allman from 1973 to 1975.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

Japan Country in East Asia

Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.

Hong Kong East Asian city

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a special administrative region of China on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is the world's fourth-most densely populated region.

Career

Blair eventually moved to Los Angeles, and there teamed up with fellow Gainesville musicians Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Stan Lynch. Campbell and Tench, along with Tom Petty, had been members of the popular Gainesville band Mudcrutch. Mudcrutch had relocated from Gainesville to Los Angeles, but subsequently broke up after failing to sign a recording contract. After the breakup, Tench recruited Campbell, Blair and Lynch to record demos in the hopes of getting a new record deal in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Denny Cordell, president of Shelter Records, signed Tom Petty to his record label, after which Petty met up with his former bandmates and Floridians and asked if they would like to become his band. They agreed, and soon became known as the Heartbreakers.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

Benmont Tench American musician

Benjamin Montmorency "Benmont" Tench III is an American musician and singer, best known as a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Stan Lynch American musician

Stanley Joseph Lynch is an American musician, songwriter and record producer. He was the original drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for 18 years until his departure in 1994.

Blair went on to play with the band through its first four albums, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers , You're Gonna Get It! , Damn the Torpedoes and Hard Promises . In the last couple of years of his first stint with the band, Blair was considering leaving and was not always available, thusly being occasionally replaced with other bassists, including Donald "Duck" Dunn, on his last two albums. In spite of his departure in 1982, he would continue to make occasional guest appearances on studio albums all the way up to Southern Accents .

Album collection of recorded music, words, sounds

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at ​33 13 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.

<i>Youre Gonna Get It!</i> 1978 studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers


You're Gonna Get It! is the second album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in 1978. Originally, the album was to be titled Terminal Romance. It peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart in 1978.

<i>Damn the Torpedoes</i> (album) 1979 studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Damn the Torpedoes is the third studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released on October 20, 1979. This was the first of three Petty albums originally released by the Backstreet Records label, distributed by MCA Records. It built on the commercial success and critical acclaim of his two previous albums and reached #2 on the Billboard album chart. The album went on to become certified Triple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

He rejoined the Heartbreakers on March 18, 2002, to perform at the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The reunion led to Blair’s return to the group for its 2002 summer tour. He helped finish The Last DJ album and has been present for all subsequent albums and tours following the death of his replacement Howie Epstein, creating a seamless transition.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Hall of fame located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie, recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Ahmet Ertegun, founder and chairman of Atlantic Records. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame's permanent home.

<i>The Last DJ</i> 2002 studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

The Last DJ is the eleventh studio album by American rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The title track, "Money Becomes King," "Joe" and "Can't Stop the Sun" are all sharp attacks on the greediness of the music industry.

Howie Epstein American musician

Howard Norman Epstein was an American musician best known as a bassist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Aside from the Heartbreakers, Blair has designed albums for Barbara Morrison and Carlos Zialcita. He has also played on albums by Kirstin Candy, Stevie Nicks, Del Shannon, Slobberbone and The Tremblers. Blair was also part of the original lineup of The Dirty Knobs, Mike Campbell's side-project band.

Stevie Nicks American singer and songwriter, member of Fleetwood Mac

Stephanie Lynn “Stevie” Nicks is an American singer and songwriter. Nicks is best known for her work as a songwriter and vocalist with Fleetwood Mac, and also for her chart-topping solo career. She is known for her distinctive voice, mystical stage persona and poetic, symbolic lyrics. Collectively, her work both as a member of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist has produced over forty top 50 hits and sold over 140 million records, making her one of the best-selling music acts of all time with Fleetwood Mac.

Del Shannon American rock and roll singer-songwriter

Del Shannon was an American rock and roll and country musician and singer-songwriter, best known for his 1961 number 1 Billboard hit "Runaway".

Slobberbone American musical group from Denton, Texas

Slobberbone is an American alt-country band from Denton, Texas, led by singer-songwriter Brent Best, Jess Barr, Tony Harper, and Brian Lane. Best continues to tour as a solo act, performing both songs by Slobberbone and The Drams, and songs from his solo record, but also reunites with both bands for shows with full band line-ups.

Tom Petty said this about Blair: "It’s great having him [back] in the band. It reminds me of the old days just seeing him around. ... We hung out. We knew each other. And he was always the best bass player in town." [2]

Blair has been seen with many basses (including a Rickenbacker 4001 and a Höfner Club bass, both owned by Petty), but is best known for playing Fender Jazz Basses, having used a black Jazz Bass in his early years with the Heartbreakers and a white Jazz Bass since his return to the band. His bass rig in the early days of the Heartbreakers was a Vox Super Beatle. When he returned to the band in 2002, and for the tours in 2002 and 2003, Blair was seen using a blond piggyback Fender Bassman amplifier. Since 2005, Blair's bass rig is a modern Ampeg SVT.

Related Research Articles

Tom Petty American musician

Thomas Earl Petty was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, formed in 1976. He previously led the band Mudcrutch. He was also a member of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers American rock band

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. Formed in 1976, the band originally comprised Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Ron Blair, Stan Lynch (drums), and Benmont Tench (keyboards). In 1981, Blair, weary of the touring lifestyle, departed the band. His replacement, Howie Epstein, stayed with the band for the next two decades. In 1991, Scott Thurston joined the band as a multi-instrumentalist—mostly on rhythm guitar and second keyboards. Blair returned to the Heartbreakers in 2002, the year before Epstein's death. In 1994, Steve Ferrone replaced Lynch on drums. The band is best known for the hit singles "American Girl", "Breakdown", "The Waiting", "Learning to Fly", "Refugee" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance".

The Blue Stingrays were a late 1990s rock band that played surf rock, incorporating some country and western elements, with an overall Hawaiian atmosphere.

Mike Campbell (musician) American musician

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<i>Echo</i> (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album) 1999 studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

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<i>Hard Promises</i> 1981 studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

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<i>Long After Dark</i> 1982 studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

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<i>Let Me Up (Ive Had Enough)</i> 1987 studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Let Me Up is the seventh studio album by the American band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released in 1987. It features the most songwriting collaborations between Petty and lead guitarist Mike Campbell out of any Petty album. It is also the first album not to feature then-former bassist Ron Blair on any tracks.

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<i>An American Treasure</i> 2018 Tom Petty compilation album

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References

  1. Buckley, Peter (2003-10-28). The rough guide to rock. Rough Guides. p. 7. ISBN   978-1-84353-105-0 . Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  2. Orange County Register, August 26, 2002