“I played bass on Gwen McCrae’s “Rockin Chair” when I was sixteen. So by the time I was eighteen or nineteen years old, a lot of people had heard of me. I wasn’t just at TK Records by that point. I mean, I was doing sessions there. But I was also working for Bill Szymczyk at Criteria. And the reason I was over there in the first place is because Steve Alaimo asked me to do a recording for Stephen Stills. Stephen had just fired his bass player and they were at Criteria Recordings studio and Steve said, “Hey can you do a session for a friend of mine?” and I said, “Yeah no problem.” I didn’t know who he was. Didn’t care. I walked over there and said, “Country music? All right cool. I can do that.” I did the session and went home and came back the next day, and during that time, The Bee Gees, who had built a new section onto Criteria heard me playing with Stephen Stills so Maurice Gibb comes over and says, “Who’s the bass player?” and they said, “Chocolate. Steve Alaimo’s got him.” So Maurice said, “Man, can you come over and play something for us when you’re done with Stephen?” And I’m a kid, I was 18 and next thing you know, I’m walking over there and I’m playing for the Bee Gees. Just like that. It was way before Saturday Night Fever, but I did end up playing on that with them and going on tours around the world as the bass player for The Bee Gees.”
Article ©Jake Katel 2017, story by ©George Perry.
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