created memory in Hiram Bullock
I first saw Hiram Bullock during my first trip to NYC in May 87. He was to play in a small club of upper West Side, with Darryl Jones, Mitch Forman and Charley Drayton. We had to wait 2 hours past the scheduled beginning (they must have been working in studio), but when they finally came, they rocked the house, one of the best gig i've ever seen, everybody went crazy in the audience, as they played more than 2h30 hours... Later i played Window Shoppin and Cactus on the french Riviera with a friend, and From All Sides has stayed for more than 10 years in my car... one of the 10 records of my life... Thanks for All, Hiram...
I went to music collage in the 80's and had heard that David Sanborn would come to Oslo, the city I lived in. I saved up the money for the ticket and went with a good friend. Already in the first song, I got a tremendous kick due Hiram Bullocks guitar.
He lay down and played "Blue Monk" with one hand and ran out into the hall and played the guitar solo as I had never before heard or seen. As a guitar student, it was a great inspiration.
Personally, I like what he did early in his career best. Rest in peace, dear musician colleague
un de mes plus beaux souvenirs de concert à Nice France, il me reste tes disques et ma Cort Signature
фрагмент TV прграммы "Апология" 11.12.2002
Mike Levine is a great pianist and keyboard player out of Miami. In the fall of 1981 he and reeds man Billy Ross were finishing up the second Ross-Levine Band album at a small studio in Coral Gables. The band had a great lineup including Jeff Carswell on bass and Steve Rucker (now head of the University of Miami percussion department) on drums but no permanent guitar player.
I was working at said studio as the assistant engineer, my first job out of college, when one day Mike announced.that Hiram Bullock would be coming down from New York to lay down the guitar tracks! Mike and Hiram were friends and classmates at the U of M in the glory days of the early 70's when Metheny, Jaco, et. al. were beginning to change the face of jazz as we knew it. All of us at the studio were thrilled. Though he had yet to land the Letterman gig, we all knew of him from his session work with artists like Steely Dan and Billy Joel.
I can't overstate what a generous act of friendship this was on Hiram's part. The studio bought his round-trip plane ticket and the rental of a Ford Escort for a week but as far as I know he received no pay at all for the sessions. This for a man who probably got double or triple scale in New York at the time. And yes, I said a week. He was at the studio three or four hours a day playing on every track of the album.
Though we had a good sounding room this was kind of a low budget studio. We didn't even have a guitar amp for Hiram to plug into when he showed up with his original Frankenstein guitar with the humbucker between the single coils and his digital delay. We did have an old Fender Bassman; Tony the engineer rolled it into the half-finished lobby, stuck a Sennheiser 421 in front of it, ran a long guitar cable under the control room door and we rolled tape while Hiram sat behind the board and wailed. The Bassman actually gave the tracks a warm, mellow sound that complimented Hiram's playing quite well.
Of course as you might have guessed, Hiram didn't only put down beautiful parts but he showed himself to be a beautiful person too. He was always happy and cheerful, always willing to do one more take, always giving each pass his all. I remember one time he was screaming a solo on the most rock and roll track on the record when he leaned too far back in the office chair, the chair slid out from under him and he fell flat on his back on the control room floor but kept on playing without missing a note! We kept that track on the record.
In between takes Hiram would talk about his experiences in music, living in New York, sports, current events, just about everything. He struck me as an especially intelligent, well spoken and well rounded individual as well as an awesome musician. He treated everyone with respect and consideration and was a good listener, both to music and to people. Before leaving town he threw a party at a friend's house and invited everyone to come. It was a great ending to an unforgettable week.
Fifteen years later when I first got on the internet I came across Hiram's web site and the "Bullockian Lounge", his chat room. Not expecting a reply, I sent him a message with recollections of those sessions. He responded warmly, said he remembered me and that he had a lot of fun that week in Miami. Once again I was touched by his love and humanity.
I'm sorry to say I hadn't been following his career lately, When I googled his name last week to see what he'd been up to and found out he had passed on I felt like I'd lost an old friend. It was nice to read all the good memories so many people have of Hiram. His spirit will surely live on in our hearts and in his great recordings.
November 1988, Hiram was on bill with Hiroshima...Hiram tore the house down. So BEAUTIFUL he played as he and his guitar are one. Moved me to tears..We will always love you King !!!
Monday, August 04, 2008
Hiram Bullock...Rest In Peace
My Memories of Hiram...
How he touched one life...
I was a 13 year young Bass Player when I came across a Band at "Parkville Teen Center" in Baltimore, Maryland called "Cabbage" with a New Bass Player....it was HIRAM! He was the most cool Bassist I had ever seen and heard!
After they were done playing I asked the Bass Player (Hiram) if I could play his Bass (like I always did back then.) He invited me onstage...handed me his Gibson Bass...an EB-0 or and EB-3...
Then he had one of those Faux Leather curved packs with Wine in it and offered me a drink ( I think I turned it down...)
A year or so later....Hiram was the Lead Guitarist in a Baltimore Band that my friends Father...Roy Gunther, managed.
The Band was called "FELIX" and they were amazing. Especially with Hiram on lead guitar. I had never heard that style of Jazz Fusion Guitar yet...even though this was in the early 70's.
One day he and the Rhythm Guitarist popped in the house from the rehearsal garage to put on "Layla" so that they could pick up some more details of it.
Later, Hiram had gone to the University Of Miami and had become even more of a Monster...I didn't know this until I saw him with David Sanborn.
During one of Hiram's solo Guitar spots where he walked all over the Arena via his Wireless...In a Quiet Moment I Yelled Out...
He paused and looked down at me and said for all to hear...
"YOU GO WAY BACK!"
We met up after the show and he gave me his contact info.
I sent him a demo of my Bass Playing and he called me on my 30th Birthday and said "Dave...it's Hiram....the Tape sounds Great...You Can Play!!!"
Most people just blow you off and never even check out your tape or give you any encouragement...
Nobody plays, sings, and yes...Danced like Hiram.
I miss him being with us in this life!
God Bless You Hiram!
I remember Hiram as a big part of the NY fusion (I hate the word, too) guitar scene of the early '80's and when he would drop in at the UM campus in Miami. He could plug-in to a P-O-S set up and make it sound phenomenal. The man personified music. Loved to watch him play.
I met Hiram's sister at a show I did in North Carolina and it reminded me how stunned I was when I first heard this news. I had no idea - 53 is way too young. All we can do is carry on the spirit of the music you left us with our own. So that's what I'm gonna do.
May peace be with you, Hiram.
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