Larry Graham is truly a major icon in the world of music. He's the innovator of the "Thumpin' and Pluckin" style, which is what musicians call the slapping technique. Graham's innovative style has influenced three generations of musicians ranging from Prince, Stanley Clarke, Bootsie Collins, Flea, Victor Wooten and Marcus Miller.
He's a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member with the group Sly and the Family Stone. Both he and drummer Greg Errico created the unique and authentic group sound that changed both rock and soul to the masses.
Born on August 14th, 1946 in Beaumont, Texas, his mother was a musician and played and traveled all over the country. Raised by his grandmother, he move to Oakland where he used to sing Doo-Wop in groups he created as a teenager. He also developed into to a musician by playing in Mom's trio where Graham dabbled in playing guitar. Due to circumstances beyond his control, one night he was without a organ because of technical difficulties; he ended up renting a bass because he depended on the bottom of the organ sound. From that moment on, Larry developed his unique bass style.
On a suggestion from a listener of Sly Stone's radio show, someone recommended he check out Larry's bass playing. This the same time during the last 1960's when Top 40, Rock, Folk, and Soul music dominated the radio and popular culture. Sly was looking to put together a band of many firsts. One, hire musicians that transcended both race and gender bounds. Finally, bring the masses to it's knees with feel good music with tones of social messages similar to Bob Dylan, Odetta, and Curtis Mayfield. Sly and the Family Stone would dominate the radio, stadiums, and change how music was played and produced.
Graham and drummer Greg Ericco brought a funk and rhythm that was unparalleled in music. He played on the monumental records "Stand," "Hot Fun In The Summertime," "Life," and "Everyday People."
Journalist and interviewer Brian Pace sits down in part 1 of "Larry Graham on Larry Graham" and discusses his musical influences as well as upbringing.