Posted by Oteil Burbridge An Interview with Jack Casady – Backstage at Wanee Festival 2013

Last year at Wanee I had the chance to interview three legendary bassists. Bakithi Kumalo, Jack Casady and Rocco Prestia. Hopefully you enjoyed the Bakithi interview, the first one that we put up. This next one is so cool. It features bassist Jack Casady.

To say that Jack Casady is a legend is a given. When I met Jack I didn’t really realize all that he had done. I knew he was the bassist for Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna. But I didn’t know that he had also backed up Ray Charles and Lightnin’ Hopkins. And I didn’t really understand his scope in the history of Rock & Roll. As has been said before, he helped write the soundtrack to the sixties.

When the original members of The Allman Brothers Band and The Grateful Dead site you as their heroes, that means you’ve been working your magic for a long time. He was arguably Berry Oakley’s favorite bassist. As Butch Trucks wrote to me just this morning, “Jack was probably the single biggest influence on Berry’s playing with Phil [Lesh] not too far behind. The Second Coming played many covers of Jefferson Airplane and with Dale, Dickey’s wife, singing like Grace Slick they did a damn good job. Berry could sound exactly like Jack when he wanted to. When he joined the ABB he, of course, brought along that influence and, I’m sure you can hear it, especially on the early stuff. As we developed our own voice Berry became more and more his own but Jack and Phil were always tucked in there somewhere.”

For those of you not familiar with ABB history, The Second Coming was pre-ABB.

Jack was already there.

Jack is still here.

How lucky are we.