Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hiram Bullock, 1955-2008

Hiram Bullock, onetime barefoot guitarist for Paul Shaffer's World's Most Dangerous Band, dead at the age of 52. Bullock had been fighting a tumor in his throat since January.

Bullock played guitar behind Shaffer from the debut of Late Night With David Letterman in 1982 until 1984; rumor had it that he suffered from an attendance problem. He also played on Steely Dan's Gaucho, Paul Simon's One Trick Pony, Michael Franks' Skin Dive, Barbra Streisand's A Star Is Born, and a whole slew of jazz albums.

Here's Hiram on how he decided to play guitar:

I played bass in my high school rock band (like a million other teenage boys). One day our guitarist, who was slightly older and looked like Eric Clapton, passed out while in the middle of the solo on "Mississippi Queen" (he said later that he was "tired"). Immediately, ten girls jumped up onto the stage, stroking, consoling, and otherwise "reviving him". At that precise moment I decided to switch to guitar.

You can find a lot more of that kind of stuff here.


Scraps said...

Aw, crap. He was a crucial part of two of my three favorite Carla Bley albums (Heavy Heart and Sextet), each of which I love from start to finish.

ben eunson said...

This is a great loss. Hiram was a special guitar player with an immediately recognizable sound of his own for whatever the type of music he played. His presence will be missed greatly.

Daily Whinger said...

I saw him playing last Saturday in Trencin, Slovakia at Pohoda Festival, supporting Richard Muller. It was his show, really, and audience loved him.

Shocking. He'll be sadly missed.

Mal said...

damn, a great talent and nice guy. he will be missed.