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Stuart Hamm

Bassist Stuart Hamm made a name for himself largely due to his work in the ‘80s, when he accompanied two of hard rock's leading guitarists, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Born in 1960 and raised in Indiana, Hamm was born into an extremely musically gifted family (his father is a musicologist and has penned music textbooks, his mother was an opera singer/teacher, and his brother taught Classical Northern Indian Music). After relocating to Virginia as a teenager, Hamm picked up the bass, and began studying the complex stylings of such fusion bands as Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra (as well as prog rockers like Yes), and playing in his school jazz band. When he was 18, Hamm enrolled in Boston's famous Berklee College of Music, during which time he was surrounded by an impressive list of soon-to-be renowned musicians (Vai, Steve Smith, Randy Coven, Victor Bailey, Jeff Berlin, etc.). Hamm and Vai formed a strong bond, which would result in the bassist following Vai (who by this time was playing with Frank Zappa, and later, David Lee Roth) out to California during the early ‘80s, where he supplied bass on Vai's solo debut, Flex-Able.

It was through this association that Hamm would meet Joe Satriani, Vai's old friend/guitar teacher. Satriani's profile soared due to such landmark all-instrumental albums as 1986's Not of This Earth and 1987's Surfing with the Alien; Hamm signed on as Satriani's guitarist, and also played on such subsequent releases as 1988's Dreaming #11 and 1989's Flying in a Blue Dream. It was during this period that Hamm's bass talents began to be recognized by guitar publications worldwide, and even resulted in a trio of technically accomplished, yet commercially ignored, solo releases, 1988's Radio Free Albemuth, 1989's Kings of Sleep, and 1991's The Urge (Hamm also reunited with his old pal Vai, for another landmark guitar release, 1990's Passion and Warfare). Like most guitar heroes during this period, a certain instrument brand became associated with Hamm, the futuristic-looking Kubicki X Factor.

Despite all the success and accolades, it appeared as though Hamm had fallen off the face of the earth for a stretch during the ‘90s, but he returned in full force later in the decade, as he founded a chops-heavy trio, GHS (comprised of guitarist Frank Gambale, Hamm, and drummer Steve Smith), and issued the albums Show Me What You Can Do (1998), Light Beyond (2000), and GHS 3 (2002). Hamm also found the time to issue his first solo release in nine years, 2000's Outbound, and tour/record once more alongside Satriani (1997's G3: Live in Concert, 1998's Crystal Planet, and 2001's Live in San Francisco). Hamm has also guested on variety of other artists' recordings over the years, Richie Kotzen, Adrian Legg, Michael Schenker, Steve Fister, James Murphy, etc., and has also played on several tribute albums, including Peter Green (Peter Green Songbook), Queen (Stone Cold Crazy), Ozzy Osbourne (Bat Head Soup), Rush (Working Man), Aerosmith (Not the Same Old Song and Dance), and Alice Cooper (Humanary Stew). ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

STUUUUUUUUUU !!! Legendary My Friend
Lucky to have met him and gotten lessons from him just before surfing with the alien was coming out. He truly thought Joe was gonna go broke paying him and Jonathan Mover(drums) to go out on the road for an instrumental album. Was awesome to see album go through the roof and crowds go crazy for Stu when he got his solo spot. Incredibly nice guy.
Always wanted to hear a Billy Sheehan / Stu Hamm album.
Long live stu and joe!
thunder, Thunder, THUNDER
This is some kickin music. :) and he shares my last name..
i love stu! he is great!
Simply Amazing....
I've never heard another bass player like him! He can do things on a bass that I can only DREAM of on a guitar!! I can pick his chops out of crowd in a second. Unbelievable !
He's got the touch! Sweet.. very sweet...
patmcdono
STU! STU! STU !STU! STU! STU!STU!...W i t h o u t a doubt, one of the best to ever to ever touch the bass!!!!
wferneza
stu and satch early 90s changed everything about music
best bass player I've ever seen. saw him at the roxy in tucson, early 80's when Satriani still had hair. this dude can outplay most guitar players for pure hand technique and choice of notes, honest to john barleycorn.
jymandshanno n
Thumb of steel!!!! Billy Sheehan kix a**, too!!!
never knew that he was satch's bassist for not of this earth and flying in a blue dream! wow! it figures though...
Had the chance to open up for him in Daytona years ago. I felt like using my bass as a coffee table afterwards. I mean, why bother....he was that good. Very nice guy.
"Infamous Berklee College of Music"? Does the author really think poorly of the school that they note produced "impressive. . . m u s i c i a n s " or did they just watch The Three Amigos one too many times?
whoa,eric johnson is doin his thing in this track....rip it up stu.....
14739578
he is good I give you that
What an amazing bass player! love his stuff!
Whoa is right. I love him.
whoa
They Stu him because they love him!!
THE BEST BASS PLAYER I HAVE EVER HEARD AND SEEN LIVE!
GHS,,simply awesome 3 discs you MUST have in your collection and I hate that word awesome, but it's appropo....
sbelz56
Screw that person. Figuratively . Is it a place where people go in one and come out another way?
I don't have a comment about the artist, but I'm wondering why the writer would refer to Berklee as 'infamous'. That's just silly. If you could hear my faux gay accent as I typed That's just silly, you would understand just how serious I am about this. What might the author have to say for himself?
Got Radio Free Albemuth and Kings of Sleep when they came out . Since then Stu has been one of my favorite bass players. His classical solo pieces are amazing!
Seen him play with satch in NYC last year. Very fun stage presence. Excellent bassist. It was a riot to here everyone yelling out STUUUUUUUUU in a way it sounded like BOOOOOOO. played a Led Zep bass solo song that was just so cool
He played with Joe Satriani on his 08 tour, and I was lucky enough to see them live. Stu has some serious skills.
Thanks, Pandora. I didn't know about him. Sounds great!
good bass players are few and far between...th i s is one of them
A bassist who is good! I didn't think there were too many of those in Rock Music! I'm glad to be mistaken!
No mention of the "Bx3" tour with Jeff Berlin & Billy Sheehan? Way to do your homework Pandora.
is this English class?
Z1+: FOR FUTURE REFERENCE, TRY SHOULD'VE INSTEAD OF SHOULD OF, WASTE INSTEAD OF WAIST, AND OCTAVE INSTEAD OF OCTIVE. GO BACK AND SMACK YOUR TEACHERS.
Wow this guy rules
He is what I strive to be as a bass player.
fatherthing
"Remember" is gorgeous...
ya i agree. as a bassist i believe that was a waste of talent. it's not that we're dependent(we l l some of us are...) but most of the time we're not given the freedom.
sundogmtn
i went to high high school with him

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