In Loving Memory of Dee Murray

Dee with bass, 1982

Dee, in my opinion, was the ULTIMATE bass player. He could play melodic lines as well as be a rockin' part of the rhythm section. You could always tell that he was feeling the music, and that he loved it and wanted to give everything he had to it.
I have never heard any recorded or live performance by him that sounded "phoned-in". I mean no disrespect to any of the talented bassists who have played with Elton John since Dee's departure from the band, but I have never heard anyone come close to what Dee did with Elton's songs. Perhaps this is merely due to the quality of the songwriting (I don't think that Elton and Bernie have maintained the calibre of their "classic" period, but what artist has?), or the production. But I like to believe that it has something to do with the magic of the original band that Elton had the foresight to assemble around him. Dee took that magic and used it to create some of the most wonderful bass parts I have ever heard on any artist's recordings.

Think of the lines on "Blue Eyes", "High Flying Bird", "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding", "Amoreena",
"Spiteful Child"...the list goes on and on. And if you haven't had the good fortune to put on a set of headphones and hear
11-17-70, find someone with a vinyl copy and borrow it and give it a spin. It will blow you away.

Such is the legacy of Dee Murray that I cannot hear a tasty bass part
without thinking of him. Two songs that put me in mind of his playing style are "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses
and "Possession" by Sarah McLachlan. The lines devised for these songs just knock me out, as all of Dee's best work continues to do to this day. I never fail to be astonished by his inventiveness and melodicism.
The legacy he has left us on record cannot be denied.

[ Main Page]
[ Plastic Penny | Elton, Nigel & Dee, 1970 | Dee & Nigel, 1970 | Nigel, 1973 | Nigel, 1974 ]
[ Nigel, 1975 | Nigel, 1975 | Nigel & Dee, 1980 | Nigel, 1982 | Nigel, 1998 ]
[ Dee, 1974 | Dee, 1984 ]
[ Davey Johnstone | Davey, 1972 | Davey, 1972 | Davey, 1984 ]
[ Nigel's Music | Nigel's Session Discography | Nigel Links, & Others ]