Living Colour – Overview

Living Colour. Hailing from New York City, the band “Living Colour” forms in 1984. Their music is a mash-up of funk, hip hop, hard rock as well elements of metal for good measure. Busting into the music scene at the end of the 80s, like gangbusters ready to kick ass while taking names.

Mission accomplished! Because not only did they open the door for generations of up and coming bands like Rage Against The Machine, Sevendust, King’s X and many others with a touch of angst.  But, I think it’s the timing that also works for them.

With the release of “Vivid”, and the subjects they cover on it, people took notice and liked what they heard. Although the formula isn’t new, it appeals to many diverse groups of people. Currently the band consists of guitarist Vernon Reid, lead vocalist Corey Glover, drummer Will Calhoun and bassist Doug Wimbish. Replacing Skillings in 1992.

A Meeting With Mick Jagger

 Living Colour’s first major engagement came when Mick Jagger saw them performing at CBGB’s. So, he invites them to the studio for his forthcoming solo album. Jagger’s patronage continues as he produces two demos for the band, which secures them a contract with Epic Records. Their 1988 debut, “Vivid”, earns them early critical acclaim and rises to number 6 on the US charts. Their diversity also gives them opportunities by touring with the likes of Cheap Trick, Robert Palmer, Billy Bragg among others. 

Corey Glover – Taking the helm as Lead Singer

For Corey Glover, growing up in Brooklyn New York as the youngest of three kids. Musically, he embraces the music of what his family is listening to but also, what he hears on the radio and the streets of NYC. He states that “Bitches Brew” by Miles Davis is the one album that is a family favorite. That this album is a part of his soundtrack growing up along with Bill Withers “Live at Carnegie Hall”. From these two albums he goes on to say that Santana came shortly after and that he listens to Doo Wop, Dion & The Belmonts, and other styles of music that permeated his life.  After this came Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and then he heard Led Zeppelin, and he decides that he wants to do music.

He meets Vernon Reid and auditions for a band he’s forming. Although he doesn’t get the gig at first, needless to say things worked out. Also, he’s been on tour as the vocalist for the funk band “Galactic” and a had role in “Platoon”. In 2018 Glover teams up with guitarist George Lynch, drummer Chris Moore and bassist Pancho Tomaselli to form the rock group Ultraphonix. Later he joins the metal band “Disciples of Verity” as the singer releasing a new song called “The Lost Ones” this past June 2020.  

Guitarist Vernon Reid 

Honestly, Vernon Reid has made quite  name for himself before and beyond Living Colour. Not only as a guitarist and songwriter but also co-founding the “Black Rock Coalition” with journalist Greg Tate. Even more, He’s played live or on record with The Roots, Eye & I, Mick Jagger, Ambitious Lovers, Rollins Band, Spearhead, Public Enemy, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Tracy Chapman, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Don Byron, Defunkt, Santana, Bernie Worrell, MC 900 Ft. Jesus, B.B. King, Madeleine Peyroux, Meridiem, Jack Bruce, Terry Bozzio, Black Sugar Transmission, and DJ Spooky.  Like-wise, His influences include Miles Davis, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Fripp, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Eddie Hazel, John McLaughlin, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, and Dr. Know. And he attended Berklee College of Music.

Muzz Skillings – Bass Player

Not only is he the original bass player for Living Colour, but, he’s also a singer, guitarist and a songwriter.  Although he left in 1992 due to musical differences and to evolve musically as well. Since then, he’s worked on different projects and leads the band “Medicine Stick” playing guitar, lead vocals and as the main songwriter. His use of melodic, complex and moving bass lines during his time with Living Colour left him with high acclaim from musicians worldwide. Like Corey, he’s done acting as well and acts in the movies “Say Anything”, “The Proposal” and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (2007).

Doug Wimbish – Bass Player

A highly respected and sought-after master of his instrument, Doug records and performs with a diverse roster of talent. Whether it’s with Sugarhill Records, to his pioneering work in TackHead and in Living Colour, Doug is best described as a musical virtuoso. His repertoire reads like a whose who of Rock, Pop and Hip-Hop; The Rolling Stones, Mos Def, Depeche Mode, Madonna, and Jeff Beck, to name a few. Receiving a guitar from his parents at age twelve, Doug grew up to the sounds of the 60s and 70s and found inspiration from the sounds of Miles Davis, George Clinton, and Sly & the Family Stone. At 16, Doug decides to study music theory at the Hartford Conservatory and soon discovers his passion is the bass.

The Band & Beyond

Despite the success they have, they decide to disband in 1995. Only to reunite the band in the summer 2001 for a tour, before entering the studio to record a new album for Sanctuary Records. The highly experimental Collideøscope  releasing in late 2003. Lastly, they’re still working on projects and touring.

Be sure, to check out the other blog posts: https://jbonamassa.com/category/blog

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