First Rock "Lead Singer, Lead guitar, Rhythm guitar, drums" 4 man band?

How and where did it start?

Don’t know the answer to your question, but is there a single band in the history of rock music that doesn’t have a bass?

The Doors had no bassist.

So yes, there is a single band in the history of rock music with no bassist. :wink:

Lee Michaels, who performed with a drummer, not as a solo artist.

Somewhere I read that Buddy Holly and the Crickets were the first.

Oops, sorry, I misread the OP. I thought it was asking for 2 guitars, bass and drum.

The original incarnation of Traffic had no bassist and produced four albums without one.

There was also Billy Joel’s first group, Attila (no one said they had to be good music :slight_smile: ).

At least as early as Buddy Holly and the Crickets in 1956.

Holly, lead guitar and vocals
Niki Sullivan, guitar
Joe B. Mauldin, bass
Jerry Allison, drums

Well, like Roxy Music, the Doors never had a full time bass player as a member of the band… but Roxy Music usually hired a session man to make their records, and a capable-but-unemployed bassist (John Wetton, for one) to tour with them.

The Doors had session men play bass guitar on their records, while Ray Manzarek usually played the bass part on his keyboards, during concerts.

Not completely true - Ray Manzarek played most of the bass lines on keyboards, but Doug Lubahn (of the band Clear Light) played bass on some studio sessions. Most likely to free Ray to do even more creative playing.

AFAIK, ZZ Top doesn’t have a bass player.

Sorry, Dusty Hill has been their bass player since the late 60’s. And IMO, a very underrated player at that.

Dusty Hill

ZZ Top have always been a three piece, and Dusty Hill has been the bassist since day one.

I’m sure Dusty Hill will be surprised to hear that.

Moving on…

400 Blows has never had a bass player.

CRAP. I apologize to all ZZ Top fans AND Dusty Hill. :smack:

On the Doors first album, Larry Knechtel overdubbed Ray’s bass lines on four or five of the songs, because Ray’s bass keyboard sounded adequate in concert but not for studio recordings.

Strange Days: Doug played bass, presumably for the same reason, and possibly (in my opinion) because Ray’s bass lines were never especially interesting. Okay live, but too rudimentary for records.

Waiting For The Sun, The Soft Parade: Several bassists, including DL.

Morrison Hotel: If I remember correctly, two bassists, neither of them Doug.

LA Woman: Jerry Scheff on bass.

Bonus Trivia: The Doors performed live with a bass player at least once.
December 1968, Inglewood Forum (L.A.) They had strings, horns, and a bass player on stage with them for four songs from the not-yet-released Soft Parade album. I can’t remember who the bassist was, only that his bass was bright red. I think I remember him staying on for a couple of songs after the strings and horns were gone, but my memory is vague- I was cursed with a crippling headache that night. But I do remember that red bass, and the concert overall; of the four times I saw The Doors (with Jim) it was by far the best show.

Roxy Music did have a full band member playing bass on their first album (Graham Simpson). Interestingly, in subsequent years (at least prior to their late '70s hiatus) they usually included whoever their current temp bassist happened to be in their publicity photos.

Probably NYC-based Harvey Brooks, who had just played on the Soft Parade sessions, which would account for his being in Los Angeles. Brooks definitely played bass on the Doors’ next gig (at Madison Square Garden a month later), which was also augmented by strings and horns.

I’ve always wondered if there had been another one. Thanks!


The Cramps didn’t have a bass player in the early days.

Just to balance the ‘no bass player’ hijack, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin has 2 bass players! Take THAT Attila