Story and Horse

Creativity Under Duress with Funkboy Ivan Bodley

July 16, 2022 Season 1 Episode 38
Story and Horse
Creativity Under Duress with Funkboy Ivan Bodley
Show Notes Transcript

Creativity Under Duress with Funkboy Ivan Bodley

Professional bass player Ivan Bodley was hooked on the bass for life after hearing Rick James play on song on TV - he heard that funky, deep bassline and he knew that his instrument had found him. Join us as Ivan talks about his early influences, plays some basslines, and tells us about subbing in on Broadway shows and his creative process. He works best under duress and creates deadlines for himself! Ivan's also an author of the book Am I Famous Yet? Memoir of a Working Class Rockstar. We wrap up the episode listening to the bassline for The Meters' CC Strut.  

Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley's Bio:
Ivan “Funkboy” Bodley performed with 50 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and in 12 Broadway shows. Music director for Sam Moore, Martha & the Vandellas, Shirelles. Blues Hall of Fame inductee.

Performances: Sting, Elvis Costello, Temptations, Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Bo Diddley, Buster Poindexter, Paul Rodgers, Wynonna Judd, David Foster.

Appearances: Carnegie Hall (featured soloist), Broadway shows including Spider-Man, Rock of Ages, Hedwig & the Angry Inch, SpongeBob, Kinky Boots, Ain’t Too Proud, Kennedy Center, Obama Inaugural Ball, Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson, Today Show, Emeril, Imus, Charlie Rose, Regis & Kelly. Magna Cum Laude, Berklee graduate.

Connect with Ivan Bodley:
Website: www.funkboy.net
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/funkboy/
All Links: linktr.ee/funkboy
Am I Famous Yet? Memoir of a Working Class Rockstar

Host Hilary Adams is an award-winning theatre director, coach, equine-partnered facilitator, and founder of Story and Horse. She is all about supporting creative expression and sharing stories with the world.

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Intro:

Welcome to Story and Horse, a podcast where we hear stories from creative lives. Meet new people, hear about their challenges and triumphs, and get inspired to move forward with your creativity. Now, here's your host, Hilary Adams.

Hilary Adams:

Hi, thanks for joining me here on the Story and Horse Podcast. I'm Hilary Adams. I'm a coach, theater director and founder of Story and Horse where I work with creative people to remember, integrate and expand their creativity out into the world. I also offer options to work with horses as co-coaches. Here on the podcast we meet people live in creative lives, hear their stories and gather inspiration for earn creativeness. Today, we welcome Ivan Bodley Ivan is known as funk boy. He's a bass player and a music director to the stars. And he's now also an author. Hey, Ivan, thanks so much for joining me here today.

Ivan Bodley:

Thanks for having me. It's great to see you.

Hilary Adams:

Great to see you, too. So can you start off by introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about what you're up to?

Ivan Bodley:

Oh, my goodness, I can tell you way too much about myself. You know, it's a risk of being indelicate. My name is Ivan Bosley. Some people call me the Funk Boy, that's my nickname. I'm a professional bass player based in New York City. The top line of my little bio says that I have says correctly that I've played with 50 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have appeared in 13. Now Broadway shows and I'm a inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame. So beyond that, everything you ever wanted to know about being way too much is at my website, funk boy dotnet and will tell you way too much information. The resume section. There is way too long. It's unconscionably long,

Hilary Adams:

and you're an author now.

Ivan Bodley:

And did I mention that I didn't mention it. I'm an author. Now I just got my first book out called Am I Famous Yet? Memoir of a Working Class Rockstar, because that's what I do. I work for a living, I lift my own amps, I drive myself to the gig, you know, there's, I get to stand next to Rockstar sometimes and do some famous the type of stuff but I'm around their ilk, but not necessarily of their ilk.

Hilary Adams:

So how did you get started?

Ivan Bodley:

Oh, this goes way, way back, sort of somewhere around senior year in high school, I decided like maybe the bass guitar, maybe that's a thing. I don't know if it's a thing, but it's somehow it felt felt like I have a theory that you don't choose your instrument your instrument chooses to you. Because there are certain sort of like physical dimensions to an instrument. I'm six foot five, you know, so bass is a big, long, tall, interesting kind of instrument, but also the personality type that you have to have, you know, to be a lead singer, you need to stand at the front of the stage and go Oh, me, me, me, me, me, look at me, me, me, you know, right. And if you're a lead guitar player, you have to stand in front of the stage and flip your hair around, go Willie, Willie, Willie, look at me. And if you're the bass player, you have to stand at the back of that as you go these people man and you just have to like keep their, their worlds together in sounding good so that they can go out front and flip their hair around. So that's more of my personality type, I think. And then back in my day, back in the olden times, you know, we didn't have MTV and we didn't have YouTube and those things. So there were very few opportunities to see live music on television. I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, so there wasn't a whole lot of like, touring actually came through town. There were some we saw some but I remember seeing Rick James perform on the on the Midnight Special, which is like a concert music program like after midnight on Friday nights that was hosted by a DJ named Wolfman Jack. And I saw you know, Rick James on TV. I was like, he was playing bass. He was playing. I have my bass right here. He's playing a song called you and I and the song went. The same for note, baseline just went over and over again. And it was so funky and so deep in the pocket was so cool. And then a friend of mine at my high school had a bass guitar that I think maybe he built, but it only had two strings on it. Like he's like the two top strings were gone. So I was able to pick out this line by ear. And I thought to myself, I think maybe I could possibly do that. Like, that's a thing. playing bass is a thing. Like maybe I could do that. So it's sent me on a, you know, a lifelong pursuit, which brings us to this point, and here we are.

Hilary Adams:

Did you picked up any musical instruments before that?

Ivan Bodley:

dabbled? Literally dabbled, you know like, you know, piano for six months guitar for a week but yellow for an afternoon that kind of thing. And As much younger so like, it wasn't until Yeah, senior year of high school, that I finally the bass chose me and said, you know, maybe you need to check this out and see if this will work for you. Turns out it did.

Hilary Adams:

Yeah. And it turns out it really was from that you hearing that one? That one song really?

Ivan Bodley:

Yeah. I think I grew up listening to you know, my mother's record collection was very heavy in southern soul Motown stacks. She was a big fan, Gladys Knight, and the pips, Stevie Wonder. The first 45 I ever bought with my own money, when I was probably seven, eight years old was a Sly and the Family Stone if you want me to stay, which has this baseline so I just, I just heard bass, you know, like, growing up, I heard those records. And that's what, that's what appealed to me first was the baseline and the rhythm. Later on, I went back and listened to like, oh, there's somebody singing their lyrics and their melodies. And there's a, there's a message here, and that's great. But for me, that was a bonus. Like it was a, it was a really happening sort of groove song, bass driven. I'm in I was, and I was always that way, you know, even before I, I played any instruments.

Hilary Adams:

And when you talked about being on stage with the band, you said something very interesting about sort of holding it together. So those people at front can do their thing. A little bit like directing, I'm like, what, what is that?

Ivan Bodley:

Well, I do conduct bands. So I do music directs quite a bit. But the bass, the function of the bass, especially the bass guitar, is the bridge between the rhythm and the harmony. So I'm playing in concert with the drummer, usually the kick drum, so the kick drums going bom, bom, bom I'm playing. Right. But then as the chord changes are changing, you know, we play. Right, you got a one chord, the four chord and a five chord, so I'm playing the harmony in a rhythmic manner. So I'm kinda like, you know, the bases job is to kind of glue the whole procession together, if you will. And then again, you know, when I, especially when I'm backing singers, or a lot of the great solo artists I've worked for, you know, my job is to make them as comfortable as possible to so they can go out front and do their show, and not have to worry about me not have to worry about the band just just feel comfortable. So that's, that's my role in that kind of situation. And it's largely what the bass players job is, because we don't take a lot of solos and, you know, throughout a concert, and occasionally, you get a couple of bars here and there, but you know, it primarily not a soloist instrument. In traditional function, you know what I'm saying?

Hilary Adams:

When when you listen to the landscape of a piece of music, do you hear the baseline first and then sort of extend out into the rest of the geography?

Ivan Bodley:

Almost always narrow back down? No, I'm almost always I'm listening for the bass first. And again, that's part of the nature of what I do for a living. But also, I think I was always that way. I think that sort of like, the baseline from all those old Stax Records, you know, was the thing that and Motown especially, was the stuff that appealed to me more immediately. And then, and then, you know, everything else was just this wonderful window dressing like all the strings and horns and lyrics and singers and harmony, that's great. But why not? Check out the bass part, you know?

Hilary Adams:

So you told me before we started recording that you sort of backdoored your way into the Broadway world?

Ivan Bodley:

Yes. Yeah, I snuck in. I think I don't, I don't think it was invited in. Because I was not traditionally raised in with musical theater. And I did go to music school quite late in life. I didn't go to Berklee College of Music till I was like, 26, I think. So, you know, in terms of like, educational process, that's, that's an old man already, by the time you know, and I'd probably been playing already, maybe 10 years before I went there. But Berkeley is kind of a jazz based conservatory. So they were started, they started in the big band era. And they were, you know, the thing that they were teaching to people that were coming back from World War Two on the GI Bill where they were teaching them big man arranging. So that's how that school started. So the, the theory there, I think, at Berkeley was like, if you can play jazz, then you can possibly play anything else. Whereas down the street was New England Conservatory. And that was classical, you know, and that's so that's a lot of, I find a lot of musical theater people really have a classical background. And I don't have, you know, strictly classical background. I've certainly dabbled in I played with orchestras. I played at Carnegie Hall with an orchestra, you know, I've done that but that's not where I came from. So with the Broadway thing I was subbing in the house band at the bitter end on a Monday night during the jam, open up my jam session, house band, and a buddy of mine I just met him once before like a bass players get together. You know, he was sitting at the bar watching me backup all these singers and he said, you know, on a break he called me over He's like, Would you be interested in subbing for me on a show called Rock of Ages on Broadway, he was the holder of the chair. And he said, it's kind of like doing a hair metal 80s hair metal concert for 1000 people a night, you know, would you be interested in that? And I said, Yes, I would be interested in not knowing anything the show had just opened. It was, that was June of oh nine, I think you'd only been on stage for two months at that time. It ran five and a half years on Broadway. So I ended up you know, doing over 300 performances at Rock of Ages over the years, subbing for my great Paul Winston Roy, who changed my life. And then once you got into Midtown, you know, I'm meeting all these musicians I've been in. I've been a musician in New York for 20 years. And I'm meeting all these new people, like how do I not know any of you people? Because they do the theater stuff, you know? So once you're in Midtown, then you start meeting this one, and you start meeting that one. So then, you know, started subbing on Spider Man, and then Kinky Boots, and then Fun Home, and then Hedwig, you know, so like, I've done 13 shows, as a sub, I've never been a chair, home chair held the chair off Broadway at the Atlantic, but not not yet on Broadway. And it's been a great second income stream a totally different mindset on how to approach your instrument and how to perform with consistency, and accuracy. You know, like jazz musicians kind of will, you know, make mistakes, and then try to make the mistake their own, you know, and try to turn it into something and Broadway, as you know, like, they don't like mistakes, they want consistency, they want to sound exactly like you did the night before. And fair enough, because upstairs, you've got a triple threat actor, a singer dancer, they don't want to be going like what's the bass player doing? Why am I being distracted by this? You know, I'm trying to do my show, you know? So it's a it's a slightly, slightly and or completely different discipline of the same thing that I've been doing. And I really, I really like it, too.

Hilary Adams:

When you talk about your mindset, you give me a very specific example, just now of that. Is there any is there another example you give about? I guess, because I'm from Broadway world, I'm just curious, mindset wise, as when we talked about creativity, the boundaries, we put around creativity inspire creativity, and the Broadway boundaries, if you will, the scaffolding is quite different, as you were saying,

Ivan Bodley:

is there as well, as you know, being in the Broadway world, you know, the creative team creates the show someone's in rehearsal. And it's being orchestrated, and it's being arranged, you know, that's when the creation process happens. So once the show is up, and you know, they call it freezing, the show is frozen. That means that we've created a product that we are completely signed off on, like, this is going to be the show, we want the show to be consistent night after night. So if you know people come in from out of town, the tourists are paying a lot of money to see these shows, you know, we want it to be consistently entertaining night after night after night. So if you're in the rehearsal room, you know, as the show is being put up, then you have your opportunity to say, well, what if the baseline did something more like this? What if you know you can add a lot more of your personality. But when you're coming in as a sub, you know, what they want you to do is sound as much like the person you're subbing for as possible. They don't want your personality, they want that personality. And once those those baselines have been set, you know those even the fills, they want you to play the fills this quote unquote, improvisation or they'll turn around, they want those the same, you know, so once the book has been frozen, now you got to it's a completely different mindset. So now you can recreate this magic, with enthusiasm and energy night after night after night. You know, it's a different approach. It really is. It really is.

Hilary Adams:

Yeah, yeah. The actors go through the same thing I sure rehearsed in the suburbs on Broadway and right. It's exactly the same, like how do you make it your own but yet? Not really, not really, because you have to really the other person's version of this character, and in this case, the other person's version of this baseline

Ivan Bodley:

of this just right, that's right. Yeah, the same thing. I marvel at the people who swing for shows who can come on and understudy nine different roles. Like I can imagine the amount of prep that must go into something like that the mental facility that it takes to do that. I'm, I'm just in awe of the people. And there are people that do that professionally, and it's amazing, you know, yeah.

Hilary Adams:

Do you go in and listen ahead of time, like if you know, you're going to be subbing in?

Ivan Bodley:

Yeah, usually what happens is, you know, once you've been once you've been hired, so to speak, you know, or even sometimes before you've been hired, like they'll say, come check out the book and see which for you. Because, you know, if it's a lot of, I don't know, some style of playing that I'm not used to or something I might go like, yeah, if it's a lot. In other words, if it's a lot of bowing of the upright bass might not be my book because I didn't come from the classical background. I have that I can do it, but I'm not like that's not My my best parlor trick. So if a book is all that I'm being like, my number your, your person you know, so you get a sense of, you know, you'll sit in a chair, sort of, you know, usually just behind the person that you're about to sign up for, look over their shoulder and kind of, you know, peek at the music. And also, you'll be able to see the conductor or maybe the conductors, video camera or something like that. So you can kind of get a sense of what, you're what you're in for, you know, because once you've agreed, and they've agreed and said, All right, yes, I think it's for me, thank you for having me. And then they'll give you a copy of the sheet music, and usually a copy of recording of the conductor video, you know, or sometimes just an audio recording. And then they'll say, Call me when you're ready. And that will take, you know, minimum two weeks, usually it's more like three or four to really feel like you have the show in your in your, in your hands, you know, and then you get to come in. And when you do your first show, it's the most nerve wracking thing in the world, because you're not there's no rehearsal. You know, you're just you're doing a live performance in front of a paid fully paid audience. And you have to do it right the first time. And if you don't, you know, this conductor will kind of look at you go like, No, I don't think we're going to work together, we can't work together again, you know, and that, that makes your hourly rate of all the stuff the month worth of preparation you've done, you know, you're working for about $2 an hour for that first show. If you can be successful and get in there and sub over time, you know, your hourly rate goes up exponentially. But that first one is a real nerve wracking one.

Hilary Adams:

So you tell us a little bit about your book. And what inspired you to start writing was was writing new for you

Ivan Bodley:

You know, I've always written sort of back in the day I wrote for, you know, periodicals and high school and college and all that kind of stuff. And then some of that turned into a couple of freelance periodical writing record reviews kind of thing. But my first gig in the music business was as a publicist for Epic Records. So my job there was to get our artists into the newspaper on television, that kind of stuff, get them interviewed and stuff like that. So we had to write our own. No, we didn't have to some of that they were farming out, but I chose to write my own biographies and press releases and stuff like that. So I was writing professionally from a pretty young age. It was always part of what I did, or what I've kind of felt comfortable doing. I'll put it that way. And then sort of over the years, you just collect a bunch of road stories, things that happen. And what would happen to me is something goofy would happen at a soundcheck. And then between soundcheck and the show, there'd be a dinner break. And live musicians would be sitting backstage going, wasn't that goofy, that things just happen? And I would inevitably go, yeah, there was a goofy thing that happened once upon a time when we did such and such, you know, it's like was it was this band in this country, and this happened, and I'd have another story that it would it would remind me of, over and over again, like there was something more outrageous that had already happened. So the people that were listening to me tell these stories are going, were saying things like, you know, you should really write these down. There's, there's a lot of them. And you tell them well, you know, so about four years ago, I sat down and start to collect them start to write them down and wrote most of it out and got it got it mostly, mostly finished. And then two years ago, I don't know if you heard, but our entire industry shut down. So we didn't go anywhere for 15 months. So I'm sitting at home thinking like, Alright, how do we make lemonade out of these lemons? And one of the things I did to sort of stay creative during that time, was to get the book tightened up, finished, copy, edited, formatted, and finally put out so it's, it's, I probably would have got it done eventually. But that kind of accelerated the process, having had suddenly having the time to do it, you know, tell us the title again. Am I famous yet? memoir of a working class Rockstar?

Hilary Adams:

And obviously, that question is when we all ask, right in this world a lot, but why the title?

Ivan Bodley:

Excuse me? It's because I think it's sort of like it, it feels like that's the goal of so many performers. You know, we're trying to be quote unquote, famous. And somehow we think that that's going to be the answer to all of our, all of our questions. All the things that are wrong with us are going to be fixed the day that we're famous, suddenly, it's all going to be fine. Right? And I find that having been around some people who are legitimately very famous, I find that fame is a very tenuous thing. Like, you know, if you think back to somebody like, you know, the, just because I haven't had the facts and figures in my head back from my record company days, if you think of somebody like Janet Jackson, who back in those days when people used to sell records, would sell 10 million records. Which means in the United States alone there 320 million other people who don't know who you are and don't care. So, as famous as Janet Jackson is, my parents had never heard of her, you know what I mean? Like so? Yeah, okay. Some people are famous, but it doesn't mean that you're, you're Uber famous. And you know, until maybe you get to a Sinatra, Elvis or Michael Jackson level, you know, those, but that's a very rare breed of people. And what I found out was, like, you know, when I play Rock of Ages, the band was onstage in costume and makeup, so we're rocking for two and a half hours for the people. So when we would come out the stage door, occasionally, you know, there'd be people waiting by the stage where they want to take pictures or have their playbills autograph. So you're famous when you came out the stage door, and you were famous up until you turn the corner on Eighth Avenue. And then you were in right back into obscurity again, you know, your fame lashes half of a city block. So I that that's why it became sort of a something that I would think about, like am I famous yet? Only in July 8 Avenue.

Hilary Adams:

I love that somebody knows exactly of what you speak, and I know, exactly, are very well known. And they've said the same thing. You know, it's like a turn that corner, on Eighth and

Ivan Bodley:

done.

Hilary Adams:

They go down the subway right to ride home and it's over. It's over. You're just one of the masses

Ivan Bodley:

at that point over till tomorrow night and 705 When the curtain goes up.

Hilary Adams:

Oh, that's just magnificent. Yeah. So your creative process? Can you share a little bit about like, if you're sitting down, you haven't talked about composing or if you're composing, but right sit down to write or you sit down to practice, like, what's your creative process,

Ivan Bodley:

my creativity is usually under duress. Usually, I have to create something because I'm on a deadline. And very often, there's a deadline that I've created for myself, like me, I have a whole series of recordings and videos that are up on one of my YouTube channels, called music from the vaults. And this was a recording trio project that I was in, in, right here in Queens, as a matter of fact, a drummer buddy of mine, and a keyboard buddy of mine, both Berkeley guys, so we all kind of spoke the same language, we get together kind of every other Tuesday over the drummers house. And the idea was that I would bring in a composition, the keyboard player would bring in a composition and the drummer would occasionally bring in a composition, but he was mostly working on recording technology. So he was like, the recording engineer for this thing. So I had to have a song by Tuesday. So what we would come in, we would we, I would bring out my piece of paper, and we would play through the song once then we do a take, or maybe two, if we needed to do you know, sometimes you need a second take, then we would go across the street and have a sandwich. And we come back and do and do the keyboard player song. And we did this for on and off for four years, I think so I had like 75 tracks that are in the can now because of just you know, giving yourself this artificial deadline, I have to have a song by Tuesday, you know, and sometimes I wouldn't start till Monday night at 10pm. Like I need a song for tomorrow. And then you at that point, you're sort of like, look for any piece of inspiration. Like if you heard a rhythmic figure that you like, if you heard a song that you like to like, there's a voicing melodic idea, you know, anything to sort of, then build something upon, you know, and that's when you start using the music, school harmony theory stuff like alright, well, I'm gonna put this coordinate, coordinate coordinate, and then sing a melody and try to put it together and write it down on a piece of paper. But yeah, it's always it was always under duress.

Hilary Adams:

I love the fact you gave yourself like a self imposed or almost artificial deadline, in a way, but you also completely artificial. Yeah. From your friends, too. Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Ivan Bodley:

Well, I think we all three of us approached it the same way like it was the reason to do it was to give ourselves the deadline to make ourselves be motivated, because we started doing it in the winter. You know, in the freelance music game, you you do a lot more shows in the summer, there's more outdoor concerts, there's more weddings, funerals, and Bar Mitzvahs, and private party gigs and all that kind of stuff. So the winter things get pretty slow. So I remember sitting around with with these two guys, one winter going like, Man, I got nothing, you know, it's like, why don't we get together and do something. And that became that recording project for four years. And then PS most of those things I had recorded were in the can were not mixed and mastered and finalized until the pandemic hit. And suddenly, I had all this time on my hands. So I learned how to become a mixing engineer. And like remixed all the songs I was shooting, you know, my own sort of amateur Ambien videos for these things. I was becoming like a film editor and putting out all this content just to try to stay sane during all that downtime. and also doing numerous new music to that I was was creating but during the pandemic, we were having to do it all with file sharing. So like, I would record a part, email to the drummer, he recorded as part email back to me, you know, but because everybody was sitting home at that time, I was able to get like, you know, guitar players, percussionist, singers, horn players, all everybody wanted to play like, so I have some of these, some of the new recordings like have, you know, very large ensembles on them. Because people were available, you know, it was great. We're used to performing or composing or whatever we do, you know, so in the absence of being able to do that in public, you know, we created these other avenues to try to stay sane through it all. Yeah, I got was I was very productive.

Hilary Adams:

And you had a book that you did your book too. So

Ivan Bodley:

you know, the book, new recordings, old recordings, remixed, I started practicing my upright stuff with the Bose. So I tried to do more of that stuff. You know, I stayed very busy, didn't make any money. But you know,

Hilary Adams:

so I know you are full of story. You've got so many stories, do you creative themes story you could share with us,

Ivan Bodley:

it goes from like I was saying sort of like, you know, most of the creative output has been because of these artificially imposed self imposed deadlines. That said, you know, when I am just in the course of my general functioning as a working bass player, you know, I'm, even if I'm playing cover songs, you know, the songs that are very familiar, like, I, I find it a lifelong creative pursuit to try to perfect what I do. And to make it function more effectively. You know, it's kind of hard to describe, but it's just sort of like, you know, I had a friend of mine told me the other day, like we were, I was planning a wedding gig, and a wedding gig, you know, we'll start with Sinatra and end up with Beyonce. Like, he goes through this entire range of human emotions and styles of music. And this percussionist, my friend Javier was playing with the other day, he said, Manny, I've heard you play like 10 different styles of music authentically. And I was like, that's just like, the sweetest thing you could ever say to me. He's like, you know, he was saying, like, your note, the length of each note is correct. Because there's certain just styles of playing that, that, that lend itself to different sorts of pockets and things like, you know, we think about sort of the basic Motown feel. So there's, you know, it's a two note part. Everybody knows, everybody knows you're about to sing, you know, my girl, right? It's common, that's what's happening right now. So I've got this, there's some foam rubber, stuffed underneath the strings here down by the bridge, which dampens the strings like it, it changes the resonance of the guitar. And since the 60s, nobody's done that. Because why would you want to do that you want the note to ring as long as possible, you wanted this infinite sustain, that was what everybody was sort of going for. But on the old Motown bass, it used to be a chrome pickup cover that went over the bridge here. And on the other side of it, there was this foam rubber, that tried to make the electric bass, what they were trying to do was make it sound the bass guitar sound like the bass violin. So they wanted the notes to be shorter, to sort of mimic that, you know, but be a more portable version of that. So that kind of got lost when things turned into like heavy metal in the hood. You know? So, in in my travels and working with all these snacks and Motown artists, I'm trying to figure out how do we recreate that tone? That sound that sensibility, you know, and even even the first note is short. Like just having the, the microscopic kind of detail about what makes that groove sit the way that it does, what makes those notes sit the way that it does, I find that endlessly fascinating. And of course I would because I'm a bass player, but you know, that that's how I can be creative. Even playing a song that I played 1000s of times at 1000s of weddings, and I will play again this Saturday at the weddings that I'm playing, you know, it's just a staple, but I approach it every day. Oh, and then back to the Broadway situation. I got to sub in the pit of ain't too proud, the life and times of the temptations on Broadway. So I got to play that on Broadway, you know, again, like sort of culminating this whole lifelong journey into what makes everything function and all the Broadway experience and all the Motown experience like all sort of came together on the same day and that It was pretty exciting for me. I really dug that.

Hilary Adams:

It sounds like for you there is a form of story in, in the bass lines.

Ivan Bodley:

Yeah, I think so. I think so. You know, because I know the history of it. I know where it came from, you know, this instrument was invented in 1951 by Leo Fender, it's a relatively young instrument. You really think about the the violin, you know, you can buy a 300 year old Stradivarius, right? You can't get a you can't get a 70 year old Fender bass like they don't exist. They're not, you know, there's nothing older than that. And they really started moving into popular music and not really until the early 60s, late 50s, early 60s. So like, and the records that started to use the Fender bass most famously, are the stacks in the Motown Records, you know? So James Jamerson was the bass player at Motown, he was a jazz guy, an upright player. And he came to with all the jazz sensibility into the Motown studios and record these pop, soul r&b records, you know, with all of his jazz background and all of his upright playing. And it became like this, you know, he basically invented the vocabulary of the instrument. And the Beatles, quite famously, were in London listening to the Motown Records going, how is the bass that loud on the record? Like, how is that possible? What they didn't realize at the time was that the Motown engineers, everybody that worked at Motown, I think, was between the ages of 12 and 22. Like they were all very young people. And they had built themselves their own compressor, which is an electronic processing unit for the bass. Because in those days, if you think about a vinyl record, it's the bass was too loud, the record would skip it would make the needle jump off the record. So when the guys had Motown figured out that they could apply a broadcast compressor to the bass signal, to even out the peaks, suddenly, the bass could get much louder and became like, really prominent, these records, you know? Like, that's the guitar line from a girl. But you know, the bass lines became very prominent. So the Beatles heard this. And once they figured out at Abbey Road that they could add their own compressors. And suddenly Paul McCartney went from this sort of like, almost like Oompah one route and fifth skiffle player into like, being Paul McCartney. He was taking from the Motown stuff and creating the base vocabulary for rock and roll music. So like, I feel that history very deeply every time I pick up the instrument, I'm like, I feel like I'm standing on the shoulders of all these giants who, who came before me and revolutionize this stuff. So I like to have fun with it. I enjoy it.

Hilary Adams:

So what's next in the evolution of the instruments voice?

Ivan Bodley:

Oh, the evolution of the voice? I don't know. Because I'm, I'm almost going back for these regressive vintage tones. Like you know, I spent years when I first started playing the the idea was to get more sustain more brightness, more top end out of the bass, like more, you know, full fidelity, you know, almost stereophonic, you know, hifi sound out of the bass. And I went in that direction for a long time, you know, maybe 1015 years. And then I was like, Hey, wait a minute. Like I'm getting hired to play Stax, Motown, you know, those are the records that I'm getting hired to, to recreate. And all those records were cut on the Fender Precision Bass, this this very instrument right here, this style, you know. So I went back to the old thing, and now I'm like, Mr. Crusty, old sound, you know, I guess it's near traditional, or, you know, like recreating the sound of the 60s in the way that I approach things now. But at the same time, you know, I also have my my modern fusion funk compositions, even though I'm playing on this space, you know, I'm playing him with a very different jazz sensibility and extended harmonic, you know, language and all that kind of stuff, too. So, it's all a big whirlwind for me.

Hilary Adams:

So if people want to reach you and discover your music, and also reading your book, where can they find you and

Ivan Bodley:

I can be found I am easily Googleable. Everything you need is at funk boy.net Fu N kboy.net. Links to all the socials, links to the book, links to the YouTube everything is all there. And believe me, you know, there's too much stuff there. It will take you too long just to get to the photo gallery alone. It's an it's an embarrassingly long list of people that my humility should should make me want to edit out but what I found that the reason I leave it all up there, because invariably, what I find is people will go through my resume and they'll be looking at you know, dozens of names that they don't know. Then like, go like whoa, Have you played with buster? Poindexter? Like? Yeah, yeah, actually did you know but you never know like, which is the name that's gonna grab them, you know, to make them sort of think that you've done something important. I just leave them all on there. Like there's somewhere in there. There's one that you recognize and be like, Oh, wow, he played with so and so. Yeah, I did. Yeah.

Hilary Adams:

Yeah helps people contextualize.

Ivan Bodley:

Exactly. Exactly.

Hilary Adams:

Yeah. Um, before we wrap up, is there anything else you'd like to share or anyone music you'd like to share?

Ivan Bodley:

Music Alright, here's here's a piece is by The Meters from New Orleans Louisiana song called CC Strut that I'm going to be playing tomorrow night at a cocktail hour for the New York Music Month festival. And it goes up like this sounds better with a drummer. That's what I do. You know, that's who I am. That's what I do. That's the music that I love. And yeah,

Hilary Adams:

Ivan. Thank you so much for joining me what a joy.

Ivan Bodley:

My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Outro:

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