R.I.P. Louis “Thunderthumbs” Johnson


Whenever there is a death in the arts, my heart hangs low. Recently it was reported that Louis “Thunderthumbs” Johnson of The Brothers Johnson, (where he and his brother George put the funk in our faces), has gone to that great gig in the sky. He was one of the bass players of the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s that kept us wiggling and giggling in delightful reverie on dance floors and behind the wheels of our cars; on radio, 8-track players and cassettes and beyond. He will be sorely missed. I remember seeing his brother George in concert at Chicago’s Africa Festival maybe three summers ago, and wondering where Louis was. I figured he was off on another gig or something. The reason for his passing hasn’t been disclosed, but in the scheme of things how important is that when the loss of his talent is the issue. So here is a video of him teaching his method and approach to playing the bass. It runs nearly an hour so whether you play the instrument or not it is educational and enlightening to see Louis tutor and reveal to us how he made his thundering contribution to the soundtrack of the 70’s and 80’s.


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