Jump to content

Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Who were your Primary Influences?


Recommended Posts

The artists that inspired you to decide... "I must play Piano/Organ/Synths!"


For me...


Ray Manzarek (The Doors)

Jon Lord (Deep Purple)

Mark Stein (Vanilla Fudge)

Peter Robinson (Quatermass)

David Cohen (Country Joe and the Fish)

Keith Emerson (The Nice)

Hugh Banton (Van der Graaf Generator)


'55 and '59 B3's; Leslies 147, 122, 21H; MODX 7+; NUMA Piano X 88; Motif XS7; Mellotrons M300 and M400; Wurlitzer 200; Gibson G101; Vox Continental; Mojo 61; Launchkey 88 Mk III; Korg Module

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 87
  • Created
  • Last Reply
I guess I should add Ian McDonald from King Crimson and Michael Pinder from The Moody Blues... Mellotron kings!

'55 and '59 B3's; Leslies 147, 122, 21H; MODX 7+; NUMA Piano X 88; Motif XS7; Mellotrons M300 and M400; Wurlitzer 200; Gibson G101; Vox Continental; Mojo 61; Launchkey 88 Mk III; Korg Module

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No particular artist inspired me in the first place. I was always drawn to the sound and feel of the piano... and later synths. When I played a synth for the first time --I believe it was a Korg Polysix or MonoPoly--it was like a giant switch flipped in my brain. Overwhelming.


But in terms of "artist influence" beyond that...


Tony Banks & Thomas Dolby... their compositions and the textures they created and used... just the best.


I also found myself adopting a lot of Bruce Hornsby's voicings in my own playing.



I make software noises.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My primary influence(to get me off "drugs", the term I gave to my addiction to electronic music, hence the name "tucktronix") was Keith Emerson. Later, it became Dr John, Charles Brown, George Duke and Jeff Lorber to Jimmy Smith.

Kronos 88 Platinum, Casio PX-5S, Subsequent 37, Korg CX3, Nord Electro 5D 73, QSC K8.2, Lester K


Me & The Boyz

Chris Beard Band

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I was a kid I won a copy of an LP from my local radio station called "ZOOT MONEY'S BIG ROLL BAND - LIVE AT KLOOK'S KLEEK".


Anyway Zoot Money played some sort of Hammond spinet in an english rhythm and blues band that also included Andy Summers, later of the Police.


The tune I heard was "Chauffeur" and Zoot took a couple choruses on Hammond that to this day for me are very memorable. He was also a hell of a singer.


This was one of the first examples I had ever heard of someone taking extended Hammond solos in a rock band type setting.


Zoot is fairly well known to those who know the history of british blues. Check out " Chauffeur" by Zoot Money's Big Roll Band on Youtube - it's still there , I think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Billy Joel, and Rick Wakeman.

A couple of years later, hearing both Benmont Tench and Tom Howard made it a 'done deal' for me...

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.


We need a barfing cat emoticon!








Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I switched from classical music to rock in the 60's, all the action was for organ, not piano. I soaked up everything I had to make this transition, and didn't return to piano for years.


mid 60's - English invasion combo organ guys - Animals, Dick Clark Five, etc. plus American garage bands - Seeds, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Blues Magoos, Them.


1967 - joined my first band - Ray Manzarek (Doors), Doug Ingle (Iron Butterfly)


By 1969, Hammond had replaced combo organs. The king is dead, long live the king.


Gregg Rolie

Mark Stein

Jon Lord

Rod Argent


1971 - Emerson, Tony Kaye, Vincent Crane. I hear Jimmy Smith for the first time. OMG!


After that, the biggest later influence was Brian Auger.



"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emerson, Wakeman, Tony Banks, Tomita, Walter Carlos, Thomas Dolby.


It's not that I think any less of Thomas Dolby, it's just that I had already decided to play these instruments before he showed up. :)


When Dolby showed up was around the time I started buying synths. Not coincidentally, it was around the time that midi raised it's ugly head. :thu: I always liked the keyboard work of the prog guys but had little interest in learning keys (since I played violin seriously and bass guitar quasi-seriously). When I saw what midi could do, I was hooked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

aka the Old Farts thread. :D


KC in the year 2040:


"Well, I really liked the stylings of Justin Beiber's keyboardist. And the keyboardist on that Kardashian song is really good. And that midi on that one song with the pudgy Korean kid was good".


Fortunately most of us will be dead. :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trick question.primary meaning our initial influences, or as we assimilate knowledge, music and discretion, our MAIN influences?

Initial influences:

Elton John, Tony Banks, Paul McCartney (bass), John Paul Jones (keys and bass), Rush, ELP, and Queen.

Primary (now):

Petty/Tench, Jimmy Page/JohnPaulJones, Rush, Allman Bros, Greg Rolie and Chester Thompson, Jon Lord.


To be honest though, at this point, I absorb everything.whether its spit back out as recognizable or influential is questionable.


Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quickly come to mind: The Commodores, E.L.O., ELP, Abba (really, though), Champion Jack Dupree (Digital piano), all kinds of hits from Disco bass to JMJ, great piano tracks on 60s hits (like Jim Reeves, Elvis, etc.). Bach and Moog, and as a student I think the 80s music inspired me to think about productions with synths.


Theo V.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brian Auger, Nicky Hopkins, Dr John, Chuck Levell, Stevie Winwood, George Duke, Richard Tee, Joe Sample, Dave Brubeck, Bob James to name a few. M




Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho




Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I started at the relatively late age of 13, I was inspired by the sounds I was hearing as much as any actual playing- Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, as well as more "current" synth pop of the time like The Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode.


This would be late '80s. All this electronica was tempered by a love for Queen, and the distinctively percussive piano style of Freddie Mercury (think Killer Queen).


My taste broadened as I got a bit older (and I actually began to have a bit of playing ability beyond holding down block chords :blush:)- Jon Lord was one of the first true inspirations. One of my first breaks was being invited to an audition when I was 17 due to guys overhearing me play the signature riff for Purple's "Burn" on an Ensoniq EPS16 in a music store (the tone of which sounded godly to my naive ears at the time).


I had virtually no formal instruction but a lot of passion!


Finding guys like Wakeman, Tony Kaye, Patrick Moraz, Tony Banks, Jan Hammer, really opened my eyes to the possibilities for a keys player back then in my late teens. Shame at that time prog was (in the UK at least) a dirty word. I wouldn't have liked those guys were it not for the music they helped create- it certainly wasn't just their chops that attracted me.

The grinding sound of Tony Kaye's Hammond on "Yours Is No Disgrace" just before the vocals kicked in ruined me for life.. :cool:


Oddly, I simultaneously developed a liking for Industrial and Trent Reznor's warped sonics....may have been the clubs I frequented at the time.



Keith Jarrett- it may be a cliche but hell, he took me places.

Olivier Messiaen (otherworldly).

Kate Bush (sound worlds).

Hugh Banton.

Keith Emerson.

Eddie Jobson.

Debussy (La Cathedrale Engloutie still gives me chills).

And I have a huge respect for guys like Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Peterson, and loads of others who I have probably forgotten, and should listen to more than I do (which is intermittently).

Recently hearing guys like Lonnie Smith has blown me away all over again.


I'm a mixed bag of prog/rock, electronica, classical- and I like it that way!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kristian Zimermann on Brahms first piano concerto with Bernstein, for piano. Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, Jarett, for jazz piano. John Lord for organ. Definitely John Medeski for everything (but this came later on).
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeez so many. The top ones in jazz are--Kenny Barron, Jarrett, Bill Evans, Herbie (Blue Note era from the '60s), Hank Jones, Monk, Chick (non-electric), Miles, Shorter, Horace Silver, Bird, Bud Powell, Wynton Kelly, Sonny Clark, Clare Fischer. That's just for starters... ;)


In the Classical world just speaking of composers---Scarlatti, Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Bartok, Poulenc, Mompou. To name a few.


Basically anything I hear that I like, I consider an influence.. :cool:


2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515





Link to comment
Share on other sites

My top four are Ray Charles, James Booker, Kenny Kirkland and Bruce Hornsby.


Honorable mention to Dr. John, Billy Preston, Henry Butler, Richard Tee, Oscar Peterson and Professor Longhair.


I'm with you on your list. I would add Otis Spann, Floyd Cramer, Katie Webster, and of course Mr. Smith.


When I was living in N.O. from '82 to '89, I caught a few James Booker shows at the Mapleleaf Bar in 1983 just before he died. He was a monster at N.O. R&B piano, perhaps IMHO as good or even better than Prof. Longhair.


Unfortunately, the Prof. died a couple of years before I moved to N.O. in 1982, so I never got to see him on his home turf.

Gigs: Nord 5D 73, Kurzwel SP4-7, Hammond SK1, Yamaha MX88 & P121, Numa Compact 2x, Casio CGP700, QSC K12, Yamaha DBR10, JBL515xt(2). Alto TS310(2)



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...