That One Guy - Wakarusa Music Festival

2010 Artist Lineup

That One Guy

“The honey tastes sweeter when you anger the bees.” The Moon is Disgusting. For Berkeley, CA-based Mike Silverman, better known by his alter ego That 1 Guy, when it comes to making music, necessity is the mother of invention. A classically trained upright bassist who won several jazz scholarships and competitions, Mike became one of the most original and in-demand upright bass players in the 90’s progressive jazz scene. At the peak of his powers, Mike was developing and utilizing techniques that were previously thought impossible on the upright bass. Often getting hired as a one-man-rhythm-section, he would function as a bassist, drummer, and entire mini orchestra simultaneously. His resume included studio and live work with jazz tenor legend Dewey Redman and another one of his heroes, Buddy Collette (of Charles Mingus fame). Silverman’s selftaught percussive technique—banging the strings and the instrument’s body—led him to develop the Magic Pipe. Eventually frustrated by the inability to get all the sounds in his head from the upright bass, he built a system of electronically wired, steel plumbing, shaped somewhat like a harp, with a thick bass string wired from top to bottom and a hole that billows smoke during the climax of his live shows. Adding an electric cowboy boot plugged in and played like an African talking drum and an electrified musical handsaw, Silverman evolved into That 1 Guy, playing everything with his hands and feet while incorporating such disparate influences as Dr. Seuss, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, Rube Goldberg and Stanley Kubrick. He would never play a conventional bass in concert again. “The Magic Pipe basically employs the same principle as a gutbucket,” he says of the instrument’s origin. “That was the initial inspiration for creating it. It also resembles the diddley-bow, which was basically a metal cable attached to the side of the house, from the roof to the porch, and played by the original bluesman with a beer bottle like a slide guitar.”

Mulberry Mountain :: Ozark, Arkansas
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