Bruce Hampton in 2008, Blacksburg, VA Photo: Roger Gupta
|Birth name||Gustav Berglund III|
|Born||April 30, 1947|
|Origin||Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
|Labels||Brato Ganibe, Capricorn, Columbia|
|Associated acts||Hampton Grease Band
Late Bronze Age
New Ice Age
Aquarium Rescue Unit
The Fiji Mariners
The Quark Alliance
The Pharaoh Gummitt
Bruce Hampton (born Gustav Valentine Berglund III, April 30, 1947) is a surrealist American musician. In the late 1960s he was a founding member of Atlanta, Georgia's avant-garde Hampton Grease Band. Adopting the moniker Colonel Bruce Hampton, Retired, and sometimes playing a sort of dwarf guitar called a "chazoid", he later formed several other bands, including The Late Bronze Age, The Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Fiji Mariners, The Codetalkers, The Quark Alliance and The Pharaoh Gummitt.
As a member of the Hampton Grease Band, Bruce Hampton helped record the 1971 album Music to Eat, said to have been the second-worst-selling album in Columbia Records history. The worst selling album was a yoga instructional record.
Hampton's band The Late Bronze Age consisted of Col. Hampton B. Coles, Ret. (Bruce Hampton) on vocals, slide guitar, mandolin, and chazoid; Ben "Pops" Thornton (Billy McPherson) on vocals, guitar, saxophones, and keyboards; Lincoln Metcalfe (Ricky Keller) on bass, guitar, brass, and vocals; and Bubba Phreon (Jerry Fields) on drums, percussion, trombone, and vocals.
Hampton helped start the 1990s seminal H.O.R.D.E. tours. The best known of his bands to play H.O.R.D.E. is the jazz-rock outfit Aquarium Rescue Unit which featured improvisational music all-stars Oteil Burbridge, Jimmy Herring, Rev. Jeff Mosier, Matt Mundy and Jeff Sipe.
In 1994, Hampton then formed the progressive rock/jazz duo Fiji Mariners and recorded two albums on Capricorn Records with Dan Matrazzo who simultaneously played keys, drums, and bass. Later, Ricky Fargo and Marcus Williams joined on drums.
Hampton was the voice of Warren, a talking potted shrubbery, in a 1998 episode (entitled "Warren") of the TV show Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Hampton played Morris, the songwriting band manager, in Billy Bob Thornton's 1996 film Sling Blade. He also starred in Mike Gordon's 2001 film Outside Out teaching guitar 'out'struction.
Grammy Award nominated blues singer and longtime friend Susan Tedeschi wrote a song about Bruce called "Hampmotized." It appears on her 2002 release Wait For Me. Hampton returned the favor with the song "Susan T".
"Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret." is a documentary about Hampton. It premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival in March 2012.
- 1971 - Music to Eat - Hampton Grease Band (Columbia Records)
- 1978 - One Ruined Life of a Bronze Tourist - Col. Bruce Hampton (Terminus Records)
- 1980 - Outside Looking Out - Col. Bruce Hampton and the Late Bronze Age (Terminus Records)
- 1982 - Isles of Langerhan - Col. Bruce Hampton and the Late Bronze Age (Terminus Records)
- 1987 - Arkansas - Col. Bruce Hampton (Terminus Records)
- 1992 - Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit - Col. Bruce Hampton and The Aquarium Rescue Unit (Capricorn Records)
- 1993 - Mirrors of Embarrassment - Col. Bruce Hampton and The Aquarium Rescue Unit (Capricorn Records)
- 1994 - Strange Voices: A History 1977-1987 - Col. Bruce Hampton (Landslide Records)
- 1996 - Fiji Mariners - Fiji Mariners featuring Col. Bruce Hampton (Volcano Records)
- 1998 - Live - Fiji Mariners featuring Col. Bruce Hampton (Volcano Records)
- 2000 - Bootleg Live! - The Codetalkers featuring Col. Bruce Hampton
- 2004 - Deluxe Edition - The Codetalkers featuring Col. Bruce Hampton (re-released in 2007 as Dee-lux Uh-dish-un)
- 2006 - Now - The Codetalkers
- 2007 - Give Thanks To Chank - Col. Bruce & The Quark Alliance (Brato Ganibe Records)
- 2008 - Songs Of The Solar Ping - Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret. (Brato Ganibe Records)
With various artists
- 1994 - The Best of Mountain Stage Live, Vol. 6 (Blue Plate Records)
- 1997 - Mucho Mojo: Best of Fat Possum (Capricorn Records)
- 2000 - Wintertime Blues: The Benefit Concert (Evil Teen Records)
- 2003 - Bonnaroo, Vol. 2 (Sanctuary Records)
- 2007 - The Benefit Concert, Volume 2 (Evil Teen Records)
As a guest musician
- 1967 - We're Only In It For The Money - Frank Zappa (Capitol Records)
- 1968 - Lumpy Gravy - Frank Zappa (Verve/Bizarre Records)
- 1979 - Skin Deep - Yeah - David Earle Johnson (David Earle Johnson Records)
- 1981 - Route Two - David Earle Johnson (Landslide Records)
- 1995 - The Best of CeDell Davis – CeDell Davis (Fat Possum Records)
- 2000 - The Flower & the Knife – Kevin Kinney (Capricorn Records)
- 2001 - Project Z - Project Z (Terminus Records)
- 2002 - Wait for me - Susan Tedeschi (Tone Cool Records)
- 2002 - Uninvisible – Medeski Martin & Wood (Blue Note Records)
- 2002 - Live in the Classic City – Widespread Panic (Sanctuary Records)
- 2003 - Inside In – Mike Gordon (Ropeadope Records)
- 2006 - Faces – Blueground Undergrass (Landslide Records)
- 2012 - Back To The Woods: A Tribute To The Pioneers Of Blues Piano - Chuck Leavell (Evergreen Arts \ Red)
- 2012 - Wood - Widespread Panic (Widespread Records)
- Col. Bruce Hampton on Allmusic
- Col. Bruce Hampton on JamBase
- Palmer, Robert. Outside Looking Out album review, New York Times, June 21, 1981
- Palmer, Robert. Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit album review, Rolling Stone, March 19, 1992
- Johnson, Rob. "Our Man in Zambiland", JamBands.com, November, 2000
- Rothman, Robin A. "Strange Bedfellows at Jammys", Rolling Stone, June 29, 2001
- Jarnow, Jesse. "Yes- And'ing From Here to Zambiland: A Surreal Conversation with Col. Bruce Hampton (ret.)", JamBands.com, August 20, 2001
- Rogulewski, Charley. "Beck, Dave Do Vegoose", Rolling Stone, October 31, 2005
- Freeman, Scott. "Col. Bruce to the Rescue", Creative Loafing Atlanta, January 31, 2007
- Metzger, John. Warren Haynes Presents The Benefit Concert, Volume One album review, The Music Box, June 2007