Doug Wimbish

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Doug Wimbish
Doug Wimbish.jpg
Wimbish performing in Frankfort in October 30, 2006
Background information
Birth name Douglas Arthur Wimbish
Born (1956-09-22) September 22, 1956 (age 58)
Hartford, Connecticut
United States
Genres Hard rock, funk rock, alternative metal, hip hop
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, bass, guitar
Labels Sugarhill, Enja
Associated acts Jungle Funk, Living Colour, Little Axe, Tackhead, Billy Idol

Douglas Arthur "Doug" Wimbish (born September 22, 1956) is a bass player, primarily known for his studio work for the rap/hip hop label Sugarhill Records and his membership of the rock band Living Colour. He has played for a vast range of artists, including Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Billy Idol, George Clinton, Mark Stewart, Paula Cole, Bomb the Bass, Depeche Mode, Joe Satriani, Mos Def, Petteri Sariola and Tarja Turunen. Wimbish is considered to be a pioneer in hip hop bass playing and in the use of bass effects, alternate tunings and extended hand techniques.


Early career[edit]

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Wimbish started playing guitar at the age of 12 and switched to bass guitar at the age of 14. In 1979 he was hired together with guitarist Skip McDonald and drummer Keith LeBlanc to form the house rhythm section for Sugarhill Records. Although they did not play on the Sugar Hill Gang's famous song "Rapper's Delight" (the rhythm tracks for this song were played by the group Positive Force), they did play on many other popular song tracks, including "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, "White Lines" by Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, "New York City" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, and "Apache" by the Sugarhill Gang.

Wimbish with Living Colour, Vienna 1993
Wimbish with Little Axe (2009)

Together with McDonald and LeBlanc, Wimbish headed to London in 1984 and started working with producer Adrian Sherwood and formed the group Tackhead. Together with Tackhead and as a session bassist, Wimbish found himself in demand as a bass player for many artists and was considered as a permanent sideman for the Rolling Stones after the departure of bassist Bill Wyman in 1993, but lost the position to Darryl Jones. In the late 1980s Wimbish began crossing paths with vocalist Bernard Fowler, who collaborated with Tackhead and Little Axe. Both sang on records by the Rolling Stones, and Wimbish later played on the Stones' 1997 album Bridges to Babylon. Wimbish joined Living Colour in 1992 (he replaced Muzz Skillings, who left the band) to tour and record the album, Stain.

Living Colour disbanded in 1995, and Wimbish joined his old Sugar Hill Gang partners to play in Little Axe, an ambient-dub project initiated by Skip 'Little Axe' MacDonald.

After Living Colour disbanded, Wimbish went back to London to continue his career as a studio bassist. In 1999 he formed the drum and bass group Jungle Funk together with drummer Will Calhoun and percussionist/vocalist Vinx. Also in 1999, Wimbish solo album Trippy Notes for Bass was released. In 2000, Living Colour was re-formed and toured in the United States, South America and Europe. In 2001 and 2002 Wimbish recorded and played with rapper Mos Def in a band called BlackJack Johnson, which also featured members of P-Funk and Bad Brains in the lineup.

Wimbish also formed Head Fake, a drum and bass project with drummer Will Calhoun. They released a CD, In The Area. In 2005 they started recording new songs. The recording took place in Brussels, Belgium and was followed by an extensive European tour. The CD has never been released. A Head>>Fake DVD was released in 2008. It features a recording of a Head>>Fake concert in Prague.

In 2008 Wimbish, signed with Enja Records, and released his second solo album, CinemaSonics.

In 2009, Living Colour released and toured for the album "The Chair in the Doorway".

Wimbish was also featured on six Little Axe albums with Alan Glen on harmonica.


Bass Guitars[edit]

Wimbish has endorsed Spector Basses (Stuart Spector Design, LTD. of Saugerties, NY) since 1987 and is a Signature Artist for Spector with his own specialized Signature Spector Model. In addition to his Signature Model, Wimbish also uses the following Spector Basses in the studio and live:

  • 1987 Spector NS-2 – from which the specs for his Signature Edition were derived.
  • 1987 Spector NS-5 – Dark Blue Stain – now faded to a natural maple color
  • 1999 Spector NS-2JJ – Gloss White
  • 2006 Spector NS-6XL – Dark Blue
  • 2009 Spector NS-2 Doug Wimbish Signature Model
  • 2011 Spector Coda-5 – Candy Tangerine
  • Wimbish also owns an NS-Design electric double-bass/upright bass he has used in the studio and during live performances.
  • Wimbish has a large number of bass guitars and electric guitars by manufacturers other than Spector in his studio at NovaSound Studios in Hartford, CT.

Additional information regarding the Doug Wimbish Signature Edition bass guitars by Spector Basses can be found here:


Wimbish is a Trace Elliott Amplifier Endorsee and uses a variety of Trace Elliott amp and cab models for studio recordings and live performances.


This list includes Wimbish's on the floor and live rack.[1]

  • TC Electronic 2290 Digital Delay
  • TC Electronic Nova Delay
  • Sans Amp D1 Bass Driver
  • Sans Amp GT2
  • Sans Amp Vintage
  • Danelectro Daddy-O
  • Digitech Whammy Pedal
  • Dunlop Crybaby
  • Boss Bass Synth
  • Boss Flanger
  • Boss Digital reverb/delay
  • Boss DD3 Digital Delay
  • Boss FV50 Volume pedal
  • Boss TU12 Chrom. tuner
  • Voodoo Lab Proctavia
  • Voodoo Lab Micro Vibe
  • Voodoo Lab Analog Chorus
  • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power
  • D.O.D. Envelope Filter
  • Line 6 Delay
  • Digitech 2112 Delay unit
  • Digitech IPS33B pitch transposer
  • Yamaha REX50
  • Planet Phatt
  • Sennheiser Wireless Units
  • Line 6 distortion
  • Line 6 modulator
  • Digitech 256XL
  • Eventide Pitchfactor
  • Pigtronix Mothership
  • Pigtronix Envelope Phaser


Solo albums[edit]


Main article: Tackhead discography

Living Colour[edit]

With Little Axe[edit]

Main article: Little Axe

With Jungle Funk[edit]

Main article: Jungle Funk

With other artists[edit]



  1. ^ "Doug Wimbish's gear". Doug Wimbish. 

External links[edit]