Pino Palladino

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Pino Palladino
Palladino performing with The Who in 2008
Palladino performing with The Who in 2008
Background information
Birth nameGiuseppe Henry Palladino
Born (1957-10-17) 17 October 1957 (age 65)
Cardiff, Wales
OriginFinchley, London, England
  • Bassist
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1974–present

Giuseppe Henry "Pino" Palladino (born 17 October 1957) is a Welsh musician, songwriter, and record producer. A prolific session bassist, he has played bass for acts such as The Who,[1] the John Mayer Trio, Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Jeff Beck and D'Angelo.[2]

Early life

The son of a Welsh mother and Italian father (from Campobasso),[3] Giuseppe Henry Palladino[4] was born in Cardiff on 17 October 1957. He attended a Catholic school. He began playing guitar at age 14 and bass guitar at 17. He bought his first fretless bass one year later, playing mostly R&B, funk and reggae with a rock and roll backbeat.[5]


Palladino was drawn to Motown and jazz at an early age, and took classical guitar lessons. He liked Led Zeppelin and Yes and started a rock band.[6]

In 1982, Palladino recorded with Gary Numan on the album I, Assassin. Following this, he was asked to contribute to Paul Young's debut album. Young's cover version of "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" by Marvin Gaye became a hit in Europe, and Palladino subsequently joined Young's band, the Royal family. He received offers to record with Joan Armatrading, Go West, and David Gilmour. He cites as early influences James Jamerson, Danny Thompson, and Norman Watt-Roy and also admires Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Michael Henderson, Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller, and Rocco Prestia.[7]

In 1988/89, Pino played on the Don Henley album The End of the Innocence playing on three tracks including the single "New York Minute".

In 1991, he joined The Law with Paul Rodgers, formerly of Bad Company, and drummer Kenney Jones, who succeeded Keith Moon in The Who after Moon died, and recorded the album The Law.

In the 1990s, Palladino alternated between fretless bass and fretted and 4-string and 6-string bass. He played with Melissa Etheridge, Richard Wright, Elton John, and Eric Clapton.

Left to right: Steve Jordan, John Mayer, and Pino Palladino

He played on Mike Lindup's first solo album, Changes, with Dominic Miller on guitar and Manu Katché on drums.[8]

In 1999, he began working with Richard Ashcroft of The Verve on Ashcroft's debut solo album, Alone With Everybody.[9]

After The Who's bassist John Entwistle died the night before the start of their first tour in two years, Palladino became the band's bass guitarist on tour. In 2006, he joined the remaining band members on their first album in twenty-four years, Endless Wire. He played with The Who at the Super Bowl XLIV half-time show in 2010 with Simon Townshend on guitar, Zak Starkey on drums, and John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards. In 2012, he toured with The Who on their Quadrophenia revival. He stopped touring with The Who in 2016, but is still occasionally involved in studio sessions, appearing on their 2019 album titled Who.

Palladino met Steve Jordan in the mid-1980s while both were working as session musicians, which blossomed into a friendship. Jordan credits Palladino's apparent ability to "feel" changes in music, through melodies, basslines, and an embrace of genres of nearly every kind. According to Jordan, he had planned to meet up with John Mayer and Willie Weeks in January 2005 to perform Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope for victims of the tsunami that struck southeast Asia. Weeks was unable to make the performance, and Jordan suggested Palladino, who had heard some of Mayer's work and was willing to come. Beginning a set that included the Jimi Hendrix song "Bold as Love", the three found a chemistry together. They recorded an album and toured as a trio.[10]

At the Amarone in Jazz festival, San Pietro in Cariano, Italy, September 2008

They released the album Try!, on 22 November 2005. The eleven-track live album includes cover versions of "Wait Until Tomorrow" by Jimi Hendrix and "I Got a Woman" by Ray Charles, two songs from Mayer's album Heavier Things, and new songs by Mayer. In addition, Mayer, Palladino, and Jordan are credited as songwriters on three songs: "Good Love Is on the Way", "Vultures", and "Try!".[11] Palladino appeared on Mayer's third album Continuum, fourth album Battle Studies and seventh album The Search for Everything.

In March and April 2006, Palladino toured with Jeff Beck and played with J. J. Cale, and Eric Clapton on their 2006 album The Road to Escondido. In 2009, he formed a trio with keyboardist Philippe Saisse and Simon Phillips.

He played with Simon and Garfunkel on their Old Friends reunion tour.[10]

In January 2011, he entered the studio with D'Angelo to finish recording Black Messiah.[12]

In 2013, he played on the Nine Inch Nails album Hesitation Marks and was a member of the touring band. Additionally, he co-produced José James' album No Beginning No End (2013).[13]

Technique and equipment

Palladino is noted for his use of the fretless bass on many albums. While it was typical for a bass in a commercial track to have a rather generic sound and stay "playing the low notes", Palladino preferred a different sound, combining fretless tone with an octaver effect, and basslines that frequently added chords, lead lines, and counter-melodies in the higher range of the instrument. Typical of this style was his playing on Paul Young's "Wherever I Lay My Hat". His equipment at that time included a fretless 1979 Music Man StingRay Bass and Boss octave pedal (OC-2).

From the 1990s onward, Palladino has leaned mainly towards a Fender Precision Bass. He used his 1963 Sunburst Fender Precision on Voodoo, using heavy gauge LaBella strings (tuned down to DGCF), a foam mute, and an Ampeg B-15 amplifier. He has also played Fender Jaguar Bass, Lakland Jazz Bass, and Larry Graham Signature JJ-4B Bass.

The Fender Pino Palladino Signature Precision Bass is modeled after two of Pino's Fender Precision Basses. The body features faded fiesta red paint over desert sand paint, based on Palladino's 1961 Precision Bass, while the neck shape and round-lam rosewood fretboard are based on his 1963 sunburst Precision Bass.[14]

Personal life

In 1992, Pino married Marilyn "Maz" Roberts, a member of Paul Young's vocal group, the Fabulous Wealthy Tarts. They have three children: Fabiana, Giancarla, and Rocco, who are all involved in the music industry.[15]


With David Knopfler

With Don Henley

With Go West

With Elton John

With John Mayer

With Jeff Beck

With D'Angelo

With The Gaddabouts

With The Who

With Paul Young

With Eric Clapton

With Ed Sheeran

With others


  1. ^ "Review: At 50, The Who brings it full circle".
  2. ^ "Pino Palladino, pop's greatest bassist: 'I felt like a performing monkey!'". The Guardian. 6 April 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  3. ^ Williams, Brendon (6 July 2002). "When Jools Holland came to lunch we knew our Pino was star". The Free Library/The Mirror. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Songwriter/Composer: PALLADINO GIUSEPPE HENRY". Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Artist: Pino Palladino". Epifani Custom Sound. 2005–2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  6. ^ Jisi, Chris. Brave New Bass. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 163. ISBN 978-1-61774-506-5. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  7. ^ Jisi, Chris (1 July 2008). Bass Player Presents The Fretless Bass. Backbeat Books. pp. 22–. ISBN 978-1-61713-377-0. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 8 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Sturges, Fiona (30 December 1999). "Why the sun is rising in the west". The Independent. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  10. ^ a b Jisi, Chris (2006). "The Master Stylist". Bass Player Magazine Online Edition. New Bay Media, LLC. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
  11. ^ AMG Artist ID: P 112030 (2009). "Allmusic: Pino Palladino". Allmusic discography. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
  12. ^ "Russell Elevado homepage". Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  13. ^ "AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  14. ^ "1963 sunburst Precision Bass". Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  15. ^ Williams, Brendon (6 July 2002). "When Jools Holland came to lunch we knew our Pino was star". The Free Library/The Mirror. Retrieved 12 November 2017.

External links