I first met Tim Scott, vocalist and bassist in 1981 in Seattle. He came highly recommended from two good friends, Tim Breen and Doug Gore for a small project I had at the old Jazz Alley. I have played trumpet for some of his endeavors off and on over the course of 30 years. His accomplishments are astounding to say the least. So here is Tim Scott.
Tim was born and raised in Seattle, Washington and now has returned to his native soil after many years in Los Angeles. He graduated from Roosevelt High School and immediately started his career as a professional musician. He also began 12 years of study with renowned Seattle voice teacher, the late George Peckham. Tim Scott, vocalist, bassist, songwriter, is a veteran professional of the music industry. His skilled and soulful voice as well as his deep funky bass notes have graced the stage with of some of the most notable names in the music business including: Tower of Power, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Billy Preston, Etta James and Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Tim has collaborated on numerous albums and sound tracks as a musician and vocalist, as well as a composer. To list his full professional experience I would need an extra page or two.
Steve S: Tim, It was so good to talk to you the other day! And thank you for doing this.
Tim: Yes, Steve, I enjoyed our chat as well. You’re most welcome, thanks for asking me to participate in your journalistic endeavors.
Steve: I guess my first question is why return to Seattle again after living in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for so long?
Tim: Well, it’s rather a long story—let’s see if I can “trim the fat” it for you, so to speak. Around 2007, things began to decline in L.A.—work dropping off, economy in pre-tank mode and my band of 18 years, Jack Mack & the Heart Attack was quite inactive. My good friend Bruce Conte (former guitarist with Tower of Power) was working quite a bit in Las Vegas and hiring me to play in his band. With a house in L.A, I was driving back and forth continually. Things seemed to be panning out in Vegas so I moved there. It was only a few more months before the economic crash and no city was harder hit than Las Vegas. I’ve got a good friend in Seattle who was after to me to move back and go to work in the treatment/recovery community. It seemed like a good time for a change. I have family here and it’s nice to be back in my old stomping grounds. Plus, I have a new band, Red House, featuring Jimmy Holden (keys/vocals) from my old band, The Reputations, and Robin Crane (drums/vocals) and Mark Noftsger (guitar), friends of mine from high school—we were in our first professional band together. Talk about coming full circle!
Steve: Something I always wanted to ask is what was it like to be playing at the Atlanta Olympics and hear that bomb go off?
Tim: That was one of the most exciting gigs I’ve ever had, at least until the bombing. Jack Mack was hired by AT&T to play a dance party for 10 nights, following a different headliner and the nightly sports wrap-up. Some of the other acts included Ray Charles, Little Feat, Joan Osborne—you get the idea. The night of the bombing was so surreal—I wasn’t even sure it was happening for the first few minutes. If the stage we were on hadn’t been so high, we surely would have been hit with debris from the pipe bombs. Two people died that night—really makes you stop and think.
Steve: In the early eighties you and the late Rich Dangel formed a group, The Reputations that was as good as it gets. Can you tell us how that happened?
Tim: Rich Dangel was not only the greatest musical influence on me, a true mentor, but he was also my best friend. At the time, we were playing local Top 40 bars and doing jazz gigs when we could. I started talking to him about putting a band together with some of the best players in Seattle, playing obscure R&B, rock & roll and our favorite jazz tunes. I wanted it to be something that just burned from the first note to the last, a band other musicians would want to come see. And that’s what we did. I’ll always be proud of what we accomplished. Along the way, we played with Buddy Miles, Etta James and others, also winning the first Seattle Music Award in 1982 for Best R&B Band.
Steve: The Reputations were a force.
Steve: I also played trumpet alongside your Jack Mack and the Heart Attack buddies, Jim Coile, John Berry and Lee Thornburg. My experience with two out of three was with Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders. You went on to sing and write for TOP and to play bass and sing with Jack Mack after our dear friend David Lee Watson passed. My question is; does it get harder to keep the light lit after so many of our friends have passed and what is your philosophy about keeping motivated?
Tim: Well, first off, there’s no denying that the entire face of the music business has changed so much, it’s almost completely unrecognizable any more. “Digital Killed the Video Star”. People of our generation and all those before them used to go out to see live music because that was the only way to see it. Now, people can sit at home and watch concerts etc on their big screens and computers essentially for free, while downloading thousands of hours of music to their iPods, also for free. That used to be a huge source of revenue for musical artists, now gone. We have certainly lost a lot of musical giants in the last ten years or so—that IS sad to me but I also am grateful for all the giants I have watched, met, known and performed with. Those experiences will be with me always. And although at one point not long ago, I was ready to give up musical entirely, it didn’t take long to realize that music is inside me, it’s not only part of me—it’s who I am. So now I play what I feel and if it touches anyone else, they’re welcome to come along for the ride.
Steve: Thanks again Tim and be blessed. I will see you sometime soon my friend.
(Steve Swanson is a Port Angeles resident and professional trumpet player who has worked with many top performers including: Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Lou Rawls, Johnny Mathis, Temptation, Four Tops, Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight and many more). Steve can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org