Louis Johnson is Dead.

Louis Johnson was a bass player in the Brothers Johnson, a soul band my cohort made fun of back in the 70s because of the word Johnson.

Louis Johnson ended up being Michael Jackson’s bass player, which was no doubt a lucrative gig that landed him spots on many giant records.

Louis Johnson died this week, at the age of 60, which is frightening for those of us who wish to be immortal.

Now, after the fact, we can see that Louis Johnson added significant bass to a lot of songs. I can’t get past Strawberry Letter #23, which is an old Shuggie Otis song that the Brothers covered, and made a hit of.

Quincy Jones produced the Brothers Johnson’s Strawberry Letter #23, and, of course, produced all of Michael Jackson’s hits. Louis Johnson was there for all of that.

One thought on “Louis Johnson is Dead.

  1. I’m pretty sure that bass Louis is playing is a Gibson Ripper. The Gibson Ripper and Grabber were two of Gibson’s most popular bass models in the ’70s. The Grabber had a triangular head (kind of like the guitarist’s in this video) and featured a sliding pickup. The Ripper had a traditional square head and no sliding pickup.

    My first real bass was a brand spanking new Grabber I saved up for and purchased in probably 1975 or 1976. I still have it. I got a black one because. . .drumroll, please. . .it’s the bass Gene Simmons played (you can see one just like mine on the first “Alive” cover).


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