Tony Levin ( born June 6, 1946 in Boston ) is considered among music critics as one of the best rock players worldwide. He is best known for his work with Peter Gabriel, King Crimson or Yes, especially in the environment of progressive rock.
Levin grew up in the Boston suburb of Brookline. The younger brother of keyboardist Pete Levin started at the age of ten years with the game of the double bass. In high school he played tuba, with whom he had even some solos with the school band, and founded a barbershop band. However, his main interest was in the classical field at the piano, on which he, at the age of about 15 years, played a gig at the Greater Boston Symphony Youth Orchestra on the lawn of the White House for John and Jackie Kennedy.
He then attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, playing in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. At school he met Steve Gadd who taught him to play at a higher level jazz and rock. He traded in his Ampeg Baby Bass against an old Fender Precision Bass, the long time should long remain his only instrument.
1970 Levin moved to New York City and joined a band that Aha, the Attack of the Green Slime Beast was called and the Don Preston of The Mothers of Invention played. Shortly thereafter, he began a career as a session musician and played during the 1970s on many albums the bass, as well as 1975 Still Crazy After All Those Years by Paul Simon, with whom he toured regularly from then until the early 80s. When Simon in 1980 Project One- Trick Pony realized, Levin was not only to hear on the album, but also played in the associated movie with.
In 1978, Tony Levin moved to Woodstock, where he joined L' image of the band. The band in which, among other things, Steve Gadd, Mike Mainieri and Warren Bernhardt played, already broke up a year later. But Levin still lives in Woodstock.
In the late 1970s he joined the band Peter Gabriel, whom he had met through Bob Ezrin. With Ezrin together he had recorded Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare, and Lou Reed's Berlin. Since then, Levin, both live and in the studio, Gabriel's solid bass player. On the first album by Peter Gabriel Levin played again a little tuba and directed a short barbershop version of a song. During the recording sessions for this album Levin met Robert Fripp and, after he had in 1980 to his solo album played Exposure, member of King Crimson, where he remained until the turn of the millennium.
Tony Levin is considered humorous and technically interested person. For all tours, which he has owned, he has made a lot of photo and film shoots. In addition, he is one of the first dating from the music business, users of the internet, as it is already 1983, a Tandy TRS 80 E -mail messages with the managers of King Crimson and Peter Gabriel exchanged to coordinate his appearances on tours of these artists.
Levin's bass playing is considered to be very innovative. He often used the Chapman Stick and the NS upright bass. In addition, he was the first to play the bass strings with short drumsticks. Levin calls this game way radio finger. He was responsible for the famous bass line from Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer hit. In the formerly commissioned by Music Man produced in China OLP series a Tony Levin signature model appeared in his favorite color Peach.
Throughout his long career, Levin took so far on five solo albums, all of which are marked by his powerful bass playing. Two more albums he recorded with Tony Levin band.
Collaboration with other artists
Best known Levin is through his long association with Peter Gabriel. During his career he played, besides the above mentioned, also among others with the following bands and musicians: Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe, Claudio Baglioni, California Guitar Trio, David Bowie, Jim Weider, John Lennon, King Crimson, Liquid Tension Experiment, Magellan, Mark Kostabi, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, Seal Steve Thorne, Terry Bozzio, Yes.