Bassist Michael Rhodes Dead at 69
Session and touring bassist Michael Rhodes died on March 4 at the age of 69, a representative confirmed.
Born in Louisiana, Rhodes started playing guitar at 11 and became a professional before migrating to the bass. Relocating to Nashville, he became a session regular and built up over 700 credits for work with Stevie Nicks, Elton John, Mark Knopfler, Joan Baez, John Fogerty, Michael McDonald, Dolly Parton, JJ Cale and many others.
Rhodes was a member of the Notorious Cherry Bombs with Vince Gill and played in a variety of Nashville groups. He was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2019. In recent years, he'd been a touring member of Joe Bonamassa's band.
"My advice for up-and-coming players is to shut up and listen!" Rhodes told Music Radar in 2018. "Music is like having a conversation; you have to listen for the most part. The best session players are the ones who are good listeners and can take suggestions. You have to leave your ego out of it. Do what is asked of you and don't slow the process down; in other words make sure that you're prepared and all your gear is in good order."
Listen to Michael Rhodes on Stevie Nicks' 'Cheaper Than Free'
He said the secret to surviving life on the road was to grab as much sleep as possible "The trick to getting by on tour is by looking after yourself – your health, your fitness, keeping yourself occupied – but you've also got to get out there and enjoy yourself," Rhodes said. "The worst thing you can do is be the guy or gal who spends all day in a hotel room."
Billboard reported that no cause of death had been released, but his wife said Rhodes had been listening to John Coltrane before he passed in his Nashville home. "He really loved jazz and John Coltrane, all those guys," she said. "It fed him, always."
Watch Michael Rhodes Performing With Joe Bonamassa