25 Tall Musicians
As a 6’4” bass player, people have often asked me why so many tall musicians are bass players. It does seem bass players are regularly the “big bloke up the back” but I wanted to know if there was any fact behind the concept… so I dug around to come up with a list of tall musicians. There’s a fair bit of urban legend about lots of folks (Joey Ramone is often said to be 6’6”, but there are several references to him being 6’3” as well) so I decided to keep it to people whose height seems to be fairly well documented – and are reasonably well known. I love the photo on the right of Jinder – a 6’7” UK singer songwriter – and think it illustrates the story perfectly. He wasn’t as well-known to me as others when I put this list together, but you can check out more of his work at www.jinder.co.uk.
Read on for the full list!
1. Arjen Lucassen (6’8″, 203cm)
This Dutch progressive metal/rock songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist musician and record producer is the biggest dude in rock. He’s apparently best know for his long-running progressive opera project titled Ayreon which, um, I’ve never heard of…
2. Pete Steele (6’8″, 203cm)
Steele is the lead singer, bassist, and composer for the gothic metal crew Type O Negative. He guested on a bunch of TV shows in the US, and also once did a nude centerfold for Playgirl magazine…
3. Krist Novoselic (6’7″, 201cm)
The most well known of the big men, Novoselic was co-founder and bass player for Nirvana. Now more involved in political issues than music, but it was cool to see him back with Dave Grohl at 121212…
4. Oliver Riedel (6’7″, 201cm)
The Rammstein bass player – another in the line of archetypical big bass men – started his music career in folk-fiddle/punk-rock band called The Inchtabokatables. How awesome is that?!
5. Long John Baldry (6’7″, 201cm)
Baldry was one of the first British blues singers, most notably with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated. But Australians will know him most from his 1980 hit You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’…
6. Jim Root (6’6″, 198cm)
Also known as #4, Root is the guitarist for Slipknot. Root joined the band in January 1999, but prior to that spent his time working as a screenprinter, waiter, and busboy…
7. Adrian Vandenberg (6’6″, 198cm)
Another Dutchman – go figure! This time it’s the Whitesnake guitarist.
8. Thurston Moore (6’6″, 198cm)
The Sonic Youth frontman was ranked 34th in Rolling Stone’s 2004 edition of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
9. Mick Fleetwood (6’6″, 197cm)
The one Fleetwood Mac member not scarred from inter-band relationships – and one of only two drummers in our top 25 list.
10. Blake Shelton (6’5″, 196cm)
The first of the country crew to make, Shelton is a singer who has been a coach and judge on the US series of The Voice.
11. Danny Carey (6’5″, 196cm)
Our second giant drummer, Carey plays with Tool and is known to have a deep interest in the “magical arts”… including laying claim to a drumming technique that uses scared geometric figues such as the unicursal hexagram. Hmm…
12. Evil Jared Hasselhoff (6’5″, 196cm)
Bass player with the Bloodhound Gang, Hasselhoff suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and on at least one Bloodhound Gang touring rider, has asked for his requested Skittles to be separated by colour.
13. Ed O’Brien (6’5″, 196cm)
The Radiohead guitarist uses his big feet to stomp around on an awesome collection of effects pedals – and is also a pretty damn good drummer.
14. Tom Scholz (6’5″, 196cm)
Founder and guitarist in the band Boston guitar, Scholz was the inventor of the Rockman guitar amplifier.
15. Win Butler (6’5″, 196cm)
Butler is well known for having won a basketball 3-point shooting comp against some NBA players including Matt Bonner of the Spurs… and also fronting the Montreal-based band Arcade Fire.
That’s about it for the 6’5” or more crew as far as I can tell – and let’s face it, that’s the height when people think you are “really” tall. That said, the 6’4” crew includes some impressive names – including arguably the most famous “tall” Aussie rocker Peter Garrett.
16. Albert King (6’4″, 193cm) Blues great
17. Alan Jackson (6’4″, 193cm) Country star
18. Ronnie Dunn (6’4″, 193cm) Brooks & Dunn
19. Peter Garrett (6’4″, 193cm) Midnight Oil
20. Josh Homme (6’4″, 193cm) QOTSA
21. Ric Ocasek (6’4″, 193cm) The Cars
22. Tony Hadley (6’4, 193cm) Spandau Ballet
23. Paul Gilbert (6’4, 193cm) Mr Big/Racer X
24. Blackie Lawless (6’4″, 193cm) WASP singer/guitar
25. Buckethead (6’4, 192cm) Guitar maniac
And last but not least, you have to mention Corey Parks. The Nashville Pussy bass player stands an impressive 6’3″ (191cm) making her the only woman to go close to cracking the “big” list.
No doubt I’ve missed some, so please add to the list in the comments below.