After John Paul Jones (whose name recognition, in fairness, got a big boost in 1968 with the formation of Led Zepellin), Herbie Flowers is probably the most well-known session bassist in England and has been for decades. He also belongs to a tiny fraternity of rock musicians (of whom King Crimson's Ian McDonald is probably the most visible) who can trace their musical career to military service. Having been drafted into the Royal Air Force, Flowers chose service in the RAF Central Band as an alternative to combat training. He was taught the tuba, an instrument of singularly little utility in rock music, and spent nine years in uniform as a bandsman. After his release from the air force in the early '60s, he passed through the lineups of several Dixieland jazz outfits, not knowing a lot about music but needing to make a living. His ...
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