Cool page on Bad Co. My history as the Bass Player in Bad Co
started MAY '90 to JULY '92. I played 230 shows in America. I also played
on the Live Album WHAT YOU HEAR IS WHAT YOU GET, even though my name isn?t
on it. I'm also on the Holy Water video, ATCO and did the pre-production
for the CD HERE COMES TROUBLE then for reasons out of my control (political)
I currently own a music store in Buffalo N.Y. and play
locally. If you have any questions feel free to call me. I hope this is helpful
to your history of Bad Co."
Signed: Paul Cullen
And now the Article written by BRAD WALTERS published
in MONITOR Spring 1991.
PAUL CULLEN FINDS HIS NICHE WITH BAD COMPANY
BAD COMPANY is a legendary Rock band that has helped
make rock and roll what it is today. After eighteen Years of making Music,
the Group is back with a vengeance this year with a new album which has spawned
several hit singles, including the top Ten Hit "If you Needed Somebody".
This fresh musical Attack is aided by the addition of a new Bass Player,
PAUL CULLEN, to the Group.
PAUL CULLEN`S background is quite different from most professional Musicians.
For instance, he didn?t begin playing Bass Guitar until he was twenty
Years old; therefore, he?s only been playing a little over ten Years
all together !
"I STARTED PLAYING BASS WHEN I WAS TWENTY YEARS OLD, WHICH IS KIND OF LATE.
ALL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL, THOUGH, I LOVED MUSIC. I WENT TO LIKE FIFTY TWO
CONCERTS IN A YEAR AND A HALF WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL IN BUFFALO. I KNEW
I WANTED TO BE UP ON STAGE. IN HIGH SCHOOL I WAS A JOCK; I LETTERED IN
BASKETBALL, SOCCER, AND TENNIS. AFTER WORKING FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS AFTER
HIGH SCHOOL I STARTED TO PLAY GUITAR. SIX MONTHS LATER I HAD SOMEONE TELL
ME THAT I NEEDED TO PLAY BASS BECAUSE THERE WERE TOO MANY GUITAR PLAYERS.
SO, HERE I WAS AT TWENTY YEARS OLD WOODSHEDDINT IT. I WAS IN MY ROOM FOR
EIGHT TO TEN HOURS A DAY PRACTICING.
THE ONLY DISADVANTAGE I CAN SEE FROM STARTING SO LATE IN LIFE IS MY EAR.
MY EAR`S NOT AS WELL TRAINED AS PEOPLE WHO STARTED REALLY YOUNG BECAUSE YOU
ABSORB SO MUCH MORE AT A YOUNG AGE. I ATTRIBUTE MY ABILITY TO THE FACT THAT
I PRACTICED REALLY HARD AND KEPT ON PLAYING.MY EAR IS JUST A LITTLE BIT BEHIND
SOMEONE THAT`S BEEN PLAYING SINCE THEY WERE THIRTEEN. BUT IT`S GETTING BETTER
AND BETTER THE LONGER I PLAY.
Paul never took actual lessions, but learned from the musicians around him:
"BEAVER FELTON WAS A BIG INFLUENCE ON ME. I MET HIM IN A BAND ABOUT TEN YEARS
AGO, RIGHT WHEN I STARTED PLAYING. WE USED TO MEET UP BECAUSE WE PLAYED AT
A LOT OF SAME CLUBS. HE WOULD SIT DOWN WITH ME IN THE DRESSING ROOM AND WE`D
PLAY TOGETHER. HE TAUGHT ME A LOT OF GOOD PRACTICE HABITS ON THE BASS. HE
WAS A VERY BIG INFLUENCE ON ME ATTITUDE WISE, WHICH I THINK IS JUST AS IMPORTANT
AS THE MUSIC.
"MY MAIN INFLUENCE WAS JACO PASTORIUS, THERE`S NO DOUBT IN MY MIND. I WOULDN`T
BE THE BASS PLAYER I AM NOW IF IT WEREN`T FOR HIM, EVEN THOUGH I DON`T SOUND
OR PLAY LIKE HIM. HE`S THE ONLY BASS PLAYER I CAN THINK OF THAT GIVES ME
CHILLS WHEN I LISTEN TO HIM. HE`S JUST SO TASTEFUL MUSICALLY AND TECHNICALLY
HE`S FANTASTIC. HE PLAYED THE BASS WITH A LOT OF FEEL AND A LOT OF HEART
AND SOUL. IF IT WASN`T FOR HIM, I PROBABLY WOULDN`T EVEN BE AROUND".
A year after the band started playing Bass Paul was part of a band. He then
went from a country Music band to a top forty Band to a soul Group, learning
everything he could along the Way.
"I JUST WORKED REALLY HARD. I THINK WHAT HELPED ME IS THAT I NEVER STOPPED
PLAYING . MY FRIENDS AND I HAD AN ART ROCK BAND TOGETHER WHICH WAS FANTASTIC.
I WAS PLAYING MY FAVOURITE KIND OF MUSIC AT THE TIME WHICH WAS LIKE GENESIS
AND YES. THEN THE BAND BROKE UP AND NO ONE ELSE WANTED TO PLAY. I SAID "I`VE
GOT TO PLAY; IT DOESN`T MATTER WHO I PLAY WITH." I HAD TO PLAY BECAUSE I`D
ONLY BEEN PLAYING FOR TWO YEARS. SO I KEPT RIGHT ON PLAYING. I GOT INTO A
TOP FORTY SHOW BAND; FROM THERE I WENT TO ANOTHER ROCK BAND; AND FINALLY
I ENDED UP FORMING MY OWN BAND IN FORT MYERS, FLORIDA, CALLED THE BOYS OF
SUMMER. THAT`S THE LAST BAND I PLAYED IN BEFORE I GOT THE JOB WITH BAD
After Ten Years pf playing Paul was totally burnt out on the Club scene.
With a Wife and daughter to consider he was beginning to wonder of he
shouldn?t try something else. Brian Howe, Lead Singer with bad Company,
has a Home in Fort Myers and was a fan of Paul`s band, often sitting in with
them during a gig. Therefore when an opening came in Bad Company for a bassist,
Brian asked Paul to audition. Paul Immediately flew to London, auditioned
and got the gig. That was over a Year ago, and he`s loved every Minute of
being a part of Bad Company since.
"I`M HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE. EVERYBODY WISHES FOR THAT ONE BREAK, AND
I WAS VERY LUCKY THAT BRIAN KNEW ME AND ALL. I JUST COULDN`T BE HAPPIER RIGHT
NOW. I`M THIRTY ONE AND EVERYTHING IS GOING VERY; VERY WELL, WHEN AT THIRTY
IT WASN`T. AT THIRTY I WAS GOING HOME SAYING, `I`VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ELSE
BECAUSE I`VE GOT A FAMILY TO SUPPORT. I`M VERY LUCKY AND VERY, VERY HAPPY.
I`VE READ ARTICLES WHERE SUCCESSFUL MUSICIANS SAY THEY MISS THE EXCITEMENT
OF PLAYING CLUBS. I BELIEVED THOSE ARTICLES THEN BUT I DON`T BELIEVE THEM
NOW. I`LL TAKE PLAYING TO 14.000 PEOPLE THAT ARE ALL THE WAY AROUND THE STAGE
OVER A CLUB OF 300 ANY DAY. THE ENERGY IS INCREDIBLE!
PLAYING TO THAT MANY PEOPLE MAKES ME ELATED - THERE`S NO WAY I COULD GET
THAT FROM A CLUB. I GUESS A LOT OF THE MUSICIANS WHO SAY THAT ABOUT CLUBS
ARE THE ONES WHO`VE BEEN PLAYING HUGE AUDIENCES FOR A LONG TIME. I HAVEN`T
BEEN DOING IT VERY LONG, SO EVERY TIME I STEP ON STAGE THERE`S AN EXCITEMENT
THAT HITS ME. I GET THIS LITTLE CHILL UP MY BACK WHEN THEY SHUT THE HOUSE
LIGHTS DOWN. WHEN THE AUDIENCE STARTS CLAPPING AND THE LIGHTS HIT, THERE`S
NOTHING LIKE IT."
Paul first began using Peavey Equipment when he was playing clubs.
"I GOT THE MEGABASS WHEN IT CAME OUT. I ALSO HAD A 412 CABINET WHICH WAS
A GUITAR CABINET. IT LOOKED JUST LIKE A ROAD CASE AND THE FRONT POPPED OFF.
I ALSO USE 12" AND 18" BLACK WIDOW SPEAKERS. I`VE BEEN PLAYING PEAVEY A LONG
Although Paul has been using Peavey Equipment for Years, he just recently
began playing a five string Bass, the Peavey TL-Five (TM). He says that Bad
Company?s Music requires a five string bass, Especially songs like "THE
DANGEROUS AGE" and "HOLY WATER" .
WHEN I LEARNED THE MUSIC, I WAS USING MY FOUR STRING THAT I`D BEEN PLAYING
FOR SEVEN YEARS. I HAD TO DETUNE IT SO THAT THE TOP STRING WAS B,E and A
INSTEAD OF E,A,B. THE STRINGS WERE FLAPPING ALL OVER THE PLACE BECAUSE IT
WAS A FOUR STRING. I FINALLY WENT TO A MUSIC STORE AND HE LET ME BORROW A
FIVE STRING. I`LL NEVER GO BACK TO A FOUR STRING AGAIN.
THERE`S NOTHING LIKE A FIVE STRING . THERE`S SO MUCH ADDED POWER FOR A BASS
PLAYER WHEN YOU CAN HIT THAT LOW B AND LOW C AND LOW D. I USE IT ON ALL THE
OLD BAD COMPANY SONGS, TOO. IT`S JUST OUTSTANDING. IT`S LIKE A WHOLE NEW
INSTRUMENT FOR ME; I`M RELEARNING HOW TO PLAY BASS. I DONT DO THE FAST STUFF
LIKE I USED TO WHEN I ONLY HAD FOUR STRINGS. I LAY BACK MORE AND THEN I USE
THAT LOW STRING IN A CRUCIAL MOMENT WHERE EVERYBODY IN THE AUDIENCE CAN FEEL
IT. IT`S THAT INTENSE WHEN YOU HIT THOSE LOW STRINGS. "
Paul goes full range with his Bass Rig through a Peavey alpha (TM) Preamp.
His stack consists of two 410 Speakers and two 215 cabinets.
"IT`S JUST A WALL OF SOUND. I WAS USING THE MEGA BASS THE LAST FIVE YEARS
I PLAYED CLUBS. IT`S A GREAT AMP, BUT I NEEDED MORE POWER FOR BAD COMPANY.
THE ALPHA PREAMP IS A TUBE PREAMP WITH NO COMPRESSION. I`M PLAYING MORE DYNAMIC
NOW WITH MY RIGHT HAND BECAUSE THE SOUND`S NOT BEINGCOMPRESSED. THAT ALPHA
Paul not only has incredible talent to sustain his career, but an attitude
which ensures success as well.
"I`M A TEAM PLAYER ALL THE WAY; I LEARNED THAT FROM PLAYING SPORTS. THE MAIN
THING IS YOU`VE GOT TO THINK ABOUT IT AS A BAND, NOT JUST YOURSELF. A BAND
IS FIVE GUYS JUST LIKE ON A BASKETBALL TEAM. YOU WORK TOGETHER TO GET THAT
BASKET AND THE FIVE GUYS ON THE STAGE WORK TO MAKE THAT SONG THE BEST IT
CAN BE. IT`S THE SAME PRINCIPLE. I`M GLAD I FEEL THAT WAY. I`VE NEVER WANTED
TO BE A FLASHY BASS PLAYER THAT SITS IN THE POCKET AND GROOVES ALL NIGHT
BAD COMPANY HAS SOME GREAT BASS LINES, THE OLD STUFF AS WELL AS THE NEW.
THERE ARE A LOT OF INTERESTING THINGS TO DO DURING THE NIGHT. BUT I`VE GOT
TO PLAY THE MUSIC THE WAY IT IS SO THAT IT STAYS IN THE GROOVE, SO THAT IT`S
BAD COMPANY. I`M REALLY PROUD OF BEING IN BAD COMPANY. IT`S VERY IMPORTANT
TO ME THAT I GO OUT THERE EVERY NIGHT AND GIVE EVERYTHING I`VE GOT NOT ONLY
FOR ME, BUT TO BETTER BAD COMPANY".