Kinky Boots (on Broadway) bassist, educator, and paramount touring and recording companion for the likes of Suzanne Vega, Marc Cohn, and John Cale, and, now, newly minted author, Michael Visceglia, has released the quintessential overview of life as a bassist/sideman with his premier offering A View from the Side (Wizdom Media and Alfred).
This book is a beautifully written compendium of his personal positive and, sometimes “not-so-positive”, experiences gained from a lifetime of touring, performing, and recording with some of music’s best singer-songwriters. I know of no other publication that provides the depth and wealth of insight shared in the 140+ pages, and A View from the Side will, very quickly, become an all-time favorite book to peruse again and again. I cannot stress how essential this book would be to any musician who has decided upon a life as a working professional. Michael deftly describes the view of the world from the standpoint of those of us who live without certain securities offered to others, as we pursue the oftentimes-misunderstood life of a musician.
There are touching, unflinching, and often hilarious accounts of Michael’s decades long journey across the US and Europe as he grew into maturity – both musically, and also from the human perspective. True to his disposition, the Author isn’t always the center of the incredible stories he shares on topics ranging from meeting bass legends (Jaco Pastorius and Percy Jones), to surviving potential assassination attempts, to misplacing gear while on tour overseas!
A wonderful feature of A View from the Side is the collection of priceless interviews with bass luminaries Lee Sklar, Marcus Miller, Will Lee, Tony Levin, Colin Moulding, Victor Bailey, Jeff Berlin, Percy Jones, Neil Steubenhaus, Dave Pomeroy, and the late, great Donald “Duck” Dunn. There is also a cool piece that features Bass Player Magazine Editor Chris Jisi.
Each interviewee gives an honest account of their experiences in the world of music, and each player’s personality and individual insight shines brightly in their featured pages. Oh… and there is a brilliantly written foreword by Sting!
A View from the Side is a must read for anyone who is seeking something beyond the world most call secure and safe, and Michael Visceglia puts it out of the park on every level. Fantastic book!!