Notes About City Zu
"Ron Foos is an outstanding bassist and his engineering talents truly capture it. From the clear, fat, tight "Low B" on his five string bass along with every note up and down the register, Ron is an accomplished musician. He has an extremely musical style that fuses beautiful counter melody ideas with tastily defined harmonic structures (chord changes) while simultaneously laying down rhythmically killer grooves with the drummer and chord comps. His playing really drives and holds together every song, even in the simple parts like the kick and bass feel in the ballad; "I Am..., I Said". Ron has a masterful mix of both aggressiveness and taste. He's like a James Jamerson with a nice healthy dose of "Whiteboy" rock in him.
Seriously, I could sit in the studio listening to the masters of Ron's recordings with only the bass and drum parts in the mix and just hang out diggin it!"
Bill Majkut, Bassist/Band leader - Smokin' Gun, December 2000
About Ron Foos: "Over the years I've had the pleasure of working with many fine bass players in various settings and situations. I think it would be an understatement to say that Ron is one of the best......He is the best! Not only are his notes great but he brings a sense of humor to his music and everyone's life. A more solid bass player, man, and friend (and oh yes! he sings great too!) you couldn't ask for. I feel privileged to call him my friend."
Ric Ulsky, Smokin' Gun, August 2001
On reading some of the comments about a certain bass player/guitarist that played with the City Zu, and agreeing with all of the comments that I read, it became glaringly evident that the bassist that made the original Zu's rhythm section groove like no one else could has been overlooked, (at least in commentary), and on a site where such and oversight is borderline unforgivable. The first time I saw the Zu was at a club in North Seattle when I was probably 17 years old, and at the time I was playing with a band called The Army. THE FIRST thing that I noticed about the City Zu was that the rhythm section, consisting of: Doug Heath playing rhythm guitar like few others can, Mike Garland, drummer whose groove few can touch, and Mike Cox, playing bass with an authority that few other bassists will ever master, was driving the whole ROOM, not just the band, and all of this in 1967/68. A few years later, in 1971 or so, I had an opportunity to do a couple of months worth of fill in gigs with the band Bulldog, after Steve Reno left the band. That band consisted of the Zu's original rhythm section Mike Cox, Doug Heath, and Mike Garland, and was an absolute joy to work with. Three more professional players I had never worked with, to say nothing of good compatible human beings. It's noteworthy to point out that at that time, Doug, Mike and Mike were the rhythm section most sought after in the greater Seattle area if you needed help with a recording project. Still, the one who stands out in my heart, and always has, as one of the most accomplished, tasteful, soulful, authoritative, and just plain GREAT bass players that the City Zu, Bulldog, Merrilee Rush, or any other group that he played with ever enjoyed, was Mike Cox. Incidentally, in the late 1980's, I switched from playing guitar to working as a bass player, and have been doing so ever since. I'm proud to say that much of what I do is patterned after the fond memories that I have of Mike Cox' playing style, and it is with these words, that I go on record thanking him for the inspiration that I, and many others enjoy down to this day, and will continue to enjoy for many more days to come. In my estimation, Mike Cox was one of the finest bassists that ever played.
Don Wilhelm, October 2002
To all who will read this:
I was flattered that my past musician friends were so generous in their compliments to me on this page. Wow! I deeply thank each and every one. I have been blessed to have worked with a great deal of pro musicians from the Seattle area where my roots were formed. I will never forget my first encounter with (lead singer / "Pied Pipers") Gary Humphreys, he taught me never to go on stage without knowing 100 % what you are doing, he was a great friend & teacher and I still try to live by those rules. My next big mentor was Ed Aliverti who was the only teacher in MLT High school who never put any of us "long haired" music folks down for anything....except not knowing your vocal part in his class! What a great teacher, we need more like him. Probably next would be Doug Heath, he taught me everything about guitar playing. He remains one of my best friends and is a joy to play with every night still to this day w/ Paul Revere and the Raiders & Bill Medley. There have been many other fine musicians and close friends I have had the pleasure of working with and learning countless things from but the number one most positive, biggest influence in my life personally and musically was without a doubt Mr. Mike Cox (may he rest in peace) I can only say "He changed my life". His early knowledge of the bass was way beyond of anyone else I knew. I am honored that we became the best of friends and were inseparable for much of my young adult life in the N.W. We spent countless hours, days, weeks, years sharing bass "stuff" together. I think he classified as a real genus, he was very, very smart. I had to try to follow and fill his shoes a couple of times and he set the bar extremely high. He was a young master that could play with the "big boys" and not blink. He was my true bass mentor, I give it up to him as the best of the best. And greatly missed is not a strong enough word to use. He is missed beyond all words.
Thank you Mike Cox your love, friendship and for the time we spent together.
You are forever loved and missed.
(Bassist for Paul Revere & The Raiders, Randy Bachman, Bill Medley and more)
Photo Courtesy of Joe Cox
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