james 'jim' fielder

Jim Fielder played rhythm guitar with the Mothers Of Invention from fall 1966 through february 1967. He took part in the recording of the "Absolutely Free" album, but Zappa had all his credits omitted from the cover because Jim had moved on to Buffalo Springfield.


2 the mothers of invention: absolutely free
    (1967, lp,usa, verve)
6 the mothers of invention: mothermania
   (1969, lp, usa, verve)

zappa_06.jpg (26926 bytes)

  chris hillman: slippin' away
    (1976, lp, usa, asylum records) - feat. flo & eddie, jim gordon, jim fielder

chrishillman_slippinaway.jpg (18092 bytes)


frank zappa: frank zappa for president
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr 20021)
fz_fzforpresident.jpg (31217 bytes)





random notes

born: oct 4, 1947 in denton, tx

worked with: blood sweat & tears, tim buckley, al kooper, buffalo springfield, mary mccaslin, neil sedaka, chris hillman.

from http://www.rdrop.com/users/rickert/fielder.html

Q : How was the first album with Tim followed by  work with Frank Zappa?

A: Let me explain this a little. My first year properly in the business I played with & Mastin & Brewer, Zappa/Mothers, and Buffalo Springfield in that order. The first of these developed into Brewer & Shipley, another known name. Anyway, for the original Mastin & Brewer, one time Mastin did not show up for a gig at the “Whisky A Go Go” club. This made me have doubts, but  our drummer Billy Mundy knew Zappa and recommended me.  There, I really wanted to specialize in bass but Roy Estrada was already playing. This meant that  though I can be heard on all tracks for the “Absolutely Free” album, it is on rhythm guitar.

Don’t expect to find my name credited on the album, though. Frank had all my credits omitted from the cover because I moved on to Buffalo Springfield before it was released.

Q : So then, how did you come to pitch to Buffalo Springfield? If you wanted to focus on bass, why are only a few such tracks on each album ?

A : Buffalo Springfield had the same managers as Mastin & Brewer, I got to know them that way, then auditioned. Even taking into account the non-appearance of my credits on the Zappa album, I chose to make the move in order to focus in the area I wanted.

The lifespan of Springfield was just 2 years or so, during that time three albums were released, and the very nature of things meant most playing was live. Recordings were not done in dedicated fashion. Because production costs were not so astronomical as now, often just a couple of tracks were recorded after each tour, and not all tracks required bass. When there was enough material for an album, it was released, simple as that.

By the way, my first electric bass was a Rickenbacker longneck solid-body with a big head with a super De-Armond pickup, and I continued to use it well into my time with Springfield.

 from: charles ulrich
jim fielder played 12-string guitar with the moi from fall '66 through february 19, 1967, when he left to play bass (again) for the springfield.

 from: frank zappa
    source: hit parader, no. 48, june 1968, pages 27, 38-39.
just before we fired elliot we had a six-piece band because we had hired billy mundi and we had two drummers. then we hired don preston, who plays keyboard instruments - electric piano, electric clavichord, etc. we also hired bunk gardner who plays several various horns, and jim fielder on bass.

      from splat
it would seem jim fielder also played 12-string guitar, uncredited, on at least one track on absolutely free.

     from: craig jones (good_king_zog@msn.com.au)

i qoute fz from a 1971 bbc radio interview with michael wail, when asked who played on the duke of prunes:

 "don preston; electric clavicord and fender piano played with mallets... billy mundi; drums... jimmy carl black; timpani...  bunk gardner; bassoon and soprano saxophone...  jim fielder; 12-string guitar... ray collins and myself.. and roy estrada on vocals.  i was playing guitar, and roy estrada was playing bass."


     from: splat@darkwing.uoregon.edu

what were the terms of jim fielder's departure from the mothers?  what i found was a mention in a downbeat interview with steve katz (may 11th, 1972) that jim was "the bassist they'd (bs&t) lured away from frank zappa's mothers of invention, for whom he played rhythm guitar".  so it would seem he left of his own accord, as opposed to being let go.


     from: arnon palty

he played w/ zappa's mothers and even though his name does not appear on the credits, his facial photo appears on the front cover of the "absolutely free" album/cd. (he's there right in the middle,all smilin') after that he joined bst and the rest is all known as one of the best chapters of e bass history.

      from: craig jones (good_king_zog@msn.com.au)

further to this, an interview in guitar player from april 1971 has fielder saying that he was with the moi for 5 months, & then after one semester at college, went on to play bass with buffalo springfield for 4 months.  if anyone knows when he went over to join stills & co, please let us know the date.  we can then count backwards & see how early into 1966 jim fielder joined the mothers.

      from: (unknown) / forum: bass guitar discussion forum / date: mon, 16 feb 1998 14:35:43 gmt

i remember buckley and fielder as an orange county, ca garage band in the mid-60’s. (we went to the same high school - loara high in anaheim. jim was ranked at the top of his class in science and math but followed the musical beat instead.) they would set up and practice in jim’s garage. great music but the neighbors would generally call the police with a noise complaint.
several years later, remember reading in down beat magazine that jim was ranked as one of the great bass players of the year.

     from: bruce ponsar / forum: bass guitar discussion forum / date: mon, 12 apr 1999 03:06:56 gmt

when my brother and i wanted to learn guitar, we found an earnest young man named jim fielder, who was still living at home in anaheim, california. he would come to our house, and teach us both in the same session for $15 for the half hour. although we were not great students, we just enjoyed listening to him play a few rifts at the end of the lessons (greensleaves was a favorite).  when my brother, brian, entered his freshman year at orange high, he was able to get jim and his band, the bohemians, a gig at a school dance.
eventually, we stopped taking lessons, but kept tabs on jim. we heard he was playing for tim buckley, then with buffalo springfield, then, of course, bs&t.
we saw him once more in 1969 at the troubador in hollywood, after their first release with al cooper. by then al had left the group. we were able to visit a few minutes with him in his dressing room (such as it was) at the end of the loft.
i have often wondered what happened to him, but found out he has been with neil sedaka's band for 26 years. if anyone knows how i can reach him, i'd sure appreciate it. -bruce ponsar

    from: Don Kirk
        december 2012

Is Jim still alive and where is he now?

When Jim was in HS he and I tried for several months to get a band going.  Either my dad and I, or I would pick him up at his parents house and bring him to my house in East Anaheim.  I was not the best Sax/Keyboard player and I not only lost Jim, but another Bass Player Gary Guidice left my group for work with Dick Dale & The DelTones.  Having grown up in Anaheim, I knew and subbed with many recording artists over the years; but lost track of "most" of them; including Jim.

-- Don Kirk


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