IN THE BEGINNING
In the mid 1960s Mo studied physics and mathematics at the University of Sussex. During this period he played both drums and bass in a wide variety of different bands. Once he graduated, a short spell as a laboratory research assistant convinced him that a career in music was preferable and, along with other ex-university pals, he formed a progressive jazz/rock group called Affinity, which was managed by the late Ronnie Scott. From that time on his career blossomed into one of the most prestigious of any contemporary bass-guitar player. Mo is now established as a highly respected session musician, record producer, composer, author, and solo artist.
As a sideman Mo has toured the world — or played concerts with:
Jeff Beck, Phil Collins, Joan Armatrading, Gil Evans, Mike d’Abo, Gary Moore, Van Morrison with Dr John, RMS, Eric Clapton, Sting, Maggie Bell, Dusty Springfield, The Manfreds, George Martin, Hank Marvin, John Farrar, Brian Bennett, Cliff Richard, Veronique Sanson, Mike Smith, James Griffin (of Bread), Roger Glover, Leiber & Stoller, Barry Humphries, Linda Hoyle & Affinity, Jimmy Helms, Fancy, Geno Washington, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and The London Symphony Orchestra.
IN THE STUDIO
As a studio session musician, working at studios variously in UK, USA, Canada, Caribbean, France, Italy, and Japan, Mo has played on over 350 albums — and many singles — by artists as varied as:
Phil Collins, Jeff Beck, Gerry Rafferty, Brian May, Ringo Starr, Annifrid Lyngstad (Frida of ABBA), Gil Evans, Gary Moore, Cher, Scott Walker, Tanita Tikaram, Mort Schuman, Peter Green, Nanci Griffith, Rod Argent, Jose Carreras, Elkie Brooks, Ray Russell, Michael Schenker, Olivia Newton-John, Neil Innes, Colin Blunstone, Howard Jones, Roger Glover, Judy Tzuke, Brian Bennett, Russ Ballard, Ian Gillan, Nigel Kennedy, Sheena Easton, Meatloaf, Andrew Lloyd-Webber & Tim Rice, Luka Bloom, Julie Covington, Veronique Sanson, Cerrone, Claudio Baglioni, Jimmy Helms, John Kongos, Pete Skellern, Dennis Waterman, Gerard Kenny, Leo Sayer, Kenny Rogers, Affinity, Toshi (of X), The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and The London Symphony Orchestra.
Apart from his six solo albums (Bel Assis, Southern Reunion, Time To
Think, Live at Blues West 14, Belsize Lane, and Bass Themes), Mo has produced — or co-produced — albums for:
Deborah Bonham (The Old Hyde – featuring Jason Bonham), Dr John (Such A Night), Maria Muldaur (Live In London), Adrian Legg (Fretmelt), Maggie Bell (Live At The Rainbow), Gil Evans (Take Me To The Sun), RMS (Centennial Park and Live At The Venue). RMS with Gil Evans (Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival 1983 DVD), Brian Bennett (Survivors), The RJ Wagsmith Band (Make Tea Not War), Affinity (Affinity, Live Instrumentals 1969, 1971-72, Origins: 1965-67, and Origins: The Baskervilles 1965)
Mo has composed and produced hundreds of titles for the major Production Music Libraries, co-wrote with Ray Russell the instrumental ‘So Far Away’ for Gary Moore, co-wrote with Mike Walling the comedy hit single ‘Chalk Dust’ for The Brat (aka Roger Kitter), co-wrote with Kim Goody the song ‘Sentimental Again’ which reached the final in the Song for Europe Contest in 1990 (and which was also covered by Sandie Shaw), and co-wrote with Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, and Kim Goody the main song ‘In My Car’ from Ringo’s album Old Wave.
FILM & TV
His many film sessions include:
For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, Revenge Of The Pink Panther, Clockwise, Heaven’s Prisoner, Lost And Found, Billy The Kid And The Green Baize Vampire, and Silver Dream Racer.
Those for TV include:
Minder, Bergerac, Grafters, Stay Lucky, Dangerfield, The Last Salute, and Peak Practice.
With appearances on:
Routes of Rock, Top Of The Pops, Old Grey Whistle Test, Sky Star Search, Kenny Everett Show, Disco 2, Supersonic, Les Dawson Show, Blue Peter, Get It Together, Little And Large Show, Hippodrome Live, So It Goes, Pebble Mill At One, Hit The Note, Terry Wogan Show, Daytime Live, 45, Search, Marti Caine Show, Three of a Kind, Big Time.
Mo later worked as both archivist and interviewer for the UK Channel 4 TV music series — Live From Abbey Road — where he secured an interview with George Harrison. The programme — now sold throughout the world — was the brainchild of co-producer Peter Van Hooke.
BOOKS & JOURNALS
Mo’s new book — British Rock Guitar — is an amusing, anecdotal, illustrated, semi-autobiographical description of rock’s early days in Britain. It will be published in hardback by Northumbria University Press in September.
Mo has also contributed regular columns to the UK magazines Guitarist, Bassist, Making Music, Total Production, and Bass Guitar Magazine, plus the German magazine Bass Quarterly.
Back in 1975 Mo pioneered the teaching of Bass Guitar in Britain by founding the first-ever year-long course at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and later wrote a pioneering ten-part series on Fretless Bass for Bassist magazine. He continues to give occasional seminars at music colleges in London, Brighton, Leeds, Liverpool, Guildford, and Manchester.
Mo now concentrates on composing music (currently working on a stage musical version of Jean de Florette with lyricist Mick Leeson), session work (he recently played with Cliff Richard, Brian May, and Brian Bennett on a 12-hr session at Abbey Road Studios for a re-make of Cliff’s 1958 hit ‘Move It’), writing (British Rock Guitar), researching and remastering his back catalogue (not only for his solo projects but also for artists such as Affinity, Maggie Bell, Mike d’Abo, Linda Hoyle, Survivors, RMS, Ice, and The RJ Wagsmith Band), and producing albums for others. He has also resumed playing concerts with his band RMS — featuring Ray Russell and Gary Husband — notably with Gary Moore at a recent charity concert Vibes From The Vines in Sussex, and guested with Warren Bennett & Friends at Bruce Welch’s Shadowmania in Surrey.
British Rock Guitar Book
About the author
Mo Foster is an unlikely hero but there are few bassists in the world who are not in awe of his playing. Had he continued in his chosen academic subject of physics, he would doubtless have excelled as Mo is nothing if not meticulous. However, he discovered a talent for the bass guitar that he has been sharing with the world for over forty years. From the London Symphony Orchestra to Jeff Beck, from Gil Evans to Phil Collins, Mo’s effortlessly beautiful basslines have graced literally hundreds of albums and thousands of concerts. A quick Google search will give you the list, but needless to say it is impressive and unmatched. His own albums and productions of other artists’ recordings take him far beyond the realm of session-man. For sheer musical artistry, he is recognised and revered globally.
Mo is also a man whose attention to detail has made him the archivist of just about every sad, silly and scurrilous occurrence the musical community has experienced. The residual vestiges of his scientific mind have engendered a fascination with what makes musicians tick. Few dinner guests can match his anecdotes and quips, and his storage capacity for musical tales seems inexhaustible. Being one of the finest bassists in the world opens doors, but it is Mo Foster’s charm and humour that has unlocked the memory banks of the great musicians quoted herein. Mo has spent almost half a century playing with and befriending musical legends and they have given him free rein to tell you their stories.
As you flick through the pages of this book it will soon become apparent how many people are happy to call Mo Foster their friend. I am extremely proud to be one of them.
RS66LD Swing Bass