Rocco Prestia is the master of fingerstyle funk…bassist of the legendary funk band Tower of Power and one of the most important figures in electric bass history.
There will never be anyone like him.
The Music Industry has lost one of the greatest bass players ever – whose influence, originality and creativity has helped so many bassists become better players. Rocco’s left of center approach helped shape the sound of Tower of Power. I was blessed to be a friend/brother for over 40 years… I have so many Rocco stories, and wonderful memories of my friend.
Rocco has survived so many major health issues over the last 40 years… it is inconceivable to me that he’s gone. He was a giant as a bass player, and all of us at MJC Ironworks are in shock and deeply saddened by his passing.
Rocco was a true, one of a kind, fun, hilarious, smart and articulate man as well. Anyone who knew him loved him. There are no words that will truly explain how we feel about his loss, or what a truly original person he was. My life will never be the same – it’s like losing your brother.
Rocco was so much more than just an endorsement for us here at MJC. He will be missed, but his outstanding contribution to the language of music, and his truly original approach to the groove, will echo for generations to come.
Our deepest condolences go out to his family… they were the pillar that gave him the strength to endure all that life threw at him.
Please stay tuned. We will doing some things to help his family with all the expenses that arise from this tragedy, and pay tribute to this great man.
The question – what is hip? The answer is, and will always be… Francis Rocco Prestia.
Rest in peace, brother.
His characteristic sound, in combination with a highly inventive melodic approach to bass lines, make his playing unmistakeable.
And he does it with MJC Ironworks strings.
Quotes from the pros…
“It was the fall of ’68, he was playing the Filmore with his band Tower of Power. I had heard the buzz on him, but this was the first time I had ever seen the kid play. It was amazing, he soloed from the beginning to the end of every tune. Imagine, in those days a bass player driving the band. It was awesome! I left feeling rejuvenated as a musician. I couldn’t wait for the sun to come up the next morning so I could get to a music store and trade in my Strat for a bass.”
Freddie Watson, Bassist
Soul Contenders, Toronto, Canada
“Part of my learning to play was actually listening to the radio and playing along with James Brown, The Beatles, Hendrix, and also horn bands like Chicago, Tower of Power and BS&T. When focusing on prominent parts, I was checking out Chuck Rainey, Verdine White and especially Rocco Prestia, whose lines I could only hope to figure out, and dream of someday being able to play.”
Nathan East, Bassist
Fourplay, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Madonna
“Forget it man. The guy has not only been a serious influence on most of today’s major league players, he actually founded the damn league. Going to see and hear Rocco Prestia play is like going back to school. He is the Master.”
John Patitucci, world renoun Bassist
Bass Collective, New York City