Mark White (born July 7, 1962) is an American bass player, best known as the former bassist for the rock band Spin Doctors. He has collaborated with many musical groups, including America's Got Talent finalists The Robotix,[1] The Heavy Pets,[2] Eight53, and the Free World Jazz Ensemble. As a songwriter and bass player, he also has been an active teacher in several high-profile rock and jazz schools, such as the Rockin' Robin Music Center[3] in Houston, Texas. White has also been an outspoken advocate for atheist rights, and was a keynote speaker at the American Atheists National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2014.[citation needed]

Mark White
White playing with Spin Doctors in 2017
Background information
Born (1962-07-07) July 7, 1962 (age 61)
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Instrument(s)Bass guitar
Years active1988-present

Early life edit

Mark White was born on July 7, 1962, in the New York City borough of the Bronx to Joan and Earnest White.[4] He spent his early years in the New York City area, eventually settling with his family in Queens[5] where he eventually made a name for himself in New York underground music circles. His first bass guitar was a right-handed Epiphone.[6]

Early career edit

After being in a series of bands, White met up with Aaron Comess and participated in a group called Spade in 1988.[7] This band was a mixture of funk and punk, highlighting White's fast, finger-plucking bass style and Comess's traditional jazz education from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.

White quit Spade after a few months, but was asked to audition for a new opening in Trucking Company, a band originally started by John Popper. When Popper left to pursue his other band, Blues Traveler, Chris Barron (lead vocals) and Eric Schenkman (guitar, backing vocals) decided to continue Trucking Company with the addition of Aaron Comess, with whom they had studied at the New School.

Spin Doctors edit

White playing with Spin Doctors in 2017

After White's audition and hiring, Trucking Company solidified into a much different style, in part because of White's eclectic musical background.[8] Schenkman came up with the name, Spin Doctors[9] to represent their new combined sound.

Spin Doctors recorded their first album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite in 1991, scoring two major hits with "Two Princes" and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong", which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 7 and No. 17, respectively. During the promotional tour of their second album, Turn It Upside Down, Schenkman left the band and was subsequently replaced by a string of session guitarists. White quit the Spin Doctors in 1999 and the bass tracks on the band's fourth album, Here Comes the Bride were completed by Comess. Soon after, the band stopped touring because Barron suffered from vocal fold paresis. In 2001, Barron and Schenkman put aside their differences for a one-time show[10] at the historic venue the Wetlands before it closed permanently. White joined them for this reunion, which gradually turned into an unofficial reunion tour.[11] This marked the beginning of the band's reformation. The reunited Spin Doctors went on to release the albums Nice Talking to Me in 2005[12] and If the River Was Whiskey[13] in 2013 through RuffNation Records.[14]

In 2022, White was fired by the band over his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.[15]

Political activism and community involvement edit

White has been an outspoken activist for the New Atheism movement, which promotes countering Christianity actively instead of just tolerating it.[16] He has been a guest on atheist podcast Dogma Debate, and the Minnesota Atheists Radio Show,[17] sharing his personal journey away from Christianity. He was also invited to be a keynote speaker for the American Atheists National Convention in 2014.[18]

Current musical and other artistic endeavors edit

White collaborated with artist Hersey and released an album titled "Neon Masquerade" in 2019. White also teaches private lessons out of the Rockin' Robin music center in Houston, Texas.[19] He also plays bass for a variety of bands and genres. In October 2014 he had a stint with the piano rock grunge band Eight53.[20]

References edit

  1. ^ Anonymous. The Robotix Rock the Nation.. Southlake Style. (Southlake, TX) Dec. 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Sweeney, Dan. At Home With the Heavy Pets. Sun Sentinel. (Palm Beach, FL) March 17, 2011.
  3. ^ Ruggiero, Bob. Spin Doctors' Houstonian Bassist Talks Grooves, Kryptonite. Houston Press. (Houston, TX) May 26, 2011.
  4. ^ Gorges, Stephanie. Happy Birthday Panama City News Herald. (Panama City, FL) July 7, 2007.
  5. ^ Heinze, Daniel. Band/Members:So Who Are the Band Members Really? More Than Meets the Ear: The Spin Doctors Archive. (Leipzig, GER)
  6. ^ Mark White of the Spin Doctors Talks the Low End. Bass Guitar Magazine. (Warwickshire, ENG) March 25, 2014.
  7. ^ Luke, George. "Spin Doctors." Buckley, Peter, ed. The Rough Guide to Rock: 3rd Edition. Rough Guides Online Publishing. 2003.
  8. ^ Masley, Ed. Hippie Mistake: Spin Doctor Bassist Mark White Says His Band Is Misunderstood Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (Pittsburgh, PA) June 4, 1993.
  9. ^ Heinze, Daniel. How Did the Band Come Together? Band History. More Than Meets the Ear: The Spin Doctors Archive. (Leipzig, GER)
  10. ^ Grossberg, Josh. The Return of the Spin Doctors! Sept. 7, 2001.
  11. ^ St. John, Warren. That 90's Band Tries Again. New York Times. (New York, NY) Sept. 25, 2005.
  12. ^ Jarnow, Jesse Spin Doctors - Nice Talking to Me Paste Magazine. Jan. 18, 2006. Accessed Sept. 23, 2014.
  13. ^ Rendflesh, Alysha. Spin Doctors: If The River Was Whiskey Review. Blues Rock Review. May 9, 2013. Accessed Sept. 11, 2014.
  14. ^ Spin Doctors Discography. AllNation Music. Accessed Sept. 25, 2014.
  15. ^ "Mark White Comments on Split with Spin Doctors". Jambands. 2 February 2022.
  16. ^ Wolf, Gary. The Church of the Non-Believers Wired Magazine. Issue 14:11. Nov. 2006. Accessed Sept. 21, 2014.
  17. ^ "Spin Doctors' Mark White on Atheists Talk #266, May 4th, 2014 - Minnesota Atheists ~ Positive Atheism in Action Since 1991". Archived from the original on 2014-10-19.
  18. ^ Mehta, Hermant. Barbara Hillary, First African-American Woman to Reach North Pole, Will Speak at Atheist Convention Aug. 20, 2013. Accessed Sept. 14, 2014.
  19. ^ Ruggiero, Bob. Spin Doctors' Houstonian Bassist Talks Grooves, Kryptonite. Houston Press. (Houston, TX) May 26, 2011.
  20. ^ Mark White (Spin Doctors) to Record With Portland Band Eight53 Sept. 25, 2014. Accessed Sept. 25, 2014.