Ross Lamont Valory (born February 2, 1949)[1] is an American musician who is best known as the original bass player for the rock band Journey from 1973 to 1985 and again from 1995 to 2020. Valory was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Journey in 2017.[2]

Ross Valory
Valory performing in 2008
Valory performing in 2008
Background information
Birth nameRoss Lamont Valory
Born (1949-02-02) February 2, 1949 (age 75)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Instrument(s)Bass guitar, vocals
Years active1966–present
LabelsColumbia, Sony, Frontiers, Oid Music
Formerly ofFrumious Bandersnatch, Steve Miller Band, Journey, The VU, The Storm, Todd Rundgren, Sy Klopps Blues Band

Career edit

Ross Valory was born on February 2, 1949, in San Francisco, California.[3] He grew up in Lafayette, California, and attended Acalanes High School. In high school, he played clarinet, bass clarinet and guitar. His mother introduced him to jazz, particularly Dave Brubeck.[4] He played with Frumious Bandersnatch followed by Steve Miller Band appearing on Rock Love.[5] He was joined by guitarist David Denny, drummer Jack King and bassist Bobby Winkelman, all of whom would become members of the Steve Miller Band.[6] It was Jim Nixon, the manager of Frumious Bandersnatch, who would introduce Valory to Journey band members, along with Prairie Prince, later of The Tubes who originally sat in on drums.[4][7] Valory later joined the Golden Gate Rhythm Section which was later renamed to Journey.[7]

Valory has played on all of Journey's albums except 1986's Raised on Radio[8] and 2022's Freedom. For Raised on Radio, he was replaced on bass in the studio by Bob Glaub on three songs, while the remaining songs were played by Randy Jackson, who also played on the subsequent tour. Though he returned to the band when they reformed in 1995,[9] Valory was dismissed from Journey again in 2020, with Jackson replacing him once again on the album.[10]

One of Valory's techniques is to string a four-string bass with the bottom four strings of a 5-string set. Thus, instead of the usual E-A-D-G arrangement, his bass is strung as B-E-A-D, which he calls Nashville Tuning.[4] This adds the five string depth to the songs, while allowing the quick fingering of a four-string neck. Valory recorded Escape with an Ovation Magnum II, used a Peavey and a Steinberger for Frontiers, and a Fender Jazz up until the Departure album.[11]

Valory also played for The V.U., The Storm,[12] and the Steve Miller Band.[13]

On January 17, 2024, Valory announced his forthcoming debut solo album All Of The Above and released a video for its first single "Tomland", featuring Prairie Prince on drums and Miles Schon (son of Journey's Neal Schon) on guitar.[14]

Discography edit

Steve Miller Band edit

Journey edit

Todd Rundgren edit

The Storm edit

  • The Storm (1991)
  • Eye of the Storm (1996)

The V.U. edit

  • Phoenix Rising (2000)

References edit

  1. ^ "Ross Lamont Valory, Born 02/02/1949 in San Francisco -". Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Inductees: Journey". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  3. ^ Daniels, Neil (2011). The Untold Story of Journey. London: Omnibus. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-84938-657-9.
  4. ^ a b c Bass Musician Magazine Interviews Ross Valory. Bass Musician Magazine. August 27, 2016. Archived from the original on April 28, 2021. Retrieved August 23, 2021 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "Bass Players to Know: Ross Valory". 21 February 2019.
  6. ^ Daniels 2011, p. 10.
  7. ^ a b Daniels 2011, pp. 10–11.
  8. ^ Daniels 2011, p. 79–81.
  9. ^ Daniels 2011, p. 100.
  10. ^ Matthew Neale (May 26, 2020). "Journey announce line-up changes as former bassist Randy Jackson rejoins". Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  11. ^ "Ross Valory...Journey". Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  12. ^ Daniels 2011, pp. 93–94.
  13. ^ "Journey has followed interesting path". Reading, Pennsylvania: Reading Eagle. December 9, 1984. p. B-6. Retrieved February 26, 2022. The group was formed by Walter Herbert, who recruited Neal Schon and Gregg Rollie, from the group "Santana," and Ross Valory from the Steve Miller Band
  14. ^ "Former JOURNEY Bassist ROSS VALORY Announces Debut Solo Album 'All Of The Above'". January 17, 2024. Retrieved January 17, 2024.

External links edit

Preceded by
Journey bass-guitarist
Succeeded by
Preceded by Journey bass-guitarist
1995 – 2020
Succeeded by
Randy Jackson