One might say our versatile bass player Phil Baker (right, in the photo above, with trombonist Robert Taylor) is slumming it with Pink Martini; after all, he’s performed and toured with legendary musicians such as Diana Ross, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Sonny Stitt, and many more, including Motown greats such as Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye at the prestigious Motown 25 performance. But we’ve been lucky to have him grounding us with his rock solid upright bass in the studio and on tour since 2003. A native of Salem, Oregon, Phil wrote the original song “Cante e dance” for our 2006 album Hey Eugene. A live performance video of that song featuring Phil on acoustic guitar is now up on our Youtube channel, which you can watch here.
1. If you could have seen any musician in concert, dead or alive, who you never got to see live, who would it be?
2. What is your favorite Pink Martini song to perform?
Cante e Dance. (Of course)
3. What Pink Martini song gets stuck in your head?
Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love
4. If you could have a side gig in any current band, which?
5. If you had a robot that could do one household chore for you… what would it be?
Picking up after me
6. If you could instantly be fluent in any language, which?
Spanish (I speak Italian. Can’t be that hard)
7. Who is your favorite movie director?
8. What was the first concert you ever saw?
Deep Purple, right after Machine Head came out.
9. If you could have one dish from any restaurant appear instantly anytime, which?
The razor clams from El Jefe
10. What music would you choose as a soundtrack to your most triumphant moment?
“Fly With the Wind” by McCoy Tyner
11. What’s your favorite sweet/dessert?
Tres leches cake
12. What illustrated animal or object would star in your children’s book?
Barney the Dinosaur
13. Who do you wish would play you in Pink Martini: The Movie?
The Dude in The Big Lebowski
14. Pride of Lions, Pod of Whales… what would you call a pack of squirrels?
15. Are you on the party bus or sleepy bus?
Party bus. Of course.
16. If you could safely tour any ancient civilization, which?
Ancient Rome, not in Pompeii and not as a gladiator.
17. If you were instantly skilled enough to have any one other occupation in the world besides musician, what would you choose?
Wine maker… or drinker
18. If you had complete creative control, what book would you like to turn into a movie?
Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.
19. What is your favorite city in the world?
Portland (no joke)
20. What’s the most fun thing about being in Pink Martini?
Playing so many different types of music. With so many awesomely talented musicians.
21. How did you choose your musical instrument?
I was trying to imitate Pete Townsend and smashed the family guitar.. went downhill from there.
22. How are you keeping sane and calm during this crisis and these weeks of quarantine?
Music, walking, wine.