Watch Tony Levin demonstrate his signature ‘funk fingers’

Tony Levin live in concert with Peter Gabriel
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Since emerging on the New York studio scene in the 1970s, Tony Levin has forged a reputation as a modern master of the bass guitar. “I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have played with so many great musicians,” he tells us. “To have played some great music, and just to have been able to keep playing the bass – the thing I love to do – for all of my adult years.”

Aside from a remarkable career as a sideman, playing on landmark recordings for the likes of John Lennon, Paul Simon, Kate Bush, Lou Reed and David Bowie, Levin’s preference for prog rock led to his taking up the Chapman Stick, joining the envelope-pushing King Crimson, and becoming a permanent touring member of Peter Gabriel’s band. He’s worked closely with Peter Gabriel since 1977, and will be a core member of the group’s 2023 i/o tour.

"With Peter, it’s great music," says Tony. "There’s a lot of fun within the band, so everything still feels good to us. Peter’s a great performer, as ever, and the material is a pleasure to play, even after all these years.”

Peter Gabriel In Concert At The O2 Arena, London, Britain - 21 Oct 2013, Tony Levin

Tony and his 'funk fingers' (Image credit: Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.