Pino Palladino

Birth name Giuseppe Henry Palladino
Born 17 October 1957
Cardiff, Wales
Genres Rock, soul, funk, pop
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instruments Bass guitar

Giuseppe Henry “Pino” Palladino (born 17 October 1957) is a Welsh bassist. A prolific session musician, he is probably best known for playing with The Who (following the death of founding member John Entwistle) from 2002 to 2016.

Palladino plays a late-1970s, fretless, Music Man StingRay bass guitar, a fretted Fender Precision, and Jaguar basses. His playing has earned him custom instruments bearing his name.

Born in Cardiff to an Italian father from Campobasso and a Welsh mother, Palladino began playing electric guitar at age 14 and bass guitar at 17. He bought his first fretless bass one year later, playing mostly R&B, funk, and reggae with a rock and roll backbeat.


Palladino was drawn to Motown and jazz at an early age. He attended Catholic school and took classical guitar lessons. He liked Led Zeppelin and Yes and started a rock band.

In 1982, Palladino recorded with Gary Numan on the album I, Assassin. The producer of the album asked him to contribute to Paul Young’s debut album. Young’s cover version of “Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home)” by Marvin Gaye became a hit in Europe, and Palladino received offers to record with Joan Armatrading, Go West, and David Gilmour. He cites as early influences James Jamerson, Danny Thompson, and Norman Watt-Roy and also admires Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Michael Henderson, Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller, and Rocco Prestia.

In 1983, he joined The Law with Paul Rodgers, formerly of Bad Company, and drummer Kenney Jones, who succeeded Keith Moon in The Who after Moon died, and recorded the album The Law.

In the 1990s, Palladino alternated between fretless bass and fretted and 4-string and 6-string bass. He played with Melissa Etheridge, Richard Wright, Elton John, and Eric Clapton.

Palladino is noted for his use of the fretless bass on many 1980s albums. While it was typical for a bass guitar in a commercial track to have a rather generic sound and stay “playing the low notes”, Palladino preferred a different sound, combining fretless tone with an octaver effect, and basslines that frequently added chords, lead lines, and counter melodies in the higher range of the instrument. Typical of this style was his playing on Paul Young’s Wherever I Lay My Hat. His equipment at that time included a fretless Music Man StingRay Bass 1979 and Boss Octave pedal (OC-2).

The Fender Pino Palladino Signature Precision Bass is modelled after two of Palladino’s Fender Precision Basses. The body features faded fiesta red paint over desert sand paint, based on Palladino’s 1961 Precision Bass, while the neck shape and round-lam rosewood fretboard are based on his 1963 sunburst Precision Bass.

Personal life

Pino married Marilyn (Maz) Roberts, a former backing singer with the Fabulous Wealthy Tarts, in 1992 in Wales. They have three children: Fabiana, Giancarla and Rocco, who are all involved in the music industry.

Select discography

With Paul Young

1983 No Parlez (Columbia)
1985 The Secret of Association (Columbia)
1990 Other Voices (Columbia)
With David Knopfler

1983 Release (Peach Tree)
1985 Behind the Lines (Paris)
1987 Cut the Wire (Paris)
With Don Henley

1984 Building the Perfect Beast (Geffen)
1989 The End of the Innocence (Geffen)
With Go West

1985 Go West (Chrysalis)
1987 Dancing on the Couch (Chrysalis)
With Elton John

1985 Ice on Fire (Rocket/Geffen)
1992 The One (Rocket/MCA)
With John Mayer

2005 Try!
2006 Continuum
2017 The Search for Everything
With Jeff Beck

1999 Who Else! (Epic)
2006 Official Bootleg USA ’06
2010 Emotion & Commotion
With D’Angelo

2000 Voodoo (Virgin)
2014 Black Messiah (RCA)
With The Gaddabouts

2011 The Gaddabouts
2012 Look Out Now!
With The Who

2006 Endless Wire (Polydor)
2014 Quadrophenia Live in London (Universal)
2015 Live in Hyde Park (Eagle Rock / Universal)
2017 Live at the Isle of Wight 2004 Festival (Eagle Rock / Universal)
With others

1980 with Joanna Forte, (Eagle/CBS Europe)
1982 with Gary Numan, I, Assassin (Beggars Banquet)
1983 with Nick Heyward, North of a Miracle (Arista)
1983 with David Gilmour, About Face (Harvest)
1985 with Pete Townshend, White City: A Novel (Atco)
1986 with Chris Eaton, Vision (Reunion)
1986 with Chris De Burgh, Into the Light, (A&M)
1989 with Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love (Fontana)
1989 with Phil Collins, …But Seriously (Warner Music Group)
1990 with The Christians, Colour (Island)
1990 with Oleta Adams, Circle of One (Fontana)
1990 with Mike Lindup Changes (Polydor)
1992 with Mango, Come l’acqua, (Fonit Cetra)
1993 with Melissa Etheridge, Yes I Am, (Island)
1996 with Richard Wright, Broken China
1997 with Steve Lukather, Luke (Columbia)
1999 with Robbie McIntosh, Emotional Bends (album)
2000 with Richard Ashcroft, Alone With Everybody (Hut)
2000 with Erykah Badu, Mama’s Gun (Motown)
2001 with Zucchero, Shake (Polydor)
2006 with J. J. Cale and Eric Clapton, The Road to Escondido (Reprise)
2010 with Alain Clark, Colorblind (Warner Music Group)
2011 with Robbie Robertson, How to Become Clairvoyant (429 Records)
2011 with Adele, 21 (XL)
2016 with Keith Urban, Ripcord (album) (Capitol Records Nashville)
2013 with Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks (Columbia)
2016 with John Legend, Darkness and Light (Columbia)
2017 with Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Asylum)

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