TIR 128: John Heintz Tells How He Pulled Off the Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown

John Heintz (right) grooving with Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott “DR GX” Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 128 (3 parts): Bassist and impresario John Heintz — founder and ringleader of the funk-R&B all-stars collective known as The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown. With roots that trace back to 2007, Heintz, whose other musical exploits include the Lee Boys and another star-studded musical collective known as Trulio Disgracias, assembled dozens of like-minded yet diverse players in an attempt to bring the magic of live improvisation into a studio setting.

The fruits of those efforts thus far have been two albums under the The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown, or as an acronym, BONG, banner. Volume 1 dropped in 2012 and featured George Clinton and several members of the P-Funk All-Stars, as well as a bunch of accomplished musicians from the jam-band scene.

Volume 2 was released in 2018 and included, among many others, Speech, Fred Wesley, Vernon Reid, Larry Dunn, RonKat Spearman, Angelo Moore and Taylor Dayne. In recent years, a revolving lineup has hit stages across the country to bring the BONG amalgamation of funk, R&B, New Orleans jazz, hip hop and other influences to the people. And, more volumes of the collective’s eclectic creations are said to be in the works, as what could have very well wound up as a one-off novelty is turning into its own sonic underground movement.

Here, Heintz explains how he conceptualized BONG, saw it to fruition and continues to push it forward regardless of its multitude of challenges.