|Born on: 19.03.1953
Billy Sheehan (born on 1953 March 19 in Buffalo, NY) is an Irish American bassist known for his work with Talas, Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr Big, and Niacin.
Sheehan has won Guitar Player Magazine's "Best Rock Bass Player" readers' poll five times for his "lead bass" playing style. Guitar Player has likened his soloing on the four-string instrument to Eddie Van Halen's on the six-string guitar. Sheehan's repertoire includes the use of chording, two-handed tapping and controlled feedback. However, Sheehan is also noted as a steady "true" bassist, fulfilling the traditional supportive role of the electric bass in the rock idiom.
He has also been with the Church of Scientology since 1971 and appeared on the street offering to defend it during Project Chanology.
Billy Sheehan's first instrument was an acoustic guitar that he borrowed incessantly from his sister. Legend has it that Sheehan wanted an electric guitar, but his grandmother said: "Over my dead body!" and that there would never be an electric guitar in her house as long as she was alive. She died soon after, and with some of her life insurance money Sheehan bought his first electric guitar.
However, Sheehan says that when he saw Tim Bogert of the band Vanilla Fudge using a Fender Precision bass with a maple fingerboard, he switched to the bass.
Billy became a Scientologist in 1971 when somebody knocked on his door and sold him a Dianetics book. After he had read it, he became a member of the Church of Scientology and now holds a level of OT III (Operating Thetan Level 3).