We here at "On the Road" are fans of the low end.

We groove to George Porter Jr.

We bounce with Duck Dunn.

We're bombed by Phil Lesh.

This month's guest, Dave Schools of Widespread Panic, can groove, bounce and drop bass bombs with the best of them. Besides being one of the great rock bass players of our generation, Schools is a real sweetheart and a pleasure to hang with. We caught up with him on the eve of Panic's three-night run at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley as Panic plows through its summer tour. Enjoy.

Dave Schools :: Red Rocks :: 06.25.05 by T. Voggesser
AT: New members of the Allman Brothers Band reportedly get a tattoo upon joining the band. Does Widespread Panic have any secret initiation rituals when new people join the group?

DS: We have initiation rituals, but they wouldn't be secret if I told you what they were!

AT: You're a fan of electronica music. If you were given the opportunity to spin a set as a guest DJ at a club, what would your DJ moniker be?

DS: My DJ moniker would have to be Schoolly D...oh wait...that's been taken!

AT: Gimme your best Colonel Bruce Hampton story.

Dave Schools :: Bonnaroo '05 by J. Jones
DS: When asked what rehearsal for the Aquarium Rescue Unit consisted of, the Colonel responded, "Walking around in a circle and examining each other's intent."

AT: What DVDs/TV shows are you watching on the bus these days?

DS: Big bus fave DVDs: All three seasons of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Chappelle's Show (Season II), Miles Davis "Electric," and Shakes The Clown.

AT: You're a big Deadhead. How many Dead shows did you attend and what's your favorite year of Dead shows to listen to?

DS: I guess I saw about 100 Dead shows from 1977-1995 with the majority being in the early '80s. My fave years for listening are 1972 and 1981. I can't believe it's been 10 years since Garcia passed away!

AT: What's your favorite venue that you've ever had a chance to play and why?

Dave Schools :: 04.17.05 by J. Krolick
DS: My favorite venues are Red Rocks (obvious reasons), The Fox in Atlanta (absolutely the most gorgeous), and the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC tied with The NorVa in Norfolk, VA. Both are great nightclubs with the emphasis on the concert venue aspect run by people who love music.

AT: Do you have any superstitions or routines you have while on tour?

DS: "I Ain't Superstitious" and the only routine I have is trying to get to sleep before the sun comes up.

If you could pick three people, alive or dead, to have sit in tonight, who would they be?

DS: Three people to sit in alive or dead... Mike Houser, Allen Woody, and John Lennon.

AT: Who's got the coolest tour bus that you've ever seen? Why?

DS: Neil Young has the coolest tour bus out there. It's old as the hills and all wood on the inside. Beautiful and weird just like Neil!

AT: John, Paul, George or Ringo? Why?

Dave Schools :: Susan J. Weiand
DS: John Lennon of course... I mean c'mon: "Tomorrow Never Knows"! Although George is my fave post-Beatles Beatle.

AT: What's in the CD changer/iPOD these days?

DS: The iPod contains 5,500 songs ranging from a 45-minute studio jam session of the original ARU to the entire early ZZ Top catalog. It's slightly depressing that a lifetime of collecting music can fit into something the size of a deck of cards!

AT: What's one album or artist you wouldn't want to admit is in your iPOD/CD changer?

DS: My guilty iPod pleasure is KC & The Sunshine Band.

AT: You've played with or met countless musicians over the years. Was there ever an instance when you were star struck?

DS: The only time I have ever been star struck was when Chuck Leavell introduced me to Keith Richards at Stones rehearsals in Toronto. But I got over it and Keith gave me a bouquet of Marlboro reds. Did I smoke 'em? Damn skippy I smoked 'em!

Andy Tennille
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[Published on: 7/8/05]

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treetops78 starstarstarstarstar Fri 7/8/2005 02:13PM
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Man, great comments by Schools, always witty and entertaining. And the photos! Its like a superstar portfolio of rock photographers....

snappy starstarstarstarstar Sat 7/9/2005 07:05AM
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This column just gets better & better. Well crafted questions, smart and funny replies. Nice, nice, nice.

weekapa Sat 7/9/2005 08:46AM
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schools is the man, i love when he solos ...AWESOME

hursty starstarstarstarstar Sat 7/9/2005 11:04AM
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Great pics of Dave. Love those boys. They've come a long way since the first time I saw they back in '91 opening for Traveler. They're now the kingpins of jambands and Dave seems to still have his head on straight. Fun comments too. Liked the Colonel Bruce story esp.

dannymo starstarstarstarstar Sat 7/9/2005 11:32AM
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great article & story dave is a such a class act!!!!!

cosmocheiner starstarstarstar Sat 7/9/2005 01:34PM
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Short but sweet. I only wish a few panic oriented questions were asked. But entertaining none the less.

funkyriddims Sun 7/10/2005 12:29AM
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Cool interview. Schools is the man.

Gonzo starstarstarstarstar Mon 7/11/2005 10:25AM
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I never knew Schools is such a deadhead! It would be great if Phil and Dave got together for a jam sometime soon.

pbaudouin starstarstarstarstar Mon 7/11/2005 03:38PM
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No wonder schools is so badass, DEADHEAD nuf said!

amysinsh starstarstarstar Mon 7/11/2005 07:19PM
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Have to throw in that Neil Young's bus also runs on biodiesel! Long may he run...

Tarren starstarstarstarstar Mon 7/11/2005 09:06PM
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Schools is a Rock Star*

Vansabar starstar Tue 7/12/2005 04:17PM
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No wonder Signal Path has been playing a lot of post WSP shows

fuckinmarley starstarstarstar Tue 7/12/2005 08:23PM
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kc and the sunshine band, damn. WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT. Love the respect for the orange peel. Asheville is the best "smaller" town on the east coast. Dave can School me anytime, any show. He ripped it up at roo, second night, DAMN!

karpediem starstarstarstar Wed 7/13/2005 05:52PM
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Great interview....the first time I was star strucked was at strawberry fields in VA and my friend got me back stage and I was way parched. Someone told me to grab a drink from a cooler and there was Dave Schools right in front of me and all I could do was extend my hand out. I think I said " Its nice to meet you" and he introduced me to his mother! Then I found my friends talking to Domigo about his congos.... What a time....

schoolzzme starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/14/2005 06:50AM
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I am proud to say I live 10 minutes from the NorVa, Norfolk, VA and was with Schools the night he played there. It was a night with Schools (who is my heart!!!) I WILL NEVER forget! Schools thought it was great that my husband was trying to give me to him!!! All three of us just laughed!!! Look for me Schools at 10,000 Lakes... I'll be the one in front of you with my Schoolzz Me shirt on! My own creation!!! Lots of Love to my man!!!

TURNJBUP2 starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/14/2005 03:58PM
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derekliv starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/14/2005 05:30PM
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Great interview, just that a few more Panic questions would have been better.

George1 starstarstarstar Fri 7/15/2005 08:20AM
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fun, interesting questions that provide insight into the man behind the bass and not all the boiler plate stuff I'm sure he's used to. More would have been better in this case.

lucyontherun starstarstarstar Fri 7/15/2005 11:49AM
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Great photos. we love you Dave! as far as response to Q about sitting in; we miss Houser too.... (with plenty of love for George as well)

PhishermanTIM starstarstar Fri 7/15/2005 01:32PM
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schools is the man! His BASS play`n can only be toped by his personality.

fetusclamrod starstarstarstarstar Sat 7/16/2005 10:40PM
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for sure schools is a great guy. i ran into him at a record store in richmond, his home town, we were both pawing through the reggae bin, i recommended some heptones cause he was all about lee perry, and i got a hearty handshake, class act

Stanley Gemmell Sun 7/17/2005 05:51AM
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Dave SCHOOLS is so awesome, long may he run, he is great!!

ZeOe88 starstarstarstar Sun 7/17/2005 10:52AM
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The Sunday show at Berkeley were incredible. The all acoustic first set was awesome. Your rendition of low rider and come together were sick as well with the drum solo and in and out with chilly water...and dont be denied for the encore - Badass. For sure one of my best panic shows. I wish i could have seen the friday and saturday shows too, but from what i hear yall played vacation. Thats the first time since houser died.

trippedw starstarstar Mon 7/18/2005 09:53AM
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Than ks, Dave for the Mikey props! Bombs away. Get to bed by 5.

gratefultc Mon 7/18/2005 10:15AM
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Schoooooooools!!! Nothing will ever compare to the show I saw at the Gorge Amphitheater in WA... Can't believe it didn't make your list Dave! Incredible energy there, creepy "spectral people" runnin' round... JB knew it!... and best of all, I was able (with the help of a spirit guide, I only wish I knew who it was) I got a song to JB that I wrote for him two years ago, with the gracious help of gorgeous George. WSP... best thing about the South, y'all...

gsu8406 starstarstarstar Thu 7/21/2005 10:43PM
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u da man schools! see you in charlotte! how about a little shakedown street cover?

festivalfan starstarstarstarstar Mon 7/25/2005 07:31AM
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Dave Schools is the bomb!! No bass player amazes me more consistently than him. So badass!! The world is a much better place with Schools holding down the bottom! Great subject, great article! Just getting more pumped for Charlotte, VA, & Philly this weekend! Thank you!

Maximus60048 starstarstarstar Mon 7/25/2005 09:46AM
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Schools rocked lollapaloobizaba.

slizg522 starstarstarstar Mon 10/17/2005 11:14PM
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Schools is my man. I love to watch him in front of the fan with his hair everywhere and his mouth wide open with great backup words flowing. It was great to see them Saturday in Macon; wish I could have been there for the previous Sat. in Bham. Heard it was absolutely amazing...maybe even top 10. Sad thing that close to 500 people were arrested in Macon. Including one of my friends. Apparently some undercovers mentioned to him that they had a very large group this touring season and their "hippie apparel" has gotten better and harder to tell. So guys beware.