Durban Laverde (born 1951), is a Venezuelan born bass guitarist, keyboardist, session musician, and producer. Laverde was born in Caracas. He has appeared on numerous albums and singles since the 1970s for a diverse range of recording artists, including Joan Armatrading, Ali Thompson, Jimmy Page (on his 1988 Outrider solo album), Blue Murder, Vox, and French singer Lizzy Mercier Descloux's backing group. Laverde has also recorded under the name Durban Betancourt and Spartacus R.
Inspired to take up a career in music after first hearing the bass playing of Cream musician Jack Bruce, Laverde played in blues rock bands around Caracas. In the late 1960s, Laverde moved to England to continue his studies, and saw Led Zeppelin perform at the Wembley Empire Pool, in London on 20 November 1971. His recording career began in 1974 with British pub rock band The Movies, but was abruptly halted after injuries sustained in a train crash at Nuneaton prevented him from further touring in 1975. Laverde recovered and joined Joan Armatrading's band after a friend at Firelfy Records told him the artist was preparing to tour the world. Armatrading opened for Supertramp as well as Don McLean. Laverde also began a career as a session musician after meeting English producer Barry Blue. Sessions for Manfred Mann's Earth Band, The Hollies as well as for the BBC soon followed. Laverde was also a member of Ali Thompson's backing band in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and toured with Mick Jagger in 1986. During much of his career Laverde played Warwick basses.
Jimmy Page's Outrider
Laverde was invited by David Gilmour to session for Pink Floyd in early 1987, and was asked to play bass on "Signs of Life" at a London studio by Gilmour, during the recording of Momentary Lapse of Reason. During the session Laverde met Phil Carlo, who at the time was working as an assistant for both Gilmour and Jimmy Page. Carlo suggested Laverde meet up with guitarist Page who was looking at forming a new band and was seeking a versatile bass player. Laverde passed the audition, held with Bill Bruford on drums, and later recorded with Page's studio and touring band. Laverde also re-recorded many of the bass parts previously laid down by Tony Franklin, for the Outrider sessions, and is credited on "Wanna Make Love", "Writes of Winter", and "Hummingbird". Laverde resumed session work after the final Page tour in 1988.
Laverde returned to Venezuela in 1991, where he currently works as a owner/producer for Que Karma Records. Bands he has produced include Vox, Zapato 3, Euddomar Balza, Antonio Rondón, Promo Stars, Clandestine Venezuelan, and Moksha. He also set up the charity foundation Artists Against AIDS.