IMG_3355The 1972 Rickenbacker was my first serious instrument. I bought it at 8th Street Music in Philadelphia, and played it almost exclusively up through 1976. It was in use when I was in the Eastern High School Stage (Jazz) band, and also with my early rock groups, such as Catapult, and the Corner Boys. I even used it in my early months with the big band at Glassboro State College. However I soon switched to the next bass.


IMG_3354This 1966 Fender Jazz Bass became mine in 1976. Someone had already filed the top three frets off. So, rather than pulling the other frets out, I had the remaining frets also filed down to the fingerboard. Every few years I re-coat the neck with some sort of goop to protect the wood.

I played my later gigs at Glassboro with it, and when I moved to California in 1977, it became my only bass, up until the late 1990’s. I used it on countless recording sessions and dance classes. I’m pretty sure it is the only bass I recorded with for the Ugly Janitors of America LP’s.

IMG_3254Shortly before 2000 I began to feel the urge to play a fretted bass again. This was, in part, because of the sort of material I was playing with the band, Forever Einstein. After trying out a number of different basses for the short term, fate led one very special Sadowsky bass into my eager hands. It has one of their early pre-amps, a very unique neck, and one of the most resonant bodies I’ve ever heard on an electric instrument.

It came just a tad too late for my bass solo CD, The Restaurant Behind the Pier, but can be heard on Down With Gravity, my last Forever Einstein CD, and on a number of YouTube videos.

IMG_3624Here is a 1964 Gibson Thunderbird IV I’ve used on occasion. It has a pretty unusual sound – very clanky. Think early John Entwistle. Like its Firebird guitar relative, it was only made for two years in this form, that is, one piece neck/body down the center, and “reversed” contours.

I recorded a cover version of The Kinks’ “I’m on an Island” with James Velvet a couple of years ago. It can be heard here.

In the original version, Peter Quaife also had a very clanky bass sound, but I’m guessing it was a Rickenbacker (also a solid down the middle bass known for its clank, especially after Chris Squire got ahold of one.)