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Anything known about the fretless that David Gilmour plays on "Hey you"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by uOpt, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    "Hey you" from The Wall has a great fretless bass under it. I mean it sounds really great.

    Is anything known about the specific bass used there? I realize that many of those earth-shattering notes are open strings so the fretless part doesn't really matter, but still.

    I read it is actually Tony Levin playing, who's a Music Man guy it seems, but that's probably some endorsement BS from after 1979. Bit difficult to navigate that space.
  2. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    Subscribed. I've wondered this for years.
  3. esa372

    esa372 Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have heard that the bass used on "Hey You" was either a fretless Precision (which would be my guess), or a fretless Charvel - I haven't found a definitive answer, however.

    It was Gilmour who played it, though (so I'm told).
  4. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    I had originally heard it was Gilmour on a fretless P, and even other songs on "The Wall" have that same tone minus the "mwah", IMO. I wondered why Roger Waters couldn't handle it..
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I also read it was a fretless Charvel. Read that YEARS ago, way before the internet!
  6. It certainly not a fretless Jazz to my ears so a fretless P or equivalent would be my guess.

    Not a big fan of that sound. Surely any fretless would be OK. I've read Gilmour say that it was him and Roger's playing was very basic so he played on half the recordings at the time.

  7. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    Sounds like a p-bass to me. I really like the sound
  8. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I always thought it was a P by tone, but I never read anything about it. "Hey You" is one of my favorites to play though.
  9. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    I've heard Charvel also.
  10. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    sounds like a fretless P to me as well, but who knows
  11. basso_profundo


    Mar 12, 2012
    Denver, CO

    So your post spurred me to do some research. I found this interview with Gilmour in '92:


    Where Gilmour says in the early days he played bass on about half the stuff, which I can believe. I can believe that for Saucerful of Secrets, Ummagumma, and Atom Heart Mother (and Relics, which wasn't an actual released album but is from that time period).

    By Meddle though, I think Waters has his own bass voice. If you watch Live at Pompeii, he certain can play the parts live. That doesn't mean Gilmour didn't play some bass on the original tracks in the studio - Gilmour is an amazing musician, regardless of instrument. Money from DSOTM is a good example of Waters style.

    The next question in that interview is about Hey You, which was later in the Pink Floyd career and they were all very different musicians than they were on Saucerful of Secrets. Gilmour rips into Waters again in the interview at this point, but they hated each other in '92 and maybe Waters hates fretless basses.

    Anyway, good stuff!
  12. If you watch Gilmour`s solo dvd from 2006, on most of the Floyd tracks, Guy Pratt plays a P bass (62 re issue?) as David likes the P sound. So I would imagine that Hey You was played on a P. But Waters or Gilmour, I`m not sure as Gilmour played bass on lots of Floyd material but The Wall was Waters baby.

    Just checked Wikipedia and they say that David played on the track but when they played it live, the fretless bass was played by Andy Bown, who has been the Keyboard player with Status Quo for years but is also a very capable bass player.
  13. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill