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Bass Centre Los Angeles

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bassconbeatz, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA
    I was just wondering if anyone remembered the old Bass Centre in Los Angeles? Between late 80's through the early
    90's, I use to go there to take some lessons with Baba Elfante. I bought couple of stingrays, and they had pretty good customer service. I think the owner's name was Gary, and Chris who later went to work with Trace Elliote. I'm just curious if anyone else had experience with this store.

    Charlzm likes this.
  2. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Yes, I do remember. They were on Ventura Blvd near the Cahuenga pass, right? That was a great store.

    Long Ly who opened the Bass Exchange in Tarzana started there.

    I met Baba at a Marcus Miller clinic at the old Bass Exchange, he was an incredibly cool guy.
    Charlzm likes this.
  3. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    I've been to the bass exchange, and I've bought a few things there. Never had the chance to go the bass centre.
  4. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Don't know the store, but I met Baba at a coffee house once, he was jamming with the Ron Kobayashi Trio I believe they were called. Very cool guy!
  5. ERMAL


    Jun 20, 2003
    San Antonio, TX
    I too remember The Bass Centre - every time I play my Rickenbacker Blackstar that I purchased from them - I made a special trip from Kansas City (my home at the time) to LA specifically looking for that bass.
  6. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    the bass centre rocked. i went in there quite often as a dude in his early 20's and would be completely awestruck by the number of great basses. i met Stuart Hamm in there one day just hanging out playing some bass in the corner. it was a great store. the bass exchange is the closest thing to it these days, a great place in it's own right- and the only place in LA where there is a good selection of high end basses.
  7. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA

    I actually met Long Ly when he was working at Guitar Center in Sherman Oaks at old location, right across from Marie Calenders on Ventura Blvd, and he started working at Bass Centre when they moved to Universal City. By the way, the original Bass Centre was located in Studio City. That is were for the first time, I tried out a Wal bass. The had like four of them, really nice. I think Jeff Berlin was also giving lesson along with Baba. If I recall, Bass Centre was one of the first Bass only Store. I could be wrong?

  8. I personaly never have been that far West, but my buddy Stacey Magee was out there for 11yrs trying to get a record deal after he grad. MI. He bought a MIJ 75' Jazz Bass RI from there when it was new back in the early 90's, this is the bass I currently own, it even came with a Levy's "Bass Centre" gigbag just like this.

    Its the CM8P kind, a bass version of the CM7P, it has the "Bass Centre" logo on the pocket.

  9. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA

    Stu is awsome! Check my profile. I use to have a Kubicki, and tried my best to emulate his playing, but no luck :crying:

  10. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    All -
    Thanks for all the nice comments about The Bass Centre in Studio City - they are very much appreciated. That was a fantastic time, and I'm very grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of it. We had a great staff, great teachers, and fantastic customers. Alan Morgan was the owner, I was the manager (from when we opened the store in 1986 until I left in 1993.) Our staff included Eric Scott Williams, Mike Hiland (who wrote several bass instruction books for Mel Bay,) Ron Moreno (who works for G&L,) Robbie Harrington (who went on to play with Ozzy, Steve Vai, Keith Urban, and is now with Dierks Bentley,) and Brad Smith. Les Hurdle (who was a top studio bassist in England in the 70's and early 80's) worked as well on occasion. Long Ly joined the store sometime after I left, and went on to open the LA Bass Exchange after the Bass Centre (LA) closed in 1996. The store in LA would have never happened without Barry Moorhouse (owner of the original Bass Centre in England) or Fred Friedlein (who was the original owner of Trace Elliot.)

    Through the years, our teaching staff included Baba Elefante, Jeff Berlin, Dann Glenn, Steve Bailey, Chuck Rainey & more, and we even had Alain Caron teach some private lessons when he was in town.

    We also used to have our "Bass on the Blvd" clinics on a regular basis after we moved the store to Studio City in 1988. Clinics were limited to about 40 people in a living room sized environment. All of the players we had were fantastic people as well, and did the clinics for very little coin - just more of the reflection on the real sense of "community" in the bass world. Artists we had at the store included Abraham Laboriel, Nathan East, Stu Hamm, Billy Sheehan, John Entwistle, Lee Sklar, Alphonso Johnson, Tim Bogert, Jimmy Haslip, Rocco Prestia, Bunny Brunel, Alain Caron, Chuck Rainey, Gary Willis, Louis Johnson (who brought a full band,) Jeff Berlin, Doug Wimbish, Jimmy Earl, John Patitucci, Steve Bailey, Brian Bromberg & more.

    At any given time, you might run into Flea, Justin Meldel-Johnson (before he got famous!,) Mike Porcaro, Phil Chen, Bob Glaub, Stu Cook, Guy Pratt, Francis Buchholz, Mark Andes, Kip Winger, Carnine Rojas, Dave Pomeroy, Jason Newsted, Jason Scheff, Stanley Clarke, Jack Casady, Marcus Miller or countless others. We also hosted the launch party for the book "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" in 1989.

    The store was truly the hub of bass activity in the U.S. at the time, and was the first "bass only" store in the country when we opened in 1986 (The Bass Centre England was the first in the world, and had been around since 1984.) Within a few years, other killer stores like The Bass Place, Bass Northwest, Bass Central & First Bass had opened up, and even more have followed since then.

    Good times.
    Chris Maury
    Baa, elgecko and Charlzm like this.
  11. fretlesssurfer


    Nov 21, 2005
    Hey Chris.. yes those were the days!!!! Steve Bailey
    Charlzm likes this.
  12. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    No doubt, Steve. You were one of those people who made that time and the store special.

    I'm glad you're doing well, and hope to see you soon. It was great to see at at NAMM a few years ago with my son Nick (also a bass player,) who is graduating next week from LAMA.
  13. Bassconbeatz

    Bassconbeatz Way down low

    Feb 5, 2004
    Porter Ranch, CA
    Hey Chris,

    It's great to hear from you. You probably don't remember me, but I'm the guy who picked up the Trace Elliot Combo amp with the four tens back in '93. You even gave me a free Trace Elliot jacket which I still have. At that same store, I purchased 2 EB Stingrays, but I think you already left by then. Anyways, my recollection of the store at the location reminds me of my early years of being married. I'm still married to the same woman, which I'm going to almost 18 years. Talk about time going fast. Do you still live in SoCal?


  14. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA
    Hi Chris:

    Long time no see!
    Last time we talked was at the NAAM show in-'95!!

    I bought the Red Status 2000 4 'er from you years ago. Walter Becker was also it eyeing too!

    The good old days! You always treated us non- celebrity players equally! :D

    Unlike some the other companies at the NAAM show:(

    You gave me lotsa time to play one of the first Status
    headless 5 'ers that Rob built for the NAAM show too!
    after the show ended.

    Nowdays I play a F bass 6 fretless & Fretted.

    and: I remember when Rob Green came flew in one year and
    I had chance to chat with him in person- as I bought my 1st
    bass from him years via the mail.
    you informed me too- otherwise I would have not flown
    down for weekend.

    and:when Phil Chen used to tell me about your shop & "the Standing in The Shadows"
    book he was working on & who else was going work on it.
    and talked about Jaco's other lesser known recordings.

    and: I used to fly down there every 6 months to take a lesson from Ken Wild (Seawind, Natalie Cole) and hang at your shop to check new stuff.
    ( That's when the fares were about $ 75 round trip from SFO to LAX.-- no restrictions or X ray machines or long
    lines !)

    After reading your posts -it brought back of memories of the good times!! and forget about today for awhile.

    Nowdays: I just laid off from DHL in SFO.
    Had 29 years with them.
    received a serverance package & have filed for unemployment.

    And am practicing for 4 hours a day until I find a job in my
    field (air freight / import ) or maybe as musician too.
    ( I was only a weekend warrior player back then.)

    Many Thanks again!!
  15. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Dennis -
    It has been a long time - thanks for reaching out!

    I'm glad you're still playing, but saddened by your job loss. You're a good guy, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that you'll find something even better in the near future.

    Weekend warriors like you were the life blood of The Bass Centre (Trace Elliot/Soundwave, too) - the celebs were all very cool, but just the icing on the cake. If you can, try to make it to the Bass Player Live event that is scheduled in October - it's amazing how many people from the old days I ran into at the event in 2008. I think you'd enjoy it.

    You're post made my day as well.

    Be well!
  16. Dennis Kong

    Dennis Kong Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    San Mateo CA


    Me too!! -made my week!

    I really appreciate the support I 've been getting from my friends in music community.
    I 've been talking to many old friends, bass teachers, and musicians:
    I have not seen in years since my lay off.

    and Phil is on the list too.

    Will try to make the Bass Event! Is it in LAX ?

  17. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    The advangates of living the good life in Southern California!

    Being a small town teenager from Texas, I could only dream of such a place. I don't think I could get over walking into a store and seeing Chuck Rainey playing bass next to Billy Sheehan. Those are treasured memories and I'm glad there are guys who share those stories. I, for one really appreciate it.
  18. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I used to love going there, I was in my late teens in 90/91 when I 'discovered' the Bass Centre. I lived up near Santa Barbara, and would drive down probably once a month to get supplies and check out all the great basses I couldn't see anywhere else. Ran into several celebs there too.
  19. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Dennis -
    The Bass Player event was at SIR studios in Hollywood. I believe they plan to hold it there again this year.

    Ray/Mike -
    It was definitely a cool era. I wrote to Bass Player because I was bummed that they didn't mention anything about what was going on with the bass world during the early-mid 80's in their 20th Anniversary issue a few months ago. The events that were took place at the time was the reason Bass Player Magazine was launched in the first place, as well as the reason for stores like The Bass Centre, Bass Northwest, Bass Central, The Bass Place, First Bass & many more. They published my letter in the last issue of BP (although it was heavily edited,) but I have no idea if they plan to invest anytime re-visiting what took place at the time or not.

    Per your comments, Ray, I think there are a lot of people who would dig hearing about what was going on during that era - not only from guys like me and the staff members of other bass shops, but also from the artists, bass manufacturers, amp manufacturers, Jim Roberts (who was the editor of BP when the magazine was launched) and guys like Dennis and Mike who were around at the time. Not taking it too seriously, but it's all a part of bass history. There is definitely no shortage of things to be shared and stories to be told.
  20. bassbaba


    Dec 11, 2008
    Southern California
    Endorsing Artist: GHS Strings
    Hello Chris, x students and everyone and anyone from the old Bass Centre!
    I had to chime in here...
    The LA Bass Centre was such an amazingly unique place for many reasons. I'm not sure if any of us realized at the time how special it was.
    I will always cherish being a part of that scene and was honored that Chris asked me to teach there.
    I taught there every Saturday .. it was an hour + drive .. but well worth being a part of.

    Let me set the scene ... on any given day... it was like Bass Player Magazine LIVE!
    You would see Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Willie Weeks, Chuck Rainey, Rocco, .. The list goes on..
    And.. it was just a casual hang... what a hang!! A real community of bass players talking and exchanging ideas.
    I would be teaching upstairs and see Chuck Rainey holding court downstairs playing and telling story's... all the bass players in the store sitting around like it was a campfire. I had to make the call ... is the lesson today... upstairs or downstairs?
    The clinics were amazing ... Being able to watch the heroes of the bass era up close, ask questions and even participate in a jam.
    Also, I was so privileged to teach among some very great players and teachers... Steve Baily, Jeff Berlin, Carol Kaye, Dann Glenn, Rocco Prestia, Todd Johnson..
    A very memorable time indeed!
    Hey Chris.....CONGRATS to Nick! I bet he's playing his a%$ off!

    All the best
    Baba Elefante

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