Berry Oakley's "The Tractor"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jerry J, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I was listening to a classic rock station yesterday and "One Way Out" came on. Now I've never paid too much attention to that song but what caught my attention was just how growly the bass was on that song. :eek:

    I'm assuming that it was Berry Oakley playing on that song. If so was he using his Jazz bass with the Hagstrom pickups? Are there any other basses that can cop that tone?
  2. As far as I know, it had only 1 Hagstrom pup along with the 2 Fender pups. He is indeed playing it on "Live at the Fillmore East".
    Lemur Bassman and Rattman like this.
  3. Yeah pretty neat tone eh? He made other mods on that now-famous Fender. He also was a former lead guitarist from somewhere up near Chicago, and therefore never stopped using a pick.
  4. prattguy

    prattguy Guest

    May 31, 2007
    Maracaibo, Venezuela
    Try a Darkstar equipped bass...
    Flaky Tuna likes this.
  5. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    I think it was just 1 J-pup and 1 Hagstrom

  6. Juniorkimbrough


    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    1 Hagstrom in the neck position (slightly crooked) and 2 Jazz pickups at the bridge
    Lemur Bassman likes this.
  7. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    In this photo it looks almost like the Hagstrom is in the "P" position.

    I recently got to babysit a vintage reissue P with a Darkstar replacement. It just begged to be played with a pick.:bassist:

    Thanks for all the replies. You guys are awesome!;)
  8. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    please guys,

    its berry oakley


    once lead gtr players - now - bass players unite!!!
  9. doc540

    doc540 Supporting Member

    Jul 28, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    Big Dave On Bass can sort this all out for us.

    Big Dave's Replica

    Burst Tractor


    Young, dumb, and stoned I tried to create my own Tractor from my '69 Jbass. I had Chip Todd wind up a 'bucker and install it with a toggle switch.

    It sounded like warmed over sheet.
    Gothic, Hues and Shawn Luckman like this.
  10. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Any tips on wiring this lovely beast?:bassist:
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    RSguitarworks makes a relic tractor reproduction that is reportedly
    great. I haven't played it, but some one on TB has one.

    Roy and Scott are great to do business with. They restored my 1955 P-bass,
    refretted and refinished in nitro a '69 P-bass neck for me, and have done
    various set-ups, fretwork, and repairs/installations.

    I HIGHLY recommend you investigate the Old Friend series they make.
    Their Tractor can be done in any finish you can imagine.

    PS. I am not a paid or discount receiving RSGuitarworks endorser, just a pleased customer.
    jhb138 likes this.
  12. kjpollo


    Mar 17, 2008
    Can anyone venture a guess as to know the controls work?
  13. bassvirtuoso

    bassvirtuoso My God, it's full of chrome! Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    The said RS Tractor:


    Controls (top to bottom):

    DS Vol
    DS Tone
    Jazz 1 Vol
    Jazz 2 Vol
    Jazz Tone

    Very growly, especially with a pic ;)
    kkaarrll likes this.
  14. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    I love this thread and I love Berry Oakley. Fillmore East is at or near the top of my all-time list. Hot Lanta and Eliz Reed is as good as it gets IMO. Where can I find a transcription to Hot Lanta BTW?
  15. I swear I saw something in a bass mag about Fender making a custom sig model of this mighty beast, and the lengths the custom shop went to imitate the wear and tear...but I dunno.
  16. doc540

    doc540 Supporting Member

    Jul 28, 2003
    Beaumont, Texas
    I'm with ya and wish I could help ya.

    I can play it, but I can't transcribe it.

    Same with Elizabeth Reed.
    P. Aaron likes this.
  17. BigDaveOnBass

    BigDaveOnBass Guest

    May 16, 2006
    The "blond" Tractor started life as a '62 Jazz Bass. Oakley put the Hagstrom Bi-sonic pickup in the neck position and added a route and relocated the stock Jazz neck pickup between the bridge and bridge pickup. Oakley at one time had the Tractor wired for the Bi-sonic pickup to run to one amp and the two Jazz pickups going to another amp, separating the highs and lows. When Berry Duane Oakley, Berry Oakley's son, received the bass in 1989 as a gift from Dickey Betts, who had rescued it from a FL guitar shop, he and Joe Dan Petty rewired the pickups back to series. Shortly before Berry Oakley died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash, the neck from his '66 Jazz Bass was swapped onto it. The '62 neck went on to the '66 Jazz body. That bass belonged for a while to Oakley's daughter, Brittany, but she somehow lost possession of it to a former boyfriend who now plays for a famous southern rock outfit. It is believed to be somewhere in the Jacksonville, FL area. The sunburst Tractor that Oakley played was actually the first Tractor. It is believed to be a '68-'69 Jazz Bass. He acquired that bass shortly after the band moved from Jacksonville to Macon in 1969. Pictures exist of that bass in stock form, then with the Bi-sonic pickup in the neck position and one Jazz bridge pickup, then two Jazz pickups at the bridge. The whereabouts of that bass is unknown. Some people claim that the Sunburst bass was sanded and became the blond bass, but if you look closely at the Bi-sonic pickup positions in the two basses, the blond bass shows a tilt in the pickup installation. There were two Tractors, but only one is accounted for, and it belongs to Berry Duane Oakley now. Also, Oakley had a '66 Precision bass that Dickey Betts had after Oakley's passing, and he recently presented it to his bassist in Great Southern, Pedro Arevalo.
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Great thread. Thanks for the info, BigDave. And major props to both of you who built Tractor replicas... nicely done.
  19. 3toes


    Aug 30, 2006
    Denver, Colorado
    Ahhhh touche' salesman... I'd never seen a good enough picture to make out both of the J's at the bridge.
  20. Eilif

    Eilif Grooving under the MDW runway.

    Oct 1, 2001
    Somewhere I have the fender "Bass Street" advertisement about that bass. They did an incredible job copying the visuals and wear of the bass, but they put a DeArmond humbucker in there instead of the single coil Hagstrom Bi-Sonic. In my opinion, this makes for a completely different bass. A DeArmond Humbucker, does not sound like a BiSonic.

    IIRC, At the time of the reissue, Darkstar pickups (Bisonic reissue/upgrade from Fred Hammon) weren't being made, and Fender had recently purchsed Guild/DeArmond, so it's easy to see why they picked that pickup, but it's defeinatley not the same thing.