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Brian Wilson's Precision ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Oren Hudson, Apr 22, 2010.


  1. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I started playing bass at age 12 in 1964. Among early influences, The Ventures and The Beach Boys. Fell in love with Brian's white on white P-bass. So much so, that when I had saved up enough money, I wanted to get one just like his. I could only find the Oly white with the tort guard, so I bought it, an April 1966 model. In all of my years of playing and going to guitar shows, I've never seen another white on white P-bass, with the exception of some MIM's in the 90's. (That guard was actually off white.) My question is - did Brian have some special edition? Change the guard? Have a one of? Or what? His was probably early to mid 60's or so. Love the white with the tort, but also still in love with his white on white. What say yee? :cool:
     
  2. well im sure u can find a white on white precision nowadays,or was white a custom colour back in the 60's?like black was
     
  3. "The Fender Bass -- An Illustrated History" shows a Fender ad with the Beach Boys, including Bruce Johnston with Brian's P-bass. On the same page (27) is a reproduction of a chart of custom finishes available on Fender instruments of the day, and Olympic White is one of them.
    On page 29, there are two pictures of white-on-white 1960s P-basses alongside other custom-finished basses, so apparently they were available that way without after-market alteration.
    I love it, too. A truly classic look.
    Note, BTW, that Brian's bass had a tugbar and bridge cover, but he soon removed the pickup cover.

    P.S. -- If you haven't already, check out Brian and the Boys on the newly reissued TAMI Show DVD. Great show.
     
  4. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC

    Very interesting. Just don't see any from that time period around. I have noted the sequence on removing the PU cover. He also played with his thumb, just as I learned to do.

    I've just recently seen a part of the TAMI release and will look at the rest of soon. Very cool. :cool:
     
  5. A few more details on Brian Wilson's early basses:
    According to "The Nearest Faraway Place," in early 1962 Brian's father, Murray Wilson, "broke out his wallet -- maintaining as always that it was merely a loan -- and bought Brian a dark sunburst Fender Precision Bass from the guitar firm's 1961-62 catalog. Carl was given an Olympic White model of the Jaguar electric guitar, its flick-up mute switch supplying the tick-tick staccato attack indispensible for ... surf music." This sunburst bass can be seen in early pictures of the Boys.
    When you, ahem, leaf through David Leaf's book "The Beach Boys," you can date the acquisition of the white-on-white P-bass pretty closely. Brian is pictured playing the sunburst P at the Hollywood Bowl on Nov. 1, 1963, but he's playing the white-on-white, with the pickup cover still installed, in Australia in January 1964.
     
  6. I too started playing bass in '64 when I was 13; fell in love with Brian's bass as soon as I saw it on the Beach Boy Concert album. For my fortieth birthday my wife bought me an '86 NOS MIJ P-bass just like his. See below!

    100_0235.
     
  7. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Nice Bass. Classic look. Makes me wanna play it.
     
  8. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    W'Sconsin
     
  9. RedsFan75

    RedsFan75

    Apr 26, 2007
    Cincinnati
    Well Here's mine... a '96 Black label...

    S5031002.

    Been thinking about selling it though, I'm still torn on getting rid of it or hanging on to it.
     
  10. Mike M.

    Mike M.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Nothing to add, other than how I almost wore out my copy of "Beach Boys Concert" that I got for Christmas when I was a kid back in the 60's. Loved the album, loved looking at the live pictures of them from the album. Didn't start learning bass until much later, but that was one of the albums that gave me the bug.

    Those were the days when getting an album really meant something. Miss those days.
     
  11. DrewinHouston

    DrewinHouston Not currently practicing Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Disclosure: I am not a great bass player
    Love the white on white, made me buy this:
    StingrayFrontAngle.
     
  12. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Pure class.
     
  13. Happynoj

    Happynoj

    Dec 5, 2006
    UK
    I like turtles.
    Pure white on off white makes me feel a bit queasy.
     
  14. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I also loved the matching pin stripe shirts and white/off white(?) pants that they wore. I still think that dressing the same, or nearly the same, gives a band a bit of distinction and class. Even now, if I have a band that I start, I nearly insist that we do that. BTW - here's a link to the Acoustic Control site where I have photos posted, some of which are the last band that I had about 3 years ago along with some from my first band in '64. Notice that both old and new dressed nearly alike. Take a look http://oren-hudson.u.yuku.com/gallery. :cool:
     
  15. doktorfeelgood

    doktorfeelgood layin' it down like pavement Supporting Member

    And if you look real close at the headstock on Brian's bass on that show, you'll see that the cloverleaf on the E-string tuner has loosened up on the round pin and is laying over on the shaft. Bizarro... Too funny. The Beach Boys were totally awesome for that show. Just those guys playing those tunes perfectly and singing those harmonies and it is truly amazing. :ninja: )-(
     
  16. savofenno

    savofenno

    Jun 12, 2010
    Haninge, Sweden

    My research has resulted it was a late 1959 product, full stock, one of the first with rw neck, but technically same as 1957 major upgrade p-bass. I thought in 60s that pg in it was white, but light mint green wasn`t possible to see clearly in those early 60s photos in magazines.
    He also had either black/mint or sunburst/gold precision, i haven`t seen photos of it face-on, only from neck side.
    The white/mint rw one was later given to Bruce Johnston. I saw him play with it in May 1967 concert in Helsinki.

    How do i post images here, i have photos to prove my information?

    Edit: According to Pet Sounds`information, Brian`s other bass was a sunburst one, whether it had mint, gold or other type of pg, i don`t know. Gold anodized pgs we`re discontinued in late 1959. If it was sb/gold, it could have been used.
     
  17. savofenno

    savofenno

    Jun 12, 2010
    Haninge, Sweden
    With respect, i still say that pickguard in Brian`s bass was mint, you can see it even in YouTube BB videos.
    It looks slightly darker than body white color, which i am not sure what it was, but Olympic White seems closest. It certainly wasn`t Natural White, but fully opaque white. Furthermore i still think it was stock.
    Either bought to Brian used, or it had been in music store over 4 years waiting a buyer.



    In "Endless Harmony" DVD at 11:45 Glenn Campbell was replacing Brian Wilson in a 1963 TV show, playing a sunburst Precision with rw neck. It could have been same as BrianĀ“s darker bass, rw neck dates it being made in late 1959 or still newer one.
     
  18. RED5

    RED5

    Jan 14, 2008
    Suffolk County,NY
    I don't have apic handy but in 1970 i swapped my Tortise shell with a buddy who had a Blue P (With a racing stripe) that had a white one,and the result was as expected. White on white.
     
  19. IPA

    IPA

    May 5, 2010
    The new MIMs come with white and white. I almost kept it on mine because it was so nice looking.

    I always assumed he got a white either on purpose, or delivered from Fender possibly? to match the white on white that their Strat had

    0.
     
  20. Meddle

    Meddle

    Jul 27, 2009
    Scotland
    Whoa your wife is a saint. White/white/rosewood Precisions are pretty common (not sure which planet OP occupies), but to get a nice one like that is a real bonus!
     

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