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Calling all Geezers...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GBassNorth, May 13, 2011.

  1. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    For those of you that aren't at a complete memory loss of the wonderful year of 1968 (or for those of you that are historians and have researched ancient history) I'm interested in having a little fun recreating an authentic playing environment for my 1968 Fender Precision bass.

    What was "the" bass amp to own back in 1968 (I think that's pre SVT IIRC)?

    What amp did most people who did normal bar and small club events typically use?

    I assume flats were still very popular back then on P basses, so which flat string was the norm? Is there anything close to it on the market today?

    Straps - were they skinny tan leather or hendrix print weave or paisley or what?

    Guitar stands - same as today or something different?

    Anything else to really set the environment in '68 besides lamb chop side burns, a naroo jacket, flare jeans and beatle boots (in fact, let's just leave the player out of it for now and focus on the environment, ok we'll leave the drugs out of the environment as well). How about a persian rug to put it all on and incense burner ash tray and lava light to place on the amp? Jefferson Airplane or the Doors concert posters on the walls, etc. You get the picture.

    Let's hear your ideas - it's my money, make it fun. If I actually go on with the project I'll post some pictures, this could get interesting.
  2. EdHunter


    Jan 14, 2010
    Free love? Killer green? A Camaro? I may have been born 24 years after they ended, but that's what I miss about the 60s.
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    1968 4001



    Scottkarch likes this.
  4. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta Supporting Member

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    How about a Tuck and Roll Kustom amp (bonus points if it has a glitter finish).

    Pyramid, Fender or Rotosound flats (or Roto steels if you were an Entwistle fan).
  5. 1. Best "amp"...well, there weren't too many choices back then, but I would say the bassman... Fender was, more or less, the standard.

    2. Straps? Usually the skinny, uncomfortable as hell straps in either black or brown....hell, Rickenbacker STILL ships them with their guitars and basses.

    3. As I recall, flats were "sort of" the standard, but hell, tape wounds were big as well...

    4. Stands? I never saw a "stand" until.....hell....the middle 70s?? As a general rule, you just propped your bass against your amp and hoped for the best..

    Yeah, Beatle boots were the rage. Paisley shirts. The Nehru thing was a little more of a "pop" thing. HUGE belts, leather wrist bands that doubled as "watchbands". Large medallions around the neck. Granny glasses. Oh, and of course, it was MANDATORY that you have, if possible, a VW bug with the cool paint job....

    Damn! That walk down memory lane was fun!! :D
  6. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Man, everytime you post that bass I drool all over my computer. Beautiful!
    But unless you're planning on donating it to my collection I've already got the bass in hand - an all original oly white (now yellowed) fender p bass with tort pickguard. Not a Ric mind you, but still good for the money. Now, if you have a 1968 amp for sale ..... I'd be very interested.
  7. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Thats the spirit!
    Always loved the funk of the old Kustom amps with that very dated tuck and roll design. Were they a popular match to a fender P back then?

    Good call on the Pyramid flats, forgot about those. I'm a huge Entwistle fan but poor Entwistle player so I'll hold off on the steels.

    Keep em comming!
  8. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    I graduated high school in '68. Guys around my little town were still playing early '60s Fender Bassman amps, one guy had a Standel. Flats were in, not sure which brand (I was mostly a guitar player then).

    The correct spelling is "Nehru." Yep, paisley Nehru jackets.

    Gotta have a lava lamp. And some kind of emblem of Eastern thinking, at least some incense burning. Bell bottoms, dayglo paint, black light, a sign that says "Brahms, not bombs" (or some other anti-war sentiment), beads, the Beatles with beards, a parachute covering the ceiling, Native American ornaments, leather fringe vest, something tie-dyed, etc., etc., ...
  9. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Although my first bass was a P-Bass copy (Kent), for some reason I shunned Fender gear in the 60s - might have been the CBS thing. At that time my bass was a '66 Guild Starfire ... still have it. My amps around then were a Sunn 200s with 2x15 cab followed by an EMC with 2x15s. I used the EMC longer than any other amp in those days, not sure how many people even remember the brand.
  10. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    This is great!
    Yep, bassman was the rule as best I can recall (I was only 11 back then but hung around a lot of garage band types back then).
    Do you remember if Fender shipped those skinny little straps with their basses, maybe even said Fender on the shoulder pad.
    The stand thing is what's killin me, I dont recall every seeing a bass or guitar stand until much later (late 70's) but I gotta believe they had em back in '68.
    God, I remember the wide wrist bands, black leather, chrome rivits or eyelets and a timex wind up watch. If you were making a fashion statement you had a kind of matching ultra wide black leather belt with chrome eyelets that ran the full length in a two rows. Heck the belt to hold up your 2 pound jeans was wider than your bass strap to hold your 10 pound bass.:)
  11. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    This is fantastic!
    I forgot all about the parachute decor. A tie dyed bed sheet thumbtacked to the celing of the garage was quite the rage where I grew up.
    Never heard of a Standel amp. Do remember some Gibson amps and a lot of bassman amps. Don't recall seeing any Ampeg (other than maybe one B15) or Sunn amps, not sure why, maybe they were too expensive or under powered in the case of the ampeg.
  12. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    Never heard of EMC but do recall hearing about the Sunn amps just never actually saw anyone using one. Was your Sunn 200s a solid state or tube?
  13. 1968 pic of Entwistle: P and Tweed Bassman.
    JakeyBran likes this.
  14. Gaius46


    Dec 15, 2010

    I almost bought one just like that in 1975, it belonged to my music teacher, but let one of my buddies talk me out of it.
    Stupid. I kick myself every time I think of that.
  15. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    You need a Fender Precision -> A Big Solid State VOX into a 1x18 or an open backed 4x12/2x12.

    That certainly gives you the look. ;)
  16. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    The 200s was tube as I recall. I believe EMC (a solid state amp) stood for Electronic Music Corporation, though not sure. The whole band had them, different head & cabinet configs for bass, guitar, keyboards.
  17. ExaltBass

    ExaltBass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    In '68 I traded my Fender DUAL Showman (2x15 JBL D-140 in the smaller cab) in for a Vox Super Beatle (4x12) with 2 cabs :bassist:. Depending on the venue I'd use 1 or 2 cabs. I played a Guild Starfire II, Fender Mustang Bass or a Fender Jazz bass - with cloth straps with designs on them, coiled guitar cables :rollno:, a Shure Unidyne III mic for vocals, and no guitar stand. We also had no floor monitors and used a Kustom column PA as side fill monitors.

    JakeyBran, shadven and chaosMK like this.
  18. Coily cords and a big poofy afro, regardless of race.
    chaosMK likes this.
  19. In '68 I was in my second or third "garage" band in a small city in Texas so my list is not what was used on either coast.

    Firstly, every garage band had at least one guy who brought Silvertone stuff to gigs and practice. I see this stuff today at guitar shows but I thought they sounded horrible.

    Amps - 2X15 JBL Bassmans, 2X15 JBL Sunn 200S, Marshalls, 2X15 Peavey was very popular in Texas, the C/W bassists used Standels. I had a 2X15 Acoustic but I don't think that was until '60 or '70. If you saw an Acoustic 360 you were dumbstruck.

    Basses - Gibson EBOs, Fender Precision, Jazz and Mustang?, I never saw a Rick back then, and the country guys played "old" Fender Tele basses or full size hollow body Gibsons and Gretsch.

    Strings - Ernie Ball flat wounds, Gibson and Fender branded flats and rounds.

    Stands - girlfriend or hanger-on would hold your bass during the break.

    Straps - medium width with the wildest print you could find.

    A lot of guys used felt picks rather than plastic.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i'd lie and tell everyone i had a 69 precision and then get an svt ;)
    JakeyBran likes this.

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