Chasing The Shadow of The Funk Machine

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bluesdogblues, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. 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
    I think it is great that we might find Jamerson's P-Bass, but honestly, after owning and playing a lot of '60s P-basses in my life, even the best was not that much different from the average vintage '60s P-bass. I know there is no confusion by anyone here that it's obviously the artist and his work, not the bass that is the real treasure.

    Still, I am wondering if anyone feels that JJ's high action, heavy LaBella strings, mutes, brazilian rosewood fingerboard, dirt, etc., really add up to something so different from what we experience when we play a similar instrument? Was the Funk Machine somehow different?
    MYLOWFREQ likes this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    No doubt that the 'Funk Machine' has a big sentimental value, and means a lot to James' family as well as to those who love him including myself. However, I agree that the bass was 'the bass' in James' hand, and wouldn't be a lot different than a bass from the same era. In fact, some might find it uncomfortable to play because it was set up to James' likings. I personally don't believe in 'Mojo', and I'm an ameteur magician;)
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  3. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    We've known for years over on my Facebook Jamerson page that the Funk Machine was indeed post-'64. The '57 Black Beauty isn't known to be on any recordings, but may certainly be on something very obscure. The second P, believed to be a '60-61, with the chipped pick guard is surely on his Motown work from '61 to '64, though nearly half his output then was still on upright. The transition logo-ed, pearl dotted post '64 is indeed the Funk Machine he possessed until 1983. Oh, he also lost a few B-15's along the way too.... lol. If you're so inclined, you're all welcome and encouraged to join my Jamerson FB page. I'd be honored. Mr. Crutcher is also a member, and we've had MANY lovely late night discussions regarding the documentary. Log into Facebook | Facebook
    The Bass Clef and Steve Boisen like this.
  4. By this do you mean the funkmachine was a post '64 P, or it was a '62 that was used post '64?
  5. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Sorry! It was made in late '64 or after.
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  6. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    The B-15 thing was tricky. Last I heard, the official word, based on confirmation by James Jr., was that the amp in question was definitely not Jamerson's.
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    He also stashed another B15 at Pistol Allen's house.