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Do the old bass players from the 60s dont want new basses??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Nicklas, Apr 5, 2003.

  1. Nicklas


    Mar 15, 2003
    I saw a News paper interview with Mccartney and he said he still plays his old Hofner.

    Why do he still play that old thing and what i have heard it is not a great bass......

    And other bass player from that time do they still play theirs old basses?

    New ones arent they better??
  2. I have heard that Sir McCartney plays his old Hofner as well. A bass that is yours is totally different from any other bass. Sure McCartney could play a Hane but if he likes his old P.O.S. (which i actually respect) then more power to him. I have a warwick but i still like to play my old Peavey Foundation.

    well, not really, but it is the thought that counts right?;)
  3. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I think a lot of well-known players stick with a particular type of bass because it's central to "their" sound...
  4. Well, they dont call it the Beatle Bass for nothing. Paul is to his Hofner as Hugh Hefner is to that robe he wears(I'm sure somebody can think of a better analogy). Also, being the rich man that he is, I'm sure his Hofner is quite different from most other ones.

    I also remember him playing a Rick and a Wal, but I dont think he'd ever ditch the Hofner.
  5. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I'm sure if you've played a particular instrument for decades, it kind of becomes a part of you- you know it intimately, don't get any surprises, and probably don't even have to think much about the 'gear' factor; I would imagine the bass is like a close friend that you know everything about, rather than a high-maintenance aquaintance that makes you work hard to enjoy their company.

    Just a guess though...
  6. yea, but don't the old basses sound better as the wood matures and ****?

    And as for newer ones, I don't think most people would ditch their prized bass for a new high tech one, if their prized bass is good enough,too.
  7. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I once traded a new Korean made Epiphone Rivoli for a '69 Epi Rivoli (in excellent shape) because the kid said he was embarassed to have an "old junker" and the new one was red. Got the new one for free, sold the old one for $900. Not a bad deal for soundcheck.

    I remember seeing McCartney on that somewhat lame '91 tour of football stadiums. He was switching between his Hofner and a 5 string Wal. Of course, the cultural significance of his Hofner gave it a much deeper impact than the modern bass. In other words, whenever he picked up teh Hofner, people got really excited in a "Oh my God, it's him with that bass". Morover, the 4 string Hofner sounded a lot deeper and shook teh stadium more than the 5 string Wal.

    There's this great myth that Hofners are dodgy instruments. To that I say:

    a) it's not like the Germans are known for high maunfacturing standards or anything.

    b) why are so many early 60's Hofners still in service and commanding such high money? Is it soley nostalgia or is there a certain level of quality that appeals to a lot of people.

    Anyway, Niklas, if you have any of those crappy old basses around the house, I'm sure I could come up with a nice Ibanez or somethig to trade you. I've also got a nice new Mexican tele in case you've got any of those worn out old Les Pauls or Gretsch guitars cluttering up your attic.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    They CAN be.

    I straddle the fence, since I started playing bass in the late 60's. It's hard to beat an pre-CBS Fender with 10,000, scatter-wound, pickup wire turns that has aged and become sweeter over time.

    The big whine among today's bassists about "weight" turns me off. A heavy bass just has more "cahones" to me, in terms of tone. So many modern. lightweight basses sound so swishy "beautiful" to me. The heavier ones, in general, seem to be the ones that loosen dental fillings.

    But, I love what today's tech has done with electronics. Today's better luthiers and electronics makers have so much more to offer, IMO.

    Bottomline, old wood + modern electronics + cutting-edge luthiery that incorporates the best aspects of old construction techniques is what produces the best instrument possible, IMO. Just because a bass is exclusively the "latest tech" or exclusively "old skool tech" isn't a basis for excellence, IMO.

    I find a synthesis of both offers the best instrument.
  9. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Didn't Linc Luthier make him a 5er as well?
  10. As with the weight, not all light instruments sound thin. Jeez look at Claypool's Rainbow six string, I read that thing weighed like 8 pounds or something!!!! And it rumbles the spine when he plays it, just listen to "My Name Is Mud" for christ sake!!!:eek:
  11. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    The most likely explanation to my mind is that Sir Paul has something that works, and doesn't see any particular reason to get something else unless it meets a particular need (like the Wal). The focus is on the music, not so much the instrument. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but there are lots of great musicians who are not particularly gear-oriented. They just don't hang out on places like TB much. ;)

  12. I don't think I could ever imagine McCartney with any other bass, that may be a reason why he doesn't change. And I'm sure it holds some good memories for him.
  13. Elvis Costello asked Paul to dig out his Hofner when they made "Flowers In The Dirt". It still had the playlist from his Beatle days taped to the side. I think that a lot of artists feel that it's their image as much as anything. When I go to a McCartney concet I don't want to see Paul on a Jazz bass. I sort of expect to see him with the Hofner. Chris Squire with a Rickenbacker, Getty Lee with his black Jazz or Rickenbacker.......
  14. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I saw a show a while back where he played at the Cavern Club along with David Gilmour. They played mostly older songs(not Beatle tunes.) He played his Hofner, and it sounded just fine.

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