Does anyone own basses or gear previously owned by famous musicians?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by NinjaPyrate, Jul 27, 2021.

  1. I saw the "has anyone famous played your bass" thread, but this is a bit different. Every day, I play through a 31 band EQ that was previously owned by Paul McCartney. My wife worked at a company of his, in a building owned by him in which he had an apartment on the top floor. One day between 2005 and 2010 (ish) she saw some building workers rolling a full rack system from the basement to the curb - over 5 feet tall with a 16 channel mixer, patch bays, headphone amp, compressor, EQ, etc. She asked if she could have it, rented a truck, and took it home. She's been playing/recording through the rig (drummer) for 10 to 15 years. I had been using my amp's 5 band EQ but wanted more control so removed the 25-30 year old EQ and use it daily. He may have never laid eyes on it, but it was his so very likely played through it. Funny thing is that neither my wife or I really like his music.
  2. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I have an old 335 that was owned by Eric Johnson, but none on the bass side (that I’m aware of!)
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    No, but the reverse - the '54 P I learned on (my brother's) is apparently now owned by Gene Simmons.
  4. sardocs


    Mar 31, 2013
    pender harbour bc
    A close friend of mine is a good friend of Devin Townsend. Devin saw a little vintage 50's Fender Champ in my studio that he "just had" to have. I didn't want to sell it as I had owned it since the sixties, but he said if I would swap for gear he would just keep giving me stuff till I said "Uncle". He's a very generous guy and I wound up with a real nice mixer, some monitors, a pile of rack effects, some guitar parts for some builds I was working on, some very expensive cables and a bunch of pedals and some other stuff I can't even remember. I don't miss the Champ, and most of the gear he gave me gets used daily.
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  5. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    The shop I bought my Mesa Boogie RR210EV from said it was part of Mark King's touring rig.
  6. I don't question their honesty, but this reminded me of when we lived in Brooklyn and we sold one of the units (don't remember what it was). I didn't mention it was Paul McCartney's on Craigslist or before the sale because I thought it would sound like I was lying/scammy. I told him after the sale and he looked at me like I was crazy and left - so he has no idea.
  7. My version of this is reversed. I made and owned bass gear that was supposedly later owned by Bob Weston, bass player from Mission of Burma, Volcano Suns, and Shellac. This was during the first few years of Shellac.

    Backstory: In the early '90s when I lived in Chicago I found construction drawings (if memory serves me right the design and drawings came from EV) for the TL-606 or Dietz 115 type ported enclosures for EVM 15L speakers. David Sims used Dietz 115 cabs for years in The Jesus Lizard. David and I knew each other when we lived in Chicago in the '90s.

    I bought high grade 3/4" Baltic Burch plywood and built 2 x of these cabinet carcasses myself following the construction drawings. I covered them in black or charcoal speaker cabinet carpet cover and installed interlocking ABS plastic cabinet corners. I cut, painted black, and fitted perforated steel grilles, wired and loaded the cabs with brand new EVM 15L speakers.

    I used them with a GK 800RB head for a few years.

    They were very good bass cabs, though they have a very particular sound. I came to prefer bass cabs with 10" speakers instead; e.g. I've used David Eden 2 x 10 and 4 x 10 or Ampeg 8 x10 cabs for years.

    After some years, at some point I either sold these cabs through consignment or traded them for a guitar at Guitar Works up in Evanston, IL, north of Chicago... I can't remember which... it was about 25 years ago. I had friends who worked at Guitar Works in that time period.

    I was told by my friends at Guitar Works that Bob Weston heard about them while he was around town doing Shellac things with Steve Albini and apparently bought them at the store.

    Same design as these:


    David Sims using TL-606 type Dietz cabs--the ones he used in the '90s were off-white color.

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  8. ToP fan

    ToP fan

    Mar 28, 2010
    Waterloo, Ontario
    I purchased Walter Becker's G&L 1981 Wunkay at his estate auction- came with a funky strap he made from some old suspenders!!!
  9. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I own an amp that belonged to Alphonso Johnson. It was listed it on Ebay with local pickup only, and the price was stupid low. I believe he had just gotten a new endorsement deal with a new company, so I guess the old rig had to go.

    Anyway I had been looking for one of these amps, but I live a long ways from LA so I didn't buy it from AJ. The amp did not sell on the first listing, but eventually someone bought it with a pair of matching cabs.

    A few weeks later the buyer relisted the amp for about double what he paid. It was still in the range of low market value, so I hit the buy button. He told me he had met AJ in a parking lot to complete the deal. He also expressed regret, after the fact, for selling the amp as he said it really sounded awesome with the matching cabs. If I remember correctly, the cabs were 4 ohms so he could not run both on his amp.

    I currently have 29 amps in my collection. Many of them are vintage, so it's possible some of the were owned or used by famous musicians, but I don't know the provenance of them.
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  10. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Never owned any gear with fame attached, but I know a girl who proudly displays a Danny Joe Brown sweat towel she caught at a Molly Hatchet show.
  11. dalkowski

    dalkowski It's "rout," not "route." Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    I bought a sweet Yammy 5er from the renowned @Dr. Cheese some years back. That's good enough for me.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  12. Well... back in the 80's I bought my sunburst Hamer 8-string bass (B8S) from a Hollywood music producer. I didn't get the impression he was a major name though. Did have a posh home, and studio nonetheless. He wasn't a bassist, so this Hamer sat in his studio for musicians to use. (He didn't say anyone "famous" used it on a song). This was pre-internet, so there was no wiki for this producer yet. He told me if I ever get tired of it, and want to unload it, to call him first. I put his name & number in the case - but have since misplaced it. Doesn't matter... the Hamer isn't going anywhere.

    I did buy an original Vox v847 wah wah pedal off a guy, who bought it from George Lynch. A few years later, I put it in the Recycler for sale, and John Sykes came over and bought it from me. I was fortunate enough to be in that loop for a while, albeit as an unknown "gear broker".
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
  13. Nuage420

    Nuage420 smile Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014
    Not bass or music related but someone very close to me has a wooden lacrosse pole repaired and reinforced by someone with the initials PRS. One of his teammates last name is Smith.
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  14. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Wow. That should be in The Smithsonian!
  15. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Back in the early 70's I was at Guitar Gallery in Chicago on Wabash street to buy a case for my EB3 . They had an Acoustic 370 and cabinet that had a small tear in the grill cloth . The guy at the store said it had been one of Badfingers stage amps and it was for sale at a decent price , not really marked up . Being a broke musician 180 miles from home with no way to transport it I didn't buy it . I thought it was pretty cool though .
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  16. nickpc


    Jul 23, 2012
    North Carolina
    Well, technically Roger Sadowsky owned my Sadowsky before I bought it...
  17. 4SG


    Mar 6, 2014
    My Travis Bean TB-2000 was originally bought by Roger Capps of Pat Benatar's band in 1977. He said he tried 10 Beans before he picked this one out of the lot. I was a bit bummed to learn that it's not on any Benatar recordings, but it was nice connecting with Roger. Very friendly guy and original bassist for a hometown favorite star.
    TB2000 1.jpg
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  18. Coincidentally, that's the make and model of bass guitar Bob Weston plays--see my posted story above.


    Dwayne Denison, guitarist in The Jesus Lizard, the band mentioned above, also played/play Travis Bean guitars.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
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  19. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I had Steve Swallow’s first electric bass- a heavily modified 1962 Gibson EB-2. I got it for $500 from Cambridge Music near Berklee in the early 90s. Unfortunately, it met an untimely demise in some stage shenanigans when I threw it up in the air, a light got in my eye, and I completely missed catching it. Splinters. Hollowbodies aren’t really the best instruments for that kind of thing, it turns out. Live and learn.
  20. Bill Wyman also used a TB2000 with the Stones in 1977-78, and it's featured on some recordings.
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