Elvis playing a 1956 P Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassdude51, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. bassdude51

    bassdude51 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    My son found this Elvis photo yesterday. I've never seen it before but I'm usually "Johnny come lately" and maybe you are already aware of it.

    But for those of us who have not seen this, it's pretty cool!

    Story has it that Elvis' bass player, Bill Black was supposed to play the Fender electric bass for the song, BABY YOUR SO SQUARE.

    Since Bill was strictly a stand up bassist, he had a real problem trying to play bass for that song and out of anger, throw the bass to the floor! (Perhaps that is why the thumb bar is all crooked in the photo.)

    Elvis ended up playing the Fender Bass for that song instead of Bill.

    One can only wonder if this photo is from that incident or time period.

  2. Cool story and pic.
  3. Yep, he couldn't play the bass intro - so Elvis did it

    (I think Bill was trying to do it with his fingers, but Elvis just used a pick and bam - done)
  4. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    Awsome pic.
  5. Great photo, thanks.
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Wow. Great photo!

    I have a '56 P, but all the sunburst has worn off!
  7. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    I guess they did not have anger management classes back then.
  8. SDMFJay


    Jan 27, 2011
    Great pic! Never seen this one before either. I am going to guess that Elvis turned the tug bar sideways because it interfered with his picking motion maybe.
  9. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Bill Black... inventor of Fender's "Relic" series
  10. blues_bassist


    Mar 14, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Very cool pic! Thanks for sharing.
  11. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    Cool pic, read the story in How the Fender bass Changed the World (I think). Great book.
  12. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Elvis when he was Elvis, killer pic
  13. Wow - the king of rock'n'roll had a bassplayer who couldn't play bass.

    Mmmmmh, but it's better than now: britney and her copies are singers - that can't sing. LOL
  14. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    Bill Black could play bass. He was just frustrated trying to transition from the old doghouse to the "newfangled" electric bass.
  15. That's a great photo, but this is my favorite Elvis w/bass photo. All kinds of cool.

    View attachment 315315
  16. OtisRocks


    Oct 28, 2009
    +1 Bill could play. And it didn't take him too long to master the Fender. http://www.scottymoore.net/56PBass.html
  17. mmmmh, some of you only see ironic if there is an emoticon?
  18. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    In the Beatles anthology video, all the lads recalled meeting Elvis for the first time also remembered that Elvis was playing with a Fender bass and watching TV while they visited. That photo proves they remembered correctly, even though it was years after the photo was taken.
  19. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    That's a mightly low threshold to constitute proof.