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Have you ever played someone's famous bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Low84, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Any fun tales about getting to play someone's famous bass?

    Not looking for stories about playing the same model; I'm talking about an actual instrument that was owned by a famed player.

    ... and for those planning on saying "Mine," yeah... I just got that out of the way for everyone. Ha..... ha..... ha. :smug:
  2. Jakeman


    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    I once got to sit in for George Porter, Jr., using his bass. Playing a Meters tune on that bass was a New Orleans musician's dream come true.
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I played Jimmy Haslip's Roscoe. Had a lesson with him as well. It was in June of 2012 in North Carolina. He's an amazing player and person. Personable, patient, and skilled. So worth the trip.
    BBQisgood, shrigg, RyanJD and 8 others like this.
  4. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    i got to play (one of) Nathan East's signature Yamaha's at a quad city music store in Iowa the day before he held a clinic there. to this day, it is still the finest playing bass I have ever played.
  5. This would my closest brush with an instrument belonging to a professionally signed artist. Not a bass, but a friend of mine bought a Gibson Les Paul from one of the guys from a Canadian band, Haywire. The Les Paul was included in their music video for Short End of a Wishbone. My friend let me try the guitar a few times.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    mikewalker likes this.
  6. brashap


    Feb 22, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    A couple of Phil Lesh's basses. His short scale Barelion is super solid. I've also giggled on his old Modulus "Irwin" shaped black bass... really interesting. Can't play it like a normal bass.
  7. stigbeve


    Sep 24, 2014
    The closest I ever came to anything like that was holding a Yamaha bass signed by Michael Anthony. Obviously not one he played. Sammy Hagar signed it as well. They also wrote "The Other Guys" on it.
    fretter and mikewalker like this.
  8. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I own one of Scott Whitley's old basses (the creator of the SWB-1 and a fine bass player). Not sure if it counts, but I have definitely played it ;)
    Fat Freddy and lowdownthump like this.
  9. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    Surely. Billy Sheehans “wife”, one of Will Lee’s Sadowsky’s, one of Vic’s Fodera’s. Bought a Sadowsky owned by Oscar Cartaya. And the silver bongo 5 string john myung used for a couple tours. My friend owns it now
  10. bobthegood


    Jul 17, 2010
    Maplewood, MN
    I have one of Tad Kinchla's (Blues Traveler) 5'ers. It's a Sandberg, heavy as hell, plays like a dream. One of the bands I play with include older sit down blues guys, and this is the perfect bass.
    BBQisgood and Sleeko like this.
  11. WoodyJ

    WoodyJ Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2008
    Smyrna, GA
    Yes, the 1957 (11-57 neck date) Fender Precision in my avatar. It belonged to the late Paul Goddard - Atlanta Rhythm Section, Roy Orbison's Candymen, Joe South, the Classics IV along with a ton of studio work at Studio One in Doraville, GA. The first three ARS albums were recorded with this bass prior to Paul switching to a Peavey and later a Ric 4001. I was fortunate to buy it from Paul in 1980 or thereabouts and still have it, still with the last set of strings that Paul installed.

    Paul Goddard.1.

    ARS  R+R Alternative.

    PaulGoddard Tampa 1975.
  12. leemelone


    May 24, 2011
    I played Rachel Bolan of Skid Row Spector backstage before a a show I worked back in 2000. His tech was turning it up and I told him I had a Kramer era Spector too and asked if I could play it. Mine's nicer. ;)
    GHOST AT and osv like this.
  13. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz

    May 26, 2010
    Not a bass, but I own a Gibson AJ that was supposedly previously owned by Joe Bonamassa and was a backup that was taken on the road for one of his tours. Back of the headstock has a fair amount of wear on it from a hanger and it apparently suffered a broken neck at some point. The shop owner is a known close friend of Joe's father, and it apparently made it's way to the shop a little while ago when Joe's father brought a lot of guitars in that he wanted to get rid of.

    floydman likes this.
  14. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I've played Phil Lynott's black Precision briefly at an annual celebration of Phil in Dublin.
    And, to turn the topic around, Adam Clayton has played (and bought) a black Fender Tele bass I owned in the mid-eighties.
  15. Tanner5382


    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    Played a bass used by Paul McCartney for a specific album.
    bobyoung53, tindrum, bkbirge and 8 others like this.
  16. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I've played one of Vic's Foderas, but my better story is that he tracked with one of my Foderas. I was doing volunteer staff duty for camp and ended up crashing at his place prior. I set up my sleeping bag in his studio and I had one of my Monarch 4s with me. He asked to check it out, I obliged, and he then used it for the next couple hours while I drifted off to sleep after a long day of travel. Not sure if that ever made it on the Sword and Stone album.
    Microbass, tindrum, BBQisgood and 6 others like this.
  17. InnerBass

    InnerBass Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2014
    Stage Left
    I bought Bob Glaub’s personal bass that he gave to Andrew Gold. BG USA #01.

    Mo gave her some love and she’s all original and perfect.

    Just Wow!


    398042F9-07DE-4DCD-A813-4CB77F0395D8. IMG_2142.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  18. tlite


    Aug 18, 2016
    Not a bass, but my neighbor has a strat that was Eric Clapton's. Played that.

    It is super nice- sounds great. Customized active electronics were added to it for Clapton- it was passive stock. It was cool to play- interesting to see how Clapton had it modded.

    However, I prefer my Fender American Standard strat to Clapton's strat. Just goes to show everybody prefers their gear set up their own way.

    Not to take anything away from that up and coming Clapton guy, though. I predict he's going to be big one of these days...
  19. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    IIRC, 1979 I played Tim Bogert's (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Beck-Bogert+Appice) Kramer aluminum neck and he played my 1969 Ric 4001 while we were fooling around at Ron Bushy's studio/abode in Granada Hills, CA. Did not care for the alum neck (he liked it) although I kept mum about my impression. But sure liked Tim!

    Did not think it was too cool to tell Tim Bogert that his bass sucked......
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  20. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Is it supposed to be the someone or the bass that's famous?
    hieronymous and groooooove like this.

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