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If Jaco were alive today

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TaySte_2000, May 27, 2002.

  1. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    If Jaco were alive today what bass would he be using. Maybe his fender jazz or would he be on something more like JT's double neck? Your thoughts
  2. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002
    ...my room...
    nah i dunnno man.. good question though..
    part of me wants to say he would stick with his good ol' fender.. the other half wants to say he would come up with some crazy ass design nobody ever has thought of.. or played for that matter :eek:
  3. Jeff in TX

    Jeff in TX Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2000
    Lone Star State
    I think he'd still be playing a 4 string Fender fretless. Of course, he'd have Roger Sadowsky do the setup. ;)

    If history is any indication, the true game-changers in music have stayed with the instrument they used to create their voice - Miles, Methany, Martino, Clark, Marcus, Brecker, etc. They didn't invent a new instrument - they didn't/don't need to. I think they realize there's still much left to discover.

  4. savagelucy


    Apr 27, 2002

    good call.
    i think he'd be playin' his jazz, or maybe one of fender's jaco tribute basses :D
  5. DarkMazda


    Jun 3, 2000
    why would he want to use the tribute bass when he has his main axe :) maybe as a back up :p
  6. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    You know, around the end he was messing around with Guild and Hartke....and that 5 string somebody had a picture of him with here a while ago. Hmmm.....the world will never know. ;)
  7. craigers2

    craigers2 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    here's the picture of jaco playing a 5-string!
  8. MatW


    May 10, 2000
    UK, Swindon
    It's difficult to say isn't it. I mean he seemed to stick with Fender Jazz Basses into the 80s, when there would have been lots of other bass companies vying for his endorsement. He sure was an experimental player, but I keep always imagining him saying that the sound comes from his hands rather than the lastest flashy bass.

    I reckon he'd still be grooving on a Jazz.

    I heard that he was having a bass made for him by Jaydee in the UK, but never collected it due to his untimely death. Anyone else hear that?

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    The Jazz bass was his "voice". I doubt he would have been happy with another instrument. He would probably need to play the Jaco tribute Jazz since he smashed up his fretless!
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think this is highly unlikely, as he wasn't in any fit state mentally or physically - according to most witnesses he had given away or lost all his possessions and was living rough on the streets.

    His manic depression coupled with drugs given him, meant he was incoherent and beligerent - he was just going round bumming drinks and entrance to clubs - I can't imagine he was in any state to specify a bass and he certainly would never have been able to pay for it!

    Read about it in the last chapters of the Milkowski bio if you really want to be depressed! :(
  11. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    That is indeed true. One of the basses appeared in the now-defunct 'Bassist' magazine in the 'My Bass Is...' feature. I don't have the article to hand, but I will dig it out and give you the full story tomorrow.

    Basically though, I believe that Jaco tried a JayDee bass at some in-store clinic. JayDee received a brief from that store to just build Jaco "a bass". JayDee produced around ten jazz-style basses, based on 1962 dimensions and spec - all passive, black finish, black hardware. Half were fretted, half were fretless. Before the basses were shipped to the US, they got word that Jaco was dead. JayDee offloaded the basses onto the nearby Musical Exchanges in Birmingham. Where they went from there is unknown. The JayDee Jaco bass featured in 'Bassist' had at some point been stripped to a natural finish.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well that's a bit different to "having a bass made for him" IMO. At the time, Jaco was "walking around the streets barefoot panhandling and all that **** " (Milkowski). He was also in Jail, checked into mental hospitals and often signed things just to get out.

    He was evicted from his apartment in 85 and basically was "out of commission" from then until his death towards the end of 1987.

    A lot of people saw an opportunity to make money out of Jaco, but really by then he was in no state to work with anybody, without some serious help, which sadly he never really got. :(
  13. MatW


    May 10, 2000
    UK, Swindon
    I thought so. I was in contact with John Diggins sometime ago and he told me the story after I mentioned that I was a fan of Jacos. Although, as Bruce pointed out, my memory of the exact story has got a little hazy over the years.

    I've read Milkowski's book quite a few times, it really is an emotional read. It's sad, fustrating and depressing in the end, but the description of Jacos early years are inspirational.

    It's one of life's tragic tales, and the bouncer responsible got off too lightly IMHO. :(

    At least we have some great recordings to remember him by, and his influence on musicians around the world cannot be understated.
  14. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    What's this book you guys all are speaking of? If it's 1/1000th as good (well, you know what I mean by "good") as you guys make it sound, I want to go buy it and read it. THanks
  15. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    I really don't think Jaco would be using his Jazz due to the fact I don't think it could handle by now it would have been broken or stolen. I think he'd have Jazz stlye basses but maybe something by lakland or sadowsky. But he also would be using multi string basses I've seen a picture of him using a 5 string acoustic when he was on holiday not sure if it was high c or low b now he could of had a 4 string couldn't he but he didn't why not? I think he'd still use a four string jazz of some type to perform his older songs but I think he'd also have a 6 string or even a 7 string (Conklin) for some songs.

    I recently also saw a pic of Felix Jaco's son playing a 7 string conklin and i'm thinking that Felix would have been brought up with Jaco's belief's in bass and if Jaco was so anti multi string as every one seems to think I don't think Felix would have touched the Conklin. As JT gets told all the time Jaco did it with four but the truth might be that he always wanted more but back in the day you'd be lucky to find a 5 string let alone a 7 or 8 string.

    He also wouldn't be using acoustic amps.
  16. odie

    odie Supporting Member

    Does anyone have a link to some of Jaco's history as a person, I dont know much about him just his bass playing and recordings.
  17. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
  18. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'm pretty sure I read in an interveiw that the neck on his fretless broke sometime in the mid-80s and that is why he was mainly using a fretted bass during that time.
  19. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Some more accurate info the JayDee Jaco bass for those who are interested... The words of John Diggins in the 'Bassist' article I mentioned.

    "The original one we made for Jaco was black - there were about six going through production at the same time. When we heard of his death in September 1987 we just stopped making them - there's probably no more than three or four in existence. All of them were originally built for Jaco with the deal being arranged through Aspen Pittman of Groove Tubes, a big friend of his. In fact, Jaco already had one of our basses, the Mark King, strangely enough.

    It was an open commission, really; just to make him a bass. But, as we all know his favourite bass was the Jazz, we made a version of that; alder body, ebony fingerboard, but bog standard wiring, as he didn't want anything flash, just single coil pickups.

    Before Jaco died, he'd arranged through Aspen Pittman to endorse them. This could have been another good product for us quite easily, as there were very few quality J-copies about then and it would have been nice to produce something a little bit different."
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well , I can remember at the time that Jaco was getting really big over here and anything to do with him was going to be prestigious.

    But it was many years later that we actually heard about all the stuff that is in the Milkowski bio and the reality of the situation.

    So - basically Jaco had the odd lucid moment where he would agree to anything for the money for a few drinks, but was homeless, living on the streets, with no possessions and was incapable of holding a lucid conversation let alone playing bass at a decent standard.

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