1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Is the Hofner Violin Bass the most iconic instrument in history?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by nixdad, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. nixdad


    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't think many would argue with this:
    Hofner Violin Bass = Paul McCartney/The Beatles.


    Is there any other instrument that is instantly associated with a single artist or band?
  2. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    The reverse argument is that Sir Paul is the only guy anyone can think of that used it. And he claims he bought it because it was cheap! :D
  3. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    If by "iconic" you mean "Universally Iconic By Association", I would say "Yes, its certainly one of them"....I can make an argument that almost any upside-down standard Fender Stratocaster is equally iconic. Theres a few others.
  4. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    It's not nicknamed the Beatle Bass for nothing.
    But I'd also say (to some degree, at least) Hofner=Chris Wood, Michael League, Stefan Redtenbacher, Christian Wargo, Satomi Matsuzaki, a number of indie rockers...
    blue4, Rocker949 and nixdad like this.
  5. "Most iconic instrument in history"?

    Are we talking "most iconic instrument" in a universal, world-wide, cross-cultural historical sense?

    If so, I'll go with some variation of one of these:


  6. 1200px-James_Jamerson.jpg
    Sunburst P bass, tort PG, rosewood FB, Flatwound strings, and chrome covers.
  7. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    I cannot stand the "Beatle" bass's looks.
    But I'll tell you one thing:I played one that had roundwounds back in November and was surprised by the bridge pickups sound!
    Plump,crisp and round all at the same time!
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
    Lvjoebass and shadven like this.
  8. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    And let's not forget that, As a session musician he played on 30 Billboard #1 hits, as well as over 70 R&B #1 hits, more than any other bass player in both categories.

    Unfortunately, he is not as well known as Sir Paul in the general populace because he mostly worked in the studio. But among those in the know, and bass players, I would think he AND his bass ("The Funk Machine"), are hard to beat for being iconic.

    Of course, that also depends on what you think of as iconic. But in my book, an instrument that has been used on more tracks, in more studios than any other, which I believe to be true of the Fender Precision, certainly qualifies!
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  9. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Off the top of my head, I can think of a few violins that are a wee bit more iconic than that Höfner.
  10. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    As far as what the OP probably was referring to (iconic bass guitar/tied to iconic bass player) I think this reply covers it.
  11. jhb138


    Sep 14, 2016

  12. Helix

    Helix California U.S.A.

    May 29, 2015
  13. ficelles


    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    "The most iconic instrument in history" is quite a tall order. It wouldn't be a bass guitar. A Strat maybe, which defined the entire rock'n'roll culture and everything that's happened since. Or perhaps the violin, which has remained pretty much unchanged for nearly 500 years and is used in every musical genre. Or maybe the flute since they recently found one made out of a mammoth bone that was played by neanderthals. I'm afraid the Hofner violin bass isn't really in the running, especially since it's a lift of the EB1 :)
  14. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    I doubt there is another instrument so instantly associated with a single artist, for the simple reason that most instruments are associated with more than one. For example the Stratocaster is associated with Hendrix but also with Buddy Holly, SRV etc.

    Very few people could name another artist who played the Hofner "Beatle" bass other than Paul.
  15. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive


    Tony's SG

    Johnny's Mosrite

    Zappa's Roxy SG
  16. I believe you guys are referring to iconic BASSES here, but they may not be so iconic outside the scope of the bass world
    Herrick, Lvjoebass, GlennRH and 3 others like this.
  17. Gotta say, every time I see a flugelhorn, I think "chuck mangione."

    (Not that it happens all that often, actually.)
  18. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    That sums it up. It certainly isn't Jamerson's Burst P with tort and flats. Everyone on TB has one of those. :woot:
    wmhill and blue4 like this.
  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Well, as far as only one artist using it, the 4004LK fits that perfectly:

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  20. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    Helix beat me to Gene Simmons.

    Edgar Winter is the only one I can think of who straps a full size keyboard around his neck.
    Helix and Killed_by_Death like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 5, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.