Jamerson:'62 or '63 P Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Associator, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Associator

    Associator Guest

    Apr 24, 2013
    I've always thought JJ played a '62 on his golden years records, but in doing some searching, there is evidence that it may have well been a '63.

    Excuse me if this has been discussed before, but in checking out the new '63 American vintage P Basses from Fender, and reading the specs, I recalled the '63-correct veneer rosewood neck was what the Funk Machine had. '62's had a slab board rosewood neck. IN '63 they certainly did change to veneer.

    There is a reference to a Guitar Player mag quote from JJ hiemself saying that he did indeed buy it in '63.

    From the Guitar Player Interview:

    How many basses do you own?
    Four. I have an old German upright, a Fender 5-string, a Hagstrom 8-string, and the Precision. I've had two Precisions stolen from me, but my present one I bought new in '63. When I got it I immediately took the Fender strings off and put LaBellas on, and I've had the same strings on it ever since. You don't need to change strings all the time; you'll lose the tone. It's like a new car: the older it gets, the better it rides.

    Seems to be case-closed - a '63.

    Anyone else have any further info?
  2. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Bought new in 63 does not mean it was made in 63
  3. Associator

    Associator Guest

    Apr 24, 2013
    Very true, but the veneer does. Unless Fender is wrong and they started that earlier too.
  4. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    Doesn't mean a thing either. I've seen 62's with veneer.

  5. Associator

    Associator Guest

    Apr 24, 2013
    Cool photo. Do you know if that was a late '62 bass or just the neck made in '62? If gets a bit nebulous, but they didn't make necks for all '63's starting on Jan 1st and throw away the old ones. So if JJ had a '62, it wasn't a slab, we know that, but more likely according to Fender, it fits the description of a '63.

    I guess the question is did Fender make a definitive cut off on '63 vs '62 issued basses (not necks) or was it just a gradual changeover?
  6. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    62 had both. They were using up slabs and making veneers, so it was a gradual changover.
  7. Associator

    Associator Guest

    Apr 24, 2013
  8. backup

    backup Guest

    Oct 21, 2011
    Saturn, Solar System
  9. Uh, yeah. I have a vintage '12 Squier P. :D

    I DO dig the veneer boards, though. My '78 fretless had that - when did they stop doing it?

    I'm thinking of doing a fretless conversion on a Squier neck by radius sanding the 1-piece neck down to the fret slots and veneering over the top. I had someone ask me how to do the conversion and I suddenly remembered that Fender did the radiused, veneered fingerboards. Dig dig dig dig. It's like "vintage" all over again (reference above thread, haha).
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    +1. my '62 is stamped April so it has a slab board. later in '62 they went to veneered.
  11. Associator

    Associator Guest

    Apr 24, 2013
    Wow I read almost all of the above 'weird' thread, but kinda felt bad for the guy. He was making an impassioned argument about the the crux of what most collectors and some players pay GIANT money for: the Mystique of age in an instrument.

    I played a nice looking '55 P bass the other day. It was a piece of crap. The only part that sounded decent was the upper register. Collectible Fenders are funny. Some are good, some suck. But I really do think if we fast-forward 40 years, and say Fender is no longer in biz, some of the stuff they are making today will be considered in a very favorable light. Pick up a American Standard P bass off the hanger at the local Crack Center, it is just fab.
  12. Associator

    Associator Guest

    Apr 24, 2013
    Thanks for that. So if necks don't definitively determine the year, unless there is another distinguishing feature between the two years, it could be either.
    And in that case the default folklore of him absolutely owning a '62, is really shot.
  13. Associator

    Associator Guest

    Apr 24, 2013
    Another thought, maybe it's camera angles or lenses, but there seems to be subtle differences in the front points on the pick guards between '62 and '63 with the 62 being a little sharper and thinner than the 63. I know JJ' s had a missing lower point, but maybe john K10 can shed some light on that. Thanks.
  14. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    I never noticed that. I would think that they would've used the same template for the guards in those days.
  15. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    He could have made his argument better but he's completely right.