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Joe Osborn's mystery 8-string bass... ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Addison, Jul 27, 2012.


  1. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Bismarck, ND
    Graphic Designer, Social Media Manager - Zon Guitars
    I recently rewatched the amazing documentary about the recording of Bridge Over Troubled Water called, "The Harmony Game."

    In it, Roy Halee talks about Joe's beautiful bassline in "The Only Living Boy in New York" and says that Joe played the song on an 8-string bass... :eyebrow:

    Now... although I love and respect them, I don't claim to be an expert on S&G, Joe Osborn or Roy Halee... so... to the S&G and JO experts out there, do you guys suppose Mr. Halee might be remembering things incorrectly?

    Here's the clip:

    I have never heard of JO playing an 8-string before this... and I have never seen any pics... and... frankly, it doesn't even sound like one... what do you guys think?

    :confused:
     
  2. Dluxe

    Dluxe

    Jan 9, 2011
    Austin, TX
    If he did use one it was most likely a Hagstrom. I think they were the only ones making an 8 string bass at that time.
     
  3. hangman

    hangman Supporting Member

    JO didn't play 8 string on this album, he played his Jazz, and a lot of overdubbing. He did play an 8-string bass on Richard Harris's “MacArthur Park”. He hated the 8 string so much he never played it again.
     
  4. sounds like his J to me :meh:
     
  5. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Common knowledge Joe played a Hagstrom H8 on MacArthur Park, don't know 'bout this tune tho'.
     
  6. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
  7. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    The answer to the OP's question:

    “Only Living Boy in New York” – Simon and Garfunkel (1970)
    Preview I did a lot of overdubbing – we’d go in and do basic tracks, and many times I’d come back and try different parts. A lot of those high fills were overdubs. I did a thing where I had to relearn this song for a show, and there were spots in there that I could feel were obviously spliced in and just very awkward to play. I had to make little changes to make it playable. That’s the first time I really noticed that when [producers] put things together, sometimes it doesn’t flow naturally.
    Some kind of story got around that I played an 8-string bass on that record, but it’s not true. I played my old Fender Jazz bass.
     
  8. Addison

    Addison This time, I didn't forget the gravy. Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Bismarck, ND
    Graphic Designer, Social Media Manager - Zon Guitars
    There you have it... thanks Ronn!

    Didn't realize that he slung an 8 on MacArthur Park and it was common knowledge, but, like I said... I'm not an expert on JO.

    In fact... not sure I ever heard that tune... going to check it out right now.
     
  9. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Great song but sung by an actor so.....the singing may not be to everyone's tastes.
    You know it..."Someone left the cake out in the rain...".
     
  10. iamthebassman

    iamthebassman

    Feb 24, 2004
    Austin,Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    I had a Hagstrom H8 for years, don't know why JO hated his so much. Mine was sweet and played quite nicely. Sold it only after moving up to a Hamer B12S.
     
  11. neren

    neren

    Jun 5, 2012
    Eugene, Oregon
    Maybe he didn't hate it, he just H8'd it? :bag:
     
    scourgeofgod likes this.
  12. woodyng

    woodyng

    Dec 19, 2007
    Oregon coast
    I imagine if he was comfortable with his jazz bass,he might have found 4 extra strings on that skinny little neck a challenge. I've tried a couple of them,like Hofners,they are just not my cuppa tea. I wish i had my old Viellette-Citron 8 string back,now THAT was an incredible instrument.
    I just saw that S&G special on Paladia a few days ago,excellent show.
     
  13. keith christian

    keith christian

    Jun 27, 2012
    I don't think that was his bass. You can definitely hear it on the recording, and then I noticed that the song was written by Jimmy Webb and I recognized that name on the case of a H8 being offered on ebay, so I'm just guessing here, but maybe JO was borrowing it for the session.
     

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