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John Wetton (King Crimson, et al) goes back to Fender!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by the hen, May 5, 2010.

  1. the hen

    the hen

    Oct 21, 2009
    After using different equipment from the mid-80s onwards, such as Gibson, Zon and Fernandes basses, the legendary John Wetton has finally gone back to his 1961 Fender Precision Bass for the latest Asia tour.

    Initially John didn't welcome the idea of touring with this iconic instrument as it was, to paraphrase: "Irrecplaceable."

    Subsequently, it was retired for nearly 30 years.

    The bass is, however, back on the road, and it is the same bass that is featured on all King Crimson, UK and Uriah Heep recordings, and the debut Asia album.

    Tracks like Larks Tongues in Aspic, Red, and In The Dead Of Night were all recorded and performed using this bass, and it is immediately identifiable as John Wetton's P-Bass, in much the same way that Chris Squire is notorious with his Rickenbacker.

    Great news for all Fender fans!

  2. That is cool!!!! Interesting pickguard mod.
  3. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    That's the Crimson bass? Last time I saw it (which was JW's next-to-last Crimson show) it had an added J near the bridge. Did he take it out?

  4. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    Maybe his hand's in the way of the J pickup?
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    When I saw Asia way back when, Wetton had three P-basses, all painted white with little or no pickguard. I definitely remember a vanilla P and another with double soapbars, and I'm pretty sure the third was a PJ. I think they all had Fender headstocks, but I have no idea how many may have been vintage.
  6. the hen

    the hen

    Oct 21, 2009
    There is no J-pickup on this bass, there never was...

    In early 1973, it was it was a walnut brown finish with a tortoise pickguard until in late 1973 he had it refinished Olympic White and filled the P/U cavity and screw holes. The pickguard was replaced with a custom metal place covering the control knob cavity.

  7. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    My mistake; you are correct. Funny how the mind can play tricks on you (well, me :))

  8. Paul M

    Paul M

    Jul 21, 2005
    His sound in King Crimson has always been the ideal heavy rock P-Bass sound for me. I'm glad it's back.
  9. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    The Zon lacked punch when I saw Asia last August. Plenty of bottom, but little else.
  10. d180fuzz

    d180fuzz C21H30O2

    Jul 10, 2008
    West Los, CA
    I bow in reverence to the master and his modified instrument.

    KC '72 - '74, FTW.
  11. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    All that custom work and he kept the tug bar on?
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    forget the bass...i can't believe that with all his cts troubles that he's still picking like that close to the bridge. i want to buy him a lesson with carol kaye.
  13. That's great news, his Crimson-era tone is one of the touchstones of rock bass. I'm seeing Asia at High Voltage Festival soon, I look forward to hearing it!

    Pretty sure 'In The Dead Of Night' is his Jazz bass though...
  14. Oh man, his tone on the whole Red album is orgasmic. I've been trying to copy that for years!
  15. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    Has anyone tried out the "original 62 fender precision pickups" for the John Wetton vibe? I love his tone :cool:
  16. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    For my money, Julie Slick got pretty good Wetton-like tone from her rig when I saw her with Adrian Belew. Lakland Glaub into an SVT4 Pro, I believe. Not a total cop - Julie has her own thing going on - but definitely made me think of it.

  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i have. they're really good.
  18. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    me likey
  19. PhR


    Dec 13, 2005
    Me too. Many other UK tracks as well, like "Rendezvous 6:02".
  20. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    She's since switched to a G-K rig, and that tone is still there. She gives some credit to her Keeley compressor, but I think most of it is in her hands.

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