Marcus Miller's Pickg. "snatched" from Larry Graham?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Stuggi, May 20, 2007.


  1. I just had a look at this months issue of BP, and noticed that Larry Grahams old fender features a white pickguard with the same shape as MM's. Anyone who can shead a bit of light on this, cause I've never seen anything like it before...
     
  2. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Inactive

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao España
    back in the day those who wanted an active bass and modified their passive bass had to enlarge the control cavity; for jazz basses noone thought on making the routing from behind but rather in the front and hide the hole with an enlarged pickguard the same way larry and marcus did.
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I have a Precision that I routed out for EMG J/J's and separate tone/volume, and the pickguard I had made for it is almost identical to Marcus', although it was a different color. At the time, I had never heard of Marcus Miller, let alone seen his bass. And the only pics of Larry Graham that I had ever seen were with his Moon basses. So I think it's possible that it's a case of great minds thinking alike, although I think there's more of a chance that Marcus had seen Larry Graham. But how many ways can you make a pickguard to fit over that huge rout?
     
  4. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Larry's bass was first. He also had a Jazz with a black pickguard with that shape! If I can find the pics I will post them.
     
  5. ProfGumby

    ProfGumby

    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    Who cares who's on first?
    ;)

    Basically, Rickenbakers PG looks similar too. But in the case of Graham or Miller or anyone else, isn't it a matter of form following function?
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    It's interesting to people who thought Marcus' bass was a one-off... people like me:D
     
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Larry G. also had a custom color Jazz in Inca Silver and matching headstock with the same enlarged pickguard in chrome. It's been years since I've seen that old picture....
     
  8. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    Here's a you tube link to the bass in question.
     
    DWBass likes this.
  9. I wish my band was cool enough to go a cappella in the middle of a song :)

    Thats cool--I thought MM was the only one with a PG like that, but it kinda makes sense--back in the 70s, if you modified a jazz bass (assuming LG did mod his bass) and had a few extra controls, you'd need to either make a PG like that or modify the body, and cutting a new PG is probably a lot easier and less permanent than modifying the body--I bet there were more bass players than you think that did that...
     
  10. CelinderMotoMan

    CelinderMotoMan Inactive

    Apr 4, 2007
    Flint, Mi.
    I love the Marcus Miller pickguard.
     
  11. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    No I think Marcus did it because he loved Grahams style, You must remember he played with his pup cover on because he loved Jermaine Jackson (he even had the afro!). He loved Jermaine so much his first jazz bass was just like Jermaines! I was there I watched him play it! I was the one who played "hair" for him and although he'd heard of Graham he was not a big fan as I was at the time. I on the other hand was a Graham fanatic! I had just about wore the grooves out of the first GCS album by that time he got into Graham's style of playing. I'm three years older than Marcus and was heavy into weed smoking and black rock while he was into Kool & the gang, J5 and more popular music. Marcus in time grew out of the pop stuff and began playing the funk as well as playing with the "best" neighborhood cats, I think the pickguard thing was a natural progression for him as he saw one of his hero's with it. Marcus was 19-20 years old when he bought that now famously modded bass! Lots of us had bass hero's that we bought basses just like, why would it be unthinkable for him to mod one like his hero?
     
    LM Bass likes this.
  12. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    The person that made the decision on the pickguard was Roger Sadowsky, not Marcus. He's the person that did the mod, and the pickguard was necessary to cover the routing for the preamp that he installed.
     
  13. It has a little more then a few extra controls, the one with the with PG has a wireless tranciver built into it, plus some kind of DI out. If i remember correctly it also had some kind of mic input, but I'm not sure... Anyhow, it had all kinds of stuff built in... :D
     
  14. CelinderMotoMan

    CelinderMotoMan Inactive

    Apr 4, 2007
    Flint, Mi.
    Exactly, just as Larry's was probably done by the guy that modded his bass. Marcus' Pickguard is great.
     
  15. True...because everyone knows that Marcus' hero was Stanley Clarke, not Larry Graham...;) lol
     
  16. pyrohr

    pyrohr

    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    What makes you think Marcus dislikes the pickgaurd on his bass? Just because YOU find it ugly doesn't mean he does! Marcus had his bass modded when he was an up and coming bassist getting more and more work as a reading bassist in NYC. He may have been 20-21 years old at the time!(hardly an age where he knew his career was goimg to take off the way it did) I bet nobody here new of or ever heard of Marcus Miller back in 1980! I had already known him for 7 years (we grew up together as teenagers in Queens and I later married his sax players sister!) Look at what he say's on his website about how and where he learned to thump and pop, there was a few of us thumpin and poppin before he started doin it as he was a little younger and less exposed to it in the beginning. Larry had a large impact on Marcus as Marcus and I used to talk about many bassplayers including Val Burke (Mother Night), Fudgie Kae (Mandrill) and even Kool from Kool & the Gang. He also loved Stanley and Jaco but didn't wan't to play like either.
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings

    You'd lose that bet;)

    Remember the "Weird bass" credit on Lenny's first solo album?

    I concur on just about everything you're saying. I'm wondering hold old some of the people commenting in this thread are. No offense of course but looking back on 70's and 80's style and living it are two completely different things. How many are familiar with the Ken Smiths with the huge gold pickguards?

    Back then there were more modded Fenders than you could shake a stick at. It's no surprise Graham had a pickguard Jazz too. I was in Mississippi and Kansas between 1977-80 so I missed a lot.
     
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I remember the gooseneck mic but wireless? I wasn't aware of that.
     
  19. CelinderMotoMan

    CelinderMotoMan Inactive

    Apr 4, 2007
    Flint, Mi.
    To clarify, I never implied that Marcus didn't like his pickguard,In fact, I LOVE IT! :)
     
  20. It's all about taste. I like the guard. As for Marcus, he could play a cardboard box with a piece of string and a stick as a neck and make it sound great.

    I think the BIG difference between Marcus Miller and other technically talented bassists is that Marcus is extremely musical. This talent goes well beyond the bass.

    I don't know about the guard but I've never read anything on the dudes site that's BS. I love the fact that he doesn't have to make up for mojo with gear. A standard J with a preamp and BAII. And all that booty is pure ability.

    If I knew him personally, I'd drop his name too. He's one musician that I wish would tour here and one I'd be willing to travel overseas to see.

    His guard...........Whatever.
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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