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Martin Turner - Wishbone Ash

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by xsogol, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Hi All,

    Let me first say that I love Martin Turner's work on the first few Wishbone Ash albums...I especially love "Handy" and "The King Will Come"...those two songs totally rule IMHO. I'm finding him becoming a major influence on my playing (it seems all my major playing influences played before I was born...weird).

    I've done searches and Martin's name doesn't come up much on the boards even though he's an incredible bassist (again IMHO). There is hardly any info out there about him (on the WA site or Wikipedia too). What were his influences? What type of gear did he use (I've seen a couple pics of him with a Thunderbird 4-string but that's it)?

    I also love his tone on "The King Will Come"...does anyone know what bass/amp combo he was using on that track?

    What other songs include your favorite Martin Turner performances? Thanks everyone!!
  2. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    The Ash!!!

    Love those guys. You can certainly tell that Cliff Burton listened to them a lot - the melodic depth of that band was amazing. My fave tracks include "Handy" & "Phoenix". I always thought that Martin played a T-bird on those first two LPs but recently found out that it was a Rickenbacker 4001! An ultra rare 21 fretter even!

    Check this out:
  3. Sweet! Holy crap that's cool!!! Thanks loendmaestro! :hyper:
  4. Can any of you tell what type of rig Martin is playing through in this clip of "Warrior"?
  5. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I saw Wishbone Ash a few times, and I remember Martin playing a Fender bass through Orange amps, it was almost 35 years ago though.:eek: I do remember he was a pick player, because at the time, so was I. Great band, and so different for the time!
  6. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    awww yeah! :D
  7. PhR


    Dec 13, 2005
    Looks like an Acoustic 360 head and 361 cab and two Acoustic 370 heads and a 371 cab. He usually had Orange amps and cabs and so did the guitarists but this is from USA so maybe it's rented gear.

    That '60's T-Bird IV is so great. I believe it was stolen at that time and he later got a white one. He also has a custom Hamer Standard bass (Explorer shaped) which has T-Bird pickups.
  8. A press article from the time says the first album was recorded with a 6-string bass that Martin built himself, but I can;t find any pics of this mystery beast. The first album does ahve an unusual bass tone, that's for sure.

    'Pilgrimage' sounds to me like the Rick, and 'Argus' and 'Wishbone Four', the Thunderbird.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Not sure I should admit this - but I saw Wishbone Ash live, twice in the early 1970s, when I was very young - at the Brighton Dome!! :p

    My feeling was that Martin concentrated on singing and then providing a solid groove for the two-guitar "duels" - which seemed to go on for ever!! ;)
  10. John Wetton was briefly part of Wishbone Ash, IIRC, but he joined well after its commercial heyday.
  11. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    From the official WA site:

    On August 20th 1970 Wishbone Ash secured their $250,000 advance recording contract with MCA (Decca in US). Recording sessions for their eponymous debut album took place at De Lane Lea studios, Kingsway, London during September 1970 with Derek Lawrence producing. For the sessions, Ted Turner played a Les Paul Junior, whilst Andy Powell played a Gibson SG Special, which he had then recently bought, having previously been using a homemade instrument. Martin Turner was still playing what he described as his "Mickey Mouse Special", and hired a Fender Jazz bass for the sessions (he acquired a Rickenbacker soon after the album's completion. Shortly after the album's completion, Andy Powell bought his first Gibson Flying V, an instrument which would soon become his trademark.
  12. I'm glad to hear it was a Jazz bass...but I wonder what rig he played through for those albums...was it the Orange rig or something else...I can't tell on "The King Will Come" what type of amp he's using and I love that sound! :bawl:
  13. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I dunno, some fan site or was it an interview gave the impression that he like many other bassists didn't always use the same bass or rig ... and let's face it: on stage one might have a rig but it's usually the PA that the audience is hearing, and in the studio it's just as often a DI box and an entirely different signal chain than the player would use to rehearse or gig.

    So, getting real: what makes him interesting is the music, and what's in his hands head and heart.
  14. I agree with that assessment, greenboy. I just love the grit that he gets at the beginning of that song and would love to add it to my sound.:D
  15. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Well, I don't know about you, but I don't know how many times I've wandered into a bar and was hearing something I liked a lot that sounded VERY MUCH like the recording, only to look on stage and see some gear and axe that definitely wasn't what was on the recording. And some of that gear was beat-up pawn shop rejects ; }
  16. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I should add that ARGUS is among my faves of the period, that and early Tull with Glen Cornick.
  17. +10,000. And Martin Turner and Glenn Cornick are two of my biggest influences...I grew up with the first four Wishbone Ash albums and all the Tull albums.
  18. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Got any Blodwyn Pig? : }
    Ductapeman likes this.

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