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Repainted P-Basses - Guitars R Us (Sunset Blvd.) - 1980's

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by somnar, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. somnar


    Mar 27, 2009
    Been wondering about this for a long time. Sometime in 1987, I walked into Guitars R Us on Sunset Blvd there were tons of refinished 1960's Fender basses (may have been guitars, too - I don't remember), maybe 10 of each. The P-Basses were $550, the J-Basses $600 (or $650, the memory is fading). I played all the P-Basses, found an unbelievable one in sea foam green (1965), plunked down my $550 and took it home. It has remained my main bass for all these years, I absolutely love it. The neck is particularly great, very wide fingerboard yet it's profile (if that's the word) is very slim. A dream to play. Anyway...

    I've always wondered why this shop had all this refinished Fenders. It's a longshot, I know, but does anyone else remember this shop and these basses? Was this happening at lots of stores at this time? Any thoughts?

  2. the art guy

    the art guy Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Wow...that would be cool to walk in and see something like that. Of course now they'd all be ridiculously expensive, but still....
  3. I should think it was just the sign of the times. late 60's and 70's Fenders hadn't begun to appreciate in value or sentimentality.When I started playing in 85 I was shamed because I had a 1978 Musicmaster and "everybody" knew 70's Fender's sucked, which they did of course.

    I think it's just weird market dynamics, but it would be cool to hear from someone who was in the biz at that time.
  4. Yeah, the nearest you'd likely get to that scenario nowadays would be a store full of crappy, 80's Fenders or clones, & instead of refins they'd be reliced & priced like museum pieces. :atoz:
  5. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    I remember cruising Sunset Blvd. back in the early 80's and there were several shops that were loaded with early Fenders. A lot of them were fairly beat up, but there were many that were in very good condition. For the price of one good vintage J now, I could have gotten 6-8 of them back then. Where was my crystal ball when I needed it?:crying:
  6. somnar


    Mar 27, 2009
    The strange thing is that they were all early '65's and older. But your point is well taken. I wonder if they'd all previously had pretty banged up finishes and someone thought "hell, let's just re-spray 'em".

    It was quite a sight, though.
  7. who wouldv'e thunk heavy, dull sounding, poorly and inconsistently constructed basses would be worth twice the cost of an actual quality instrument?
  8. I guess the question is how were early fenders perceived/valued in the 80s in general?
  9. Buskman


    Apr 13, 2007
    Jersey Shore, USA
    Pics of the $550 Sea Foam Green P, please! :)
  10. silverburst

    silverburst Commercial User

    Aug 22, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I bought a couple of Jazz basses from the same shop.

    Albert Molinaro owned the shop (google him). He was taking basses that were in really bad shape (or already refinished) and finishing them in custom colors. He was heavily into selling them to the Japanese market, and he was getting top dollar for them there.
  11. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I remember driving down to Sunset Blvd in the late 80's/early 90's. I was still in my late teens then, and there were several stores in that one-block radius you could walk in and find tons of old Fenders for well under a grand. The old cystal ball wouldn't have done me any good then because I didn't have much of any money back then either.
  12. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Early Fenders were always in demand by the players back in the 80's and even 70's from what I always heard. But back then they were still affordable by the players.
    It's not like today where you have nostalgic people with money willing to pay out the nose, and seemingly far more players today than back then also competing to get them.
    There's where it becomes supply vs demand.
  13. savit260


    Mar 6, 2006
    They were still priced a lot higher than new Fenders.

    I recall quite well seeing early Telecasters, and early 60's Strats around that were getting around $1500-$2500 in the mid 80's. That was a ton of money then, and yes, the basses were cheaper, but still not cheap. Keep in mind that a new Tele/Strat/P or J was around $500 in the 80's, so relatively speaking, the vintage stuff was still expensive.

    Even in the mid/ late 90's you could score a Pre CBS P or J for under $2k.
  14. somnar


    Mar 27, 2009
    Right, Albert, that was his name. Couldn't remember it. Nice guy, as I remember.

    That all makes sense, thanks for solving the mystery. Wish I could walk into that store again, circa 1987-88...
  15. It's the *Antiques Roadshow Syndrome* run rampant, and it's everywhere. Go to Craigslist & search for something old that you're fairly knowledgeable of, and have a good laugh. *Vintage/rare/collector's item* my arse...
  16. Used outpriceing new is a good indicator.

    I passed on a MINT 1978 Antiqua Jazz Bass at Heights Guitars in Cleveland OH in 2000 they were selling for $1300 and a root beer 78 for the same.
  17. jakkkk

    jakkkk Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2007
    Schroeder Cabinets Eich Amplification Endorser
    That was a great store, great owner. I bought a trashed refinished 55/56 P,bake light saddles, maple neck like a dog had been chewing on it, for $700, in 84. loved that bass
  18. ProfGumby


    Jan 15, 2007
    Michigan's U.P.
    I thought it was a rule that you can't sell a used bass on Craigslist or ebay without any or all of these words
  19. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA

    +1 I would like to see it also,, I might have the brother to that bass...
  20. yes, those were the days. i traded a ibanez artist series guitar for my '66 jazz bass!
    that was around '84. i also picked up a '72 rick for 300.00 bucks. back then you couldn't give them away.

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