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Sting used 8 string basses with the Police but on what songs?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Blazer, Nov 14, 2018.


  1. Blazer

    Blazer

    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    hamer-8-string-bass-fretless-xl.
    Sting with his Hamer Standard 8 string Fretless
    sting-hamer-02.
    And a close up showing that it indeed was strung up with eight strings.

    eykvkxq3-.
    Sting playing an Ibanez Musician eight string

    But on which songs did he play those, eight string basses have a very specific sound which doesn't suit every purpose and so I don't see him using them for a complete show.
     
  2. who

    who

    Apr 20, 2007
    Washington DC
    Miss Gradenko from Synchronicity definitely sounds like one.

     
  3. garp

    garp

    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    Having recently spent some quality time with the Message In A Box collection, I'm pretty confident that there's nothing in there – either studio or live – that was recorded with an 8-string. Hence, if something does exist out there, it's most likely in bootleg form. Given that the Hamer showed up in that awful promo video for "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da," I would guess he might've used it live for other Zenyatta Mondatta stuff like "Driven To Tears" and "When The World Is Running Down..."
     
    jthisdell likes this.
  4. Bring On The Night was done live on an 8 string here:
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  5. lsdn

    lsdn

    Sep 6, 2003
    padova (italy)
    April 1980, Milano (Italy); Reggatta De Blanc World Tour.
    I was there.
    I remember Sting playing the Ibanez fretless 8 string surely on Walking On The Moon and on a new (at that time) song called Driven To Tears.
     
  6. jthisdell

    jthisdell Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I've seen him three or four times, always with a Fender P
     
  7. 80jazz

    80jazz

    Jun 28, 2008
    Kansas
    The 8 string fretless Ibanez appears to have been picked up in February 1980 and used intermittently for performances (i.e. part of the set at the time) until April 1980. He received the 8 string fretless Hamer on November 22, 1980 and appears to have used it for a couple of weeks.

    I am keen to check the 1980 recordings on this...especially since I have an 8-string fretless now!

    It sounds like at least Driven to Tears was cut with the Ibanez 8-string fretless.

    (Side note: I think they are fun and work for more music than what some think. A praise band seemed to think it was a bit much.)
     
  8. winterburn69

    winterburn69

    Jan 27, 2008
    Saskatchewan
    This one seems certainly plausible that it's an 8-string. I always assumed it was a heavy chorus and a fretless.

    Perhaps then Murder by Numbers is also an 8-string?

    But I think the 8-strings were mostly for live use.
     
  9. garp

    garp

    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I have my doubts about that. Take a listen to the very end of the studio track – specifically the final two notes just before the half-hearted applause comes in. Sounds like a fretless Precision to me.
     
  10. 80jazz

    80jazz

    Jun 28, 2008
    Kansas
    I believe the basses used on Synchronicity were the Van Zalinge, the 62/3 Jazz, the Steinberger, and the red fretless precision.
     
  11. winterburn69

    winterburn69

    Jan 27, 2008
    Saskatchewan
    After a few more listens I think you are correct.

    I wish Sting or Danny would compile a list what was used on which tracks for the last 3 albums as there's just so many possible instruments:

    Andy's sunburst '60s Precision (seen in the Spirits in the Material World video)
    Red fretless Precision
    '62 Jazz
    Brian
    Ibanez fretless 4-string
    Ibanez fretless 8-string
    Hamer fretless Blitz 8-string
    Hamer Phantom
    Steinberger L2


    '62 Jazz from what I've read.

    I believe the Hamer was also at least present for the recording of Synchronicity, as I've read this picture is from the recording of Synchronicity.

    image.
     
  12. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    That's a Hamer 'Standard' custom 8 string on the left, Hamer's take on an Explorer. Blitzes have chamfered edging and no binding...also a P/J setup.

    As far as Hamer 'Phantom' basses, they were the first version of their Cruise bass. Sting's was an '82.

    A Google search will confirm...with pictures of Sting playing both.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  13. 80jazz

    80jazz

    Jun 28, 2008
    Kansas
    Based on how long Sting appeared to have used the Hamer onstage and what one TB'er has said in the past about that bass, I wonder what the date on the above picture is. I am not convinced he had it too long after he got it, but I could be wrong. I would be curious if he DID have it with him during the Synchronicity sessions but never used it. 8-string fretless basses can be fun!

    Also, IIRC there is photo documentation in Message in a Box with Sting using that Hamer Phantom bass in late 1981 (I believe December 12, 1981 at the Marquee and he appeared to have also used it at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland on January 16, 1982).

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Jazz. It seems to be mentioned most as a '62, but I thought I have read information suggesting it was a '63.
     
  14. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    There's no Hamer Phantom bass. It's like calling a Thunderbird a Firebird bass.

    It's a CRUISE bass.
    FtSSyw2.

    http://www.rockstarsguitars.com/police/sting/stings-1982-hamer-cruise-bass-1504/
     
  15. 80jazz

    80jazz

    Jun 28, 2008
    Kansas
    Oh. Sorry I forgot to read!
     
  16. Blazer

    Blazer

    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    You know, reading all of this and seeing the pictures made me realize that I miss the days when instrument makes went out of their way to create something unique.

    Because in later years they just lapsed into making versions of classics.
    _c327851_image_0.
    The Hamer Cruisebass as Sting also played his.

    P1010117.
    And this is a nineties Hamer Cruisebass: a Fender Jazz copy.

    vector81.
    The Hamer Vector, their take on a Flying V but with several features which clearly made it it's own thing.

    frontback.
    A 2003 Hamer Vector: Gone are all the features which made the Vector an adventurous take on the Flying V and the model changed into a straight Gibson copy.
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Gone were Paul Hamer and Jol Dantzig, that's why.
     
    Blazer and Bob_Ross like this.

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