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The Basses of Phil Lesh

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boogiebass, May 29, 2002.


  1. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Here's a current shot of Phil from a feature article in a recent Relix with his instruments. Note the legendary Guild/Alembic, the Smith and the many Modulus 6's.

    Phil Lesh Basses
     
  2. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    What's up with all the knobs on that Alembic? there's only ONE pickup...?
     
  3. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    This, my son, is a long story. Sit at my feet, grasshopper...

    In a nutshell, Phil had the Guild radically modded by Alembic back in the day. It will do just about anything except take out the garbage. I'll hunt around for a full description or you can search Dead archives on the net. I believe this bass was really one of the very first that Ron Wickersham worked on. Seems to me that Jack Casady has the actual first but Phil's may have been modified first. Don't recall, exactly. Long time ago. Lotta acid. You know.
     
  4. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    LOL :D
     
  5. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Maybe that one with all the knobs is his 65lb'er? I remember reading somewhen that he was having troubles doing gigs because it would just weigh him down.

    But, all that LDS in the 80's & 90's could've knocked the last screw loose . . .
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    I would think that the one with all the knobs would weigh next to nothing because it's the lower bout has been mostly hollowed out for control cavity. Plus the upper bout is hollow, with an f-hole.

    Hope boogie can find a description of the electronics. I'm guessing it can make piña coladas.

    Or maybe, considering its owner, that it can recieve communications from extraterrestrials. ;)
     
  7. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Thanks for the new desktop wallpaper!! :D

    Good ol' Phil. Goin' to see him and Willie Nelson on Labor Day weekend.

    I have a shirt with Phil on the front playing a headless bass that looks like a Status Energy. Anyone know what this bass was? I'm guessing this pic was taken circa 1994-95 or so.
     
  8. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Yer welcome, dude. I just saw Phil & Friends last Friday night in San Diego and they were fantastic. What a band! You're in for a treat, I'd say. I love Willie, too.

    No idea about the headless bass. Knowing Phil, it could have been anything. Not one he regularly used on stage, however. Probably a one-off promo shot, I'm guessing. He's been playing Modulus since the early eighties with the occasional use of his Ken Smith.

    I'll post details of his basses here soon.
     
  9. boogiebass

    boogiebass

    Aug 16, 2000
    Here's a good, but brief history of Phil's basses. Scroll down to read:

    Phil Lesh Bio