What basses did Gary Willis use back in the day?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lackey, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'm talking about the Pre-Ibanez model days. Fretted or Fretless.

  2. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    He has been using Ibanez as long as I can remember. I seem to remember seeing him in the Ibanez catalog dating back from like '91 or '92 which I believe was several years before he had a signature model. I could be wrong about the date but I'm positive about him being an Ibanez endorsee before they started making the GWB basses.
  3. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    if my memory is serving me correctly he thanks mike tobias on tribal tech's dr. hee album which came out around 86. was he using a tobias on that album? i have no freakin' clue, but a thread about willis is going to get a look from me.:bassist:
  4. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    The first time I saw Gary Willis was when he toured with Alan Holdsworth (1984ish?). IIRC, he was playing a fretted Fender.
  5. BenF


    Mar 29, 2001
    Boston area
    I remember seeing a picture of him with a silver Tobias. I don't think he played them for very long, though.
  6. logion7


    Jun 30, 2004
    It seems he used to play on a Tobias (!) Fretless (customized) model.

    On his site (www.garywillis.com), section "archives" you can find the information.

    Gustavo Vieira (Brasil)
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I saw him with a local Dallas-Ft. Worth band (I think they went by 'The Hamm Brothers' Band' at the time, though the bros had several different names for their various bands) back when (I believe) he was attending UNT (at the time NTSU), probably sometime around the late '70s.

    He was shreading one each of a Fender Jazz fretless and fretted. Very Jaco-esque in his style most of the time and really, very, very good chops, inventiveness, and musicality.

    Wish I'd had a tape recorder with me.
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    since my last post in this thread i got a tribal tech video from 87 and it looks like hes using a home brew jazz bass.
  9. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Did you get it online or an actual cassette/dvd?

    If online, where's it at???
  10. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I remember that silver Tobias from a veeeery early Bass Player article. Sexy bass. It had a ramp.
  11. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    you sure it wasnt the silver ibanez? before he was using the natural ibanez he was using a silver one in the late 80's early 90's.
  12. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    it's not commercially released and its from git. i got it via trading.
  13. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    Black fender p-bass with jazz pickup in bridge .
  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I got a feeling the silver bass was an Ibanez. It's on his video too, IIRC.

    I remember seeing an old Guitar Player article where he's playing a Tobias, but with the regular wooden finish.

  15. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Gah, wrong thread...
  16. Thonk


    Sep 14, 2003
    Theres a Word or 2 from the man himself over @


    "What was your inspiration to play 5-string fretless bass and when did you begin playing it?"

    I always gravitated to the lower end of a 4-string. If things were in F or G, I'd never go up to the 10th or 12th frets to groove. I always heard it that way. My first fretless bass was one that I built. I put a guitar tuner on a Precision neck, found some Telecaster saddles, modified a Fender bridge, and found a Dan Armstrong Blade pickup that barely reached all five strings. It had really narrow string spacing at the bridge. The next fretless was a Yamaha BB5000 that I bought. Later on, I was lucky enough to hook up with Mike Tobias, and I've been fortunate to be playing custom or signature instruments since then. Mike wasn't ready to move in the direction of a bolt-on ash body bass when I was, but two years after I went with Ibanez, he ended up with the Killer B which was similar to where I was headed with Ibanez.

    I met Gary a few years ago at a local music store where he was doing a bass clinic and he's a great guy very down to earth as you all know he's a monster player he's right hand plucking/muting is totally unique

    i prefer TT's earlyer more composed tunes to there later improve stuff but no dout gary can groove and solo's like a mofo
  17. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Dunno,,, I just realized it...
  18. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Yeah, that's the one. No controls either. I like that.
  19. raymondl3


    Dec 10, 2007
    Right before Tobias he was using a Washburn fretless. Before that he was using a Fender 4 string fretless.