Willie Dixon's Bass on Ebay

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by mchildree, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
  2. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    It's times like this that it is good to be a lefty. No eBay temptation for vintage instruments. What would a Kay of this era go for without a famous name attached to it?
  3. greene


    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    For what's it worth Kenny's (the club mentioned in the eBay pitch isn't uptown but is in the Greenwich Village area. But maybe the seller just forgot.
  4. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Assuming this guys story is true, how does he get off trying to sell this bass for ten grand? Willie gave him the bass out of the goodness of his heart, and this joker is trying to make an enormous profit off it. To me, that seems totally wrong.
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Willie gave it to him (if the story is true) and it's his to sell.
  6. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    In any case, BUYER BEWARE!

    If it all checks out, and this is real. the bass should be available to the American public as an important historical artifact. Don't get me wrong, I love old Kay/King basses, but there are plenty of them still around for players, no need to jack up the already high prices on these things.

    BTW, when I saw Willie and his band in 1975, they opened the show as a Chicago style acoustic jazz piano trio. Then they continued with some straight out delta blues, rock 'n roll, and fatback grooves of the day! (Willies son played Fender bass in tandem with his dad that night.) Lots of tuck and roll amps and fuzzy guitar solos played on an old Gibson L-5.
  7. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    I dunno... reminds me of when Jamerson's DB was put up for auction a year ago or so.
  8. JohnBarr


    Mar 19, 2004
    Central NY
    Unless Dixon scratched his name into it someplace and you could get a handwriting (or scratching) expert to confirm it, it will be difficult to prove.

    Any 'proof' can be doubted, but if I were seriously going to inquire I would ask for something like substantiation.

    It would be good if the seller could show a dated picture of Willie and the bass with some identifying mark, and then show that same mark on the bass. Even that could be faked.

    Or let the seller produce some verifiable shred of evidence that he was on such friendly terms with Dixon and that there is at least a possibility that WD would give him a bass. A letter from WD or an associate making reference to the two of them. A picture of the two of them together in something other than a photo op or promo. Thanks given to the seller on an album credit or in a biography.

    Anyone laying out that amount, or any amount really, is entitled to some evidnece to support the claim.

    And by the way, is the instrument any good, do you suppose?

  9. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    If it has been properly maintained, yes. A King Mortone can be a very good bass. They are from the same ilk as the American Standards. Quite popular in Bluegrass circles. I see one or two at most festivals I attend.

    I would prefer one to a Kay any day of the week.
  10. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    I admit it would have been kind of crass to turn around and sell it in 1973, but after more than 30 years (as you say, assuming the story is true) I would say it's his to do with as he pleases.

    The Smithsonian can bid along with everyone else. After all...
    The bottom line is that I'm with John Barr. Looks like a nice old bass with a cool story that has not been (and probably can't be) authenticated to any degree of certainty. Bid on the bass, not on the story.
  11. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    He won't get any bids if everyone did that...you can get Kings frequently for half that price.
  12. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    I guess the point is that The Smithsonian would tell him to stand in line with all of the others. Take a number, and all of that.

    There are some really nice cultural museums in the U.S. that specialize in this sort of thing. If he can prove it's for real without a doubt, he would have no problem be compensated fairly for his contibution. There are wealthy patrons, blurs foundations, ect.

    I would think this cat is riding on the back of Willie's accomplishment and reputation....... It's a dangerous seat to sit in. This sort of thing would be good for a chuckle, if you didn't consider the history and lifetime of hardship involved. I'm sure some will laugh a this notion.

    Anything is possible on ebay.........

    Oh, yeah, and nobody knows what happened to Jaco's fretted 1960 Jazz Bass either after it mysteriosly appeared and dissapeared from ebay after not being sold. Check Ingrid Pastorious's webpages for those details.

    End of rant.
  13. You guys got me thinkin of Willie...

    He was the groove king... Love that line on back-door-man :bassist:

    Looks like the bass that Willie is playin' in that pic has a patch of laminent missing on the players side lower bout...I guess it could have been repaired.
  14. Looks more like a shadow now that I look at it again.
  15. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    IMO, there's something really fishy about that calling card. The font looks too clean. I don't buy the story.
  16. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Glad you pointed that thing out about the business card out, hdidddy.

    Willie probably had a bass he used in every area he visited, anyway!

    Whether he owned them all is another matter for speculation......
  17. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    You think he got it from Dan Rather?
  18. mrpc

    mrpc Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    I understand that you can do alot of things with Photoshop, coffee grounds, and quality time time spent on the dashboard of your truck. If you want to forge a document, that is!
  19. thumperdan


    Mar 14, 2005
    :crying: Someone sent me the link to this thread and after reading through them I felt compelled to answer.

    Yes the bass is legit.
    There is one comment about the club, Kenny's Castaways, being on Bleecker St. Maybe that person is too young to know that the previous address was uptown on 2nd Ave. around the E. 80s. If you don't believe me, call the club for verification.
    There was a comment about the business card and how wonderful Photoshop is. Yes, that is good software, but it can't put shellac, varnish, or goo onto a thirty-year-old business card. Guess I should have saved the dust-rat that came out with it.
    :meh: It must be wonderful to be so financially secure that if you owned this bass you would never have to sell it, but could donate it to some museum. Unfortuantely, after forty years of playing clubs, coliseums, and back again to clubs I have not been so fortunate (two divorces didn't help, either). I'm not whining, but I do need to sell the one thing of value that I have. It could ease some financial burdens.
    BTW; I loved and respected that old man. For him to give me a bass having only just met me, speaks volumes about the vastness of his kindness and spirit. So, putting this bass up for auction doesn't make me the happiest camper on the planet, and that's a fact.
  20. Thumper....After keeping that bass for thirty years, it's yours to do with what you may! Even if you had just gotten it, it's still your property.
    Some folks don't know what it feels like to need some$$ badly.
    Of all people, i'm sure Willie would understand!
    More power to ya.....Good Luck!