THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER I FIRST PICKED UP the bass, I have the unbelievable good fortune to be that rarest of all creatures: A musician who can walk into a music store with money to spend and walk out again empty-handed, knowing there’s nothing I could buy that would make me happier than what I already have.
On the left is a Rickenbacker 4001E I bought used in the fall of 1979. This is my most prized possession—when the house is burning down, as soon as the wife and kids are safe, I’m going back in for the Rick. With Rotosound rounds on it, it is the ultimate rock bass. The ’burst Rick is an ’05 4003FL fretless. I’ve got flats on this and it sounds as close to an upright as I’m going to get until I find the time and energy to learn the upright. Next is an American-made Ernie Ball MusicMan Sterling I bought used a few years back for a steady gig that needed a “normal” bass sound. As an overall, go-anywhere doanything instrument, this is the best bass I’ve ever owned and the one I play most.
The Hartke 3500 head and 4x10 cabinet is the most flexible amp I’ve owned. With my instruments and this amp I can get pretty much any sound I need.
The pedalboard is as simple as they come and is really only there so that I can switch basses without unplugging. The basses go into a Behringer B100 selector pedal, and the output of that goes into a Boss TU-2 chromatic tuner. I’ve got a Morley ABC on order to replace the Behringer.
Not in this picture is the Phil Jones Sound Bass Cub I use for practice, rehearsal, and small gigs. Best (of many) small amp I’ve owned, reliable, portable, flexible, you name it.
They say money can’t buy you happiness but money has bought me this stuff and I can’t think of anything else I own that’s made me as happy as these toys have!”.
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