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Captain Bassman

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Posts posted by Captain Bassman

  1. 9 hours ago, Bilbo said:

    This one really was a long-awaited effort. I have had it in mind to transcribe this probably since I started playing the bass. I got my first bass, a Hondoo II Precision copy in September 1980. I know that because that was the year I started working for a living and I paid for it with my first pay packet. At that point, I was already listening to the Friday Rock Show and, like every Rock fan who lived through that era, the opening theme from the show promised great things. It wasn't until some years later that I learned that the tune that opened the show was called 'Take It Off The Top' by the Dixie Dregs. What is more, the tune featured a genuine bass solo in the form of Andy West's two bar exchanges with guitarist Steve Morse (both names I would not know for some time yet). Last night, I put the final touches to this transcription and it is now available on my website. We got there in the end!



    Always loved that, thanks!

    Aah, the much missed Tommy Vance. AKA Richard Anthony Crispian Francis Prew Hope-Weston....

    No wonder he adopted a stage name!

  2. 11 hours ago, Bilbo said:

    Here you go, Captain. This was fun... 'Where's the one'?!!!


    See, this is what fascinates me about music and about everyone’s different ability levels and interpretations.

    The chugging 8th note section in bars 135-142 I had always heard as straight Bs. You hear, and notate, each bar as 4xB, 2xC and 2xA. Knowing this, when I listen to the original track I can hear that subtle difference where I’d never noticed it before.

    Do you isolate the tracks when you transcribe them or do you just hear things like that in the mix?

  3. On 17/08/2020 at 15:41, Bilbo said:

    Arguably the easiest read on here; Richard Nolan's bass part for the tune 'You'll Never Go To Heaven' by It Bites - easier even that Steve Dawson's 'Dallas 1 P.M.' line. I have put this up here because, at less than 60 bpm, with the exclusion of about three bars, the whole chart is pretty much readable after about one reading lesson. I always found it encouraging to be able to read something 'real' as opposed to the tedious etudes that you have to work through when you are studying. 


    Not sure if you take requests but as a big fan of D i c k Nolan and It Bites a transcription of I Got You Eating Out of My Hand from the same album or Once Around The World from the album of the same name would be fantastic.

    • Like 1

  4. White pickups. Make a bass look cheap and tacky.

    The SR5 30th Anniversary for example. What were they thinking with the stark white pup against aged white body? Ruins it completely for me.


    • Like 3

  5. Well for what I need it for, much simpler! I just set everything pretty much flat, set the 5 way selector switch in the middle position and that’s it, unless I need a more plummy tone in which case the selector goes to full neck position.

    Loved the neck on that Arpege though. One it the most comfortable I’ve ever played.

    • Like 1

  6. On 25/07/2020 at 18:13, thodrik said:

    I am lucky enough own a Sadowsky NYC, a Sadowsky Metro and a Vigier Arpege. I think they there are really great and they have resulted in me being generally GAS free for basses over the last 5 years.

    However when cleaning them today I started to wonder whether my basses would pass the QC standards of some of the more discerning members on here if they had received my basses from new.  

    In functional terms all three basses are pretty much perfect (for me). However, I have taken a photo of a cosmetic construction/finishing ‘issue’ from each bass. 

    Sadowsky NYC: imperfection in quilted maple top which you can only spot if you look at it really close up from less than a foot away.


    Sadowsky Metro: strange irregular wood grain pattern or tooling mark (which I personally think looks cool but it could really bother someone else):


    Vigier Arpege: if you look really closely, you can see that a bit of the finish seems to have bled into the fret marker. This occurs on the third, ninth and a little bit on one of the twelfth fret markers:


    Obviously the issues are purely cosmetic and have never bothered me. To me they are not so much flaws as much as they are unique identification markers to enable me to pick out ‘my’ bass from identically finished Sadowskys or Vigiers. However, I’m conscious that to others these issues would be seen as flaws which should not  appear on such ‘high end’ instruments which should be ‘perfect’. 

    I don’t want this to come across as a thread to  insult people who have had serious faults and problems with high end instruments which is obviously a horrible situation to go through. Nor do I want this thread to be a ‘bash [insert company]’ type thread. 

    However, I was wondering if anyone else felt like sharing any interesting finishing quirks/cosmetic issues on their own basses which do not bother them but may bother someone else? 

    Thanks in advance.


    Glad to see you’re still in love with the Vigier after all these years! It’s a truly wonderful piece of kit and one I was really sad to part with. I replaced it with a Stingray 5 HH purely for more practical purposes to suit the band I’m in.

    I had noticed those tiny bleed marks and, like you, just passed them off as unique quirks of a boutique instrument.



    For sale, my beautiful 1966 Fender Precision in fantastic condition, all original (as far as I am aware) with original finish and original Fender hard case (including Fender catalogue).

    This is a player’s bass, not a case queen, but has been extremely well cared for by previous owners as well as by me.

     It has light signs of wear and some dings as you’d expect a 54 year old to have. I’ve gigged the bass extensively in the time I’ve owned it and always kept/transported it in a Hiscox LiteFlite case, not the OHSC.

    Apart from some minor body chips and scratches there are a couple of small dents in the neck behind frets 1-3 but these aren’t noticeable under the hand. There’s also some lovely light checking to the lacquer on the headstock and rear of the body. I’ve tried to capture these as best I can with my phone camera.

    Pups, pots, wiring and solder joints all look all original. The pups are still bonded to the black foam and backing plate. No dating is evident and I didn’t want to risk separating them to try and find out.

    Pots are stamped 6618 which I believe is week 18 of 1966 (kindly correct me if I’m wrong).

    The date stamp on the neck is partially faded and obscured by red ink but this is how it was when I bought it. To my eyes it reads 5 MAY 66 C. The neck is classic P chunky, solid and straight with a fully functioning truss rod and reverse tuners on the headstock.

    Beautiful striping on the rosewood fingerboard and there’s plenty of life left in the slim frets. The bass is currently strung with LaBella flats.

    Comfortably light, on the digital bathroom scales it comes in at 8.6 lbs / 3.9 kg.

    The case has a few dings and a couple of smallish rips but inside is clean and plush and all catches and hinges function (I don’t have the keys though). It came to me with a 1967-68 Fender catalogue inside which is in lovely condition and a really nice piece of history.

    This is a beautiful example of a mid-60’s P bass with a classic full burpy sound that sits so well in the band mix.

    Now... I know there are some real vintage aficionados and experts on the forum so in the spirit of openness and honesty I want to mention 3 things;

    Control knobs. These are more than likely the originals but still look brand new. I have no way of knowing as these were the knobs it came to me with but I am just saying as someone pointed it out to me.

    Ashtrays. Both are in really good clean condition and I believe are the originals. They show light scratching close up which doesn’t come out in the photos. Inside the bridge cover there is no evidence left of any foam mutes but there is some surface roughness in that area.

    E string tuner. Fully operational and stable but a bit stiffer than the other 3. I’ve had it apart and lubricated it, can’t see anything wrong, so it’s a bit better but wanted to point this out to potential buyers. 

    I’m offering this bass for sale only (no trades thank you) at a competitive price based on what I’ve seen similar condition basses advertised by reputable dealers.

    I’m happy to ship at the buyer’s expense or arrange personal socially-distanced collection within a reasonable radius (location KT18).






































    • Like 25

  8. 4 hours ago, wateroftyne said:

    He's awesome, like. And ARW are far better than the decrepit crapshow touring as Yes.

    Rather ironically the night he blew his groceries in my car we’d been to see Be Sharp in a really small venue. The classic lineup - Jerry Stevenson, Bob Jenkins and Dave Bronze on bass.

    I remember Lee being completely in awe of the immense talent right in front of him, as if his own natural talent was nothing in comparison. A very modest and unpretentious guy.

    • Like 3

  9. 3 hours ago, bnt said:

    Lee was also out with Yes ARW (Anderson / Rabin / Wakeman) a couple of years ago, tackling some Chris Squire basslines. It's not a trivial job keeping us CS fans happy, but I heard only good things and wish I'd gotten to see them live. Maybe I will - It Can Happen ...

    Something I keep coming back to on YT...


    • Like 3

  10. 3 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

    Interesting to see the way his bass is strung. Suppose it makes sense if starting out on a borrowed right handed (assuming that’s what he did of course).

    I think that’s part of the story, yes. Knowing him quite well back in the Rockbottom days in Croydon that’s exactly what he used to do with the in-stock basses. Talented git!! 😫

    Threw up in the back of my brand new car on the way back from The Lazy Toad in Beckenham, the sod...😡

    Lovely bloke really and he’s done so brilliantly in his career. Truly well deserved. Taught me a lot and got me one of my first proper gigs with the Rockbottom ‘house band’.

    • Like 3

  11. Used to dep for a band that that god awful Mavericks song in their set (fkn ear worm has started up at the mere thought of it)...

    Everyone hated it with a passion except for the portly singist who really thought he was Raul Malo as soon as the intro started.

    Getting through 4 odd minutes of that without wanting to throw a seven midway through was the most challenging of bass jobs I’ve had!

  12. 56 minutes ago, skankdelvar said:

    ... and a pork pie.

    In my experience this particular “menu item” commonly occurred after an extended “light lunch” (as described by young Mr Del Var), usually on a Friday evening, somewhere against a wall around the back of Waterloo or London Bridge station, involving some amateur wrestling followed by a degree of knee trembling.

    • Like 1

  13. I used a DB410 and DB115 with a DB750 head and the combination was phenomenal. For smaller gigs I left the 115 at home and just used the 410 and it was just as good. Tight lows and good mid range.

    I sold both cabs due to weight (and space) issues. I believe the SL cabs are lighter but perhaps not as light as other neo cabs.

    Still got the DB750 head though. Can’t bear to part with that.

  14. Bent down to help keyboardist lift one of his flight cases and ripped my trousers from belt line to crotch, a good 8 inch gash. Had to patch them up inside with silver duct tape but you could still see the rip line as the tape backing was showing through in places. And I had nothing else to change into...

    Spent the rest of the night with my back very close to the walls!

    • Like 1
    • Haha 1
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