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hiram.k.hackenbacker

John Deacon’s “Live Aid” Fender Precision (A Gear Abstinence Failure)

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Posted (edited)

So, the charity gig that I’ve mentioned elsewhere on Basschat (The Last Resort) is happening again this year in November and I’ve been asked to return.

The theme this year is ‘tributes’ and being in a Bowie tribute, I was originally asked to play the Bowie set. Obviously I said yes, but I now have the opportunity of doing the Queen Live Aid set as well, which I’m super excited about as I’m a big fan. 

I thought it would be a nice touch to play the set on a bass that looked the part and I’ve been having a look for some information on the bass John used, which seemed to be quite a favourite of his, a stripped Fender Precision with a 3ply tort guard and rosewood fingerboard. There are many photo’s of him playing it and it seems to be distinguishable by a dark blemish below the bridge. However, I can’t seem to find any specific details about it, what it used to be finished in, it’s vintage etc.

The thing is, I don’t get on with P necks. I did find a Fender Artisan Precision on Thomann which had a Jazz neck, but it’s €4,400! It also has Fender Jazz on the headstock, even though it has a Precision body 🙄. [I should add that I’ve always wanted a P bass that I could get on with in the arsenal, so I’m not searching for something I would only use once. I did have a Pino CS, but I just couldn’t get on with it and I did try].

I came across some information this afternoon that suggested that Nash Guitars once made a John Deacon tribute bass. Their web site makes no mention of it and I don’t even know what it looked like. Maybe it was a one off? I then had a moment of epiphany - a Limelight Custom Build.

So I rang Limelight today and had a chat about the aim of the build and I found myself being asked questions I couldn’t really answer, like what vintage JD’s Bass was, what it might have been finished as prior to being stripped, what saddles it had etc. There are pictures, but they’re not great and I can’t find specific details about this bass.

Surely the Basschat Collective must be able to assist.

Edited by hiram.k.hackenbacker

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I seem to recall that @Dood had his own Deacon tribute bass at some point.

Might have dreamt it though.

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Just now, Cato said:

I seem to recall that @Dood had his own Deacon tribute bass at some point.

Might have dreamt it though.

Ooh, that’s good news. Hopefully he will be along in due course 😀

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Posted (edited)

I hope you're going full on cartoon shirt and stone washed denims too...

Or you could go for the Wembley outfit with the yellow short shorts and the Hilda Ogden T-shirt...?! 🤔🤣

Edited by lou24d53
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, lou24d53 said:

I hope you're going full on cartoon shirt and stone washed denims too...

Or you could go for the Wembley outfit with the yellow short shorts and the Hilda Ogden T-shirt...?! 🤔🤣

Yep, pink Hawaiian shirt, stone washed denims and baby blue plectrums on order 😀

Edited by hiram.k.hackenbacker
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Now...

I’m no expert but my brain recalls.

It started as a 1962/63 Sunburst 

was stripped to natural 

was refinished to black, had gold hardware fitted and a black pickguard 

thats how it finished its life

I think there might have been 2 Sunburst ones and the one he preferred was the one which went through changes

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John was, for most of his professional career, a Fender Precision bassist. He was given a 1965 sunburst model by the record company in 1972, and by late 1974 he had another one, which was made in 1968. The two basses are almost identical and they sound 99.99% alike. The only slight difference is on their logos: the 1965 model has a grey logo, the 1968 model has a black logo. John used both of them interchangeably for most of the 1970s, and then mostly the 1968 model from then on. Those basses underwent several changes on their finish: in summer 1975, John stripped off his 1965 model and left it natural, one year later he did the same with the 1968 model, and by the time the Magic tour began in June 1986 he had his 1968 bass refurbished and painted black.

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Are you sure it's not a Westfield? My P bass is a Westfield, and it's awesome! 😃

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

John was, for most of his professional career, a Fender Precision bassist. He was given a 1965 sunburst model by the record company in 1972, and by late 1974 he had another one, which was made in 1968. The two basses are almost identical and they sound 99.99% alike. The only slight difference is on their logos: the 1965 model has a grey logo, the 1968 model has a black logo. John used both of them interchangeably for most of the 1970s, and then mostly the 1968 model from then on. Those basses underwent several changes on their finish: in summer 1975, John stripped off his 1965 model and left it natural, one year later he did the same with the 1968 model, and by the time the Magic tour began in June 1986 he had his 1968 bass refurbished and painted black.

Mmm. I need to try and see if I can identify what colour the logo is then. Would there be any difference in bridge/saddles/tuners etc between a ‘65 and a ‘68?

EDIT: Great piece of info by the way. Thank you 👍

Edited by hiram.k.hackenbacker

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8 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Mmm. I need to try and see if I can identify what colour the logo is then. Would there be any difference in bridge/saddles/tuners etc between a ‘65 and a ‘68?

EDIT: Great piece of info by the way. Thank you 👍

You’re looking at minutiae...

if it’s a Fender logo in the centre of the headstock and the precision bass is small and underneath, it’s the 65 and will have spiral/threaded saddles and you’d want the 62/63 American vintage bridge.

if it’s the big “tv” logo where the Fender is under the e&a and the precision bass logo is big and goes across the remainder of the headstock, that’s the 68 and will have pre grooved saddles (I think) you’d get away with the Mexican standard bridge or 75 American vintage reissue bridge.

i will have a look and report back.

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17 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

John was, for most of his professional career, a Fender Precision bassist. He was given a 1965 sunburst model by the record company in 1972, and by late 1974 he had another one, which was made in 1968. The two basses are almost identical and they sound 99.99% alike. The only slight difference is on their logos: the 1965 model has a grey logo, the 1968 model has a black logo. John used both of them interchangeably for most of the 1970s, and then mostly the 1968 model from then on. Those basses underwent several changes on their finish: in summer 1975, John stripped off his 1965 model and left it natural, one year later he did the same with the 1968 model, and by the time the Magic tour began in June 1986 he had his 1968 bass refurbished and painted black.

Again, I know little about vintage Fender, but wouldn’t the earlier one be the black ‘spaghetti’ logo and the later one be a gold ‘transitional’ one possibly? Seems the above suggest the other way around.

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1 minute ago, AndyTravis said:

You’re looking at minutiae...

if it’s a Fender logo in the centre of the headstock and the precision bass is small and underneath, it’s the 65 and will have spiral/threaded saddles and you’d want the 62/63 American vintage bridge.

if it’s the big “tv” logo where the Fender is under the e&a and the precision bass logo is big and goes across the remainder of the headstock, that’s the 68 and will have pre grooved saddles (I think) you’d get away with the Mexican standard bridge or 75 American vintage reissue bridge.

i will have a look and report back.

OK thank you. 

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Just so I get it right, you are going to have a bass built for 1 gig?

Love it :)

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I do try.

now.

find a 2nd gen highway 1 pbass. Sand it down, shell pickguard and a reissue bridge...sod it, limelight will be cheaper

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4 minutes ago, HazBeen said:

Just so I get it right, you are going to have a bass built for 1 gig?

Love it :)

Well, it’s more like I’m using the opportunity to get a Precision built that I will actually get along with. It will have Jazz C profile neck, but the rest will be all Precision 😀

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Where will you find a wig like that H? From memory you have as much hair as me! 😂

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1 minute ago, AndyTravis said:

I do try.

now.

find a 2nd gen highway 1 pbass. Sand it down, shell pickguard and a reissue bridge...sod it, limelight will be cheaper

Having spoken with them, I do think a Limelight would be the better option. Don’t need the silverware to go with it and no custom paint job either, although I would expect a degree of relicing 😀

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Just now, bassfan said:

Where will you find a wig like that H? From memory you have as much hair as me! 😂

Gonna borrow one from the Hair Bear Bunch 😂

 

B3F8DD49-46B8-48DB-924F-C4433C6D75D7.jpeg

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9 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Well, it’s more like I’m using the opportunity to get a Precision built that I will actually get along with. It will have Jazz C profile neck, but the rest will be all Precision 😀

Brother from another mother 😂, exactly my type of thinking.

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15 minutes ago, HazBeen said:

Just so I get it right, you are going to have a bass built for 1 gig?

Love it :)

I'm hoping he's going to get a tobacco burst Stingray with a white pickguard just for another one bites the dust, be rude not to add it into the set? 

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