I have been getting hit up lately about these identical basses people have been seeing in pics and videos so I wanted to fill you all in. While I was on tour last month, I saw in the Lansing, MI craigslist, an ad for a 1970 Fender Precision bass with a rosewood fretted neck. I think most of you know that my favorite bass is my 1970 Fender Precision fretless and I have been looking for a fretted Precision that sounds as good as my fretless. If I had that, I would be set on P-basses. I have been looking for years. I have purchased several and none have come close.
When I saw this bass in the ad, I saw the color scheme and I knew it had to be made around the same time my fretless was. I emailed the owner and asked him my most important question…how much does the instrument weigh. I am not a fan of light weight basses in concerns to tone. I like heavier basses because to me, they seem to have a bigger and tighter low end. The owner of the bass wrote to me the magic number of 9.5blbs. Not a tank but my fretless is 10lbs so I figured that is close enough. I immediately called the guy from Europe and told him my predicament of being on tour but if he would just accept my paypal and email me the bass.
As he answered the phone, he stated that he knew who I was and that the previous owner to him was his friend who was the original owner. Well, sad to say, the original owner had passed away and willed it to this guy. He told me he would sell it to me because the friend who passed away knew who I was and would be happy to know his bass was going to get played by a guy he respected. I knew this story was all part of some spiritual connection to all of us musicians. I felt honored and when I hung up the phone, that is when I started flipping out with excitement.
I thought of that bass every day until I got home. After flying 10 hours, I ran upstairs and opened the box up, pulled the bass out of the original 1970 case and hit the E string. Finally, after numerous tries, purchases and research, this was the bass! I then started to play it and told my wife, “this bass is so damn tight!” It is 90% what my fretless is. My fretless still has more low end and just a bigger sound but this is the closest I have ever come and I am good on searching for my fretless bass’s long lost brother.