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Author Archives: Willie G. Moseley

Gibson EB-2

Kalamazoo’s Biggest Bass Innovation?
 
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In the mid 1950s, Gibson president Ted McCarty was paying close attention to two new instruments impacting the musical-instruments market – the solidbody electric guitar and the electric bass. Both had been developed by an upstart company called Fender, and Gibson’s original solidbodies, the Les Paul guitar and Electric Bass (VG, February ’06) were introduced […]

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Kramer Aluminum-Neck Basses

 
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When it entered the music-instrument market in 1976, Kramer Guitars made a big splash with an aggressive marketing campaign, big-name endorsers, and – most importantly – an improved approach to the then-fresh concept of aluminum necks. In terms of stability, the aluminum neck was seen as an improvement over wood. And while Kramer Guitars followed […]

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The G&L El Toro

 
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At the beginning of 1983, Leo Fender was just more than three years into his last guitar-manufacturing venture when he decided to diversify the company’s bass lineup. Until that point, G&L had marketed the one-pickup L-1000, the two-pickup L-2000, and the no-frills SB-1 and SB-2 models – all with fairly traditional, straightforward designs. The brand’s […]

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The Carvin LB70

Höfner Hybrid
 
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When a Carvin instrument has been featured in this space over the years, it was a either a doubleneck or an unusual custom instrument. And while the 1977 LB70 featured this month was a production bass, it was still unique. Carvin was founded in the mid ’40s by musician Lowell Kiesel (1915-2009). Known for its […]

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The Guild Starfire Bass

 
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In the mid ’60s, Guild took its knocks for making guitars that looked “inspired by” Gibson models. Fans of the brand think the sterotype is unfair, of course, and certainly, many Guilds from the era have their own intrigue. One very good example is the Starfire Bass. Guild was founded by musical-instrument importer/distributor Al Dronge […]

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Bruce and Butter

 
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It would be an understatement to say that REO Speedwagon bassist Bruce Hall and his 1965 Fender Jazz Bass, dubbed “Butter,” have been through a lot. Born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Hall, who has been with the band for more than 30 years, acquired this mainstay when he was 16. In an ironic twist, […]

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Derek St. Holmes

Nuge Redux
 
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Singer/guitarist Derek St. Holmes’ relationship with guitarist Ted Nugent has had its ups and downs. The two have been associated since the mid ’70s and collaborated on numerous albums and tours. Many Nugent fans celebrated when the two hooked up in 2011 for the I Still Believe tour, and are doing so again this year, […]

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Carvin DN640K

 
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Doubleneck instruments have always been a unique niche in the guitar market, for good reason. They’ve also carried an air of superiority or the insinuation that they were intended for pro players; i.e., those who could deftly switch from one instrument to another in the middle of a song without doffing their part. And though […]

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George Kilby, Jr.

The Succinct Approach
 
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George Kilby, Jr.’s Six Pack is, he says, a “collection of singles” rather than an EP or album. Kilby graduated from Princeton, where his mentor, J.K. Randall, introduced him to Pinetop Perkins, legendary pianist for the Muddy Waters Band. “The main thing Pine gave me in terms of style and sound is economy,” Kilby recounted. […]

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The Rickenbacker 4000

 
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The model 4000 was not only Rickenbacker’s first foray into the electric-bass market, it was decidedly different from Fender’s Precision – the original electric bass. Beyond frets, four strings, and their role in a musical combo, they have little in common. In the 1950s, F.C. Hall forged Rickenbacker into a modern guitar manufacturer. Striving to […]

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