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Repost: Geddy Lee’s weird bass is a Precision!

Today I read an article from Guitar Player, from 1980, where Geddy Lee solved a question I’ve had for years, about what kind of bass was featured in a number of pictures.

See the bass immediately to his right? It looks like a teardrop. I’ve seen color pictures; it’s sort of a light blue gradient; it’s actually a pretty bass, even if it looks funky.

It also looks even less comfortable to play than a Steinberger Spirit, but hey… what do I know? Maybe it’s an acquired taste, and maybe this teardrop-shaped thing led Geddy to the Steinberger around the Grace Under Pressure era…

Anyway, like I said, I’ve wondered what that bass was for a long, long, long time. And Guitar Player finally explained!

It’s a Fender Precision – Geddy’s old, old, old (pre-Rickenbacker) Precision bass, cut down and modified beyond recognition (apart from, I guess, the pickup configuration – but that’s not a sole identifier, since other basses have used the Precision pickup alignment as well.) Apparently, it underwent some surgery (I don’t know why offhand, nor do I recall hearing/reading) but apparently even in this picture it was effectively unplayable.

That’s a pity; one hates to hear of any instrument being damaged. (Modified, sure. Damaged… no.)

But at any rate, the question I’ve had for a really long time has been answered at last.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Kurt Krause February 27, 2016, 4:28 am

    I saw Geddy use this bass around the time of “All the World’s a Stage” tour in the 70’s. He was having some issues with it on stage (wiring wise) and went back to the Ricky.

    I liked it tho, and I think you can see it in pictures inside of that aforementioned LP.

    Hate to admit I went a few years later and cut my Pre-CBS 1963 Jazz Bass into this fashion, and then later scooped the bottom out like a BC Rich kind of. Still have it and play it, but I could probably be funding my college with it if I’d left it alone.

    • jottinge February 27, 2016, 7:37 am

      I had heard that it was a pain to play, and also had some other technical difficulties – it doesn’t *look* comfortable, that’s for sure.

      Reading about your Jazz Bass’ mutilation almost hurts me physically. Sorry to hear about that, man.

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