A fan on Instagram tagged me in a photo of a Fender Precision bass I played with The Mars Volta which is currently on display at the Hard Rock Cafe here in Hollywood, California. It was cool to see, but I wanted to set the record straight with some specific details.
Photo credit: @residentking on Instagram
I toured from 2003-2005 with this 13-14 lb. 1973 Fender Precision that I bought at Truetone Music in the 90’s for $800.00. I used it somewhere on Frances the Mute and maybe Amputechture, but I decided to sell it because it was too heavy. I hated the baseball bat neck, I was having tendinitis flare ups in my left hand trying to pull off Cygnus with it, and I was already moving on to my Lakland Darryl Jones. Fast forward to me making a deal with my friend Case Tanner to buy it on the condition that he wouldn’t sell it so I could borrow it for recordings. As you can see, Case sold it … to Norman’s Rare Guitars who then flipped it to the Hard Rock Hollywood – Case was in some bad deal for some awful Jazz bass he wanted (he of course doesn’t own that Jazz any longer) and in order to make his deal come through, I had to go sign this bass and whatever else Norm’s made me do so Case would be sorted.
I’ve, to this day, regretted selling this bass, and I continue to chase its sound with several early 1970’s heavy weighted Precisions purchases but I have had zero luck. To think the best fretted P bass I’ve ever owned sits on a wall just kills me. I think this dude who snapped this pic is the only Hard Rock patron who even knows who I am. I’m gonna guess Norms sold it to the Hard Rock for 5-10k. Maybe more. All I know is that it would serve the world better if it was in a musician’s hands as opposed to a wall case.
Last thing – This bass only toured on De-loused, not “every Mars Volta tour,” and it was only on two Mars Volta records, not everyone of them. “Fake news.” I wanted to clarify that more than anything else. That it was 2003-2005.