Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend Update (heavy on the bass!)

It's Sunday night and here I am. What's new? Well, in the past 3 days or so, between Marci and I, we've seen about 10 spiders of various sizes in the house. I haven't seen any spiders for a long time, so it's been a little unpleasant.

A few weeks ago I was watching the Today show and Kelly Clarkson was performing. As usual, I strained to see her boob- er, her bassist and his gear. All I saw was this grizzled looking old guy playing a mustard yellow P bass with a black pickguard. Something about that bass really appealed to me so off to Google I went.

Surprise, surprise. Google told me that the bassist on her latest record is none other than old punk vet Mike Watt. Now, don't mistake me for some Mike Watt or fIREHOSE fan or something, no. I don't have cred like that (though my neighbor had a Ric bass that had M. Watt's autograph on it and he wouldn't sell it to me!). I don't know if it was Mike Watt playing live on stage, but it set me off on a trek to try to find a yellow P with black pickguard.

I checked eBay and Craigslist and had no luck. Perusing talkbass.com gave no leads either. Somehow, in my searching, I came across a bass made by G&L (Leo Fender's creation) called the SB-2. It's basically a P bass with a J bass pickup at the bridge. I looked at some pix and really dug how it looked. Then, in looking for vendors, it turned out that there was one in Bellevue. So, off to Northwest Guitars I went.

They had a SB-2, brand new, white with tortoise shell pickguard for $1150. Much much more than I wanted to spend, but a beautiful bass. I plugged it in and dinked around. Amazing. The bass was passive and the sound was HUGE. What I liked a lot about it, besides the look and sound, was the simplicity of the instrument. One knob for the neck (P) pickup, one knob for the bridge (J) pickup. Dial into your preference and drop the bomb. So tasty.

For a few days I obsessed about that bass. I tried to come up with scenarios in which I could get that bass. If I sold one of mine, I could get about $500 to put towards it, but then I'd have to pony the rest and I didn't want to do that. I looked on eBay again and saw some used ones, as well as Tribute models (basses with overseas wood, US hardware). I ended up putting all the eBay ones on my watched list.

A few days later, I took my Fender Geddy Lee Jazz to NWG to talk about a trade-in. The GL served me well, but I never play it. Love Geddy as I might, I just wasn't too in love with his signature bass. NWG offered me $350 at first, then upped it to $450 when I was going to walk. Even with that (I was looking to get $500 to $550), I'd still have to dish out $700 for that white SB-2. I told the guys I'd try on Craigslist and see what I could get from there. I left without the SB-2.

On Thursday I got an email from eBay reminding me that one of the watched basses was about to run out of time. I took a look and it was a used SB-2, sunburst with tortoise shell pickguard, and listed at $525 with $40 shipping. It was pretty and there was about 1.5 hours left. I thought about it and figured if I bid no more than $600, that someone would swoop in at the last second and win this bass. I put my high at $600, the new high bid was $535, and waited.

As I kept hitting F5, it became pretty clear that I was about to be obligated to pay for a new bass. Pretty soon, I won the auction and owed someone in Ohio $575. Luckily, I had the $$ to pay so I sent him the funds via Paypal. All this time, the GL was on Craigslist with just a few bites. One guy gave me his phone # so I dialed him up.

Turns out, this guy was from Oregon and wanted a GL and, within 5 minutes or so, he had Paypalled me $500 for it. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself. He said he'd pick it up this weekend but I never heard from him. I do expect him to pick it up this week sometime.

In the meantime, I have a badass new bass on its way to me. I should have it Thursday and I can't wait! Unfortunately, I won't be able to use it in a band situation until either Sunday at church (blech!) or next Monday with the Lunds. Ironically, I meet with both bands this week and I'll probably be taking the trusty ol' Sterling.

Until then, I have a few pictures to drool over in anticipation. Take a look:


Without even trying, I will have 3 basses that all have an orange sunburst pattern on them. Kind of gay, but also kind of DAMN COOL.