Hi Greg here!
A little blog that I wrote for guitar/bass anoraks, don’t forget you can click on the pictures to see the true horror of the job in hand (not for the faint hearted – parental guidance advised)…
I’ve had the pleasure of working on many famous guitars and basses over the years, but obviously this one has special significance. I have probably done in the region of 2500 gigs on the same stage as this bass over the years!
Front view, yes its seen some action…
‘Buckle rash’ doesn’t even begin to explain things on the back of the bass…
It’s a black 1989 Musicman Stingray, and Wayne bought it from Barry Moorhouse at the Bass Centre in London around 1993 when Limehouse Lizzy first started. We put a mirrored scratchplate on it straight away to give it the Lizzy vibe, but other than that its a stock 2-band EQ model.
Born on August 21st 1989…
It had a baptism of fire, as the moment the transaction for this bass was completed, Wayne picked it up from the counter in its (unzipped) gig bag, and it dropped straight on the floor! CLANG!! Cue concerned looks all round, but it stayed in one piece, and this was probably an indicator of what a tough-nut this bass would be over the years.
So far its been used at every Limehouse gig bar two shows in Dubai, when it was lost during a flight transfer at Schipol airport. It has been to America, Holland, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, France, Ireland, Greece, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Barbados and most cities in Great Britain. It has appeared on MTV Europe, BBC2 Arena, Pebble Mill, The Lorraine Kelly Show, SKY TV’s Sham-rock quiz show, and was used live and recorded in the studio with ex-Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson‘s solo band ‘The Clan’.
Over the years I have done many ‘running repairs’ to keep it going, but we decided enough was enough, and it had to have some major repair work. The bridge was rusted to pieces, and the frets resembled thin strips of tin foil in some places. We liked the ‘vintage’ look of the bass, it really looks every inch the warhorse that it’s been over the years, but ultimately it was getting unplayable…
The old frets were completely f****d!
Hmm, the bridge was more rusty than a Leyland car. The string dampers are long gone from the four screw holes at the front of the bridge.
First job was to get the old frets out without damaging the fingerboard, and what was left of the original laquer. Yes, years of corrosion, slapping and plectrum thrashing had wedged these babies in good and proper. Rest assured a Stanley knife, Assorted chisels and some flat nosed cutters and a very patient operative eventually go them out.
A slow process began, getting the frets out one-by-one
The Musicman neck with all the old frets removed
New jumbo frets were put in, levelled and polished. All pots were sprayed with ‘Servisol’, and a new Switchcraft stereo jack was installed. The bridge was also replaced, and all screws/threads were coated with copper grease to prevent anything seizing up further down the line, the whole thing has had a good set-up and overhaul.
New frets installed! Now to level and polish them…
It plays like a dream again now, and hopefully, it shouldn’t need any more work done on it for a few years!
Mmmm new jumbo frets, all levelled and polished
Shiny new bridge (minus string dampers – does anyone actually use them?)
With many thanks to all at ‘Strings and Things’ (who distribute Musicman in the UK) http://www.stringsandthings.co.uk/, and Barry Moorhouse founder and MD of the Bass Centre http://www.basscentre.com/