Changing Times and Guitars…

Here is the Fender Jazz bass I currently own. It is a spitting image of the one we used on stage in the late '70's.

Here is the Fender Jazz bass I currently own. It is a spitting image of the one we used on stage in the late ’70’s.

The other Silver Laughter guys each had several guitars they used on stage and in the recording studio. Up until “Sailing on Fantasies”, I only had my Hofner Beatle Bass. It was nice and light and sounded good for our Beatles Tribute. The Hofner gave us that real Beatles sound lacking in so many Beatles bands. Plus it was light as a feather.

However, after spending time with Frank Wiewel’s Fender Precision bass and round-wound strings during our “Sailing on Fantasies” sessions, I decided a change was in order. The Precision was fine for studio work, but I knew it would be hard to play and sing at the same time on stage with such a wide neck. So I went to our friend, Lavonne’s music store in Norfolk, NE and picked up a Fender Jazz bass. It had a skinnier neck than the Precision which made it easier for me to play.

Unfortunately, it was so friggin’ heavy, that it tore up my shoulder if I used it for long periods of time. However, the intonation was  excellent, and it stayed in tune almost forever. The round-wound strings also gave the bass that “meaty” quality we were looking for. After Ken and I moved to California, I had to sell it because we were broke and starving. Years later I picked up another which is pictured here. It’s still heavy, but a very reliable bass.

Mick Orton



Categories: History

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