GibsonBass comment This double-neck bass/guitar would seem at first to be one piece of wood; no join is visible. According to Julian this bass is a Thunderbird IV, and on the surface this would seem incorrect; the bridge pickup is far too near the bridge (usually at position 3). Then again, as the join between the two instruments is completely invisible (in the pictures at any rate), it is feasible that the original bridge pickup route was filled at the same time.
The Beast in action with Julians current band Brain Donor
Tony Sales (Todd Rundgren bassist) playing a very similar double-neck bird. Check out that crazy pickguard!
It is impossible to identify the precise model of firebird, and none were fitted with the currently installed style of humbuckers. The tailpiece on the 6 string would most likely have been a vibrola originally. Both pickups, and pickguard are replacements. On the bass, the bridge (2), and bridge pickup are non-original. The tailpiece may also be a replacement - and has certainly changed position (from 1), moving further away from the bridge. The front pickup (4) seems to be stock. The controls have been rearranged (5), and don't correlate well with the overlay, suggesting some at least were filled and redrilled. The yellow circles are the normal pot positions, and the blue circle shows the original location of the input jack. It also seems that some wood has been removed to give the doubleneck a smoother profile.
The white double-neck bird (bottom right) shows Tony Sales (bass player with Todd Rundgren in the 1970s. He plays a very similar bass. The instrument has the same pickup configuration on the bass (though P90s rather than humbuckers in the guitar), and the same controls; uncanily similar. Could this be the same bass? If not, the similaities may suggest that Valdez made more than one double neck bird.
If you have any information as to the whereabouts of Julians 'Beast' during the 1970s and 80s, custom Gibsons by Valdez, or any other doubleneck birds please get in touch
Check out Julian's own website Head Heritage
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