Fender Jazz bass
FlyGuitars What was your first bass?
Jack Casady One of my pals was Danny Gatton who was a very, very fine guitarist who's since passed on. Danny was a 16 or 15 year old wonder kid when I turned 16. We played in each others bands on the circuit from time to time and his bass player got sick and I filled in for him for a two week gig. I really enjoyed the instrument and went out and brought a 1960 concentric pot Jazz bass, that was my first bass. The Precision is a little tuff for the size of my hands but the Jazz bass with that more narrow neck at the top was little easier for me to get around on.
FlyGuitars Can you remember what it cost for the Jazz bass at the time when you bought it?
Jack Casady I remember that the 58 Tele was $115 dollars. I'm sure that the Jazz bass at the time was a little bit more. I bought it in 1960 the first year the Jazz bass came out. I'm sure that's a matter of record, you know you didn't get deals on instruments then. You paid what they charged.
FlyGuitars By today's standards it would be quite cheap but unfortunately back then it was expensive I guess?
Jack Casady Well you know gasoline or as you call it petrol was 19 cents a gallon so it's all scaled down. The dollar was a lot harder to make in those days and I worked six nights a week in a club. When we had a steady gig we got a $115 dollars a week, that was a lot of money. It was enough money for me to go out and get my own apartment when I was 17 but if you paid $300 dollars for an instrument or $500 dollars for an instrument that was a lot of money.
FlyGuitars So when you first joined Jefferson Airplane you were using Fender basses?
Jack Casady Yeah the first three albums are recorded with a Fender Jazz bass, and I customised that by adding a P pickup right butted up against the neck. So in essence I had on the very bassy end of the speaking length of the string an offset P pickup and then two bar pickups of the Jazz bass.
FlyGuitars And how did that the P pickup work?
Jack Casady I took the concentric pots that were used and later on dropped by Fender for there Jazz bass line. You would have a volume and a tone stacked up on top of each other, so that's the configuration I used. I used a volume/tone, volume/tone, volume/tone for each pick up and blended them together. That was my '60 Jazz bass, it got stolen just before I came out to California in 1965.
When I arrived out there I bought a brand new 1965 Jazz bass. That bass originally came with the two volumes and one tone. I took those controls out and put in concentric pots and added a p bass p pickup.
|Youtube Video Clips|
Jack Casady with Fender Jazz bass guitars - click the images to view clips
||Two clips from 1967 in which Jack plays the Fender Jazz bass. The first mimingWhite Rabbit, on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and the second High Flyin' Bird live at the Monterey Pop festival.