Fender Fretless P-Bass - Jazz Bass 1979 & 1993 Clear Blue

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Shipped From
Buffalo's Gear Stop
Brea, CA, United States
Joined Reverb

About This Listing

Every great instrument should have a great story to go with it ... this fretless beauty has a great story.
I'll start by saying I worked for Fender for over 26 years in both the Quality Assurance and Marketing Departments.  During my time in Marketing, I would often travel with the Fender's Sales Reps to help them with product info and demos.  I had the great fortune to work and travel with Fender legend Bill Carson several times (will get back to Bill in a bit).  During my time in Quality Assurance I worked with another Fender legend, John Page, who started the Fender Custom Shop.  These guys both tie into the bass.
The birdseye maple on this neck is one of the finest examples I have ever seen.  The neck is from 1979, made in the Fender's Fullerton factory.  At that time, Bill Carson was running the Fender Service Center.  Fender had no real artist relations program back then, so Bill did the best he could to service artist who came in for repairs and modifications.  Bill had told a few key production people to always be on the lookout for great wood, paint jobs, etc.  The manager of the Wood Shop told Bill about this amazing piece of birdseye maple they found mixed in the regular straight grain maple.  Fender did not buy figured woods back then, if a piece ended up on an instrument it was a happy accident.  The manager, Jerry Ayles (see photo with Jerry Special on the back on the neck) told Bill about the wood and they decided to do a maple fretless neck.  Bill never found an artist for the neck and when he left Fender Fullerton to move back to Tennessee and sell Fender, he took the neck home.  Late 80s I was traveling with Bill and the policy was you would stay at Bill's beautiful home south of Nashville ... no other option.
 On one of my visits, Bill disappeared into the garage for a few minutes and brought out the birdseye neck (no body).  He said I welcome to take it home, put a bass together, but I had to learn how to play the damn thing in tune.  That's where the neck came from.  On the butt of the neck in the date code 1091 (week 10, 1979, day 1).  The serial number shows it being a 1978 (S8).  With Fender it always took many weeks for the previous year's serial number decals to be used up and move to the current year.  So much for the neck, it does play like a dream !! 
The body came a few years later 1993 from the Fender Custom Shop.  It is a 2 piece, swamp ash body routed as a 62 Reissue Jazz Bass.  It's unique since a 62 Reissue J Bass was always alder, very rare to have one in ash. I had been bugging John Page for a few years about getting a body for the neck.  The first one John gave me was way too ugly and didn't do the neck justice.  I think the ash body (not painted at the time) was for a Custom Shop order that got cancelled.  It didn't have a home and sat around until John found it and asked if this would work .... I got it, had the Fender Paint Dept. do Clear Blue and the rest is history.  There are a couple of pix of the neck pocket where you can see the date stamp  Feb 06 1993.  There's a second pic that should the letters LWE .... I'm not sure what this means or if it was the initials of a Custom Shop worker.  I realize this is a long story and hope you took the time to get this far. 
The bass plays and sounds amazing.  It's very clean, with one small dent on the front of the body that I couldn't photograph, very minor.  All the hardware, pickups and electronics are stock from a 62 Reissue Jazz Bass.  I never installed a pickguard or pickup covers so there are no mounting holes in the body ... the ash body is much too nice to clutter up with hardware and plastic.  The bass comes with an old SKB case that's not great, but if nothing else it will protect the bass very well during shipping.  Please let me know if you have any questions or need further information or verification of the story.


This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listed10 days ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more

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