Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Love, Love Me Don't
I dearly love seeing people making things.
It's jarring to see the juxtapositions of fine and heavy work. Half-way through, the thing already looks like a delicate instrument, and then all of a sudden guys with hammers and nails and drills and files start whaling on the thing like it owes them money when it gets to their work station.
Hofner is a German company, of course. Their info page ominously notes Beijing along with Bavaria now, so one wonders what everyone in the video is doing for work now. Their violin bass is simply known as The Beatle Bass where I'm from. Paul McCartney played one and that's that. You can dry your tears with a kleenex after xeroxing something you read on your iPhone after googling it if you don't like it. Get a coke out of the frigidaire; you'll feel better.
I've played rather a lot of electric basses in my day. I've owned a few, too --a no-name mess hand-me-down from my brother I took apart to try to refinish and couldn't reassemble; a four-hundred-pound Peavey that my lower back still talks about; a G&L P-bass (there's that generic thing again) I still own; a Pedulla fretless that sounded amazing, even with me playing it, that gave me an aneurysm trying to sing and play at the same time and that I eventually sold to buy food; and a graphite-plastic Steinberger that I rigged to spin in a circle like a propeller. I liked the Steinberger best -- it was good in a fight, and since it didn't have any wooden parts, you only had to tune it every January 12th.
So besides all the stuff I've owned, I've played Fenders galore, and Rickenbackers, and Ibanezes, and all sorts of other electric doghouses. And without question, a Hofner Beatle Bass is the worst musical instrument of any kind I've ever encountered. Paul McCartney said he only bought one because he couldn't afford a Fender, and the thing looked about the same upside-down. I don't know what everyone else's excuse is.