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Series 1 Stereo Bass Waylon Jennings - Jerry Bridges Guitars

1974 Alembic Series 1 Stereo Bass Waylon Jennings - Jerry Bridges

Color: Natural, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 01204)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113


'Refined and Purified'

 

Still the Classic '70s Alembic of Many Player's Dreams.

 

1974 Alembic Series 1 Stereo Bass Waylon Jennings - Jerry Bridges.

 

This Alembic Series 1 Stereo Bass was made in 1974 for Waylon Jennings who presented it to his bass player Jerry Bridges. This incredible piece of music history weighs 9.80 lbs. and features a 'chambered' offset asymmetrical double cutaway neck-through-body construction. Two-piece mahogany body (15 1/2 inches wide and 1 3/4 inches thick) with purpleheart top and back. Five-piece maple and purpleheart neck (through-body) with pointed end. The neck has a nut width of just under 1 5/8 inches, a wonderful medium profile and a long scale of 34 inches. Ebony fretboard with 24 original jumbo frets and inlaid oval pearl position markers. Headstock with purpleheart veneer on front and back and Alembic silver logo on face. individual gold-plated Schaller Bass Tuners with 'Heart' shaped metal buttons. Serial number "74 73" stamped in blind on top edge of headstock. Square brass plate at end of neck  (secured by two screws) engraved "JERRY / This Bass / Belongs To You / Like You Belong To Us / Your Friend / Waylon". Three Alembic Ron Wickersham Low Impedance pickups (the middle pickup is slightly smaller) with complex active electronic systems powered by two 9 volt batteries (housed in a chamber beneath the presentation plaque) or by the external power supply. Four controls (two volume and two tone + four-way rotary pickup selector switch on treble horn. Two three-way mini toggle 'effect' switches. Stereo jack input and five-pin low-impedance input all on treble bout. Black plastic control knobs with ribbed sides and triangular white markers. Tone-enhancing Alembic brass bridge assembly with four individually adjustable brass saddles and ebony and brass over purpleheart 'bird' tailpiece with three screws. This wonderful bass is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition with just a tiny amount of belt-buckle scarring on the back (not through the finish). Complete with the original Alembic DS5 Power Supply and five pin lead. Housed in the original four-latch rectangular black hardshell case with black leather ends and red plush lining (9.00). Together with a Certificate of Authenticity stating that "This bass was given to Jerry Bridges by Waylon Jennings" The certificate which is signed by Jerry Bridges also states "This bass was used on the single "Amanda" and Waylon Jennings Greatest Hits Album."

As a bass player of over fifty years - I am truly amazed by the playability and clarity of sound that is exhibited by this great bass… (DJB).

"If Leo Fender's invention of the Precision Bass was the first historic landmark in the development of the electric bass guitar, then the formation of Alembic was the second. By uniting sophisticated electronics with strikingly original woodworking, Alembic elevated bass building to an art form, opening the door for dozens of talented luthiers to express themselves in the creation of beautiful, great-sounding, premium-priced instruments…
The word "alembic" is an ancient alchemy term that means a vessel where something is refined or purified, and the sheds behind the warehouse where the [Grateful] Dead rehearsed soon became the center for Alembic's sonic-purification research…

Alembic's success in the instrument market got a huge boost in 1973 after [Rick] Turner went to see Stanley Clarke, who was using a Gibson EB-2 at the time. "We were playing at a club in San Francisco," Clarke recalled in a Bass Player interview, "and this guy came up to me and said my playing was great but my sound was atrocious. It was Rick Turner, who was with Alembic. He had a bass with him, so I tried it out. It was like a new bass p[layer was born that night - suddenly, I could play anything I heard in my head." Clarke immediately switched to Alembic basses, and the success of his 1974 solo album, Stanley Clarke - with its cover shot of Stanley playing an Alembic - was a breakthrough both for virtuoso electric bass playing and for Alembic…

"The success of the sound brought other musicians to seek improvements," notes [Ron] Wickersham, who attributes the power of Alembic's bass tone to the combination of a through-body neck with a sustain block and brass hardware. "We postulated that the strings should be isolated from the instrument's body - we could enhance sustain by reflecting energy back into the string rather than losing it to the body. So we placed a mass block under the bridge, which provided the desired effect. We also realized a traditional bone or plastic nut was different from the metal of the frets, so we used a brass nut." (Jim Roberts. American Basses, An Illustrated History & Player's Guide, p.14).

In 2002, this Alembic Series 1 Stereo Bass Guitar, a gift from Country-outlaw Waylon Jennings to his bass player, Jerry Bridges, was offered at Guernsey’s Rock Greats and Legends auction in October 2002. It was estimated to sell for $12,000 - $18,000 but did not reach its reserve and was purchased by private treaty after the auction.

Originally from Alabama, guitarist Jerry Bridges, influenced by Muscle Shoals R&B, played in local bands, did demo sessions, and worked the studios. He got his break when he was asked to play on a recording by Donny Osmond. He then became a member of the FAME Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals and, one day when the bass player didn’t show up, he switched to bass and never looked back.

Moving to Nashville, he took the town by storm and was soon working with Waylon on recordings and on the road. Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, George Jones, and many others became believers, and as a session player (and producer) Jerry Bridges has been a part of more than a score of gold, platinum, and Top Ten records. He’s performed on stage and in the studio with many of our generation’s top performers.

Bridges used this Alembic bass on numerous recordings by Waylon Jennings and can be heard on the single, ‘Amanda,’ and Waylon Jennings Greatest Hits.

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