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The great Jermaine Jackson “J” Bass – Part 3

Jermaine Jackson’s custom Wyn bass has been completed! For parts 1 and 2 of this post, see The great Jermaine Jackson “J” Bass and The great Jermaine Jackson “J” Bass – Part 2

I have worked with Jermaine off and on over the course of more than a year to brainstorm, make crude drawings, cut out cardboard mock-ups, make the basic guitar block and hang a strap on it to see if the ergonomics were right, and of course, (of course) went shopping for the exact right Swarovski Crystals. Yes………….

Through this entire process, Jermaine has been like a little kid. So in awe of the concept that his idea could actually become a tangible playable bass. Okay, I’m a bit in awe of that myself!! I spent a lot of time explaining the “prototype” thing to Jermaine. There were just a lot of things that I did on this bass that I haven’t really done before, it’s a work in progress, there are no guarantees this will be anything you’ll want to play, etc………. handle in the middle of the top, working with Jermaine’s logo “J” as the basic body shape and coming out with something you could put on your knee and actually play, inlaying the entire fretboard with pearl, and the Crystals………

Did I have my moments?? You bet I did!! But some how (as usual, luck played a role) the “prototype” turned into a very playable, very funky sounding growly bass! Our wild and crazy scheme actually came together as a real bass!! I now know how Geppetto felt when all of a sudden Pinocchio started talking!!

The magic day arrived when Jermaine was ready to drop by the shop and I had the guitar tuned up and ready to go. Glee I tell you, one of those super fun days you do not forget!! Here, Jermaine poses in my crowded little lunch room/ guitar storage area/ office space, surrounded by my other in progress basses. Obviously the other basses are a bit miffed that they didn’t get the jewel treatment. I tell ya, they won’t shut up about it!!

Jermaine Jackson's J-Bass - Part 3, Image 1 of 5

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We had to pose in my shop space/ space port wood shop! All of the dust tubes make you question whether this really could be ready for outer space travel. (The truth of the matter is that when I put on my special helmet, it is ready!!)

Jermaine Jackson's J-Bass - Part 3, Image 2 of 5

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Here Jermaine in front of a giant Waterfall Heart and Sap Bubinga board. I look at this board every day and wonder if I’ll ever have the guts to cut into it, it’s so beautiful just like it is. Well, it’s not only the guts, it’s kinda heavy too!! Like 280 pounds heavy!!! It will crush my saw horses I fear!! Speaking of dangerous things, at this point we discussed the need under stage lighting for the entire audience to be fitted with very dense sun glasses!!

Jermaine Jackson's J-Bass - Part 3, Image 3 of 5

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Outside to check out how the guitar worked in sunlight. It worked!!! Jermaine stood in the middle of the parking lot and I moved the guitar from side to side. Shards of wild colorful light emerged. In the mid day sun, you could actually see the colored light across the cars. This is more than a guitar. On the right sunny day, it could rob a 7-11!!!

Jermaine Jackson's J-Bass - Part 3, Image 4 of 5

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And finally, the “walk on stage carrying the guitar by the handle moment!!” Life doesn’t get any funner than this!! We discussed the stunning fact that someone (some guy named Leo Fender?) seems to have already invented the “J” bass. What!!!!!????? We were only 50 years late with ours!!!?? I think Jermaine will come up with another name and who knows where this will all lead!! a

Jermaine Jackson's J-Bass - Part 3, Image 5 of 5

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