(Photo: Art Maillet/Shore Fire Media)
Bruce Springsteen famously learned how to make his guitar talk.
He also plays a pretty good bass.
The 1963 Fender Precision bass that the Boss played on “Blinded by the Light” and “Spirit in the Night” during the “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” recording sessions in 1972 is up for auction through Guernsey's auction house in New York City.
The auction begins at 1 p.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 2, and bidders may go to www.liveauctioneers.com. Online bids for the Springsteen “Greetings” bass start at $40,000 and the price is estimated by Guernsey's to go to $100,000 to $200,000.
How did Springsteen come to play the bass? The majority of “Greetings” was recorded, but Clive Davis and John Hammond of Columbia Records came back at Springsteen and asked for songs that could be released a singles, said former Springsteen manager Mike Appel. E Street band bassist Garry Tallent, who had played on most of “Greetings,”
recorded at 914 Recording Sound Studios in Blauvelt, New York, was unavailable to record the two new songs.
“Bruce said, ‘I’ll do it,’“ Appel said.
Yet, they needed a bass. Appel asked for the Fender from Jay Saks, the bassist for the Appel-fronted band Balloon Farm, who recorded the garage rock classic, “A Question of Temperature,” in 1967. The bass is the same that was played on “A Question of Temperature,” Appel said.
Don Henny, the drummer for Balloon Farm, eventually bought the Fender from Saks.
“We’ve stayed in contact for the last 30, 40 years and once a year we get together for dinner and drinks, and he’s always said that one day I’m going to sell the bass,” Appel told the Asbury Park Press.
The Springsteen bass is part of the auction house’s Legendary Guitars and Musical Treasures auction on Saturday. Other items include a Les Paul-to-Springsteen signed Epiphone electric guitar; an Eric Clapton signed and played Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul guitar Madonna played on her Drowned World Tour.
Chris Jordan: email@example.com; @chrisfhjordan