D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

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D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby philsaam » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:57 am

To those interested here is a description of a 1974 4-string bass by Doug Irwin--I was introduced to Doug Irwin by George Mundy- the bass was contracted to be built in the spring of 1974 -I was 21 ---I traveled about 2 to 3 times a month to visit Doug and help with the project-this went on about 2 years---bass was delivered to me by doug where I was playing ---walking through the audience with the bass held out in front of him like a shield -proud of it and showing it off -with pride---the bass is of a design that at the time was the first of a number of instruments to be named Garcia --the bass was delivered to me in 1976 spring --the alembic electronics completed by about June---total cost running w/anvil case close to 5k -4800.00 ----------built to my specs -neck /electronics -moveable PUs -wood selection -and bridge tailpiece shape with body scalloped contours to give added appeal to otherwise blank spot on body the instrument was finished with --POLANE -a clear coat -which had to be removed due to the terrible orange peeling -darkening of finish as it aged--a new clear coat was applied when Larry Robinson -Robinson custom inlays--took the bass for an overall maintance up-grade and detail ---finish has an UV inhibitor to reman clear as water --and has ---Alembic filters -standard active system stereo wired -seperate bass ---treble PU output -1/4 phone stereo jack--a lemo connector for the power supply cord-- 18V DC with a switch for internal [batts] external rack box -input module ---indicator led for when in use--body is flamed koa core -curly koa top and back --two plates on front of bass are of california walnut flamed -with edge binding--a adjustable brass bridge /w brass inserts in body --a trough routed for pickups to move inside--notice two brass rods in trough-{ man this is such an asset to the bass --] the neck is 7ply flamed koa vermillion ,maple veneers -purple heart------Gaboon ebony finger board --german nickel steel hard fret wire---still orig 34yrs and counting--130 +pieces inlayed in fingerboard MOP_IVORY _ABALONE---inlay on back --in marquetry flamed maple,brass,MOP , abalone--peghead is MOP eagle abalone Tuners are schaller orig -34yrs--has a brass nut -and strap locs------this is my bass and am not a big name talent --but my bass is the first made like it -and it plays like no other ---my I use the word ""SONORITY' its the best bass that money could buy ----greater than the sum of its parts ----its been a pleasure to tell you Bob -Waldo--this story thankyou for this honor -to Doug -Tom --Larry -Ron and to Phil Lesh and the Greatful Dead family I truly love you all ---------thanks for puttin up with me peace phil
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby playingdead » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:31 am

Awesome, Phil.

Do you have photos of the bass to share beyond what Tom put up?
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby strumminsix » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:55 am

what a truly awesome story! Thanks for sharing, Sam!
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby milobender » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:42 am

:smile: Yes, some more photos would really be great! :cool:

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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby philsaam » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:38 pm

I have a 5 string bass that Doug was to build --again it was up to Doug to finish it --I believe shoprtly after the 4-string was on the books - mid summer of 74 a design solely my own was agreed on to build --I have a couple old shots-- but , I will take new pics of both my basses and send them to Tom and let him make the posting --you can have them no problem --no ---thankyou for appreciating the handicraft-art- the visual as well as the sound from such creations ---to your satisfaction I hope --they will be! just remember though --some builders are out of sinc with the aspect of providing a quality product to a deserving talent --affordable but of obvious advanced construction and of quality materials --I remember when Alembic basses sold for 950.00---1150.00---1300.00 ----1500.00 on & on --To me Alembic set a standard --check out Victor Wootens comments as to acquireing his first Alembic --Stanleys too-----as time by------with respect to costs rising on things ---I am glad there is a Bag End -Alembic-Hardtruckers-my point ---what would we have to settle for without them to at least make comparisons too---I took pics of phils bass because I was so impressed by the revolutionary advancement in electric bass design-and construction ---I was 18 when at 60 Brady st Rick Turner handed to me Jack Casadys custom Alembic---let me tell you it is /was then-the most life changeing situation /event of my life--so to celebrate the bass in all its forms is to also understand it ---to share with you guys my bass pics is to pay respects back ------we are all in this together --I grabbed this kid walking down my street and asked him if he would pose with my bass for a few pics --dont even remember his name --hold it like this -he did - click-click-done ----there is a mesa-boogie sticker on my garage door -seen over his shoulder-----boy dont I rattle on ---blah bbbblah babablah----geeze-----I sent tom a big pic of jacks bass --showing the original electronics layout--man this bass is to me is the HOLY GRAIL ---its RON WICKERSHAMS super filter in a bass --Ron is GOD to me----to a point --thanks for the warm reception from you all --its nice--hope to be of some good to you -wish all of ya -more happiness and success than ya can stand --Mae West said," to much of a good thing is a good thing"---hey - Iam still laughing over the terms " brown note" -- whats that - a passing tone into a clashing tone? and Phil Bomb ----hey you are to close to THE SPEAKERS __DUDE! HUH ? ----pardon me for the diatribe --hey man its raining ---lets go fishing now there is water--be back later--- Phil
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby waldo041 » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:49 pm

what a lucky kid! i wonder if he knew the signifigance of what he was holding!lol

while hanging out in irwin or alembic shops, aside from phils mission control bass, did you get a chance to hold or play wolf or tiger?

appreciate your time and hope to see them pics soon.

peace,
waldo
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby philsaam » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:57 am

greetings , it is going to be necessary to take new pics and as soon as I am able you will see them -this is a way for me to provide to you , an enhancement to the legacy left by both Jerry and Doug, Tom included--since Jerrys "Tiger" guitar is so highly admired -the back of my bass will be the focus for pictures I will take , perhaps giving the instruments a little connection with each other during their initial birthing stages---I always believed that as you may all agree--what was a pricey indulgence to some has now been made unmistakenly clear for all to agree on and that being --the instruments are -greater than the sum of there parts -they are tools of the trade 1] are also statements in old world craftsmanship , and 3] works of art --most importantly they are instruments that are meant to be played -they will survive the test of time ----please if you would for me --check out the Robinson Custom Inlay web page --be inspired and enjoy -----music is what we concieve of it to be ---and so are the instruments we use to play it--hey I got one for ye---GUESS? whats the sound everyone loves to make ,but nobody likes to hear?---------this note mozart couldnt find on the piano either-----well its ------------------------all about the "OOOOOOOOOO" ok thanks - phil --
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby mutant_dan » Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:55 pm

waldo041 wrote:while hanging out in irwin or alembic shops, aside from phils mission control bass, did you get a chance to hold or play wolf or tiger?


Doug gave me a bunch of the wood cut from Tiger's hippie sandwich. I made pipes from the wood and gave them to friends and family members. Wonder where all those Tiger pipes are today!!
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby tigerstrat » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:36 am

mutant_dan wrote:
waldo041 wrote:while hanging out in irwin or alembic shops, aside from phils mission control bass, did you get a chance to hold or play wolf or tiger?


Doug gave me a bunch of the wood cut from Tiger's hippie sandwich. I made pipes from the wood and gave them to friends and family members. Wonder where all those Tiger pipes are today!!


Any Proto's from the leftover brass? :D
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby Mandoborg » Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:57 pm

Great information there Phil, thanks for sharing ! Irwin is a legand, but it's funny, he didn't really seem to build that many instruments so first hand knowledge of one is precious information ! Plus 2 of your post were at precisely 2:57 AM, how can you go wrong talking guitars at that hour !! LOL !!! It's also great to see Larry Robinsons name mentioned as he is often over-looked in the whole story of that beautiful Hippie guitar movement that still influences today.

Mutant Dan, i actually saw one of those pipes on e-bay a few years ago, asking price was $40.... Used :O)~~


This site is just ooozing with information....... started stashing woods for another Tiger style to be started this spring !!!!
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby philsaam » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:17 am

Dear Mandoborg-----thankyou dont mean to be a name dropper but have to pay my respects to those I remember contributed to my success ---I miss Doug Irwin --he is a long lost brother to me ---the time I spent with Doug in his shop in santa rosa --just off the old sonoma hiway --times that were precious --I am still learning from those experiences ---treasured memories -----I am happy to share some ---some - they will be , are for Doug -{TOM LIEBER} {STEVE STRANGE} and me --Doug introduced me to Mickey Hart --I gave mickey a conga drum I made to which he really was delighted ---loved it ---it has a good home !!hey there is one person you can pay respects too --that of Frank Fuller----Frank Fuller master luthier builder --the man who put a core in the alembic guitars ----the " SANDWICH" as it is known ---be that as it may be told --Give to Frank Fuller his added efforts to the success of Alembic ----there will always be stories to tell --but there is only one of each of us -------I love this web site and the good inspiring intentions it means to bring together !!!!! I have free 24hrs ---so I respond at will when ever --I am permantely disabled from a spinal cord injury -some 17 yrs ago --thats why------its by invitation from Tom Lieber that I to speak to you . The Greatful Dead have given us here a means to unite what otherwise we would not realize that all of us have something in common ----Thankyou Mondoborg for your kindness -----say hi top Larry Robinson for me if you visit with him, at all ---I love him like a brother ---good man - an increadible artist -and an even better friend ----keep on keepin on --------------"-its all about the love " phil
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby philsaam » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:19 am

Hello again , hey you guys --this is gonna make you laugh --this is true ----I had a Rickenbacker 4001 bass --I bouight it in 73 at guitar center sf ---well --Doug Irwin says to me one day ---hey how bout a new new neck for your Rick ---wha ..t ? after talking me into it --OK so about two months go by and done [6weeks]-----the new neck -3ply --birdseye maple outer -center purple heart ---vermillion fingerboard ---peghead that of a rickenbacker orig [shape] top was purple heart /with flamed maple marquetry and a center block inlay --mother of pearl --and RICKENBACKER --engraved with a red/prupleish stain to the letters ---the fingerboard was sprayed with a clear coat --neck and body were oil finished ---the body had a pick guard made of purple heart with flamed maple inlayed accents ---3 Hi -A PUs ---wired in stereo ---and gold plated tailpiece -brass nut - and schallers gold ----------oh the 3rd pu was a first made custom mute compartment pu --specially made for me by Bill Bartollini -------there was a gain knob ---no tone control for it ------and the control knobs were the fat GIBSON SPEED KNOBS -translucent gold color ----Doug cut off the Rickenbacker neck and made the most incredible neck to body glue joint ----a long heel up back of neck with a purple heart veneer center -----------you know this bass was ---------HAPPENING-----------I was so thrilled that I called Rickenbacker to tell them how beautiful this bass has become --I thought the company would be happy to see it for them selves --checkout the new PU as well -the mute compartment PU ----nothing but good vibes right ------if you get bass player mag --check out the Chris Squire interview in the JAN 09--article ---they were pissed at him because he used round wound strings --now thatys funny -------------guess what happened when I called back in 77--------------------------------------------------------------well on the horn -the guy who answered was the PRESIDENT of Rickenbacker ---I wanted to introduce myself and tell him, the upgrades ----ho78y sh6-t this dude wanted to kill me --you did what?? he went into a full blown --GRAND MALL SIEZURE complete with sound track --him bustin up his office -sweeping his desk top clean with one arm ---spittin and and ah pissin ---talkin in tongues fits --some kind of martian street scatter lingo ---maybe an old world incantation --beats me ----but holy smokes this guy was in a violent primal screem moment that Fritz Pearls from the BIG SUR , ESALEAN INSTITUTE --they specialize in Primal Scream Threapy-----you can call it ROAD RAGE if you want --a Brain Wedgie---what ever--------------------------I sold this bass sometime later to Mike Shrieve ---remember him as Santanas percusionist ---I think Mike lives in the Chicago area --teaches percussion there --well i HOPE THERE WAS A LITTLE HUMOR TO THIS STORY ---its fact -----heres to you --my friends on RUKIND ---LOVE YA _________phil
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby philsaam » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:19 am

Hello again , hey you guys --this is gonna make you laugh --this is true ----I had a Rickenbacker 4001 bass --I bouight it in 73 at guitar center sf ---well --Doug Irwin says to me one day ---hey how bout a new new neck for your Rick ---wha ..t ? after talking me into it --OK so about two months go by and done [6weeks]-----the new neck -3ply --birdseye maple outer -center purple heart ---vermillion fingerboard ---peghead that of a rickenbacker orig [shape] top was purple heart /with flamed maple marquetry and a center block inlay --mother of pearl --and RICKENBACKER --engraved with a red/prupleish stain to the letters ---the fingerboard was sprayed with a clear coat --neck and body were oil finished ---the body had a pick guard made of purple heart with flamed maple inlayed accents ---3 Hi -A PUs ---wired in stereo ---and gold plated tailpiece -brass nut - and schallers gold ----------oh the 3rd pu was a first made custom mute compartment pu --specially made for me by Bill Bartollini -------there was a gain knob ---no tone control for it ------and the control knobs were the fat GIBSON SPEED KNOBS -translucent gold color ----Doug cut off the Rickenbacker neck and made the most incredible neck to body glue joint ----a long heel up back of neck with a purple heart veneer center -----------you know this bass was ---------HAPPENING-----------I was so thrilled that I called Rickenbacker to tell them how beautiful this bass has become --I thought the company would be happy to see it for them selves --checkout the new PU as well -the mute compartment PU ----nothing but good vibes right ------if you get bass player mag --check out the Chris Squire interview in the JAN 09--article ---they were pissed at him because he used round wound strings --now thatys funny -------------guess what happened when I called back in 77--------------------------------------------------------------well on the horn -the guy who answered was the PRESIDENT of Rickenbacker ---I wanted to introduce myself and tell him, the upgrades ----ho78y sh6-t this dude wanted to kill me --you did what?? he went into a full blown --GRAND MALL SIEZURE complete with sound track --him bustin up his office -sweeping his desk top clean with one arm ---spittin and and ah pissin ---talkin in tongues fits --some kind of martian street scatter lingo ---maybe an old world incantation --beats me ----but holy smokes this guy was in a violent primal screem moment that Fritz Pearls from the BIG SUR , ESALEAN INSTITUTE --they specialize in Primal Scream Threapy-----you can call it ROAD RAGE if you want --a Brain Wedgie---what ever--------------------------I sold this bass sometime later to Mike Shrieve ---remember him as Santanas percusionist ---I think Mike lives in the Chicago area --teaches percussion there --well i HOPE THERE WAS A LITTLE HUMOR TO THIS STORY ---its fact -----heres to you --my friends on RUKIND ---LOVE YA _________phil
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby tigerstrat » Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:51 pm

philsaam wrote: ---I wanted to introduce myself and tell him, the upgrades ----ho78y sh6-t this dude wanted to kill me --you did what?? he went into a full blown --GRAND MALL SIEZURE complete with sound track --him bustin up his office -sweeping his desk top clean with one arm ---spittin and and ah pissin ---talkin in tongues fits --some kind of martian street scatter lingo ---maybe an old world incantation --beats me ----but holy smokes this guy was in a violent primal screem moment that Fritz Pearls from the BIG SUR , ESALEAN INSTITUTE --they specialize in Primal Scream Threapy-----you can call it ROAD RAGE if you want --a Brain Wedgie---what ever ... well i HOPE THERE WAS A LITTLE HUMOR TO THIS STORY ---its fact -----heres to you --my friends on RUKIND ---LOVE YA _________phil


Almost made steamed milk and espresso come out my nose! POST OF THE DAY. Cheers, Phil
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Re: D. Irwin 4-string bass ref:Tom Lieber ,P. Saam

Postby waldo041 » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:25 pm

haha, he said brain wedgie!

lol!

seriously though, cool story phil! did this rick get the irwin eagle or deluxe logo? who owns it now?

peace,
waldo
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