“We walk into this music store, and the owner is making sure we didn't turn up with a lawyer – and then Robert Trujillo came in and saved the day!” The amazing story of how Jaco's Bass of Doom made its way back to Felix Pastorius

Robert Trujillo of Metallica performs at Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2011 in New York City. Photo of Jaco Pastorius Photo by Tom Copi/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You may have seen the 2014 documentary Jaco, produced by Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. It's an astonishing tale, which follows Jaco Pastorius from his early life through to stardom with Weather Report and as a solo artist, before his struggle with bipolar disorder and his tragically early death in 1987 at the hands of a nightclub bouncer.

Along the way, the most commonly-seen bass guitar is the famous 1962 Fender Jazz Bass, which Jaco defretted and used to devastating effect on many seminal recordings. Stolen from him in 1982, the bass vanished from the public eye until 2006 or thereabouts, when it resurfaced in a New York music store.

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.