“If I wanted to play like Geddy Lee I’d play a black-and-white Rickenbacker”: Les Claypool on his bass collection, and the Rickenbacker he bought from John Entwistle

Les Claypool
(Image credit: im Bennett/Getty Images)

Primus frontman, novelist, film director and bassist Les Claypool isn’t your average musician. For starters, he doesn’t think like you and I do. As he says: “I don’t necessarily think of my bass as a bass. If I got a gig with Booker T and the MGs, I would approach it differently. I would do my job. But for me, the bass just happens to be the crayon I pulled out of the box. I would still be drawing the same kind of picture if I was playing an accordion or a guitar.”

Claypool has the added luxury of a studio in his house in northern California. “My studio would make some engineers cringe and some engineers ejaculate,” he told BP. “It’s just a room full of crap, but I’ve got an amazing collection of old vintage gear. For the bass guitars, I have a plethora of boxes all wired together, and every now and then I hit a button and a sound comes out.”

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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.