Foreigner's Jeff Pilson takes you through his vast home studio's priceless bass and guitar collection

Over the course of a four-decade career, Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson has amassed a remarkable gear collection, which he houses in his very own studio. In a Bass Player exclusive, the man himself has treated us to a full tour, showcasing everything from electric guitars and bass guitars to acoustic guitars and rack-mounted effects.

Amongst the slew of gear sits a Mellotron with a rather interesting story. "I got this [Mellotron] from in 1977, but of course I couldn't afford to buy the whole thing right away so I had to put payments on it through American Music in Seattle," Pilson recalls.

"In August of 1978 - I still hadn't paid it off yet - Foreigner came through Seattle. Their Mellotron wasn't working so they asked American Music if there was one to rent, and the only one that was around was mine in the store. So they called me up and said 'would you mind renting your Mellotron to Foreigner in exchange for free tickets to the show?' And I said 'No not at all!'"

"I walked into Veteran Stadium where they were playing during Cold as Ice when the Mellotron was playing. How bizarre that years later I would end up in the band."

Pilson's bass collection includes a Gibson '63 T-Bird, Hofner Ignition Violin bass, an Ampeg 8-string and a custom-built Marvin Guitars 10-string.

Even boasting a drum room and vocal booth fitted with several wall-material options for detailed tonal design, it's certainly one of the most comprehensive personal studios we've seen in a while...

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).