Ramones' iconic 1975 Fender Precision bass guitar is for sale from Boston-based firm RR Auction.
The cream-colored bass, which Ramone used onstage between 1979 and 1982, sports a red pickguard with clear caulking around the periphery, adhesive remnants to the neck plate and plenty of stage wear, including paint loss and chipping to the body.
According to RR Auction, photo evidence and research by Chris Lamy, a close friend and historian of the Ramones, indicates that this Precision was Dee Dee's No. 1 bass (Ramone would number the basses he brought on tour in order of preference, taping a ‘1’ to his main bass, a ‘2’ to his backup and tuning bass and a ‘3’ to an ‘emergency’ bass).
"This bass was Dee Dee's primary number one and favorite bass during 1979-1982 for stage use and recording up until 1989," Lamy states in a letter of Provenance that accompanies the sale.
"Dee Dee liked the bass so much that he kept this bass when new basses were purchased in 1982. After receiving new gear in mid-1982, this bass was stored and used by Dee Dee at Underground Studios in Long Island, where Dee Dee used the bass to record his demo submissions for the band's consideration.
"When Dee Dee left the band in 1989, the bass was sold to the studio owner to ‘cleanse himself’ of the band."
RR Auction goes on to state that “Each of Dee Dee’s three basses used between 1979 and 1982 were unique and distinct from each other with nuances to their headstock decals, years of manufacture, and pick-up configurations.
"Upon purchase in 1979, all three basses had their original black pick guards removed and replaced with red ones. According to longtime Ramones guitar tech Matthew 'Little Matt' Lolya, who replaced and caulked the pick guards, it was done because Dee Dee wanted ‘to be different.’
“The pickguards were caulked to prevent the electronics shorting out from Dee Dee’s profuse sweating during performances. The caulking remains on this bass and upon inspection the electronics appear to be working. This bass was Dee Dee’s primary/number one and his favorite bass during those years for stage use and recording. Dee Dee liked the bass so much that he kept this bass when new basses were purchased in 1982.”
The Fender Precision isn’t the only iconic piece up for sale by RR Auction. Also on the block is a 1966 Fender Dual Showman amp head used by John Lennon, Joe Strummer’s mid-‘80s Fender Squier Tele and a variety of Prince-related items, including studio-used gear, backstage passes, handwritten lyrics and more.
For more information or to bid, head to RR Auction.