King Doublebass

photos top right, Brad Johnson, partner; bottom, Jason Burns, founder

My latest story at OCBJ:

Miles Mosley needed a new upright bass for a big gig—playing with retro soul act Gnarls Barkley at the Grammys. He wanted the best of both worlds: a new bass with the feel of an old one.

“So we took a new bass and beat the crap out of it,” said Jason Burns, founder of Santa Ana’s King Doublebass.

Now that’s customizing.

King Doublebass makes upright basses, the cool kind with custom-painted flames that a Stray Cat might play. Indeed, it counts Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats as a fan. Other King players include Tim Skold of Marilyn Manson and Mike Kroeger of Nickelback.

Upright basses are a jazz staple. Rock musicians tend to use them as showpieces, according to Brad Johnson, Burns’ partner in King Doublebass.

“It attracts a lot of attention,” he said.

Especially when a bass has a snazzy paint job or glows in the dark. Players can twirl it, hop up on the side and “slap” it—an exaggerated way of plucking the strings. For rockabilly bands and others, the upright bass becomes a performance prop. Read the rest here.

1 Comment

  1. i looking to paint my upright bass and i was wondering if you could email me a way to contact the guy who painted the bass on the left?…..thank you

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