“…I ask those who have something against Mexican-made Fenders, who did you think Leo Fender hired at his Fullerton plant in the 50′s and 60′s?”

-Anon.

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This is my Fender Standard series Jazz Bass®. I bought the Jazz in 2001 because of a gig I was playing in. You read that right. It was a small Malaysian ‘battle of the bands’ shindig at a social club in Leeds which was held like after lunch. We got 2nd place after churning out Kembara and Creed covers. Oh yeah. Besides, I really ‘needed’ a bass guitar anyway.

I had my heart on the ’75 Jazzes but the American vintage reissues would’ve cost me an arm and a leg. In the late 90′s, the Japanese factory had a cheaper version of the ’75, with block inlays and all. Probably costing about 25% of the American ones. Well, it’s too late for that as they don’t sell ‘em in the UK no more. Bummer.


The reason I chose the Jazz over the Precision was due to its slimmer neck. It was really comfortable to play those tunes that I had learnt over the span of a week in preparation for that gig in Leeds. It was a tad lighter than the American ones as the body was made of poplar. Still sounded gorgeous. In later gigs, this Jazz bass had been pummelled by the likes of Liza and Firr (suck in 2002 and Sun Redd Sun, respectively). The Jazz Bass originally came with a with a white pickguard which I changed to a tortoiseshell one, fabricated by one of the guys at Wavelength Music on London Road. The control knobs are somewhat interesting as they have numbers on them unlike the vintage Jazz Bass[1].

I ended up calling the bass Stitch after the Disney alien character which is featured on the headstock. Heh. To the point that someone once asked if I had another guitar named Lilo.

I pretty much gigged with the Jazz again in most of the subsequent bands I was in during the GIG@Sheffield era between 2006-7. The bass did receive some degree of Novoselic-esque ‘abuse’ in 2007[2] but it still held steady. After a long while not gigging, I picked the bass up again for the Glamorgan Gig at Cardiff University in 2010, where we did some Sabbath covers. Check it out:

I had been quite lazy in maintaining it and Stitch only had her second set up in 13 years after the nut broke during restringing. She now sports a bone nut and after a pro set up, all the dead notes were gone! The neck was a tad bowed by that time which was well sorted then. It wasn’t until this past year that I started to do covers on YouTube, and as the current version of GarageBand now has bass amp/cab simulation, I did a bass cover of the B-side of SCANDAL’s current single:

Speaking of SCANDAL, Stitch had another facelift in the form of a new after market pickguard I got on eBay, coupled with a saucy strap adorned by photos of Penthouse Pets. Just like TIMO. Nice.

[Post updated June 2014]

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[1]At the time of this post update, even the Mexican-made Standard series have the vintage-styled knobs.
[2]Which will never happen again.