I am up early this morning as I head down to the home of Suzi Quatro. I had been listening to Suzi on the radio talking about guitars and the ladies that worked at the Kalamazoo factory and whilst I was working late on a guitar repair myself, I was distracted by this wonderful story told by Suzi. Being a musician she demonstrated an understanding, a passion and enthusiasm that is rarely evidenced these days. I remember thinking “I wonder if she still has that old Les Paul bass I used to see her with on Top of the Pops and in many pictures?”
After making contact I was expecting to be taken to a lock-up in the middle of nowhere by a guitar tech, instead I was instructed to go to Suzi’s house. This was much unexpected and a lovely gesture as it would give me the opportunity to ask a couple of questions about how she came to purchase this weighty boy. On arrival, Suzi led me to what she calls her ‘ego room’ which is full of memorabilia etc. As I glance across the room, in the corner stands her Les Paul bass, flanked by her Suzi BC Rich Quatro Signature Bass and Rich Bich Bass. The Les Paul bass stands out to command your attention and with its dark walnut finish still looks classy and like it means business. The Les Paul bass is often called the Les Paul Recording or the Les Paul Professional but these were the names of the six-string guitars: Gibsons’ own literature only ever describes this model as the Les Paul Bass.
I asked Suzi where she bought it and she told me before she came to the UK she actually went to the Kalamazoo factory to get it. I explained what I was going to do to her guitar as regards opening it up and checking the inner workings and she reassuringly gave me the go-ahead. The first thing I do is take it over to a window to let natural light fall upon it. I carefully lay the guitar down and flip it over to reveal the control plate. This is going to be interesting!
For full review of this amazing bass see Guitar and Bass magazine issue March 2015 vol 26 no6.
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT STEVE CLARKE 2014 FAMOUS FRETS