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Berry Oakley played a Fender Jazz Bass in the Allman Brothers

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The original bassist for the Allman Brothers Band from 1968 to 1972, Berry Oakley was an excellent bassist, and he was also an excellent lead singer. He played a Fender Jazz Bass equipped with a Guild Bisonic bass pickup, nicknamed the Tractor Bass. Prior to joining the Allmans, Oakley was also the bassist in a blues rock band called The Second Coming.






His excellent bass playing can be heard on the Allman Brothers classic hit, Whipping Post.


1970's Idlewild South, featured the immortal "Midnight Rider" and also featured Oakley performing lead vocals on a decent cover of Willie Dixon's Hoochie Coochie Man.




by 1971's live At Fillmore East, produced by expert record producer Tom Dowd, the Allman Brothers considered themselves to be in tip top shape. Sadly, the Allman Brothers would lose their rock, Duane Allman, to a motorcycle accident in 1971. Shaken by this tragedy, the group decided to record Eat A Peach, a 2 record set that fused studio cuts with live tracks (some of those live tracks were from the same live dates that produced At Fillmore East).

Shortly after that, Oakley would lose his life in a motorcycle accident on November 11, 1972, just a few blocks away from Duane's accident. He recorded 2 tracks with the group: Ramblin Man and Wasted Words, both of which were featured on Brothers and Sisters. Oakley's daughter, Brittany Oakley, is featured on the back cover of Brothers and Sisters. Lamar Williams replaced Oakley and also played on 1975's Win, Lose or Draw.









I am a lifelong fan of the Allman Brothers, and consider Oakley's pushy bass playing to be important to their sound. I also share my birthday with Butch Trucks, the drummer for the Allman Brothers, who died in 2017.

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Yeah, I was surprised when I noticed his bass choice, given the sound on the recordings. I rarely use my jazz Bass, and I've gone through a number of them before settling on the Made in USA Geddy Lee model with 70's pickup spacing and maple fingerboards. I just find the P-Bass works on everything, and quite well, and have moved away from modern basses and even J-Basses for most material. But I suppose the amp was the main sound back then, and probably overpowered the bass sound, just as with Vox guitar amps where its personality dominates every guitar played through it..

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Eugenio Upright, 60th Ann P-Bass, USA Geddy Lee J-Bass, Yamaha BBP35, D'angelico Bari, Dano Bari

Select Strat/Tele, Am Pro Jazzmaster, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, T64, PM2, EXL1, XK4, Voyager

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