Tossing the Bass into the Chipper

It’s early, and Pete Townshend’s “Give Blood” is reverberating through the shop. No one is working, but not because of laziness. Every time I hear this song it just stops me in my tracks because Pino Paladino’s bass playing is beyond sublime. Most people probably think they are hearing a synthesizer workout—but they’re not. Palidino used a low octave effect on his bass. The whole song is one magnificent bass solo—listen to that hand vibrato on his fretless! Good God, it makes me want to throw my bass in the chipper and become a hermit. Oh wait, I already did that.


Years ago I worked with Paladino, designing a fretless bass, and he was a complete gentleman to work with. He showed me the MXR harmonizer that he used to get his sound—he didn’t think it was a big deal. Of course, when it was me playing through his rig, it certainly wasn’t.


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Jol Dantzig is a guitar builder, designer, writer and filmmaker. He has worked for Gibson, Fender, Guild, Ovation, Gretsch, and was a founding partner of Hamer guitars—one of the first boutique custom guitar brands. Dantzig’s work has been played by hundreds of artists including Sting, Steve Stevens, Larry Coreyell, Dug Pinnick, Billy Gibbons, Keb Mo’, Nick Lowe, KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, John Abercrombie, Glen Campbell, Rick Nielsen, Kenny Vaughan, Lita Ford, James Honeyman Scott, Elliott Easton, Andy Summers, Peter Frampton, Martin Barre, Lyle Workman, Brad Gillis, George Harrison, Jeff Ament, Dweezil Zappa, Jeff Tweedy, Nancy Wilson—and many others.

2 thoughts on “Tossing the Bass into the Chipper”

  1. my first exposure to Pino Paladino was his exceptional playing on Paul Young’s “No Parlez” LP. Excellent record-but the bass sounds were from another planet.

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