This is the best photo I could get and didn't get to ask the bass player - is it just a Thunderbird?Ah, here is the bass version of a guitar I am often asked to identify. It's a Gibson RD Artist Bass, which was introduced in late 1977 and was Gibson's first bass to feature active electronics. Working in conjunction with Moog electronics and The Who's John Entwistle, the design team at Gibson consisted of Chuck Burge (woodwork), Tim Shaw (electronics) and was overseen by Bruce Bolen.
The band are The Idle Hands Band, a great blues rock band that I saw at Newark Blues Festival on Sunday.
It was never a big seller, but did manage to outsell the Gibson Ripper as Gibson's bestselling bass in 1978 and 1979, which does say something about how little Gibson were shifting bass guitars in those days.
We looked at the guitar version of the Gibson RD Artist here, and you can read more about the bass here.
G L Wilson
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