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The Earthwood Owners’ Registry

Talk about being members of a very exclusive club!  Let’s see how many of us there are left.  Here is our chance to get a good idea of how many of these wonderful basses still exist.  Please send in the production number of your bass (found burned into the upright part of the neck block and sometimes on the label in the sound hole).  A picture of it would be cool and a picture with you holding it would be way cool!  Do you have friends who own an Earthwood?  Please let them in on the fun.  Brian Ritchie owns several of these and they’re scattered around in different cities so I don’t know if we can get all his numbers.  We’ll just have to ask!

# 500        8”  The first in the series.  Owned by Robbie Venturini, Austin, TX.

# 506        8”, Michael Rhodes, Nashville.  (former owner: William Carter, Las Vegas NV)

# 518        8”  Costa Rica  Ebay March 2, 2013.  Buy it now price $6,500  Item #151005542

#______ 8” Year?     John Entwistle, The Who, early 8” model

#______ Carl Radle, former bassist with Eric Clapton

#______ 8” Year? ____ Reyes, Mexican band leader

#______ 8” Year? Name?    Unknown teacher with student

# 547        8” 1973, C. Marten First time factory stopped production half price $600 no warranty

# 608        8”1973-74    nateg630  Excellent condition. 8.25” buy it now is at $5,999

#______ 1972, Kungfusheriff  Upstate NY sold for $3,000

#______  1972  John Conte   Ernie Ball Earthwood Bass.  He’s looking to sell this.

#______ 8” 1972  The Guitar Broker Weston FL  Matching Earthwood Guitar.  $7,495 + $80

# 657        8”1972 Rick Rahock,

#______ 8” 1973  www.pinterest.com

# TB664   Timmons Vintage, Ft. Worth, TX.  $3,000 + $50. Shipping

# TB689    John Cream City Music or Warpdrive Music 800-800-0087  $3,200 offer.  9/27/14

# 695 ZZ    Top  Sold for $7,800 on Ebay.  Re-sold for $3500 to: new owner?

# TB701     Silverdust seller The 201st guitar made. The body is 24 3/4″ long, & 6 1/2″ deep.

#_______ 1977, Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles.  One of his band mates gave it to him.

#_______1977, Emory Gordy Jr., Famous Nashville Producer, original Earthwood strings!

#_______ Mid 70’s The Bouffants—the South’s Party Band

# _______1982 Earthwood named “Tex” owned by “fivestring99”  (Chuck Barton?)  Inlaid tastefully by luthier Bill Badeau, pictured holding this beauty.

#_______   1985, Brad Cooper

#_______   Brian Ritchie, The Violent Femmes, owns several of these basses!  Tasmania

#_______   Brian Ahern, Producer of Emmylou Harris, Anne Murray and many others.

# (None)      Ron Saul, luthier, engineer, designer  California

# _____       Fretless, Marco _________, Cayucos, CA   Ron Saul repaired it for him.

#_______   David Jackson, bassist extraordinaire.  California.

# ______    The Dead Milkmen – A German country band.

#_______   Denny Croy, bass teacher, McCabe’s Music, Santa Monica, CA

# _______  Jordan at normansrareguitars.com, 818-344-8300 $2,895.

#_______   Guy with cigar.

#_______   Keith “Doc”Herber, CEO Miskatonic River Press  1/3/49 to 3/13/2009.

#_______   bargainseller02 (7973 ) store:Spring Hill Cutlery, Berea KY.

#_______    Original fretless sold for $3,200.

# TB701       The 201st guitar made. The bass body is 24 3/4″ long, and 6 1/2″ deep.  Ebay  auction ended January 28, 2014  The Winning bid was $3,170 with $85.00 standard shipping.  Silverdust was the seller and the new owner is:   ?

# 804           “Rose Sharron, the Lilly of the West”, Utah.

# 816            Steve Terry, “Bassmedic”, St. Augustine, Florida

# 863           trugood. Winning bid $3,000 (2bids) Ended 5/1/14 Owned by Marshall Music, Maintained at McCabes.  Torrance CA

#______  Sandy Pinkard (and Richard Bowden)

# 871         “Rose Sharron, the Lilly of the West”, Utah.

# 1002      “Rose Sharron, the Lilly of the West”, Utah.

# 1021        Written about by Willie G. Moseley on 3/30/2007.

# 1024       “Rose Sharron, the Lilly of the West”, Utah.

# 1049        1970’s Earthwood Bass at Ishibashi Music, Shibuya in Tokyo

#_____      One we missed for sale

# 1052        Supposedly the last Earthwood made

47+  Total out of approximately 552 made.  Where are all the rest?

Earthwood flyer on Ebay–1979.  The bass was selling for about $1,500.

flyear

The Earthwood Owners’ Gallery

#500  8”  The very first one!  Robbie Venturini, (Formerly from Manhatten) Austin, TX.  Steve saw this website and was blown away that his is the first.  He found it advertised in a musician’s weekly paper in New York and met the owner in a bar at 11:00 AM.  the owner was already well lubricated.  He was asking $450.  Steve had the money in $50. bills but when he saw the top collapsed he fingered out 3 bills and offered to the guy.  He was offended and Steve started to walk away.  the guy cussed him and said, “take it and get out of here!”  Steve took it to a luthier who fixed the braces and he has loved it ever since.

500#506:   8” Michael Rhodes, Nashville’s premier bass player.  Nashville, TN.  (Former owner:  William Carter, Las Vegas)

506# 518:  8”  Costa Rica Ebay March 2, 2013.  Buy it now price $6,500  Item #151005542752

518# __ 8” John Entwistle, of The Who.  Back and sides were Walnut/Linden/Walnut laminate supplied by Harptone—the first acoustic bass guitar made in the USA in 1965.

john# __ 8”  Carl Radle, former bassist for Eric Clapton

carl# __ 8” Year?  ___Reyes?. Unknown Mexican Band leader with early 8” model with dual Brazilian Rosewood pickguards.  I spoke to him one day.  I hope he sees this and gets back in touch.

reyes# _ : 8” Year?  Name?  Unknown teacher with student.  Early 8” model with later bridge

90137992# 547    C. Marten

“I bought this I thought about 1971 but seeing the posts it must have been around the ‘73 year. When I bought it, I was told the factory had stopped producing but there were enough parts to put together one more. I was told there was no guarantee as there was a problem with the bridges coming apart. It came to me with a sticker over the E on the neck and I also bought a hard shell case with it. The cost was going to be 1/2 price because of the no guarantee – $600

I think in the late 90’s the bridge finally did really separate and I thought it’s time was over.  Now I live in Montana and started to call around to see who may be able to repair it and with much luck found a wonderful repair man from California (probably Ron Saul), who said he could help me out and he said he was in charge of the factory when they were made. He said there were 2 fronts still laying around, each had a small problem and but he could replace the front and beef up the bridge (changed from the Maple biscuit to the modern one?) and then added on board electronics to it.  When I sent it to him and he told me I had 1 of only 13 hard shell cases that were made for the bass.

I don’t think this bass ever had the Earthwood sticker on the inside but it does have the number 547 stamped on the inside.  Well, I have been using this bass since the repair and it a wonderfully beautiful sounding instrument that I have never heard the sound ever duplicated. I know I will always have several people talk to me about it when it is brought out.”

547# 608  8” nateg630 owner of this bass since 1973-1974.

It is in excellent condition. The only thing that is fading is some finish on the sides, and that is it. It does not affect the instrument’s playing ability whatsoever. It is fully playable, and sounds like it looks: Deep, loud, and full of bass! Definitely an eye catcher. It is the DEEP BODY VERSION, measuring at 8.25″ deep.

Feel free to call me at 630.258.5904 NATE G?  I know these Earthwoods are currently going for anywhere from $2500 to $8000.   The buy it now is at $5,999.  The Starting bid was $4,299.

0 bids. Closed January 26, 2012.

#___ :  1972, Kungfusheriff  Upstate NY Sold for $3,000  Probably 8” but no pickguards.

19721972#ewer bridge, no pickguards.

conte# __: 8” 1972  The Guitar Broker Weston FL  Matching Earthwood Guitar $7,495 + $80.00

Broker# 657:  1972 Rick Rahock.  Special “Savannah” adjustable bridge!  No longer available.

rick“Big Poppa” (Sterling Ball) wrote, “That is an original Earthwood acoustic bass. My dad started Earthwood I think in around 1971 with George Fullerton The idea was to make acoustic basses first and acoustic guitars. George and my dad clashed and my dad locked the factory up. Later reopening it with Dan Norton and Ron Saul with a shallower depth model and some interesting 1/2 scale acoustics. Dan is still with us (He retired as of 2012) and maybe i (sic) can convince him to post some of this.  Dan Norton just told me this is an early Earthwood.  He says it was a ’71 design, and a ’72 production model. It looks like it is an 8″ body instead of a 6″ one”.

The little Maple plate covered two screws with “T” nuts to help hold the bridge on—it didn’t always work.  Rick lost his twice—too much pressure.

rick2

Savannah built him this neat adjustable one.

rick3Earthwood finally went to installing the strings from underneath and over the saddle.

rick 4

# ____: 8” 1973 www. pinterest.com  Looks like an 8” with the double Brazilian rosewood pickguards.

rosewood

# TB664: Timmons Vintage, Ft. Worth, TX.  $3,000 + $50. Shipping

TB664# TB689    John Cream City Music or Warpdrive Music 800-800-0087  $3,200 offer.  9/27/14

TB689(Early Earthwoods had no binding or layering in the peghead.)

689# 695  I think this is the ZZ Top Bass that brought $7,800 on Ebay.

It Re-sold for about $3,500, to whom ??. Sterling Ball said that “only 552 made.  There were also many variations to the
Earthwood.  This one has a string through bridge and no “E” emblem on the headstock.  He says he thinks it was a “second” made of leftover pieces.  Cream City/Warpdrive Music, outside Milwaukee Wisconsin 1-800-800-0087 had this bass for sale for $3,600.   Excellent condition and great pictures.   Sold to whom?

695695-2# TB701    The 201st guitar made because they started production at #500. The bass body is 24 3/4″ long, and 6 1/2″ deep.  Ebay auction ended January 28, 2014  The Winning bid was $3,170 with $85.00 standard shipping.  Silverdust was the seller and the new owner is: ?.

tb701701 3 701 2# ___: 1977, Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles.  One of his band mates gave it to him.

timothyHe enjoys  the sound of acoustic instruments when recording, but he’s the only Eagles member who doesn’t go “unplugged” during the band’s acoustic set.  “I play electric bass because I haven’t found an acoustic model that sounds good on stage,” says Schmit. “The old Ernie Ball Earthwood Bass is the only acoustic bass I’ve ever played that sounds right to me, but it’s really tricky to mic on stage. Acoustic basses made these days lack the proper body size. I want the bass to sound as good in the room as it does when it’s amplified, but a small body just can’t produce the proper amount of depth. The guitarrón, a Mexican instrument used in mariachi music, really has it down. The body is big and round, and only a tiny bit of the neck extends past the body, which is fine because you only need about six frets to play bass, not 12.
I’d really like to have a fretted bass that’s based on the guitarron, but guitar makers think I’m nuts when I ask them to build me one.”  (We took our Lamont “Boatback” to show him.  He said, “this is the most beautiful guitarrón I’ve ever seen.”  He is the one who suggested we name our guitar company using our own name—Lamont.—Editor’s note)

timothy2

# __:    1977,  Emory Gordy Jr., Nashville Producer.  Dave Pomeroy wrote about this bass in his Retrorama article:

emory“This bass’s owner, legendary session player and producer Emory Gordy Jr. (Elvis Presley, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Bill Monroe), has had it since it was new (and retains the original strings!)  . Emory played an Earthwood belonging to producer Brian Ahern on Emmylou’s classic Roses in the Snow record, and used this one extensively on Loveless’s Bluegrass and White Snow Christmas album. In the studio, Emory has found that playing the bass upright, cradled between his legs, works better than “normal” playing position, and actually helps project the sound to the mic. Emory feels the Earthwood retains a string-bass character in a track without taking up quite so much space. Hearing some new tracks in the studio with him, I agree with his assessment: It records very well. Like many acoustic instruments, it has some resonant notes and some dead ones. The art in recording with this axe includes knowing its sweet spots.

As you might expect, this bass is pretty darn loud, especially compared to other ABGs. It can’t move as much air as a string bass, but it has a full, punchy sound, accentuated by its (original!) Ernie Ball Earthwood bronze strings, which still have a strong midrange component. It is fun to play, although most folks will find that its long reach takes some getting used to.

We have Ernie Ball to thank for bringing his brilliant idea to fruition. It seems he was ahead of his time, as the Earthwood didn’t take off as expected. Perhaps its gargantuan size scared people away. But hey, compared to a string bass, it’s not that big! In its smaller form, the ABG had its commercial breakthrough in the ’80s and ’90s, especially with the popularity of MTV
Unplugged.”

ernie# _____    The Bouffants, the South’s Party Band. Early to mid 70’s Ernie Ball Earthwood ABG

The Bouffants

 the bouffants2

bouffants4 bouffant5bouffants3

# ___: Brian Ritchie owns several of these basses! I’ll have to ask for his numbers. Brian lives in Tasmania these days and plays with former members of Midnight Oil in a surf rock band called “The Break”. Brian is on Facebook

brian4 brian3
Brian2 brian

# ___: Brian Ahern, Producer of Emmylou Harris, Anne Murray and many others.  Emory Gordy played Brian’s Earthwood bass on Emmylou Harris’s classic Roses in the Snow record.

Emmy1

# ___:    Ron Saul, Luthier, Designer, Engineer of the Earthwood Bass, San Luis Obispo, CA.  He specializes in high quality, high end ukuleles now.

RonRon 2(Speaking as an Earthwood bass) “Uke, I am your father!”

Ron3Ron’s first bass—check out those tuners!

# ___:  Fretless, Marco _________, Cayucos, CA   Ron Saul repaired it for him.

marco3

Marco          Marco2

# ___:  David Jackson, bassist extraordinaire, shown here with his band mates Raul Reynoso and Michael Fleming of New West.  (David started me on my quest to produce a similar instrument to the Earthwood and the result is the Lamont Flatback.  Visit website for lamontguitars.com—Editor’s note).

David# __:  A German country band—The Dead Milkmen.

Dead3 Dead 2 dead1

# _______     Denny Croy, bass teacher, McCabe’s Music, Santa Monica, CA  Inside showing the “popsicle” radial bracing used in the top of these basses.

Denny

# _______     Denny Croy, bass teacher, McCabe’s Music, Santa Monica, CA  Inside showing the “popsicle” radial bracing used in the top of these basses.

Jordan# _____    _?_?_  Unknown Guy with cigar

Unknown

#_______     Keith “Doc”Herber, CEO Miskatonic River Press  1/3/1949 to 3/13/2009.

Keith

#___:  bargainseller02 (7973 ) 99.9% Positive feedback Berea, KY.  Ernie Ball Acoustic bass made between 1972-1985.  Top has a sunk in place in front of the bridge “doesn’t effect the bass”, except for cosmetic look.  Has a electronic pickup with no controls “would have to be controlled through the amp.”  Made in the USA.  Comes with a cello bag.  Winning bid $1,525.  End of Auction May 08, 2011.

# __:  _?  Original fretless sold for $3,200. from Sylvan Music 1521 Mission Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060  (831) 427-1917.

fretless3 fretless2fretless

# TB701    The 201st guitar made because they started production at #500. The bass body is 24 3/4″ long, and 6 1/2″ deep.  Ebay auction ended January 28, 2014  The Winning bid was $3,170 with $85.00 standard shipping.  Silverdust was the seller and the new owner is:   ?.

tb701

tb701-6 tb701-2 tb701-7 tb701-3

tb701-7 tb701-4 tb701-5

# 804 “Rose Sharron, the Lilly of the West”, Utah. This bass is 6 ½” deep. Craig Wickstom, the luthier for the Lamont Guitar Co., installed a monitor port and new Fishman Tuner/Eq.


 rose2 rose

# 816      1977 model,  Steven Terry, “Bassmedic”   San Augustine,  Florida

steve1 Steve3 Steve2

# 863:  trugood Winning bid $3,000 (2bids) Ended 5/1/14 Owned by Marshall Music, Maintained at McCabes. Torrance CA.

863


# _______ Sandy Pinkard and Richard Bowden Talented songwriters who love to re-write popular songs to make us laugh—“Momma she’s lazy, lazier than me…”

sandy

# 871 “Rose Sharron, the Lilly of the West”, Utah. This bass is unique with a Redwood or Cedar top. It is 6 1/2” deep.

rose3

#1002 “Rose Sharron, the Lilly of the West”, Utah.  6” deep.

Rose4


#1021 : Written about by Willie G. Moseley in Vintage Guitar Magazine, on 3/30/2007.

Willie

#1024:  “Rose Sharron, the Lilly of the West”, Utah.  Only 5 7/8” deep.

rose5

rose6


# 1049 1970’s Earthwood Bass at Ishibashi Music, Shibuya in Tokyo. Sorry it sold to someone in

Australia. Brian Richie lives in Australia—hmmm, I wonder?

Brand New Earthwood on the bench at the factory ready for final set-up. Wouldn’t you like to have brand new one like this? Where do I sign up? According to Sterling Ball that will not happen. Luckily, the successor to this bass, The Lamont Flatback IS available. Please go to lamontguitars.com

brand new

#__:    One we missed for sale.

missed

# 1052: Supposedly the last one made.

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