Throughout this video of Kings of Leon performing "Closer" live on Letterman, Jared Followill can be seen playing a black Gibson Thunderbird bass. You can have a good look at it at the 3:00 mark, where you can see he has on it a custom pickguard with "KOL" on it. At 3:18 you can see the bridge of the guitar is gold, as it is on the Gibson Thunderbird Bicentennial Reissue version of this bass.more
The Gibson Thunderbird was introduced in 1963. At the time, Fender had been the leader in the electric bass market since their introduction of the Precision Bass twelve years earlier. The Thunderbird was designed by U.S. auto designer Raymond H. Dietrich along with the Firebird guitar, which it resembles in design, construction, and name.more
In this video, Gene uses this Thunderbird bass live during one of KISS's shows. According to the website [Axeology](http://axeology.com/Gibson.html) "After being on a brief hiatus the Thunderbird returned to the Gibson catalogue in 1976 for the Bicentennial. Gene's version is either a '76 or '77 ebony version that was modified from the get-go."more
In a [Gibson interview](http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/System-of-a-Down_s-Shavo-Odadj.aspx), Shavo says, "When System of a Down were recording our first record, we went out to buy some equipment. I found this non-reverse body ’66 Thunderbird somewhere in Hollywood. I ended up using it on the entire record. It just felt right. Before that I was using a bass from a different company, and they gave me as many basses as I wanted, in any color I could imagine, but I didn’t like any of them as much as that Thunderbird. Those old Gibsons are the Rolexes and Cadillacs of guitars. They’re all about quality. Just holding that bass made me feel different. You have to fight with it a little to make it your own because it has a heavy headstock that dives to the ground if you let go of the neck. But once I mastered that bass I couldn’t go anywhere else."more
On Sonic Youth's [website](http://www.sonicyouth.com/mustang/eq/bass03.html), it says, about Kim Gordon's Thunderbird Bass: "Used by Kim: 1988-1993 Used by Kim: 2007-current NOTES: A '76 Gibson Thunderbird acquired by Kim in 1988 to replace her Rickenbacker and Ovation basses. She stopped using it live in favour of her BC Rich during the Goo era, though it did show up at a few shows. It was used for the recording of "Dirty", however, and many 'Dirty' tour shows in '92. She also used it for the recording of "Sonic Nurse". Jim used it for the Nurse tour, and Kim revisited it for the entirety of the "Daydream Nation" shows they did, except for 'Eliminator' which she played on her EB bass. Still used on the Eternal tour. -Gauges: .105 .085 .065 .045 -Wood finish -2 pick-ups -Rosewood fretboard -White pickguard -Various scribbled messages, including Mark Arm "So Messed Up - You Know It" and "Sister Rock On, Love John Bram" -Used in "Candle" & "Cinderella's Big Score" videos"more
"A lot of Allen Woody’s bass tracks where done on Thunderbirds, and the fact that both Warren Haynes and Brian Farmer loved the sound from it made picking up this instrument an easy choice. I never really paid any attention to Thunderbirds prior to owning one--playing one was more of a delayed reaction—but I do remember Walter Becker playing one live in ’73. There’s a lot I love about this instrument. It looks amazing, and there’s always something special when Warren switches to a Firebird at the same time in E-?at tuning. And I love the tone—it sounds like a distorted grand piano!"more
For the album Mania: "Matt- What equipment do you guys use? Ozo - On this recording I used my Hiwatt 200W amp along with my Hi-watt cab 4*10+1*15. That's absolutely the best rig I ever tried. For the distortion I use mostly a modified Ibanez Tubescreamer. Also for recording we have plenty of cool michrophones and tubepreamps that we use. Used my Gibson thunderbird."more
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