"I bought the bass on Oct. 12, 1959, from Manny's in New York. If you remove ... more
"I bought the bass on Oct. 12, 1959, from Manny's in New York. If you remove the neck you can see Leo Fender's signature and because it's a prototype it has various bits that are not standard. For example, underneath the pickguard they installed what was tantamount to a fuzzbox but it was very primitive - a couple of resistors that cut the signal in half and fouled it up. It had a switch on it and when you tried to cut the roughness out it wouldn't cut out properly, so I took it out."
Despite Flowers' claim to have bought the bass in '59, its serial number is 57025, a 1960 number.
Paul Alcantra later told Curtis Novak Guitars and Pickups "I solved the discrepancy with the patent numbers on the headstock of Herbie's bass and the date at which he recalls buying it (1959/60). The headstock decal—which was flaking off—was apparently changed by George Harrison's guitar tech when Herbie was working on the 'Gone Troppo' album! So there you have it. Regards, Paul"
Flowers' official website elaborates: "WHAT HAS ADDED TO THE CONTROVERSY MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IS THE 'DECAL' (TRANSFER) ON THE HEAD OF THE INSTRUMENT. A PATENT NUMBER SHOWS THE DATE AS 1965. HERBIE SAYS THAT THE ORIGINAL CAME OFF AFTER THE INSTRUMENT GOT WET DURING AN OPEN AIR GIG WITH T.REX., AND WEEKS LATER GEORGE HARRISON'S GUITAR TECHIE REPLACED IT WITH A SPARE ONE THAT HE HAD – SADLY NOT THE REAL McCOY."
From Flowers' official website: "The instruments manufactured by Hawkes & So... more
From Flowers' official website: "The instruments manufactured by Hawkes & Son during the latter quarter of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century were supplied to private musicians, orchestras and to the many military bands that existed especially in England. There were three models of instruments - namely the Professor which was based on the instruments of William Baker and the Concert and Panormo models - which were described in advertisements by Hawkes & Son themselves as 'Copies of the celebrated Panormo Bass used in the Private Band of Her late Majesty the Queen.' Herbie's Bass is 'The Professor'."
RotoSound CEO Jason How states that Flowers used these strings on Lou Reed's ... more
RotoSound CEO Jason How states that Flowers used these strings on Lou Reed's Transformer, notably so on "Walk On the Wild Side". This is confirmed by Flowers' RotoSound artist page.