• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Lemmy playing a Gibson Thunderbird bass

IMMUSICRULZ

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
386
I hope there are some heavy metal fans on here who will like this

9D11FFB7-9BDA-493F-8773-C3E119B14347.jpeg
The title says it all. Gold knobs, the white pickguard found on most Gibson Thunderbird basses, and it is a sunburst Gibson Thunderbird. Has a rosewood fretboard. Lemmy I believe acquired this Thunderbird around the late 1960s. Used it on every Hawkwind record he played on, including the classic 1975 album Warrior On The Edge Of Time, which contains his composition and band namesake Motörhead, before he got sacked to start Motörhead following a drug bust. By the time he formed Motörhead he played Rickenbacker basses and he put the Thunderbird pickups in his Rickenbacker. He sold this Thunderbird when he moved to Los Angeles in the early nineties. I don’t think Lemmy ever played Fender basses, he did play a Gibson J200, a Gibson Les Paul and a Hagstrom 8 string bass.

But if anybody likes Lemmy then please reply. It’s a nice looking Thunderbird.
 

Overdriven66

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
186
Looks like his 'Bird is a 70's issue model. The 3 point bridge is the one they used after the 60's. Also the 3 mounting holes for the pickups. Also, it looks like it is natural and not a 'burst. I had one just like it and it played fantastic. The 60's models to me sound more 'round'. Different bridgework, and pickups. Nice bass and great looking too! The bass in my avatar is a 66 IV in Frost Blue....
 

IMMUSICRULZ

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
386
Looks like his 'Bird is a 70's issue model. The 3 point bridge is the one they used after the 60's. Also the 3 mounting holes for the pickups. Also, it looks like it is natural and not a 'burst. I had one just like it and it played fantastic. The 60's models to me sound more 'round'. Different bridgework, and pickups. Nice bass and great looking too! The bass in my avatar is a 66 IV in Frost Blue....
Ahh, so it’s a Norlin Thunderbird. John Entwistle played a Thunderbird, as did Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith (see also my post on here about Tom Hamilton’s white Gibson Thunderbird.)

Nice bass by the way.
 

Norton

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
45
The picture posted is indeed a natural finish bicentennial - It's actually from a Motorhead performance in late 80s. That said, it's true that Lemmy played an original 60's reverse bird in his Hawkwind days. Completely different animal of a bass..and band for that matter.

 

Overdriven66

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
186
IMO good call on the ID of the two basses in both pix! And I would also say that the 63-69's just sound better. The reverse and NR Birds I have owned (at least 10 over the years) sounded WAY better than my '76. Even after I swapped out the electronics from my NR IV! Mine looked great in natural, and played fantastic, but didn't stack up (to me) to the 63-69's for whatever reason. Bridgework also a WAY different animal. Neck thru 9 ply like on the older reverses..... Maybe just dead, non resonant mahogany?
 

Norton

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
45
In addition to the bridge differences, the headstock angle and pickup placement are a different as well. Not huge, but it all adds up. Stock they sound nothing alike, the sidewinders in the bicentennial make it the worst sounding Thunderbird IMO.
 

Overdriven66

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
186
Sounds like you know your stuff about these old 'Birds, huh? LOL. I never noticed the headstock angle difference. Those 3 point bridges just KILL the desir-
ability of these basses, or ANY bass IMO. Can't believe Gibson put that thing on the new NR! Again, not even close to the bass they are trying to replicate! (shaking head) At least it has shiny pickups!
 
Top