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Lot 0105
A 1963 Fender Precision Bass played by Bruce Springsteen on his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (Columbia Records, 1973). Serial #L64990. Springsteen played this bass on the songs "Spirit in the Night" and "Blinded by the Light, " which when covered by Manfred Mann's Earth Band became a top ten hit in the United States and the United Kingdom.

In the 1940s, Californian inventor Leo Fender realized that he could improve upon the engineering of hollow-body acoustic guitars with the creation of electric solid body guitars. Not only that, but he realized that there were ways to streamline the process of creating such guitars. The Fender Precision bass was introduced in 1951 and revolutionized the musical world. The electric Precision bass was more compact than the acoustic double basses used previously, as well as amplified so as to be audible amongst other instruments. The introduction of the P-bass, as well as of the Telecaster electric guitar - the first solid body Spanish-style electric guitar - in the same year would lead to the beginning of the creation of what is now the modern-day rock group. The amplified sound of these instruments meant that smaller groups of musicians could get together and still create big sounds.

This instrument is a double cutaway solid body Fender Precision Bass with a single coil split pickup. The guitar is in fair condition, with some very small nicks and holes on the front of the body, and two divots in the wood where the bassist would have placed his thumb while playing. The black paint on the panels surrounding the volume and tone control knobs is faded around the edges. Bass comes with soft pale brown leather Straplok System guitar strap.

In 1972, Bruce Springsteen's first album had been finished and submitted by his manager at the time to Clive Davis, then the President of Columbia Records. Mr. Davis believed that it was necessary for Springsteen to write and record a couple of more songs for the album that would be more radio-friendly and would appeal to a mainstream audience. In response to this, Springsteen wrote "Blinded by the Light" and "Spirit in the Night," and he and his manager went back into the studio to record them. However, Springsteen's usual bassist was not available, so Bruce decided to play the bass sections himself. Needing an instrument, he turned to his manager, who in turn called the bassist of a band that he had been in in the late 1960's - The Balloon Farm. The bass had been played on all of their songs, most notably on their 1968 Billboard Top 40 hit "A Question of Temperature." The bassist lived nearby, and so he came to the studio bringing his 1963 Fender Precision bass, which Springsteen played while recording the two songs.

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., when it was released, was a critical favorite. The Boss is famous for his depictions of the American working class, and his debut is no exception. With its complex lyrics and folky sound, this first album from a then virtually unknown Bruce Springsteen drew comparisons to the work of Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. It would of course in time become clear that Springsteen was in a category all his own, as he went on to sell 120 million records worldwide, win 20 Grammys, and be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This item is being consigned by the individual who lent the bass to Springsteen, in conjuction with his first manager.


Good condition.

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Bruce Springsteen 1963 Fender Precision Bass

Estimate $100,000 - $200,000Dec 2, 2017
65 East 93rd Street
New York, NY 10128
United States
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