"Hit Me! Hit Me! Hit Me!"...
After furnishing Norman Watt-Roy with his BBM “Blockhead” masterpiece, The Bass Centre has once again teamed up with the Bombay Bomber, this time to create a brand new instrument for the British Bass Masters imprint.
The Bass Centre Rhythm Stick is based on the workhorse '72 P-Bass (pictured below) that Norman famously used on all of his celebrated recordings with Ian Dury & The Blockheads. Spotted in the window of a Fulham music shop in 1972 by Norman's flat mate, Average White Band guitarist, Onnie McIntyre, Norman immediately snapped the instrument up, with his wife pitching in to help the then-impoverished bassman meet the £160 price tag...
Duly christened “Paddy” and tricked out with a Jazz pickup in the bridge position and the removal of the stock scratchplate for a smaller, brass unit mounted with an additional volume control, the bass became Norman's main instrument for the next 13 years, featuring on the hit singles "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll", "Wake Up & Make Love To Me", "Reasons To be Cheerful" and, of course, "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick".
This new 2015 Bass Centre Rhythm Stick takes Norman's redux as it's inspiration, delivering a cool mash-up of traditional design and modern flair with a perfectly balanced, light-weight body, The Bass Centre's unique, satin finish "Super Slim 60's" neck profile, a striking, pickguard-free sunburst finish, chrome controls and “ashtray” bridge cover.
The twin vintage style, exposed-pole, single coil pickups produce an authentic and versatile tone - warm and fat up front, earthy and punchy at the back - with a bright, singing clarity courtesy of the all-maple neck, it's smooth profile a perfect hybrid between the typical P and J necks of the early 70's and a joy to play.
Today, Norman's original Rhythm Stick is - needless to say - the very definition of roadworn, bearing the scars and discoloration from the hard graft, sweat and smoke of a lifetime of extensive gigging... we've deliberately avoided producing a pre-distressed replica, so what scrapes you get your brand new, pristine Rhythm Stick into is down to you!