THE RHYTHM STICK REMIXED
After furnishing Norman Watt-Roy with his Bass Centre 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 Rhythm Stick is based on the workhorse '72 P-Bass 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” in his wife's honour and tricked out with an additional jazz pickup in the bridge position and a discrete brass plate with additional volume control in lieu of the stock pickguard, the bass became Norman's main go-to for the next 13 years as the driving force behind the Blockheads and the classic hit singles "Sweet Gene Vincent", "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll", "Wake Up & Make Love With Me", "Reasons To be Cheerful (Part 3)" and, of course, "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick".
This remixed Rhythm Stick model again takes Norman's redux as its inspiration, offering an alternative rosewood fingerboard and 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 Sixties" neck profile, a striking, pickguard-free sunburst finish, chrome controls.
The rosewood Rhythm Stick comes factory fit with a standard roller bridge and classic chrome "ashtray" bridge cover but a choice of modern hi-mass hardware — from Babicz FCH, Badass, or Hipshot — is available as a premium upgrade, as well as the option of a lined fretless fingerboard.
Twin, vintage style, single coil PJ pickups with exposed poles produce an authentic and versatile tone — warm and fat up front, earthy and punchy at the back — with a bright, singing clarity courtesy of its maple neck, which boasts a smooth profile, a perfect hybrid between the typical P and J necks of the early '70s, that is a total joy to play.
Today, Norman's original is, needless to say, the very definition of roadworn, bearing all manner of scars and discoloration from the hard graft, sweat and smoke of a lifetime of extensive gigging but we've deliberately avoided producing a pre-distressed replica, so whatever scrapes you get your brand new, pristine Rhythm Stick into is down to you!