Thursday, 10 December 2009
... the Peter Cook bass that is.
This beauty has been in the collection for about 20 years now, but I'm no bass player, it only ever came out rarely to add bottom end (mostly root and fifth) to my home recordings. Given I took about 8 years out from any of that activity it generally hung on the wall for a long time. My son did use it briefly when he was playing bass in a band about 4 years back, then he converted to 6 string and that was that. However also in that period he convinced me that really a 5 string was required for modern bass playing so I bought a black Ibanez 5 string off a guy at work and now I have two basses I hardly play. Prior to that her only real use was when the bass player in a band I was briefly trying to get together about seven years ago used it as a backup and Drop D ready tuned for a while.
The recent upsurge in my home recording hasn't found me pulling the Peter Cook from it's place in a gig bag behind the rack of other guitars at all even though I had the electrics looked at early in the year - the switch on the jack socket for the active circuit was bust and a pot loose etc.
I found a vintage guitar forum with a discussion about Peter Cook instruments (see brief history below) and joined in sharing a picture of this and my similar 6 string. I mentioned I was thinking of selling and a guy pinged me saying he was interested. So the deal is pretty much concluded now I just need to sort out getting the payment from him and shipping it. He is planning to ship me an empty quality hard case to avoid any major hassles on that front.
Part of me is sad to see it go since having two Peter Cooks can't be that common but frankly I don't use it, it'll free up space on the rack as I'll move the Ibanez into the Gig Bag and give me some funds to purchase some speaker stands for my PA speakers and at least one better microphone for both recording and live use so that I can start thinking of self contained gigging soon.
Her new owner is a man who appreciates what a good instrument this is - the maple center section is a lovely piece of wood and he is a bass player so she'll get better use than at my hands and get to be shown off in public from time to time hopefully... which she deserves at her age :-)
Peter Cook Guitars what I know about it...
Peter Cook was based out West London way. He was involved is a bunch of stuff in the 70s and 80s. Ned Callen guitars anyone? That was Peter Cook under another name. He used to assemble guitars from Mighty Mite parts at one point as well that were sold by their distributors I believe. However he is more known for his custom jobs... he made several for John Entwistle of the Who over the years. Also there are a few twin necks about that are "firebird" look alikes... One of them sold on eBay earlier in the year, bugger I missed that! Around the turn of the 70s into the 80s he launched a range known as Axis which my bass and 6 string are part of. The 6 string I have though just has Peter Cook Custom on the truss cover so I believe was possibly a special order but I don't know for certain. The bass has the AXIS brass truss cover. These were hand made in Peter's workshop and are super instruments especially given they are available (although rarely) at astonishingly good value prices. The range was short lived as Peter on his own couldn't compete with the big boys and he moved into retail with his shop Peter Cook's Guitar World. I met him when he worked there once and we talked about my guitar and bass a bit. My 6 string has a Peter Cook strap he gave me free that day! He left the shop which still trades with his name but is no longer in the music industry to my knowledge.