Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 52

COLUMN
and a metal control panel on
the top's lower quarter.
Different versions of the
Twen Star were produced for
several years; pickups and
other hardware varied and
one added a lower cutaway
horn that seemed more
an attempt to be different
than for any playing advantage. A double-cutaway version
followed, obscuring the violin
shape entirely. The early
Model 162 had a glued-in
neck like Höfner's -
perhaps neck-set issues
prompted Klira to make
the renamed Model 356
a bolt-on by '66/'67.
Stars were rarely seen
with pro users, though
Leaves/Turtles bassist
Jim Pons was spotted
with both it and a Höfner.
If either provided the facemelting buzz-saw bass attack
on the Leaves' "Hey Joe," it would
be an atypical tone for theses usually
polite four-strings!
The violin bass also became
a staple for Italy's Eko. Its first
version - the Model 1150 - had
a narrow wooden body swathed
in plastic previously used on
accordions. It also had a narrow
headstock with a partial scroll
that became something of a
trademark, and the infamous
accordion-derived "vegematic"
pushbutton switches. Some
claim the 1150 was designed
before the Beatles' rise to fame. If
so, the pickup placement points
to Eko noticing the '61 500/1...
or perhaps it was just fate! Eko's
only other bass at the time was
a vaguely Jaguar-shaped model
with the same pickups and
hardware.
Whatever its origins, the Model 1150 was
short-lived, though some made it to England;
a very young Karl Green, of Herman's Hermits,
had one in '64. Eko's second variation was the
charm, and the '64/'65 Model 995 became very
successful for a few years. Typically, there are
a number of variations with different pickups
and fittings but the basic design stayed the same.
The 995's general layout is similar to Höfner's
but the hollow laminated maple body is larger,
with f holes in the spruce top. The bolt-on maple

(TOP) Variations on Eko 995, 1964 (left) and '66.
(ABOVE) The Grassroots with their Ekos, 1968.

neck terminates in an elaborate half-scroll
headstock with a script letter E in plastic. Eko's
catalog prattled on about, "Newest concept
in electric bass design... acoustically arched
hollow body," while conveniently ignoring
that Höfner introduced it in '55. The 995 had
two pickups, a floating bridge and tailpiece,
and early models had a prominent "klunk

VINTAGE GUITAR

52

February 2018

switch" pickup selector on
the upper body.
Imported to the U.S. by
LoDuca Brothers, the 995
was heavily promoted and
became the other most popular choice in a violin bass,
carving out garage-band
history of its own. "It's the
sound that sells..." trumpeted
a LoDuca flyer "Eko's 995/2
Violin shaped Bass Guitar is
the most popular bass in the
country." Fender might have
had a something to say to
that, but the 995 was a good
seller - certainly the most
popular Eko in the U.S.; for
some reason, it caught on
with a number of prominent
players in Los Angeles, including John Fleck,
of Love and the Standells, and his successor in
Love, Ken Forssi, who left behind the customcolor Fender Jazz he played in the Surfaris!
Future engineer/producer Keith Olsen played
one with appropriate black hardware in the
Music Machine. The Grassroots' Rob Grill
endorsed the model, appearing in LoDuca ads
into '69. Doug Lubahn, of Clear Light (and
the Doors' most prolific bass ghost) used one,
though he was more fond of his '53 Gibson.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - February 2018

Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - Cover
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - IFC
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 3
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 4
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 5
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 6
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 7
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 8
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 9
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 11
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 12
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 13
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 14
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 15
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 16
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 17
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 18
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 19
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 20
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 21
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 22
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 23
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 24
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 25
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 26
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 27
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 28
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 29
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 30
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 31
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 32
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 33
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 34
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 35
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 36
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 37
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 38
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 39
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 40
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 41
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 42
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 43
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Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 45
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 46
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 47
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 48
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 49
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 50
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 51
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 52
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 53
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 54
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 55
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 56
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 57
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 58
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 59
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 60
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 61
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 62
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 63
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 64
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 65
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Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 67
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Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 69
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 70
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 71
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Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 73
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Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 75
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 76
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Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 130
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - IBC
Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - BC
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