Johnny Ramone Mosrite Bass

An excellent bass version of a cultural guitar icon.

Last weekend my band did a mini tour of Sydney and Melbourne, which I sorely needed as I’d been working my ass off and needed some stress release. First stop was the Annandale Hotel in Sydney, one of Australia’s premier rock pubs. While waiting to play, I ducked up the road the Jackson Guitars to stare at their amazing range of vintage Fenders. I even tried out an IMMACULATE 1955 hardtail Stratocaster which weighed absolutely nothing… I mean it, this thing floated. It was a one piece body with a beautiful ‘V’ shaped neck. When I strummed it, it sounded like an acoustic. This was a loud guitar. If the price was about $98,000 cheaper, I would’ve bought it.

I made my way back to the Annandale as it was nearly gig time and watched the first band ‘The Dunhill Blues’ set up. Their bass player, Spewie (lovely dude) pulled out what looked from a distance to be a white Fender P-Bass. While they played a few tunes I noticed it wasn’t a Fender, but a weird looking Mosrite bass. I knew most of the weird Japanese Mosrite guitar models through chat with Tim from Tym Guitars, but this thing was totally different. It was a bass version of Johnny Ramone’s white MkII Mosrite. And it was really, really cool looking.My guitarnerd senses were tingling.

I knew that Mosrite Japan had released a bass version of the Johnny Ramone Mk II, but while cool, the P-Bass pickups kind of didn’t suit. I guess it was a cross between Johnny’s guitar and Dee Dee’s bass.

Spewie’s bass had a mini humbucker in the neck, a pickup selector in the top horn and a Jazz Bass bridge pickup which kind of represented the Strat single coil Johnny had in his guitar.

I jumped up on stage after the Dunhill Blues had finished their soundcheck and asked Spewie where he got this weird bass. His answer surprised me. He actually had bought it at a guitar store in Buenos Aires, Argentina! The kicker was it was $400… new!

Spewie wasn’t sure whether it was made in Argentina or not. I had a careful look over it, and wherever it was made, they did a really good job. It was solidly built, which immaculate paint and fret work. The neck pickup was weird as I hadn’t seen a mini humbucker that big before, so it might’ve been custom designed for this. The bridge was very solid, sort of like a Bad Ass II. The headtock was cool, as instead of The Ventures MkII, they had called it ‘The Ramones Model’.

I had a quick play and the neck was great, very slim and easy to play. The fretboard edge was a little sharp, so I would probably smooth that out. Apart from that I’d be very happy to own this bass an play it live… so I made Spewie promise if he ever sold it, I had to be the first person he’d call. Not that I need another bass… I just need THAT bass.

So this bass is a bit of a mystery. I have no idea who made it, where it was made or where to get one… apart from Argentina. If anyone has any information about this cool bass, let me know and I’ll post it up here.

*UPDATE* Thanks to my expert guitarnerd sluething skills (ie… googling the Argentinian eBay) I found the shop that sells these beasts. And yes, they’re $420 Australian! So if you want one… click here.