Guild Guitars has announced the release of the Chris Hillman Signature Byrds Bass, a tribute to the Byrds’ breakthrough success in the mid-1960s.
Faithful to the original Guild Starfire Bass used by Hillman on recordings like “Turn, Turn, Turn!” “Eight Miles High” and “The Times They Are A-Changing,” this new “Byrds Bass” features a semi-hollow all- maple body, rosewood fingerboard, three-piece mahogany neck and single BS-1 BiSonic pickup.
“I didn’t think you needed two pickups for what I did, [and] I never thought you needed more than four strings,” Hillman said during a recent visit to Guild’s new California headquarters. The Guild Starfire was Hillman’s go-to bass for much of the mid-1960s due to its “ease of playing,” he said.
Chris Middaugh, a former associate at Guild, had begun the initial concept of the reissue as a Guild Starfire I Bass, but the project changed course with the involvement of two key players in Hillman’s circle. Tracy Longo, longtime luthier to Hillman, assisted as a liaison to the factory. John Jorgenson, a former bandmate and frequent collaborator of Hillman’s, was integral to the engineering and refinement of the instrument's custom tone circuit.
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