Melys asked if I wanted to play bass guitar for them in early 1998. Carys had been playing keyboards but she was going off to be a Doctor (I guess she got to play with different organs)! The record deal the band had was defunct, so it was time to go about doing things on our own – a real DIY Indie affair.
Rich with Melys


I had bought a few guitars and amplifiers of various types but up until then they had all had 6 strings. I’m not the greatest 6 string player, pretty average rhythm is all I can muster on a good day, but I love guitars and have literally had dozens. I’ve had some pretty great amplifiers to in my time but that’s a different story. 
Quite a few of the amps and guitars I bought in the early days were from Sams guitars in Bangor, North Wales. A place of legend amongst North Walian musicians and I’d got to know the shop guys pretty well. 
I went to see them at the shop professing my need for a bass guitar and was presented with a few choices one of which was one of Sams own that he was looking to move on, a 1984 Japanese made Fender Precision. It had a replacement neck on it and of all the bass guitars I’d tried it just seem to feel right if that makes any sense ! It was and still is an orange colour (I’m colour blind and for a long time was subject to wind ups about it being pink, not that it would bother me). It had a white scratch plate which I didn’t care for so replaced it with a black one, much more rock and roll or so I thought. 

Rich’s P Bass


That bass has travelled many miles with me over the last 26 years and at times suffered a bit of a hard life (I regularly had to take it to be repaired as the pick ups would fall out with an over vigorous playing style – well, punching is more accurate) and somewhere around the turn of the millennium the pick ups were replaced with a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder and for the rest of its days until now it has had a certain growl and low end which has always proved pleasing to my and many other ears.


If I was to try and sell my bass (although that would be like selling your 1st born child)! It probably wouldn’t fetch that much money wise – what with there being a replacement neck and the like, but that guitar could tell a lot of stories if it could talk. It’s featured on eleven John Peel sessions, recorded 5 albums with Melys and many more of my own songs, probably done 30+ radio sessions in total and at least 20 TV appearances and a good few live gigs. 

People who own guitars get attached to them in a weird way and I think that bass will be one of the last things still with me to the end of my days. I just hope I can keep punching out the sounds.

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