Author Topic: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris - updated  (Read 442 times)

Denis

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Bah, not being able to see the photos while I'm doing this is not working for me.
I'll have to figure something out.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 07:55:15 PM by Denis »
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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 07:32:21 PM »
Okay, let's try this again, now that I'm using Imgur.
I want to thank Jules for letting me use any of his Glenn Cornick interview on Fly Guitar I wanted. I also want to thank Drew Cornick for the color photo of his dad with the jazz bass. He told me he got it off the internet but since I hadn't seen it before, big thanks to him.

I'm copying these posts from a Tull forum I originally posted them on, and I consider them living posts and will edit, correct and add as time goes by.

I'm going to attempt to create a brief pictorial history of Glenn Cornick's basses, pre-Jethro Tull through at least some of his Wild Turkey days.
I'll try to put them in approximate order, though his use of some of the basses probably overlap. I'm sure this will take a few posts...
Don't judge me too harshly and feel free to point out errors!



I'll start with Glenn's Fender Jazz bass, which he used through 1969 or so.

This is the earliest photo I found, definitely pre-JT, although it would make it into the JT days. It's the '62 Fender Jazz bass, which appears to have been stripped of the original paint and spray bombed in places. It would be white and painted over or natural finish and painted over. Notice that this Jazz bass still has the original neck on it.



A little bit later, it looks like more spray paint was added to the Jazz bass. The right handed neck was replaced with a left-handed neck. Glenn's comments (courtesy the FlyGuitars.com interview) are as follows: "The reverse neck fender was a 62 Jazz Bass and I hated the neck so I exchanged necks with someone with a Precision except it happened to be a left handed Precision. That was in late 66 I think. In the end the frets were so thrashed that it was almost unplayable. No one at that time did regretting."



I always wondered what this bass looked like in color, so here's the photo I got from Drew.

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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 07:33:31 PM »
Continuing with the Jazz bass...
In Stockholm in 1969 he played it again, this time with the lefty P-bass neck replaced with the neck from a Vox Symphonic (that company's P-bass copy). Note that unlike the earlier photos of this bass, it appears to now have a pick guard. I pulled this image from a video clip of that performance, although Jules had posted a different shot from the same performance.

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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 07:35:05 PM »
Overlapping his use of the Jazz bass in 1968, Glenn briefly used a 1959 EBO. When asked when he got the EBO after the multiple Jazz bass neck switches, his comments, again from Jules' site FlyGuitars.com were "Yes, it was a 1959 EB0 which I bought on our first tour in Chicago. Was never able to use it on stage because it was far too bassy but used it on 'Stand Up' on 'Nothing is Easy'. It had a wonderful neck and I loved it but it wasn't practical."
I think he may have been mistaken (or he may have forgotten) as far as using it on stage because this photo clearly shows him using it in a performance. It certainly was not seen in many photographs.

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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 07:37:32 PM »
At this point, Glenn pretty much gave up on the Jazz bass and the EBO and began using the well known Gibson EB3. It's probably the most recognizable of his basses during his Tull days and probably the most photographed.



However, according to Glenn, the EB3 suffered repeated failures due to faulty soldering at the factory. When it failed in Texas on a tour, he picked up an EB2 which he said was the only bass available at the time he could get his hands on. His comments on this bass were as follows: "Sorry but it was the worst instrument I have ever owned and the only time it was ever used was to record 'Witch's Promise' (as it was the only bass I could get to at the time). I used it occasionally on TV lip synch shows because it looked pretty good."



At this time, Glenn also picked up a Precision bass as a backup to the failures of the EB3. Glenn said, "Until my EB3 went out during a set, I never even carried a spare. After that I usually had a P Bass as backup."
My feelings about this photo is that the EB3 had failed and he wasn't using the EB2, so the backup P bass was used in this performance. The photographer, Claude Nobs, dated this photo to 1968.

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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 07:38:39 PM »
After the EB3, the short-lived replacement EB2 and the backup P bass, Glenn finally got a Thunderbird II in 1970. Gibson only built 718 Thunderbird IIs between 1963 and the 1965 discontinuation date (edit: removed lawsuit remark, DCL).

Glenn LOVED Thunderbirds from this moment on and played them consistently with JT and then Wild Turkey for the next few years.
Pick guards on these Thunderbirds were white so notice the replacement black pick guard with the name "Neil Clark" where the hot stamped Tbird logo would normally appear. I have no idea as yet who Neil Clark is. It's possible he was a friend of Glenn's or the luthier who modified his basses. Or not!

Glenn's remarks about the Thunderbird were "I loved everything about it but never got to record with it with Tull though I used it all the time on stage as soon as I got it. I used it at the Isle of Wight festival. Ian (Anderson) preferred the EB3 to the T Bird. It was stolen late in 1971 and I never had another Gibson reverse."

He added: "I always wanted another original reverse Thunderbird but never got one. I was so attached to the one that got stolen that I swore I would never again get so attached to any one instrument or play anything that was so difficult to replace."

By this time, Gibson had not made that style Thunderbird in 6 years. The attrition rate was probably pretty high because of the fragility of the super thin neck and huge headstock.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 05:11:42 PM by Denis »
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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 07:41:25 PM »
"Benefit" was released in April, 1970. Since Glenn got the Thunderbird only in late 1970, the overlap of his time with JT and performances with the Thunderbird must have been brief.

After he left Jethro Tull, Glenn formed Wild Turkey and bought his first Non-Reverse Thunderbird II, a white one, from Manny's in New York in 1971. He said "They had a stack of them unsold in the basement and they were $100 each with soft case." They had a stack of them because these were not very popular basses, being very long and as with the original Thunderbirds, suffering from the same weaknesses of the thin neck and huge headstock. Gibson only made 435 Thunderbird IIs between 1965 and 1969.

True to form, the headstock of this bass broke off after only a few months. I have never found a photo of Glenn with this bass.

After his first NR broke, he had another shipped from England, an Inverness Green NR Thunderbird II. This color, as with most of the other custom colors Gibson used on the Thunderbirds, were from the General Motors catalog.

This first excellent photo shows Glenn with the green NR before any modifications at all. (Personal note: It's probably my favorite photo of Glenn with ANY of his basses.)



Glenn started modifying this bass soon after he bought it. This photo shows a Guild pickup in place of the original Gibson and the pick guard has been removed. This is the only color photo of this bass that I have found so far. I've been in touch with Drew Cornick who offered to try and locate a few more photos of this bass for reference in the restoration of mine.
I feel it's rather important from a documentation standpoint to mention that the sides of the fretboard appear to be unpainted. Many Gibson experts, including some friends who have original NR Thunderbirds, state that Gibson always painted the sides of the fretboards on custom color basses. Knowing how Gibson did things it seems entirely possible they painted some fretboard sides and left some unpainted.

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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 07:43:46 PM »
Glenn continued modifying his green NR. The original single pickup was moved towards the bridge and as mentioned earlier, a Guild pickup was installed where the original had been located. He had a much larger custom pick guard made and installed and added a Gibson Vibrola. It "worked well except that the arms used to break and I had to have someone make one out of heavy duty steel!" said Glenn from the FlyGuitars interview.

Here he is in Holland in 1973. As with his first NR Tbird, the neck eventually broke on this bass and it was parted out. Notice the Precision bass lying on top of the keyboard, which I will get to shortly.



His comments about Tbirds in general and the Vibrola specifically and the tone were pretty funny so I'm including them here. "Tone and volume usually all the way up. For a short while I used a distortion box only for my bass solo with Wild Turkey to get feedback and other generally obnoxious effects! - especially funny with the Vibrola! There might be some vibrola stuff on the Live Wild Turkey stuff that came out recently but I've never listened to it!"

He also added "For your interest reverse and non-reverse Firebirds and Thunderbirds were always known as 'Upside Down Gibsons' and 'Right Way Up Gibsons' in Britain in those days."

Now, back to that Precision bass lying on the keyboard. It does not appear to be the backup P bass seen in the photo I posted earlier (unless it was repainted, which is possible) from his JT days so I was having trouble fitting it in the timeline. Honestly, I'd been mystified by the below photo, in part because I had never noticed it in the above photo. Now it fits in the timeline and I can say with some certainty that he used this bass with Wild Turkey.

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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 07:45:18 PM »
Around 1973 and possibly after his last NR Thunderbird was broken, Glenn started trying out other basses, including this very strange Reverse Flying V bass, from a Detief Kinsler photo. The "claw" tailpiece resembles those used on Gibsons and Epiphones so it's possible it came from the broken green NR. The neck looks like it is from a Fender Jazz bass, which by this time used blocks as fret inlays rather than dots as on earlier Jazz basses.
I have very little information on this bass as yet.

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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 07:46:47 PM »
A surprise came to me only yesterday and that was noticing in a live Wild Turkey performance of "Good Old Days" that Glenn was using a Rickenbacker 4001 (corrected, thanks to geostrehl's comment) . While I've found no photos of it so far, I'm attaching three snapshots from the video. Glenn is shown only very briefly but knowing that it is Glenn, the photos together verify it's a Rickenbacker.







As my last comment to this thread for now, I'll go ahead and mention that he used a "Gibson EB1 reissue in about 1975 which I used with the band Paris though I didn't use it on record - I used an Eccleshall (British Custom Luthier) reverse Thunderbird using all the parts from the green non-reverse T Bird for the first Paris (1975) album played through a Pignose!"

So far I do not have any photos of these two basses.

It's interesting that he thought enough of the NR Thunderbirds to hold onto the parts for years and use them on other custom basses.

This has been a fun exercise and I hope that you guys find it interesting and possibly even useful. There are probably other basses I've left out and I've probably made errors but I've tried to include all those basses I could document and find either photos or Glenn's own comments mentioning them.
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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 07:48:23 PM »
In my last post about Glenn's basses, I wrote "As my last comment to this thread for now, I'll go ahead and mention that he used a 'Gibson EB1 reissue in about 1975 which I used with the band Paris though I didn't use it on record - I used an Eccleshall (British Custom Luthier) reverse Thunderbird using all the parts from the green non-reverse T Bird for the first Paris (1975) album played through a Pignose!'" and mentioned that I had not located photos of these basses.

However, I believe I have located a photo of the Eccleshall Thunderbird which the company built for him. The photo only appeared in searches on my desktop, not my iPhone. The image itself was simply called "GlennCornickTomPeterson".  I also found a couple of references to a leather bodied Thunderbird in links on the Eccleshall website but none of the links led to this bass. Given the references and the file name including both Glenn's and Tom's (Tom is a well known bass collector), I am pretty certain this is the Eccleshall Glenn referenced in his FlyGuitars interview.

I have emailed the company for confirmation.



Notice the Gibson Thunderbird pickup, tuners, bridge, tailpiece and truss rod cover. The volume and tone knobs are from Gibson basses used on most models in the 1970s and 1980s.


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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 07:51:31 PM »
When it rains it pours. I found another photo of this bass in the hands of Robby Scharf, how was not a Cowsill but played bass with the band for some time. The photo I found, taken by Damon Wall on 05/04/2001 shows Scharf with the bass, described as a "1971 Eccleshall Thunderbird". It's clearly the same bass as the photo above, BUT if it was built in 1971 it could not be the same bass Glenn had IF Eccelshall built it for him for Paris' first album in 1975.

Also, if the bass in the photo is shown as it was when new, with all original parts, it could not have been built in 1971 as those control knobs were not used by Gibson until late 1973 when the Rippers were introduced. If that's the case, "1971" could simply be a typographical error and it might be Glenn's bass after all.

Being from the Paris days, photos of Glenn are pretty scarce and I have yet to find a photo of him with this bass.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 05:13:12 PM by Denis »
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Denis

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 07:54:07 PM »
That's it for now. Keep in mind again that I posted this on a Jethro Tull forum, NOT a guitar forum so some specifics are old new to you guys.

And as things get updated, corrected, added to, etc I will do it here.

Drew told me that I probably have a better idea of this timeline than he does, but he offered to help me put together a timeline of the basses his dad used for the last 30 years. That could be fun and I hope we can work it out!
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Chris P.

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris - updated
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 02:24:54 AM »
Great story and great finds. Although I don't like the music, I do like those stories!

My 2cts:
On the strange reversed V, the blocks don't look like Fender Jazz blocks. Too small?
Fender versus Gibson: the Thunderbird case. I think there was never a lawsuit or anything? It was just Gibson wanted a more conventional guitar and bass?

bassilisk

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Re: Glenn Cornick bass timeline pre-JT through Wild Turkey and Paris - updated
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 05:10:56 AM »
I agree about the Jazz blocks. That's not a Fender neck. Even at that view angle the blocks don't appear long enough.

Here's a '73 for ref:



I am curious as to what neck that could be from though..

This is a great read. JT is still one of my favorite bands to this day and the bass work was always exemplary.
I don't know anything about GC - it's nice to add some depth to one of those responsible.

I am looking forward to more.  :popcorn:
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