A 1960 Fender Precision bass belonging to the late Bill Black is being sold at the Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills Signature Music & Entertainment Auction, to be held November 13th and 14th. Black, who passed away in 1965, is best known as Elvis Presley’s original bassist, playing with the icon through the 1950s. Black was also a pioneer of Rockabilly, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, where his P-bass was held on display for the year. According to Heritage Auctions, the bass is valued at $10,000, with an opening bid of $5,000.
In a statement on the auction, Consignment Director for Heritage Auctions Mike Gutierrez said, “Bill Black is an icon of Rockabilly, the idol of countless bassists, and one of the first players to adopt the Fender P Bass, and the provenance is rock solid; the guitar comes straight from Black’s children, and includes the Loan Agreement from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, where this bass guitar was on display with other Bill Black mementos in 2009.”
Bill Black regularly played with guitarist Scotty Moore, who then formed a trio with Elvis Presley and recorded early hits including “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Hound Dog,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” Black left Elvis in 1958 to pursue his own group, aptly named Bill Black’s Combo. His original upright bass on which he recorded many of Elvis’s hits is now owned by former-Beatle Paul McCartney.
“This is a gorgeous instrument aside from its legendary owner,” said Gutierrez. “It is 100% original, no questions.”
Update: Bidding for this bass ended on November 12, 2010. The winning bid was in the amount of $10,157.50.