Bill Wyman Auctions “Steel Wheels” Bass Rig For Charity
Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman has donated his enormous bass rig used for the Steel Wheels tour for auction. The system will be auctioned on September 9th as part of a collaboration between MusiCares and Julien’s Auctions, who have teamed up to provide aid to artists and music community professionals affected by the Coronavirus. Wyman’s bass rig is being used to launch the initiative.
“Having myself been in quarantine for the past ten weeks, I can really feel for my fellow musicians and artists who are suffering from the impact of the pandemic,” Wyman stated. “When MusiCares reached out to me about providing something for their Covid19 Relief Fund, I decided to help by offering my original bass rig that I used on the ‘Steel Wheels’ US Tour of 1989, which I consider to be an important part of the Stones and music’s history. Nothing would please me more than to know that the proceeds from the sale of this, will go to support my fellow musicians during this time of need, and to also know that my bass rig will find a new home where it will be appreciated for years to come.”
The system is a custom Mesa/Boogie rig he used during the 1989-1990 Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle World tour. “This entire Mesa/Boogie bass rig is an important piece of Rolling Stones’ history,” Julien’s writes. “Wyman’s complete bass set up for the tour is being sold together complete with its custom Mesa/Boogie Road Ready 118 speaker cabinet loaded with an 18-inch Electro-Voice speaker, a Mesa/Boogie Road Ready 1516 speaker cabinet with one 15-inch speaker, one 10-inch speaker, and two 6-inch speakers, Mesa/Boogie Road Ready 1516 speaker cabinet with one 15-inch speaker, one 10-inch speaker, and two 6-inch speakers and a Mesa/ Boogie Bass 400 Bass Head rack-mounted in a Mesa/Boogie SUS-3 Super Shockmount System case and Mesa/Boogie Strategy 400 Stereo Slave Head.”
The auction will be held on September 9th. Julien’s states the rig will be sold at no reserve with a “conservative pre-auction estimate at $200,000 – $300,000 and has been appraised at $2 million USD.”
Until then, you can hear the bass in action in this concert footage from Atlantic City during a 1989 performance: