Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling

Year: Early 2000s
Finish: Blue Dawn
Origin: USA
Acquired: 2005
Mods: Schaller straplocks
Still owned: Yes (Kat)

The Story:
I wanted to get something really cool for Kat for our 10th anniversary. She had seen one of these basses hanging in Guitar Center the year before and fell in love with the finish — a metallic sparkle blueburst called Blue Dawn. But there was just one problem: She saw it with a green light on it and didn’t realize it, leading me to look for a tealburst Sterling, which does not exist. We only realized it when we returned to that same Guitar Center, where we saw a different bass in the same spot with the same light on it. I think we both said “Son of a bitch!”

Knowing that I was not crazy and there really was no teal metallic sparkleburst finish out there, I was able to snipe a maple-neck Sterling on eBay. This is quite simply the best bass I’ve ever played. Slim satin neck, serial/parallel wiring for single-coil sting or humbucker punch, and absolutely the most incredible finish I’ve ever seen. This was Flea’s weapon of choice for years, and it can deliver everything form explosive funk to warm Precision-style depth, depending on how you dial in the active pickup. The only thing it does not have that I know Kat would love it to have is a matching finished headstock. I have to ask Kat for permission when I play this.

I was taking photos of this outside shortly after we got it when it slipped off its stand and hit the concrete, leaving a nasty chip in the side. It is really only visible when you are playing it. It is one of my biggest regrets.