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Thread: Bob Birch-Music Man Endorsee

  1. #1
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    Bob Birch-Music Man Endorsee

    We just saw Bob at this last Namm show(Winter 2012). In great spirits and having a blast checking out the Big AL 5 and Classic 5 basses. We had a nice chat and a good time hanging about. Its hard to believe his is no longer with us. We had really come to know him pretty well over the last 10 years. Always loyal and very eager to try out any new basses we had. The only bass he wanted to use with Elton was the SR5. It was his tone! I remember when the 2 HH Stingrays were coming out, he was a little apprehensive about them since all he used was single H. He tried one and it fit like a glove. I asked him about his live tone and he answered right back......

    From: basstree@
    To: derek@ernieball.com
    Subject: RE: bob's tone
    Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:47:08 -0700

    Single H, Tone controls flat. Pickup select pointing towards neck. Fingers pluck over the pickup, hang on for dear life and wait for the smoke to clear.


    He loved the series tone and thats why the HH version was a perfect fit....

    He was fiercely loyal to Music Man....I'm sure he had other offers, but was completely home here at MM.

    Just a couple years ago he e-mailed us with list of all the Elton John concerts since he has been in the band. Thousands of shows around the world all on a SR5.....


    From: Robert Birch <basstree@ >
    Subject: Elton John Concerts
    Date: April 22, 2010 8:58:23 PM PDT
    To: derek@ernieball.com

    Derek,

    Hope all is well in your world. I thought you might get a kick out of this site 28 years of eltonjohnallsongslist: Bob Birch's Concerts With Elton. This is a pretty good list of my gigs with Elton, done by a fan, all on a Ernie Ball Musicman 5 String (no other basses). There are more shows than this, but I thought you and the boys might be interested as to where your #1 bass has been.


    Your Bassist
    Bob Birch

    .....Here is a list of basses Bob has used, borrowed, played live or in the studio over the last 20 years..

    1992 SR5 Sunburst Rosewood(bought at Nadines Music-Hollywood) feb 1992
    1993 SR5 Natural Maple
    1994 SR5 Black Maple
    2002 SR5 Trans Green Rosewood
    2002 SR5 Blue Dawn
    2002 SR5 White Sparkle Piezo
    2003 SR5 White maple
    2004 SR5 Silver Sparkle Piezo (loaner for NFL halftime show) ABC
    2006 SR5 Black HH Rosewood
    2007 SR5 Radience Red Maple (Loaner for the Red Piano Vegas shows)
    2008 SR5 20 Anniversary 5 string (Purchased as a gift for BOB)
    2012 SR5 Black Roasted Ebony neck (for Elton Summer 2012 run)

    A great guy, killer SR5 tone....Well miss him...Thanks Bob!

    db
    Last edited by Derek; 08-16-2012 at 12:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2007
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    Atlanta, GA
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    wow, 253 times in Vegas? I guess Elton had a residency there for a while?

    A quick scan of that list showed 18 times in ATL, I think that's 2nd most. I was there a few years ago, on the Elton/Billy Joel tour, and leaned over to my wife when Elton came on and said "hear that deep, clear bass tone? That's a MM, that's why".

    There were also some talented fingers thumping the bass as well.

    RIP Bob Birch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    awesome tribute to a loyal friend derek!

    /me bows head in respect and i hope he is in a better place now!

    MrM

  4. #4
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    Stockholm, Sweden.
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    That is indeed a impressive list of gigs with just one of the many artists that he worked with. Splendid musician indeed. Sad that he┤s gone.

    //Jan
    ˘┐˘

    -Mobilis in mobil-

    Fretted and fretless 4-string 30th Anniversary Stingray┤s. Fretted 4-string 20th Anniversary Stingray x 2. Fretted and fretless 5-string 20th Anniversary Stingray┤s. Fretted 5-string Trans Black 20th Anniversary Stingray. Fretted 4-string Silver Sparkle -01 Stingray. Fretted 4-string trans orange -06 Stingray.

  5. #5
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    Kent, United Kingdom
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    Very sad news and a great bassist - RIP.

    Interesting info in this thread - an impressive array of SR5s but I love that blue dawn one.
    2014 Neptune Blue Classic Sabre - roasted maple neck with maple board, mahogany body
    2010 SR4 classic collection coral red/birdseye maple neck and board with Flatwounds
    2008 Bongo 5HHp lava pearl
    2007 SR4HH Blue Dawn LE/rosewood board
    2003 SR5H Natural/maple board
    1993 SR4 Fretless Sunburst birdseye maple neck
    1993 SR4 blueburst with flamed maple neck and board
    Markbass LM3/standard 2x10 HF and 2 x 10 Traveller now that's loud!

  6. #6
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    Very impressive list of shows. It looks like he really loved the Stingray 5!

    RIP. 56 is way too young. Does anyone know what happened? Was it a battle with an illness?

    SR5 H, SR4 H (x2)

  7. #7
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    May 2007
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    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallmouth_Bass View Post
    Does anyone know what happened? Was it a battle with an illness?
    Yes one could say that.
    ˘┐˘

    -Mobilis in mobil-

    Fretted and fretless 4-string 30th Anniversary Stingray┤s. Fretted 4-string 20th Anniversary Stingray x 2. Fretted and fretless 5-string 20th Anniversary Stingray┤s. Fretted 5-string Trans Black 20th Anniversary Stingray. Fretted 4-string Silver Sparkle -01 Stingray. Fretted 4-string trans orange -06 Stingray.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2009
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    Vegas, Baby.
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    I don't think it serves any purpose to ask: why?; Only to hope that he & all of us find peace
    LOCK it in the POCKET

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    45
    Fair question I think. Bob had explained to me years back that he had broken two vertebrae, and both of his tibia. He was in the hospital for 3 weeks, and in a wheelchair for 14 weeks. Elton still gave him his gig back when he recovered. I recently found an article that he had another fall this summer, and was doing gigs in a chair.

    Elton Daily: Get Well Soon Bob

    When his obit said he was a warrior, I believe it. Imagine having those kind issues, then playing 1400 gigs with a five string over your back for 3 hours a night. Needless to say, he was in an intense amount of pain.
    Last edited by basscaster; 08-21-2012 at 12:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    6

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek View Post
    He loved the series tone and thats why the HH version was a perfect fit....
    But the Stingray HH doesn't have any series positions - does it?

  11. #11
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    Oct 2011
    Location
    Hessen Germany
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    But the Stingray HH doesn't have any series positions - does it?
    StingRay5/Sterling5 HS/HH from 2005-2008 with ceramic pickups are series.
    With the change to Alnico in 2008 they switched to the "StingRay = "always parallel" system".

    Stingray 5 HS and HH pickup wiring
    1979 StingRay natural maple

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bert View Post
    StingRay5/Sterling5 HS/HH from 2005-2008 with ceramic pickups are series.
    With the change to Alnico in 2008 they switched to the "StingRay = "always parallel" system".
    Oh, I see - thanks.

    I guess to get the "Bob Birch" sound now, the best option is a Sterling?

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