Austrian custom bass builder BITE Guitars presents yet another one of its fancy eye-catchers: the “Wherever-I-Lay-My-Hat” bass. This is a fretless bass paying tribute to the eponymous no. 1 hit by Paul Young, a 1983 cover of the original 1962 Marvin Gaye classic. The incomparable Pino Palladino contributed what turned out to be the most iconic fretless bass line in musical history to the 1983 recording, a milestone that also marked the ascent of Pino’s bass career to one of the world’s most sought after bassists.
BITE founder Wolfgang: “We build our basses without tropical wood, so we experimented with a number of ebony substitutes for fretless basses. We finally hit the bull’s eye with an ebony lookalike called Euphoria. This a modified non-tropical hardwood developed by the University of Göttingen in Germany. It looks and feels just like the real thing. So we were going to build our prototype fretless bass. You wanna look for a worthy idea to go with it, right? One thing led to another and before long there was this idea of how we could possibly route a hat shaped pickguard. We were extremely happy with the outcome and guess what? Pino himself found it really cool and we are very proud that this bass is part of his own collection now.”
The “Wherever-I-Lay-My-Hat” bass is a unique one-off build. Apart from the fretboard, BITE used their standard woods, alder body and hard maple neck. The bass also features BITE’s 4-in-line headstock variant and proprietary 1000-millivolt high-output pickups in split coil (P) shape, which are also available as single coils (J) and humbuckers (H) on BITE custom basses.