The "Bassjo"

The original Basjo was the brain child of another acquaintance , Bret Bolton.
When it came to breath life into to the project, he called me. Mainly because I had the tools, facility, and Was nuts enough to help him pull it off. After a brief argument I demanded it be acoustically functional, other wise it's not really a banjo. Being a banjo player myself, I knew the inner workings well. A copy pbass neck, a snare drum, a fender Coronado tailpiece were fashioned together using some custom brackets. I hand carved a bridge, and built a wiring harness using an electric pickup just below the neck and a contact peizo pickup on the drumhead. It actually sounds more like and upright bass than we had anticipated. Since this initial prototype, I constructed another for my personal use, upgrading server weaknesses along the way.

The Original Prototype

In 2003 I was lucky enough to meet Les Claypool.
Not wanting to pass up such an opportunity, my bassjo was presented and I requested he sign the monster. His management said it was no problem, and Les went to town on it for a while then disappeared to his dressing room with the bassjo. As I understand every member of Primus tore it up, they all signed it and returned it to me after the show. Who knows what goes on with Bassjo's and Primus behind closed doors

Hewitt's Garage Bassjo

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