Thursday, January 17, 2013

Famous Arias: Part 2 - Cliff Burton's Black 'n' Gold I

Some time ago, I blogged about Cliff's SB-1000 surfacing in my first - and to date only - installment of "Famous Arias". Well, recently it came to my attention that one of Cliff's Black 'n' Gold I basses was auctioned off back in 2008. The serial number is 4123392 which indicates it was made in 1984. I believe these later Black n Golds were more similar (maybe identical, aside from the bridge) to the SB Elite models - which had a more narrow width at the nut (40mm) and a slighter smaller body.

Here is the original auction link from Julien's Live auctions.

Unfortunately there is only 1 picture, but from that picture I believe the bass in question to be the bass pictured below because of the apparent chip on the upper left corner of the headstock. In the auction photo, it looks like someone took a marker and blacked it out, but it is clearly less shiny than the rest of the finish. I'm not sure why anyone would try to touch up something that could be used in the authentication of the bass... It looks like someone messed with the intonation, too, but I digress...

I am pretty sure the 2008 auctioned bass is the one that ended up at the Rock in Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Hard to be sure from the angle, but the upper left hand corner of the headstock does look a little less shiny and the missing volume knob and the ugly replacement "speed" type of knob are exactly the same as the auction from 2008. If I could only see the saddle placement on the bridge...


  1. I believe this is the bass that was given to Audrey Kimball Cliff's ex-girlfriends and good friend. She was given one of Cliff's basses after he passed. There's footage of her old band Elysium practicing and she is playing the Aria Pro II.