“JR" has custom made pickups by https://www.facebook.com/Curtis-Novak-Classic-Pickups-Inc-273555919339501/?fref=ts as well as the Epi Beatle bass. Any fans wanting to get that Berry Oakley Tone I would send to Curtis.. and he makes tons of great pickups and even does custom orders.
Berry Oakley's bass guitar, nicknamed "The Tractor Bass", was a Fender Jazz Bass with a Guild bass pickup (manufactured by Hagström, a Swedish company). It was called The Tractor by the guys in the band because they thought it was ugly and Berry was into farm stuff.
Do you have the original “Tractor” bass your dad played?
Yes. I have had it since 1989 where I got it from Dicky Betts. He gave it to me after the 1st ABB tour in 1989 for the box sets "Dreams". I went to his house and strayed a few weeks. After hanging and before I left he gave it to me and said, “ I know your dad would want you to have this and play it.” I also have my dad's sunburst 1965 Jazz bass. It was in the Hall of Fame for a while and I bought it last year from the collector who owned it.. still paying that off…. lol...
Berry Jr. with his dad’s “concho” guitar strap
Here is the real and "JR" together
From left to right:
1st: My '66 Fender Jazz. I got this in 1992 at "Voltage Guitar" in Los Angeles before touring in Bloodline. I have used that bass in every band I've been in!
2nd: The Epi "Beatle Bass" I got in Blue Floyd as it's fun to play with a pick. Pickups by Curtis Novak.
3rd: Blue D'angelico NYC EX-SD Bass. I just got this recently on this tour with The Freight Train Band.
4th: Paul Reed Smith SE Kestrel Bass. I also got this on the current tour. It is a great bass and much like my old '66 jazz.
5th: My 2000 Fender Custom shop copy of the Tractor. I call it "JR". It was made in 2000 by Fender and we were going to make a line but Fender stopped calling me back. This is the only "authorized" copy of the "Tractor" bass!
I am also rebuilding my dads "Project bass". He swapped parts on his basses so much that between 4 he had only 2 full ones live. I have both Tractor and the 1965 jazz.
There is another 3rd!! but this is the first I have gone public with it. This is another '65 body my dad used to try different wiring necks, and pickups on. There is a bunch of pics of this bass with the block neck on it (see below).
Berry currently plays with his own band in Sarasota, FL, and tours with Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band.
Here is the other one
Photo by Michael Price