Ampeg, Dan Armstrong Bass Guitar ARMB-1, 1969 - Luther Rabb


Dan Armstrong Bass Guitar ARMB-1
Serial Number: 
2 stacked humbucker pickups
The Story Behind


About the Guitar:

This unique instrument is an important piece of Rock history as it once belonged to the late Luther Rabb who was a member of numerous notable Rock and R&B outfits including Ballin'jack, WAR, Santana, Aalon, The Emergency Exit and Jimi Hendrix's first band, The Velvetones. Luther also recorded a solo LP for MCA Records in 1979 called "Street Angel" and his composition "Found A Child" was sampled in 1989 for the Grammy Award winning / platinum selling single "Bust a Move" by pioneering rapper Young MC. That track also featured Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flearecreating Luther's classic riff. His music has been sampled by other hip-hop artists including Beastie Boys, Coolio, Gang Starr and Double XX Possee. Luther passed away in 2006.

Rabb purchased the bass new in Seattle, WA and it remained in his possession until 2001 when he traded it along with a 1977 Music Man StingRay bass to friend and fellow musician Howard Hersh. Hersh is a notable musician in his own right having played with Joe Cocker, Orpheus and The American Standard Band as well as producing records for Mariah Carey, New Edition, Tracy Chapmanand Paula Abdul. The bass remains in the same condition it was in while Luther owned it - right down to the strings. 

Luther used the Ampeg exclusively throughout his time recording and touring with Ballin'jack, which included numerous dates opening for childhood friend, Jimi Hendrix. The bass appears on the reverse of the band's 1970 self-titled LP as well as their follow-up albums "Buzzard Luck" and "Live And In Color".

Over the years, Rabb made several modifications including a custom-fabricated lucite pickguard with a mirrored back, larger tuning buttons, and a Leo Quan "BADASS" chrome adjustable bridge. He preferred the distinctive CB ("Country Bass") pickup and flatwound strings, which have aged to produce a deep rich thud when plucked. Also present on the bass is a two-piece carved leather and suede strap made during his time as a member of WAR, which features beautiful Aztec-style designs and threaded lace work.

It has a truly exceptional sound that stands apart from all other basses I've played and you immediately understand why Luther hung onto it for so long.


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