Ronnie Lane's Zemaitis Bass | Find of the Week

You don't get a nickname like "Plonk" without being a hell of a bass player, and to be a great bassist, it never hurts to have a hell of a bass. That's what we have here.

This custom-built Zemaitis bass, recently listed on Reverb by seller Rumble Seat Music, was one of at least two that Ronnie "Plonk" Lane owned and used with Faces, the London rock supergroup that included Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart after the demise of Lane's earlier band, Small Faces.

Full view of Ronnie Lane Zemaitis bass The headstock of the Ronnie Lane Zemaitis bass The back of the Ronnie Lane Zemaitis bass

Ronnie Lane acquired this Zemaitis around 1969, when metal-adorned instruments from British luthier Tony Zemaitis were just beginning to cause a stir. While many Zemaitis builds have full metal tops, this bass is mostly wood—with a neck-through design and a chambered body—yet features intricately engraved metal pieces by Danny O'Brien, who did all of Zemaitis' engraving during this period.

Interestingly, the six-screw neck plate seen on the back of Ronnie's bass here is purely cosmetic, though it does blend in nicely with the control cavity cover, bridge, pickup surrounds, and each and every other piece of metal, all of which feature engraved designs by O'Brien.

Zemaitis Guitars as a company—now owned and built by Japan's Kanda Shokai Corporation—is still going strong. But if you'd like a one-off piece of rock 'n' roll history, visit the Ronnie Lane Zemaitis' full Reverb listing.

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