Jermaine Attraction: Victory Tour-era Jermaine Jackson Bass on Ebay!

{All photographs belong to Norman’s Rare Guitars}

ant bass body close upIf you know the story of the Jackson 5, then you probably know a little something about their breakup, as well. When the family chose to sign with CBS records in 1975, Jermaine opted to stay with Motown. This choice was made mostly due to his marriage to Hazel, the daughter of Motown founder Barry Gordy.  Eventually, Michael grew tired of being the cash cow in a group that was preventing him from taking on certain creative ventures that he wanted to pursue alone.  Obviously, MJ moved on to an incredibly successful solo career.   By the time Motown held it’s televised 25th anniversary celebration in 1983, the Jacksons had not performed together as a cohesive unit in several years. Michael didn’t want to be involved in the celebration but, former mentor, Barry Gordy convinced him to do it.  MJ agreed to appear with his brothers on the condition that he could also perform as a solo act.   The subsequent “Billie Jean” performance at Motown 25 became one of the most iconic and celebrated television moments in history.  Thriller was becoming the highest selling record of all-time and Michael had only agreed to appear at the event as part of a one-off performance.  Later, however, he was somewhat guilted into putting the temporary brakes on his solo work and doing a reunion tour instead.  [It’s all right there in the made-for-TV movie, folks!]

The Jacksons Victory Tour consisted of 55 shows throughout 1984.  During the hype that surrounded it, was the infamous Pepsi commercial that set MJ‘s dome on fire and helped place his life onto a freak-show path of medication, chaos, and oddities from then on out.  Even then, the Victory Tour and reunion were being overshadowed by Thriller and Michael‘s solo career.  Now, 25 years later, the ebay account for Norman’s Rare Guitars is offering you an opportunity to own a piece of forgotten history from this over over-the-top live show  that MJ didn’t want to be involved in and which, ultimately, helped aide in the destruction of his very life.

The item being offered is an Ant-shaped bass played by Jermaine Jackson on the tour and, in all honesty, I have a pretty fucking intense want for this Formicidae funk machine .  Nobody’s bidding on this beast and, ending soon, it’s still only at around 100 dollars.  With it’s unmet reserve price, however, I’m sure that it has a decent guarantee backing it.  No doubt, it’s one that I still wouldn’t be able to afford.

This thing is ridiculously amazing and both the eyes and the antennae actually light up for chrissakes!  The fretboard even has an art deco-slick bowling alley style to it and the body contains a sparkly space sheen and galaxy glitter magic paint, circa the miscalculated presumptions of the future.  In fact, the paint job looks as if it was done by the same people who paint 25 cent Safeway entrance horse rides and carnival bumper cars.  In less eloquent, though possibly more poetic words, “The moment I realized that it existed, I wondered why it hadn’t been a part of my life for always.”

Here’s some photo’s of this wacky shit in action:

Glowing-not-Glowing
closeup-gleamin

When I first thought of the word “monster fresh“, I was just looking for another way to avoid using “wicked“,” mad“, “hella“, or “tremendously fresh” but, when I thought about making a website, the abstract holographic image that projected in reverse on the back of my brain, bared a striking resemblance to this bass design.  If nothing else, they both conveyed the same unspoken emotions.

dsc02165gyp

So… it appears that the bass is even signed by Jermaine‘s own plucking hand.  There are a couple of interesting things about the signature.  First, It looks like the grieving brother wrote “5ive” under his name, when he autographed it.  During the Victory Tour, there was actually 6 brothers in the Jacksons group.  I also kind of liked the idea that this is an axe that is a historic instrument that was actually utilized.  Once it’s signed, however, it feels less like a piece of history and more like piece of memorabilia.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d want this thing even if there wasn’t any pop-cultural significance to it; the Jacksons are just a bonus.  Of course, my favorite part of the signature is the smiley faces that he purposefully manages to squeeze into the capital “J“s.

In all truthfulness, I haven’t found even one picture from the tour with Jermaine wielding this particular bass but, for those that need the Car Fax, Norman’s Guitars has that covered.  Not only do they provide an actual photographic image of Jermaine holding the bass, but they will even provide the negatives of the actual photographic image of Jermaine holding the bass.

JJ-photo-evidence

The posting does mention that Jackson had multiple different basses by writing, “We also have four other basses personally purchased from Jermaine many years ago.” and “You can buy this bass or purchase the entire collection.”  When I visited NormansRareGuitars.com, I found a crazy butterfly bass that is also described as, “Used by Jermaine on the Victory tour.”  I was never aware of the huge insect vibe from that tour, so there’s another piece of worthless information that I’ll remember before I will the date of any monumental point in US history, ever.  If these two guitar designs were combined, Norman’s Guitars could have created my dream bass [aka: Mothra].

HEY NORMAN! If you’re reading this, I was wondering if you guys ever go by the acronym “NRG” — people love that type of shit, from a marketing standpoint.

All Right!  One more time.. watch it glow, again!

dsc02160a

I was so excited to see this item available that I almost wasn’t moderately taken aback by the following “selling point” in the listing, “Jermaine was featured singing at Michael’s funeral and has received the most on-air time in the Jackson family since Michael’s untimely death“.

If someone out there with an absurdly disposable income feels like purchasing and sending this bass here to MonsterFresh HQ, nobody’s going to be trip.  I will personally take and provide photographs of myself holding the bass in a driveway.  I will even send you the negatives of said photo.  Anyone feel like racking up some good deeds and just shipping this bastard over to me?

Do I actually have to come out and be more overt?!  Really?!  Okay… Hey OprahI’m never going to make it onto your charity program, but I don’t know how much joy people are receiving by watching episodes of you wasting money to remodel the homes of rich people?  “Oh my god, those poor rich people.  Those unfortunate bastards don’t have any style!

Auction also “comes with the original road case stenciled “Jacksons”.
I’m sure that if the bass doesn’t sell for enough it will be relisted.  For now check out the link HERE.

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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  • a.misallati

    It didn’t sell this time around.

    Good luck with Oprah.