Leland Sklar was the bassist on recordings of Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates, Jackson Browne, Phil Collins, Clint Black, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Hoyt Axton, Carol Bayer Sager, Roger McGuinn, Stephen Bishop, Bette Midler, Randy Neuman, Suzy Bogus, The Oak Ridge Boys, Sarah Brightman, Aaron Neville, Dolly Parton, Georgio Moroder, Bonny Riatt, Lee Retinour, Johnny Rivers, Dianna Ross, Helen Ready, the Doors, Barbara Streisand;...
...and the list goes on. And these are but a few of the performers for whom he has laid down the bass lines.
Hill Street Blues, Knight Rider, Simon and Simon, Forest Gump, Kindergarten Cop, My Best Friend’s Wedding and many others.
Fire and Rain (on which Sklar played bass) and Sklar became Taylor's go-to bass man.
|Lee Sklar - Warwick Jonas Hellborg bass|
At 68 years old, Sklar has no plans to slow down. He’s still recording and touring.
1962 Fender Jazz Bass. He started his career using this Jazz Bass. He refers to it as a "total hippie bass" since he carved peace signs into the body. He was a huge Frank Zappa and the Mother’s of Invention fan, so he had Frank’s picture decoupaged onto the instruments back.
When he first started playing, he was using a little Univox amplifier that had a single 15” speaker.
|I'm just taking a guess about his amp based on its age and speaker size|
He stuck with the Jazz Bass and the Univox amplifier combination for the first few years of his career.
This one had a first generation EMG pickup on it. (which has apparently been removed) He has two sets of Precision pickups and placed them on the bass where the Jazz Bass pickups would normally set. The frets were stripped off of the neck and then replaced with mandolin fret wire, which is extremely thin. Sklar says this turned out nicely and this has been his go to bass since 1983.
Sklar also had owned a double neck bass that was made for him sometime in the 1970’s by Steve Helgeson. The upper neck is a piccolo bass and the lower neck is a standard bass. The body was made from a single block of burled Birdseye maple.
The lower fret board is made of ebony and the upper made of rosewood. The lower neck is inlaid with mother of pearl and the upper is inlaid with abalone.
The eyes in the heads are made of Mexican fire opals with LEDs behind them and they light up.
Sklar’s only regret about this bass is its weight. He says it is very heavy. He had to have a special case constructed for it. But the bulk of carrying it around is too much of an effort. Sklar loves it is a beautiful instrument and he loaned it to the Boston Hard Rock Café. It has since been moved to the Hard Rock Café in Tampa, Florida. They have since purchased the bass from Sklar.
Leland Sklar Signature Bass for only 1 year; 1997-1998. The bass was designed by Mike McGuire and the Gibson Custom Division. It resembled a Fender bass with its double cutaway solid body. It came with a bolt-on 21 fret neck with a rosewood fretboard.
Hip Shot extender that allows the low E to be dropped to D with a flip of a switch.
|Leland Sklar Dingwall Bass|
the Warwick Star Bass II.
a fretted bass, a fretless bass, a double neck bass and an eight string bass. Sklar compares it playing a Hofner, but says that it is easier to play.
He no longer uses his Univox amp. Instead he uses a high-end amplifier made by a New Jersey company called Euphonic Audio.
He claims their amps produce a very big and clean sound.