Noel is the Bass Player with a 1960/61 Hofner 500/5 Bass Guitar. There appears to be a Hofner Senator on the right of the picture.
The above CANA Variety Agency picture of Johnny & Mike with The Shades shows from left to right Mike Wayne (Long), John Ranse (Ransome), Dave Sumner, Noel Burns (Lawrence), Johnny Cannon (Symmonds). On the floor is the incredible drummer Pete Rowney who on leaving the band became Pete Gavin of Head, Hands and Feet, Vinegar Joe and Jody's Grind. Pete moved to the US and played with Don Everly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker to name just a few
"During the early to mid sixties I played bass for a band called Johnny and Mike with The Shades. We were regular BBC Saturday Club performers and toured with the Stones, Roy Orbison and many others. We were one of those bands that everyone said "I can't understand why they never made the big time" LOL, I bet you've never heard that before!
Much to the objections of the other band members who were all Fender mad, I selected the Hofner instead as my choice of instrument. From what I can glean from this website, it was a 1961 model with twin pick ups, both close to the end of the fret board. It wasn't blonde like the example in the Bass Gallery, but a much deeper colour.
I believe I was somewhat unique in that I used Gibson wire wound bass strings from the US on the Hofner. This, for me, gave exactly the crisp definable sound that I wanted, and I would never have dreamed of changing from them.
Vox asked me to try out their new T60 transistorised Bass Amp and speaker but it constantly blew power resistors and eventually I abandoned it for a combination of T60 speaker cabinet with the older tube amplifier which I used until mid 1965. The combination of the Hofner 500/5 and the Vox electronics was for me perfect, as our band wasn't incredibly loud but more interested in producing a defined musical sound.
We had two great singers that performed solo and as a duo together like the Everly's."
For more detailed information on The Shades, visit THE CALIFORNIA BALLROOM WEBSITE.
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