Check out the Purple People Eater!


Silver Supporting Member
Isn't this the funkiest thing you've ever seen? '62 P-Bass refinished in bass boat sparkle purple decades ago. It must have been a custom color bass originally because it still has its original green nitro 'guard that was only used on non-sunburst basses.

I've had this bass for a while. It belonged to Baton Rouge Blues legend Arthur "Guitar" Kelly, and it was left baking in a garden shed in the Louisiana for 20 years after Kelly passed. It was in unplayable condition when I got it. The action was an inch off the neck.



It's back, and it's bad to the bone. I don't understand how the original pickups still work, but they do, and they sound incredible! That decades long heat treatment did something magical. This bass absolutely rattles your rib cage, it's so resonant!

Anyway, here's Guitar Kelly with Silas Hogan. Not on bass, but the only footage I could find. Silas' son Sammy Hogan is still around and playing.

The above clip is from an old documentary on the Blues of my chosen hometown. If you have an hour to blow, watch it. It's worth the time.

I was lucky enough to get to play with just about everybody in this film at some point. Guitar Kelly has been gone for a long time now, but I did get a chance to play with him a few times back in the early 1990s. I was a kid from Germany who moved to Louisiana for the music. Can you imagine what it felt like to play with these guys? It was such a thrill, and I really miss that time. They are all gone now.
But I'll remember them every time I play the Purple People Eater!

Last edited:


Absolutely love sparkle finishes, this one is tops!

I have an original ‘59 and ‘62!
  • Like
Reactions: Tim


Silver Supporting Member
Can't beat that for character! Looks very cool - I love old player grade guitars that look like they could tell a story or two.


Gold Supporting Member
Thanks for showing us this sweet looking P bass. I have a black Classic 50s that I'm tempted to refin in the same color as that one. Looks absolutely great.


fire hydrant
Double Platinum Member
@hogy awesome story(ies) thank you for sharing - on the doc. you pointed us to: Henry Gray's mastery in the pocket, sheesh - I only wish I was 1/4th as funky

About the bass: the paint area where ever that job was applied must have had sparkles for months afterwards, LOL

Question regarding the condition of the bass (action, for example), what was done to combat that/bring it back? Did just getting it out of the heat and humidity + time settle it enough?

Last thing, those control knobs are cool, were those on the bass when you received it?


Senior member Professional musician ...
Double Platinum Member
Here's me @ 15 years old with my 62 Green sparkle Jag with gold hardware AKA The booger


Trending Topics

Top Bottom