VALLEJO — Their relationship began 40-plus years ago in the Boston area.
Klaus Flouride, bassist for the Dead Kennedys, purchased the 1966 Lake Placid Blue jazz bass guitar in Massachusetts after answering an ad in the Boston Globe.
The owner, who had purchased it for his son, was asking $250. Flouride, a starving artist at the time, mentioned the guitar was old. After all, it was 1972. The price was dropped down to $200. Flouride took it home.
Earlier this year, while Flouride was on tour in Brazil, the bass went missing. He finished the tour using a borrowed bass
On Friday, Flouride visited Vallejo to check out an exact replica of the missing guitar being made for him by Tony Schroom. The two were connected through mutual friend Dot Hoadley.
“This is my first guitar (I’ve custom-made),” Schroom said. “And, it’s for a musician I’m a fan of.”
Flouride first looked at the guitar’s neck, which is made of maple and rosewood. Something was missing. A nick that had been left by Jello Biafra, the band’s former singer. The incident happened when Biafra was swinging a microphone stand and hit the guitar.
That was the first and last time that happened, Flouride said.
A look at the blue body followed. Flouride liked what he saw.
“I’m overwhelmed by the whole project,” he said, after getting a quick tour around Schroom’s work-live space. “I’ve never had a tailor-made guitar.”
The idea is a win for both. Flouride gets a new bass and Schroom, a United States Marine who guarded President Ronald Reagan, starts off his new venture with some high visibility.
“I think the bass is more recognizable within the group than I am,” Flouride said.
Schroom had been working as a security guard barely making ends meet when he met Hoadley. With help from the Vetertan’s Administration, he attended the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles to learn the craft. He also plays guitar. During his military years, Schroom called himself the “punk rock Marine.”
Flouride estimated the missing bass is valued at between $18,000 and $20,000. Flouride put up a Facebook page and has gotten several responses, including tips on where the airline, which lost the bass, stores such items.
Every step is being taken to make the new bass look just like the missing one.
“We are going to beat it up,” Schroom said. He’s relying on old photos for help.
A “secret sauce” will be utilized to age the metal parts. The alder body has been stained and painted. It will need a coat of tinted lacquer to reflect the greenish hue of the 1966 bass.
Flouride said he believes the guitar was misplaced not stolen. And if it was found?
“I’d have two incredible basses to choose from,” he said.
The meeting was filmed for viewing at the upcoming Mocktoberfest, a punk rock festival in Vacaville, slated for Oct. 19 and Oct. 25-27.
You can learn more about Schroom’s work at www.facebook.com/SchroomCustomGuitarWorksLlc?filter=1.
Mocktoberfest information is at www.facebook.com/mocktoberfest
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.