U2 Atomic: Adam Clayton - Gear

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U2 recorded Pop as a follow up to 1991’s Achtung Baby and followed the release of the album with the Popmart tour which debuted in Las Vegas in April 1997. Typically for U2 the tour included the usual aural and visual wizardry giant – video-screens coupled with state of the art sound.

As part of the tour’s 21st century imagery U2 Bass player Adam Clayton would use a bright yellow banana shaped bass extensively throughout the tour. Although the guitar was retired from touring after the Popmart tour – it has remained a fan favourite often discussed.

The bass was put together by Jerry Auerswald a German luthier who is well known for putting together guitars for the likes of Prince.

Although not that much is known about the bass’s specifications – Auerswald state that they use mature wood (35 years old minimum) so it’s likely that the guitar comes from vintage stock- the guitar features a set neck (which looks like maple) a 22 Fret fingerboard. Close inspection shows two pickups – one by the bridge and one split (perhaps single coil) at the neck. There are three controls the lack of a pickup selector would suggest two volume one tone.

Sound wise Clayton said in an interview that he prefers a sound that compliments his Fender Precision one that has a “clean top end that can cut through” the Auerswald was “a great-sounding example”.

In subsequent tours Clayton has been seen with his preferred Fender basses – fans hope that one day he may pull the Auerswald from the rack and strap it on one last time – as a custom bass – nothing has looked like it since.

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