Tony Franklin, Bass
Tony Franklin is the FRETLESS MONSTER!
The names of few bassists over the past
two decades have become more synonymous with the fretless
bass guitar than that of Tony Franklin — the Fretless
In January 2006, Fender proudly introduced
the Tony Franklin Signature Model Fretless Precision Bass®
guitar, the design of which the renowned bassist played
a prominent and hands-on role in (Franklin juggles his
professional music career with his numerous Artist Relations
duties for Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and
his role as a clinician for Fender and SWR). It’s
quite a distinctive instrument; Franklin used the original
in his work with Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Whitesnake,
Blue Murder, numerous sessions and his own successful
A born performer who first took the stage
at age 5, Franklin got his big break in 1984 as bassist
in stellar supergroup the Firm, with guitar legend Jimmy
Page, vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Chris Slade (AC/DC,
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band). Franklin’s signature
fretless growl was a distinctive and instantly recognizable
element of the band’s first hit, “Radioactive.”
After two hit albums with the Firm, Franklin
subsequently performed with Blue Murder (John Sykes, Carmine
Appice), David Gilmour, Kate Bush, Roy Harper, Whitesnake,
Glenn Hughes, Donna Lewis, Pat Travers and many others.
An in-demand session bass ace, he has appeared on more
than 150 albums. Franklin has released two solo albums,
Brave New Tomorrow and Wonderland.
Further, Franklin’s exemplary chops
have been called on for dozens of television credits,
including Late Show With David Letterman, Beverly Hills
Rosie O’Donnell Show, Good Morning America, Top
of the Pops (U.K.), VH-1, MTV, Don’t Forget Your
Toothbrush (Finland), dozens of Japanese programs and
Other Musical Accomplishments include:
Sony's release of "Tony Franklin: Not Just Another
Pretty Bass", in January 2006 - Tony's first
Sample Loop Library. In 2001, Tony was the Musical Director
for the GuitarPort by Line 6. He was responsible for coordinating
musicians (including Lee Sklar, Jason Bonham, Simon Phillips,
Gregg Bissonette and others), and organizing recording
studio sessions. He created over 100 cover tunes, operated
Pro Tools, and wrote and recorded more than 30 jam-along
original tracks for the product.
In November 2007, Fender proudly introduced
the "Tony Franklin Fretted Precision Bass®"
guitar, modeled after Franklin's trusted P Bass that he
has been using for
session and live work for many years.
Even with a new instructional DVD, song
licensing and a bass instrumental album in the works,
Franklin says he has only just begun.