My first bass, a 1971 Fender Precision which I bought used in...., let's just say it was a few years ago (it wasn't old enough to be considered "collectable" when I bought it), is now back in playing condition after a long period of lying dormant and unplayable. A couple of years after I bought it, I removed the fretted neck and replaced it with a fretless neck. After a number of years of playing and several fingerboard dresses the fingerboard got so thin it started to split. (The problem with playing fretless is that the act of playing actually wears grooves into the fingerboard, necessitating the removal of material from the fingerboard to level it out, which is called "dressing" or "re-dressing." Eventually, you run out of fingerboard.) By that time, I had acquired a second bass to serve as a back-up instrument, but it became my only functioning bass when the Fender became unplayable. The Fender went into storage until the day when I would figure out what to do about it. A few years passed, I ended up making yet another fretless bass and eventually decided I didn't need three fretless basses, so why not put the original neck back on the Fender so I could have a fretted bass in addition to the two other fretless instruments? It took over a year to accomplish this, as it turned out that there were other problems that needed addressing to make the instrument playable again. The luthier to whom I had entrusted it for these repairs was very busy and I made the mistake of telling him it wasn't a rush job. Now it's done and I played it for the first time tonight. It's kind of beat up, but it feels good and it sounds great. It was nice getting reacquainted.
Photo: Elizabeth Miller