See Johnny Live!

See Johnny perform with the legendary Nighthawks, or with his own band, the Thrillbillys.

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Johnny’s Gear

Johnny Castle with his Eden rig Eden Electronics  Johnny is proud to endorse and use Eden amplifiers and speakers. That’s because no other rig can give him the pure, aggressive tone he demands. Currently he’s touring with a WT550 amplifier driving a D215XLT cabinet. In addition, his first Eden, a WT405, still serves as a backup. Johnny also uses a D410XST. Why Eden? “They’re fat and warm,” says Johnny. “Recently, I checked out a bunch of other heads, just to see what was out there. Nothing even comes close. If you want tone, you want Eden.” Just for kicks, go to Eden’s site to check out this interview. “Another make I’ve used, and liked so much I had to buy one, is Mark Bass amps out of Italy. Mine is 750 watts RMS and weighs 6 lbs! Someday you’ll be able to finish the gig, put the bass amp in your shirt pocket & go home! Makes all those years lifting an 80 lb. Ampeg SVT out of your hatchback seem like a looong time ago!” Oh, he’s still got one of those, too!
Johnny’s main bass is a ’59 Fender P-bass with the Mary Kay finish. He uses this for most of his live gigs with the Nighthawks. He also has a sunburst ’59. For overseas touring, he uses a midnight blueburst P copy built by Tex Rubinowitz in 1979 or an ’85 white Precision built by and purchased from fellow bassist and DC great Steve Wolf. This is also the one he leaves in the van, in case he ever wants to ride his Harley to the gig. He also has a Kubicki X-factor, which was co-designed by fellow Crank-ster, Geoff Richardson. For times when he wants to go totally retro, Johnny uses his ’53 Fender P. This is the bass you’ll probably see if you drop in on a Thrillbillys gig. For recording, he sometimes uses a MusicMan Stingray 5-string. He also owns two double basses, for the occasional acoustic show. For strings, Johnny’s current choice is “anything that can withstand the abuse!”

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