• Miles O'Neal

A Tale of Two Thunderbirds

I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd on their first big tour, opening for the Who in Atlanta. Both bass players that night (Leon Wilkeson for LS and John Entwhistle, a.k.a.The Ox, for the Who) played Thunderbirds. Between the look and the Omni-shaking low end, I knew that if I ever took up bass, I'd play Thunderbirds.

Fast forward a few decades to when I started playing bass. It was no contest; I bought a Thunderbird IV. A few years later I bought a five-string, a Thunderbird Pro V.

I played guitar for years but somehow never came up with names that stuck for those instruments. But the basses? The IV- the skinny one- is clearly named Leon. The other one has to be named for the Ox, but I can't quite decide. Ox? Treebeard (named after an Ent, of course)? Or something else?

What do you think?

Epiphone Thunderbird IV and Thunderbird Pro V

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