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That black Fenderbird looks exactly like what Leon was playing in the Old Grey Whistle Test show that Skynyrd did.What was the story behind this morphing of brands? I know Leon played Thunderbirds and Jazzes early in his career along with an early P-bass,but this one intrigued me.Is there low budget possibilities using the Epi Thunderbird and maybe a Squier or MIM Jazz?
Yeah Steve's right Entwistle gave that one to Leon, which was a "Reverse" body shape. The one pictured above is a "Non-Reverse" body... I had Michael Dolan build that from parts I purchased, and he made the body from scratch using my '67 T-Bird as a template.
Here's the other one he made me a few years ago:
This is a replica of the Entwistle's first Fenderbird circa 1973. Entwistle came up with the concept due to not caring for the original Gibson T-bird neck shape, so IIRC he purchased Gibson pickups & hardware and Fender maple P-bass necks and had his luthier (Peter Cook) build the Fenderbirds for him.
You can go the budget route and use Epi bodies/ hardware and Fender or aftermarket necks, but I'd recommend spending the extra cash and go for a better sound & playing instrument if you can... the hardest part would be finding chrome T-bird pickups, but there are solutions to having replicas made.