King’s X


King’s X - The Oral History

Published in 2019, this 325-page book by Greg Prato includes an extensive history of King’s X, their songwriting and touring experiences, plus interviews with dozens of other musicians. It includes a few details about Doug Pinnick’s inclusion of the 12-string bass into their music. For instance, about the song 'Human Behavior' on the Dogman album, Pinnick says, "I wrote that one on my 12-string bass - in a different tuning, actually." Here are a few excerpts from the book:

Doug Pinnick states, "Cheap Trick is one of my favorite bands - I watched them every night and got to hang out with them a little bit. I talked to Tom Petersson at times. It was really cool. I remember that I was standing right at the side of the stage, and Tom was standing next to me with his 12-string bass in his hand, and he was getting ready to go on. The lights had gone off, their intro music had started, and I said, 'Dude, I want to get one of these things.' And he goes, 'Check it out!"He took it off, put it on me, and had me play it. I'm left-handed so it was upside down and backward, but the way it felt and sounded was so amazing. I said, 'I've got to get one of these,' and he said, 'Call Hamer and get one, dude!'

Right around that time, Hamer Guitars approached Ty and said, 'Can we make guitars for you?' And I remember walking up, saying, 'What about me?' And they said, 'Sure!' So, they made me some 12-strings and some 4-strings. That was my first bass endorsement."

Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam recounts, "I was a big Cheap Trick fan and I was a big fan of the 12-string bass. I think we made Apple right around the same time. I had rented a 12-string bass that I had played on 'Stardog Champion', and I think I played it on the 'Holy Roller' breakdown. I had been in contact with a guy at Hamer about building me a 12-string bass. And then to see King's X - I don't think I knew that he was playing 12-string on those records - and to see the full power of a 12-string bass live. At that point, I was like, 'OK, that is going to be part of my future arsenal' because it has such a unique sound.”

Robert DeLeo, bassist for Stone Temple Pilots, recalled, "I have the same interests in bass that Doug has. When you're in a musical three-piece, you're trying to fill in as much as you can. And Doug always really had that down - to really act as not only the basis of holding it down, but also, as a rhythm guitar. It just had that thing. That's what Tom Petersson had, too - he just had that thing. Robin Zander didn't play a lot of guitar, so it was mostly Rick Nielsen, and Tom had the room and space and freedom to do that. And more so with Doug. I think what he had going on there with the 12-string bass was perfect for the band."