Sting Police 8-String Hamer Explorer Fretless Bass
One of the coolest fretless basses ever made, in my opinion, is Sting’s red fretless Hamer 8-string Explorer bass with maple neck and unlined fingerboard, circa 1980. I don’t believe there is much known about this bass, but from various pictures it does appear that he played it live a few times. I am not exactly sure what tour, but I would have to guess he played it on the Zenyatta Mondatta world tour. 8-string basses are typically strung with 4 pairs of octave strings, each pair set close together and typically played together. The top string of each pair is a light gauge string strung an octave up from the main normal gauge bass string of the pair, creating an octave and chorus effect when played together. Though this is the typical setup, other alternate setups exist including using the heavier gauge bass string as the top string of the pair, with the light gauge octave string below it.
I have several Police bootlegs and can remember hearing Sting say between songs on one of them “this is my new 8-string bass”! I have searched and searched but can’t seem to find what show that was. I believe he may have had another 8-string fretless bass in addition to the Hamer, possibly an Ibanez. I have tried to get information from Sting’s management several times, but have come up empty. I even contacted KMC Music, which was associated with Hamer, but Hamer ceased production of instruments in 2012, so unfortunately there is no info.
No matter what, it is still a great fretless bass, and I can only imagine who the lucky person is that has it in their position, if it even still exists! If anyone has any info on this bass please leave a comment.