Veillette-Citron VC-II 1980 Walnut


Product Specs

Excellent (Used)
Made In
United States


The scene is somewhere in New York city, in 1978. Joe Veillette and Harvey Citron are sitting in an upstairs office having a Scotch after a day’s work when the subject of making what would become known as the “East Coast Alembic” bass comes up. Remember, this is New York in the late 70’s…

Joe: “Hey Harvey, I think we oughtta make a bass guitar. Whaddaya think?”

Harvey: “A bass? I dunno, Joey. All the bass players I know got no money. Who wants to play bass anyway?”

Joe: “Lookit- I got an idea. We’ll make a bass with nice curves and a fat bottom. It’ll look like a beautiful woman and we’ll put de electronics in there and we’ll top it all off with these big brass balls on the strap pins.”

Harvey: “Brass balls? Who comes up wit makin’ a bass and then throwin’ in brass balls on it? This ain’t a Cadillac, Joey. Jeez- ya might wanna lay off of da Scotch there.”

Joe: “Dammit, Harvey! I’m tellin’ ya- puttin’ deez balls on a bass will set it off. Everybody will want one. Hey- if it takes brass balls to play a bass in the first place, you’ll have an extra set!” (laughing out loud and reaching for the Scotch bottle)

Harvey: “Nope, I ain’t havin’ it. If we’re gonna make a bass, den we’re puttin’ regular pins on it and dat’s dat. Besides, where ya gonna get these balls and who’s gonna pay for them? Man, you’re always complicatin’ things around here and I’m tryin’ ta pay the bills. Brass balls- whatever.”

Joe: Harvey, me and you have been friends for a long time, but I’m gettin’ dem balls. If you got a problem with it, I’ll make a call to my cousin Vincenzo and trust me baby boy, ya don’t want dat.”

Harvey: “Your cousin Vincenzo? Really? Last I checked, he couldn’t bust a grape so you call him, Joey. You do dat and I’ll make a little call myself to Victor the Blade. Last time his phone rang, the Mirelli Brothers ended up on a hog farm upstate and all they found was their teeth. You wanna make calls? Den let’s make some calls!”

Joe: “Oh, you gotta bring Victor into it, do ya? Well let me tell ya: My cousin Vincenzo once killed three guys with a set of sunglasses and then sat back down and finished his dinner. Balls, Harvey. Balls! You need to get a set and we’re gonna put ’em on deez basses!”

Harvey: “Dat’s it, Joe. I’m so outta here- you can have it and we’ll see how this thing with your balls works out. I’ll make my own guitars from now on and guess what? I’m gonna call ’em “Harveycasters” and we’ll see who’s beggin’ who for a job in six months. (throws his glass at Joe, who ducks without flinching an eye)

Joe: Hey Harvey. Just like dey say down South, “Don’t let the door hit cha where the good Lord split cha. You can see yourself out.”

Harvey leaves the office and dat’s dat. Joe goes on to make a very wonderful bass guitar, this VC-II and yes, the brass balls are there. They might be the coolest feature on the instrument aside from the brass appointments, figured Walnut top, heavily flamed Maple body, neck-through construction and Ebony fretboard. Pick this bass up, plug it in and you’ll immediately know why it’s called the “East Coast Alembic.” When you hit the stage and all of a sudden, you’re overcome to take a running start, propel yourself off of the drum riser and into the air for the show’s finale and your bandmates look at you like you got two heads, just blame it on the brass balls…


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