Tony Franklin

California, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Tony Franklin is the FRETLESS MONSTER!

The names of few bassists over the past two decades have become more synonymous with the fretless bass guitar than that of Tony Franklin—the Fretless Monster!

In January 2006, Fender proudly introduced the Tony Franklin Signature Model Fretless Precision Bass® guitar, the design of which the renowned bassist played a prominent and hands-on role in (Franklin juggles his professional music career with his numerous artist relations duties for Fender Musical Instruments Corporation and his role as a clinician for Fender and SWR). It’s quite a distinctive instrument; Franklin used the original in his work with Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers, Whitesnake, Blue Murder, numerous sessions and his own successful solo career.

A born performer who first took the stage at age 5, Franklin got his big break in 1984 as bassist in stellar supergroup the Firm, with guitar legend Jimmy Page, vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Chris Slade (AC/DC, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band). Franklin’s signature fretless growl was a distinctive and instantly recognizable element of the band’s first hit, “Radioactive.”

After two hit albums with the Firm, Franklin subsequently performed with Blue Murder (John Sykes, Carmine Appice), David Gilmour, Kate Bush, Whitesnake, Donna Lewis, Pat Travers and many others. An in-demand session bass ace, he has appeared on more than 150 albums. Franklin has released two solo albums, Brave New Tomorrow and Wonderland. To view Franklin's Select Discography, click here.

Further, Franklin’s exemplary chops have been called on for dozens of television credits, including Late Show With David Letterman, Beverly Hills 90210, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Good Morning America, Top of the Pops (U.K.), VH-1, MTV, Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush (Finland), dozens of Japanese programs and more.

Other Musical Accomplishments include: Sony's release of "Tony Franklin: Not Just Another Pretty Bass", in January 2006 - Tony's first Sample Loop Library. In 2001, Tony was the Musical Director for the GuitarPort by Line 6. He was responsible for coordinating musicians (including Lee Sklar, Jason Bonham, Simon Phillips, Gregg Bissonette and others), and organizing recording studio sessions. He created over 100 cover tunes, operated Pro Tools, and wrote and recorded more than 30 jam-along original tracks for the product.

In November 2007, Fender proudly introduced the "Tony Franklin FRETTED Precision Bass® guitar, modeled after Franklin's trusted P Bass that he has been using for session and live work for many years.

Even with a new instructional DVD, song licensing and a bass instrumental album in the works, Franklin says he has only just begun … For more info, please visit: and Tony's profile on
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