It is with a heavy heart that we report the death of Philip Kubicki from cancer in March. He had been ill for some time, and had slowed down the production of his Factor basses over the previous 12 to 18 months to enjoy his final years. He joined Fender in their acoustic division in 1964 before moving into the research and development side of the business, which led to him building George Harrison’s famed rosewood Telecaster and a guitar for Jimi Hendrix, although unfortunately Jimi never received it.
After leaving Fender in 1973, he concentrated on acoustic guitar building before turning his attention to a unique line of instruments which ultimately became the Factor bass guitar. These first appeared in 1983, when the bass world was flourishing with new ideas. The Factor bass, and especially the Ex-Factor, were a breath of fresh air incorporating many unique features and creating numerous patents in the process. John Taylor of Duran Duran was a one-man advert for the bass here in the UK and his use of it on American TV and at Live Aid created a huge buzz. Players such as Stuart Hamm and Vail Johnson further enhanced its reputation to the point where Phil couldn’t keep up with demand.
Phil would have been 70 this year. His instruments illustrate what a true visionary he really was. RIP Phil, you will be sadly missed. Mike Brooks