These compact creations are far from the rarest of old Dan-o’s, but usually turn up more heavily worn in than this one. Introduced in 1958, this model was one of the first small, light, and easy to play electric basses available and many young first-time bassists started out on one before moving on to a Fender or Gibson. At $85 (plus case), the Shorthorn was extremely affordable even to teenagers and before even cheaper instruments from Japan started to appear in the early ’60s was the best bargain in a 4-string available. They are not often seen with period pros, but the early Johnny & the Hurricanes featured Lionel “Butch” Mattice on an early Shorthorn Bass much like this one.
It has all the “classic” period Dan-o features: semi-hollow Masonite and pine body with white pebble vinyl side covering, the 3-way adjustable bridge with a rosewood saddle, and a single lipstick tube pickup with tone and volume controls and 3-way tone modifier switch.
The short 15-fret neck has a thick rosewood fingerboard and is topped with the trademark Danelectro “coke bottle” headstock with vertical logo and aluminum nut.