Ibanez Iceman Bass
Ibanez Iceman bass (ICB200 version,) circa 2004, Korea. The Ibanez Iceman
guitars were among the earliest attempts by Japanese builders to break away
from the trend in the 1970’s of copying other companies’ (mostly Gibson)
designs.  They started off as the “Artist” series under the Ibanez brand, and the
“Mirage” series under the Greco brand; Greco’s being marketed exclusively in
Japan.  The quality of the workmanship, innovative design and unusual pickups
(a triple-coil was one offering) led to early use by Paul Stanley (Kiss,) Tom Petty
and Steve Miller, starting in 1975.  Steve Miller used an Iceman extensively on
“Fly Like an Eagle” and “Book of Dreams,” both hugely successful albums, and
Paul Stanley would work with Ibanez to modify an Iceman into his signature
model guitar.  This production run lasted until approximately 1982-83.

As far as I can tell, the bass adaptation did not arrive until 1996 and 1997, and
then went out of production other than signature models based on the Iceman
design. Much like the guitars, the construction (set neck or bolt-on,) finishes,
inlays and pickup configurations varied considerably.  The 2004 model switched
production from Japan to Korea, possibly for one year only and was offered in a
“Vintage Sunburst” finish with gold hardware and two mini-humbuckers.  Some
of these have slightly larger humbuckers which provide more coverage of the E
and G string but are otherwise identical.  Pete Way of UFO briefly used Iceman
basses along with his more typical Fender Precisions or Gibson Thunderbirds,
and had a set-neck version in pink with an Aston Villa football team logo on the

Other than some neck dive and odd balancing on the strap buttons, this is a
really enjoyable bass to play. The body shape and “hang” of the bass lends
itself to easy upper register playing and glissandos, the pickups can be either
bright or growly and the body shape is, well, intriguing; if a Thunderbird and a
Rickenbacker had a baby the Iceman might be the result.  To me, the
combination of the mahogany body, bound and inlayed neck and gold hardware
have a distinctive 70’s vibe. The body is a slab-type, other than a slight "belly
cut" carve on the backside.