The Tubon was an early ancestor of the guitar-style electronic instrument family developed throughout the 1970s and 80s to allow the keyboard to become a front-of-stage performance device alongside guitars and vocalists. The Tubon was a tubular battery-powered, monophonic keyboard instrument that was played standing up supported around the neck with a strap, guitar-style, allowing the performer freedom to move around the stage. The Tubon was primarily designed as a bass instrument and had six preset sounds: Tuba, Contrabass, Electric Bass, saxophone, electric bass, woodwind and was commonly used by pop and folk bands in Sweden during the 1970s.
The instrument was manufactured by in 1966 by the Swedish manufacturer of electronic tube organs, Joh Mustad AB, in Gothenburg, Sweden and also sold under license in the UK as the ‘Livingstone’. Very few of the instruments were sold outside of Sweden but one was purchased by Paul McCartney ( the original score for ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ includes a Tubon intro which was replaced by a Chamberlin on the final recording) and by Ralf Hütter of Kraftwerk in the early 1970s.
Images of the ‘Tubon’: