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June, 2009:

The Michael Jackson Tribute Post

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Michael Jackson isn’t the name that usually springs to mind when thinking about guitars, although Eddie Van Halen and Steve Lukather played on the “Thriller” album, Slash played on “Black and White”, and I think Steve Stevens played on “Dirty Diana”.

As the world and his wife are still going on about his death, I thought this video would be a fitting tribute to his passing; it has all the elements required for a fitting tribute…guitars, Billie Jean, young boys…

This kid is an incredible player..Enjoy!

RIP Michael..

London Guitar Show 2009

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481We made a trip to the London Guitar show last weekend, or to give it its proper title, the London International Music Fair 09, held at the Excel Centre in East London.

I have to say it was a disappointment.

There were noticably fewer guitar manufacturers on display; no Fender, Gibson, or Dean and very few bass companies either, compared to last year.

Nigel Tufnell Guitar

Ernie Ball/Musicman has the same display cases from the last show with the Spinal Tap Nigel Tufnell  “show guitars”  from the last show, as well as autographed Steve Lukather and Albert Lee models.

Acoustic makers were well represented, with quite a few small manufacturers taking stands, and a few companies selling accessories and peripherals.

Apart from a few other notable amp and guitar companies such as Orange, Marshall (with Jim Marshall signing autographs!) Yamaha, PRS and Vintage/Fret King/JHS the rest of the show seemed to be full of PA gear and MIDI stuff.

I assume the credit crunch had an effect on the number of companies able to commit to taking stand space this year, and also there appeared to be less people milling about too.

I guess people don’t have the same levels of disposable income they used to, or if they do, they are being more reticent about parting with it.

Overall it felt disappointing, although I’m sure we’ll be there complaining again next year!

Nigel Tufnell Live Earth Guitar

Vintage Guitar Parts

I found an interesting new website today, which may be useful for all of us at some point.

Fender Stratocaster Volume KnobThe Parts Drawer is a vintage guitar parts service, dealing primarily with Gibson and Fender (about 80% of their stock) but also catering for other makes too.

In their own words;

With over 20 years of experience in the business we offer an expertise that is unrivaled in the vintage guitar parts industry.

The Partsdrawer our flagship Internet store has a constant changing inventory and is updated daily.  We guarantee all parts that we sell are authentic and not reproduction.

Over the years we have had the opportunity to buy and sell thousands of vintage guitars and have noted every detail of their original parts.

We have seen just about every variation of  vintage guitars and hundreds of custom ordered vintage guitars from Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Martin, National , Guild and many others from original owners that have has unique but original parts to them.

Vintage Gibson guitar parts and vintage Fender guitar parts make up 80% of our inventory but we carry all vintage brand guitar parts when possible.  If we do not have the part you need in stock at the moment we will gladly try and track it down for you .

We have been a part of the vintage guitar community for over 20 years and has made critical connections over the years that enables us to offer the largest selection of vintage guitar parts in the country. We also have an endless supply of vintage guitar parts from our customer base throughout the world.

Many of our customers sell us parts , broken guitars , new old stock parts  from music stores and even trade in parts for our vintage guitar on a daily basis. This makes our business both exciting and interesting because we never know what will walk through our doors today.

Please take a moment and browse our site and view the fine selection we have at the moment . There is never a problem. The Partsdrawer offers a no questions asked 48 hour return privilege . A quick search on the Internet and the associated guitar forums and you will find our reputation is outstanding as is our commitment to our customers is unsurpassed.

Link is here; The Parts Drawer

Collectable Guitars pt 30 – Fender Elite Telecaster

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Fender’s iconic Telecaster has many submodels to its name, which have their own distinct set of players. These include the Thinline semi-hollow model, the Custom with a humbucker at the neck and a different scratchplate, and the Deluxe, with two humbuckers and a wide headstock reminiscent of the 1970s Stratocasters.

But that isn’t the full list of submodels offered as part of this iconic range…

Fender Elite TelecasterThe Elite concept was an ambitious project to combine tradition with modern (at the time) technologies with more user-friendly hardware, upgraded electronics and better neck adjustment. The intention was to produce an upgraded version of a classic with a more modern look and feel, and to hopefully entice some Gibson players into the Fender family.

It was designed as a loud rock-orientated instrument, with 2 humbuckers, four knobs as opposed to the usual two,a three way toggle switch and white binding on the top body edge. The Elite had new pickups and active circuitry, with MDX and TBX controls, a biflex truss rod and a new heavy duty cast bridge, not usually seen on Telecasters. According to several reviews on Harmony Central.com the guitar has a heavy ash body and the usual bolt-on maple neck.

The Telecaster Elite is truly “the one that got away”- it was introduced in 1983 in 3 different versions;

  • The Elite, with chrome hardware,
  • The Gold Elite with gold-plated hardware and pearloid button tuners
  • The Walnut Elite, made with American black Walnut body and neck., an ebony fretboard, gold-plated hardware and pearloid button tuners.

A tremolo and 22 fret neck version were also considered, but CBS’s decision in 1984 to divest from Fender put paid to these variations.

Fender Elite Telecaster

It was, as was the case with the Performer and Katana released around the same time, just too different for traditional Fender players to accept as a guitar truly worth their attention and was dropped with little or no fanfare in 1985.

However, if we assess it on its own merits the story could have been quite different.

The guitars weren’t generally accepted by Fender fans, and as such are rare. However, examples occasionally come up for sale, usually in the £750-1200 range. I myself saw one on a recent trip to that haven for all things guitar, Denmark Street in London. The price tag said £ask, however, so prices remain unclear.