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Free Guitar Collecting Ebook!

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook48125 Cool Signature GuitarsWe have put together a free ebook for all our visitors as a thankyou for your support over the last few months.

“25 Cool Signature Guitars” is almost 50 pages long and is available for free download by filling in your name and email address on the right.

We are also giving you permission to copy, give away and redistribute our book as many times as you like, just so long as you don’t alter it in any way. If you have your own guitar website please feel free to offer it as a giveaway too.

We hope you like the book, it’s not a definitive guide of signature guitars, but a just a personal view of some guitars that we think are either well known,  interesting in some way, or just cool!

United Breaks Guitars pt 2

Dave Carroll has released the second of three videos in this now world famous saga. This one is about the now legendary “Ms Irlwig”…enjoy

RIP Les Paul


icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481Les Paul, whose pioneering electric guitars were used by a legion of rock stars, has died at the age of 94.

Les Paul dies, aged 94Mr Paul died from complications of pneumonia in New York, according to Gibson, the firm that sold his guitars.

He is credited with inventing the solid-body electric guitar, which went on sale in 1952 and contributed to the birth of rock ‘n’ roll.

He also developed other influential recording innovations such as multi-track recording and overdubbing and he was credited with inventing the eight-track tape recorder.

Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman of Gibson Guitar, said: “His influence extends around the globe and across every boundary.”

Gibson president Dave Berryman said: “As the ‘father of the electric guitar’, he was not only one of the world’s greatest innovators but a legend who created, inspired and contributed to the success of musicians around the world.”

bbc.co.uk/news


Warning of guitar ‘identification’ sites

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A number of websites have cropped up that claim to be able to provide visitors with information about their guitar via its serial number.

This has misled some guitar owners into believing that their counterfeit guitar is an authentic one. In fact, some counterfeiters or sellers of these fakes now even refer potential buyers directly to one website in an effort to verify the ‘authenticity’ of the fake guitars they’re peddling.

For example, one consumer recently forwarded Gibson’s manager of brand protection, Ric Olsen, a craigslist.org posting, wherein a fake guitar was being sold as an authentic Gibson. The ad read: “I am selling this beautiful Silverburst Les Paul Custom. Please note that though the headstock says Gibson, it is not a Gibson, but rather an Epiphone. You can verify this by putting the serial number, 08015553, into the following database: www.guitardaterproject.org.”

Web sites such as Guitar Dater Project also claim to be capable of identifying Fender, Ibanez and Yamaha guitars. Olsen wanted to be clear that this site and others like it — intentionally or not — are perpetuating the counterfeiting epidemic, one that is built on this kind of misinformation. With the years of shipping records in manufacturer’s books and dozens of variations on numerical schemes used across the years, decoding serial numbers isn’t an art that any one guitar aficionado, or piece of software, can undertake.

“Although Guitar Dater Project may correctly identify a guitar here and there based on historical data uploaded, it is a very unreliable way to truly identify and authenticate a Gibson or Epiphone guitar,” said Olsen.

“I could give you a serial number from a fake right now, and you could enter it on this Web site, and it would tell you it’s a real Gibson or Epiphone. But it’s definitely not.”

Counterfeiters are taking advantage of Guitar Dater Project and other similar websites by sending in a bulk of fake serial numbers. This data is uploaded and subsequently appears to show that particular serial number as authentic.

The Guitar Dater Project said that it: “aims to provide you with the information hidden in your guitar’s serial number in plain English. It is a work in progress and is constantly evolving, much of which is due to user feedback.”

Olsen warned that there are some easy ways to detect an incorrect reading from the site.

“If you come across, say, a ‘brand new’ guitar, but the serial number tells you it’s anything older than one year ago, question it,” he said.

“If you’re looking at a piece that is older than one year old and it’s being sold as ‘new,’ that’s a red flag because a lot of these fakes are coming with serial numbers that actually roll to a manufacturer date of up to five years ago or longer.”

Gibson has issued legal notices to the Web site to simply post a disclaimer but they haven’t responded.

For more information on identifying a guitar by its serial number, click here.

From MIPro.co.uk

It Might Get Loud


icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481This new film (great title!) looks like it will be worth a look..

Featuring interviews with Jimmy Page (Led Zep), The Edge (U2) and Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs, etc)

Oh No!!! Van crashes into guitar repair shop

Doc Pittillo described the Saturday morning crash that has left him physically unharmed but financially devastated as something akin to a psychedelic experience.

van crashes into guitar repair shop“I turned around and actually saw the van come through the window of the store,” Pittillo said. “It was slow motion.”

Pittillo, owner of The Guitar Doctor, 18171 Euclid St., said he was plucking a guitar in front of his shop about a minute before a minivan slammed into its front window.

“If I were standing there, my guess is I would have been killed or really badly mangled,” Pittillo said. “There are usually a lot of people in the front of the shop. Man, if that would have happened with the customers there? Somebody would have been killed…there’s no doubt in my mind. It would have been really ugly”.

Only Pittillo and one of his workers, both who were near the back, were at the store at the time.Fire officials said they received a call about 11 a.m. about a vehicle that had crashed into the store at Euclid and Newhope streets. Other details about the crash, such as the driver’s name, remain unknown because Fountain Valley Police Department officials did not return multiple calls for comment.

Witnesses said that a gold-colored minivan crashed into the shop. The driver, his wife and teen-age daughter were also in the vehicle, they added. All seemed uninjured.While Pittillo said he is grateful to be unhurt, he said he lost at about $80,000 worth of valuables inside the store, including many vintage guitars.

One in particular was a candy apple-red 1965 Fender Stratocaster, worth at least $40,000, he said. “And I have no recourse,” Pittillo said.While he had insurance on the actual building, Pittillo said the contents inside were not insured because he couldn’t afford it.

“It’s not the value so much but that this instrument I played on the road for years,”

Pittillo said about the ‘65 Fender.

By Cindy Carcamo, Orange County Register

How Guitar Strings Are Made

Interesting video this, for anyone who was ever curious about how the process of string making took place.

This video shows D’addario string manufacture.

Enjoy!

Start ’em Young!

Not a guitar collecting item, but this deserves some further promotion;

“Folsom Prison Blues” performed by Wesley, 5 years old, at the 2009 Spring Coffee Shop Jam, at The Columbia City Theater in Seattle, WA.

Amazing what 5 year old kids spend their time doing these days, eh?

Bay Area Guitar Show Sees Fewer Buyers

Rob Szupak is a semi-retired contractor itching to become a fully retired contractor. For the past three years, the 62-year-old Fairfax resident has been restoring vintage lap steel guitars and tube amplifiers and reselling them, hoping to earn enough of a living to make that his primary source of income.

Szupak’s entry into the guitar market just happened to coincide with the biggest economic downturn in decades, a recession that has sent guitar prices plummeting as much as 50 percent in some cases. Szupak is one of the 40 vendors displaying their wares at the Bay Area World Guitar Show, taking place this last weekend at the Marin Civic Center Exhibit Hall.

“It’s one of those things like sailboats, when the economy goes down, people just aren’t spending money on guitars and amps like they used to,” said Szupak, whose company is called Slide Zone. “I’ve been watching my favorite instruments in the world becoming less valuable over the years.”

Vendors throughout the exhibit hall floor said they’d reduced their prices across their inventory. Show organizer Larry Briggs said that although price cuts have hurt vendors, consumer interest remained high, even if fewer attendees were leaving with a purchased guitar in hand. He said he expected more than 1,500 attendees, on par with the same two-day event in Marin a year ago.

“It’s all coincided with people seeing the value of their home drop and their 401Ks going out the window,” said Briggs, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma who puts on eight guitars shows a year in the U.S., including two in Marin. “People that were making money were spending it on guitars. Now that their nest egg has been taken away in many cases, they’re not. But the opportunities to buy are certainly better now.”

“People just aren’t spending money these days,” said Gary Garcia, a Sacramento builder of handmade guitars, including one he made two years ago for former Prime Minister Tony Blair at the request of Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gave it to Blair as a reirement present. “They’re more likely to hold onto what they already have, so there’s a lot more repair business now.”

While the bursting of the real estate bubble certainly impacted the guitar market, many vendors said some guitars had a bubble of their own. High-end electric guitars, particularly vintage models from the 1950s and 1960s, exploded in price earlier this decade, and have subsequently taken the biggest hit. Bob Danielson of Schoenberg Guitars in Tiburon said the boom was sparked in part by a front page Wall Street Journal article 10 years ago that highlighted the value of vintage guitars as an investment.

“All of a sudden all of these novices who weren’t players or collectors started buying vintage guitars – that drove the market to insanity,” Danielson said. “You had people calling into dealers saying, ‘what’s my guitar worth today?’ They were treating it like the stock market. That really made it crazy, but it’s getting back to normal.”

For instance, a 1957 Les Paul Gibson that may have commanded $200,000 a year ago would likely fetch $150,000 today, according to Vintage Guitar magazine’s annual price guide.

The other end of the market is vastly improved, Danielson said. Entry-level guitars are cheaper and better quality than ever, and the demand remains high. To respond to that trend, Rich King, whose store, Guitar Maniacs, is based in Tacoma, Washington, took many of his guitars worth $30,000 or greater and sold them, using that revenue to buy more guitars in the $200 to $2,000 price range. “It’s all about how low will people go,” he said.

King said the Marin show is typically “softer” than other shows. While he sold 32 guitars at a show in Dallas in April, he hadn’t sold one by late afternoon Saturday. Szupak was in equally unfortunate company. He said he remains hopeful that business will pick up. “But I’m hanging onto that optimism with my fingernails right now,” he said.

Jim Welte

Canadian Guitarist Gets Revenge For Airline Damaged Guitar


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You have probably seen this story by now, but I thought I’d report on it anyway;

A broken guitar is turning out to be a major break for Canadian musician Dave Carroll.

Carroll has become an Internet sensation after posting a revenge song on YouTube about United Airlines’ baggage handlers breaking his guitar during a flight in the United States.

His video for the song “United Breaks Guitars” was posted on the popular file-sharing site Monday night and had received more than 600,000 hits by Thursday evening.

Dave CarrollHe’s also received thousands of emails and a flood of friend requests on Facebook.

“I was thinking I’d definitely get some action on (YouTube) because the song has been resonating so well with audiences as I’ve been performing it, but I didn’t know it would take off like this,” Carroll said Thursday.

“It’s been a whirlwind and the craziest two days of my life.”

On the same day as Michael Jackson’s memorial service Tuesday, Carroll’s video was one of the most watched on YouTube.

Carroll, 41, said it’s ironic that his video has gotten far more attention than anything he’s ever done in 15 years as a musician.

“Every musician wants to get their stuff out there. I just didn’t necessarily expect it to happen in this way.”

Carroll, a guitarist for the pop-rock group Sons of Maxwell, might have to scrap plans to take it easy this summer as he fields calls for appearances.

Since the clip appeared on The Chronicle Herald’s website Tuesday afternoon, Carroll’s schedule has been packed with interviews. On Wednesday night, the story was featured on the Situation Room on CNN and has appeared in newspapers across Canada and the U.S. Even Oprah’s people called Thursday afternoon.

Along with emailed stories from people who empathize with his broken guitar and damaged luggage, Carroll has received a stream of requests for gigs from as far away as Las Vegas.

The catchy song recounts Carroll’s year-long struggle to get compensation for what he calls “a vicious act of malice” at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago last year.

Carroll was flying between Halifax and Nebraska when he switched planes in Chicago. The passenger next to him noticed baggage handlers tossing guitar cases outside the plane.

At first Carroll thought his Taylor guitar was destroyed. Even after paying $1,400 in repairs, it still doesn’t play the way it used to but he keeps it for sentimental reasons. He played it on all eight of his band’s albums.

The songwriter spent the past year trying to get compensation from United Airlines. When the airline refused to take responsibility, the songwriter made the humorous music video and posted it online.

Some fans have praised Carroll in emails for dealing with the problem in what they say is a distinctly Canadian way.

“They appreciate the high road that I’ve taken with the light-hearted approach to it and they say they’re proud to be Canadian because of it,” said Carroll.

Taylor Guitars in California got in touch to say they’d be happy to see if they could repair the damaged guitar. They also promised a big discount on his next purchase.

United Airlines also called to say it wants to discuss the situation. Officials for the airline reportedly said they liked the video and want to use it as a textbook case on how to handle customer complaints in the future.

The video was shot in 12 hours with friends dressing up as flight attendants and musicians. Volunteer firemen played the baggage handlers who are shown playing catch with the guitar case and tossing it like a hammer throw.

Carroll initially told United he would write three songs about his broken guitar. He plans to debut the second song in the next few weeks but hasn’t written the third one yet.

He said it remains to be seen whether his story will be “a love story or a tragedy.”

By ELIZABETH McMILLAN The Canadian Press


John Lennon’s Hofner Senator sells for £205,250!


icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481A 1958 Hofner Senator guitar owned by John Lennon sold for £205,250 at Christies London auction yesterday.

Guitars owned by John Lennon very rarely appear on the market and George Harrison’s verification of this guitars’ provenance in his letter to Lily Evans is invaluable.

Harrison’s own keen interest in guitars meant that he had a clear recollection of the models he and his fellow Beatles owned and used over the years. In the course of Christie’s research, Lennon’s friend and colleague Pete Shotton told us that although he himself didn’t remember who played what guitar [Shotton himself was not a guitarist but played the washboard in the Quarry Men] George had an extremely good memory for detail and would not put his name to a statement unless it was correct.

John Lennon Hofner Senator guitarThere has been some written speculation in the past that this Hofner Senator may be the very one that former Quarry Man Ken Brown owned, however this seems unfeasible when the provenance of this guitar is analysed.

In the course of their research Christies spoke to Ken Brown himself about this rumour and he stated that he did not believe this to be the same guitar as the Hofner Sentator he owned. Also when it is considered that fellow Beatle George Harrison recalls Lennon owning one of these models, and that this guitar’s history shows that John gave his Hofner Senator and a white Vox guitar to trusted friend and road manager Mal Evans.

Evans did not appear on the Beatle scene until 1963 long after Ken Brown’s six-week interlude with the Quarry Men in 1959, and as far as we know their paths never crossed. All these factors appear to refute the Ken Brown association with this particular guitar entirely.

In the late ’50s and early ’60s American electric guitars were not readily available in the UK and if they could be found were very expensive, as a result budding guitarists had to rely on German-made and European electric guitars. Although Lennon came to be identified with the Rickenbacker 325 from late 1960-1961 onwards, what he himself described as his first ‘real guitar’ was a Hofner.

As soon as John Lennon and George Harrison began to earn some money by playing at the Casbah club in Liverpool with the Quarry Men, they both purchased Hofner Club 40 electric guitars, John’s first Hofner, and George’s second, his first being a Hofner President. John’s guitar was acquired via hire-purchase from Hessy’s Music Shop on August 28th, 1959 and he recalled in an interview that when ..George and I saw a Hofner Club 40 we thought it was the end. All the Quarry Men’s performances in 1959 at the Casbah Coffee club were without a drummer – if they were asked about this absence, they would respond: “The rhythm’s in the guitars”. The line-up of guitars at this time was John and George with their two Hofner Club 40s; Ken Brown with his Hofner Senator [for the 6 weeks he was with the Quarry Men] and Paul McCartney with his Zenith.

Hofners are closely associated with all the early Beatles, although in November 1959 George Harrison had moved on from his Hofner Club 40 to a Futurama, the closest thing he could get to a Fender Stratocaster. In January 1960 when Stuart Sutcliffe joined the group as bass player he purchased a large electric Hofner 333 bass guitar with money he had received from selling one of his canvases at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. With the addition of Sutcliffe the group’s name changed from the Quarry Men to The Beatles [as a tribute to Buddy Holly’s Crickets although initially spelt Beatals]. Photographs of the group during their landmark first tour of Hamburg show Lennon playing his Hofner Club 40. It was this gruelling tour which provided the group with the foundation for their success, as Mark Lewisohn wrote: Five hundred hours on stage in Hamburg…forged the style that would conquer the world. It seems highly probable that Lennon may have purchased this Hofner Senator whilst earning money in Germany either in 1960 or the following year. It was there in Hamburg in 1961 that Paul McCartney acquired what was to become his signature instrument, his first Hofner 500/1 violin bass.

The lack of photographic evidence of Lennon with this Hofner Senator suggests that he probably kept this guitar at home for writing purposes. It is significant that John Lennon had this guitar during those formative years in the early sixties, and that it was with him right at the beginning of his phenomenal career, when he was writing such early classics as: Please Please Me – The Beatles first No 1; Do You Want to Know A Secret, There’s A Place, I Feel Fine, Help!and Ticket To Ride to name but a few. Putting speculation aside for a moment, it is certainly true that John Lennon guitars with provenance are exceptionally rare and to see one from Lennon’s early career supported by documentation from fellow Beatle George Harrison is scarce indeed.

Serial No.4697, Senator model, natural finish, 22 fret fingerboard with five triple dot inlays, back of the neck applied with a square paper sticker the blue background with cream lettering spelling LOVE; Compensator tailpiece, bound f-holes, plastic facia with a Hofner logo, simulated tortoiseshell pickguard; and contour case containing a few pieces including a contemporary set of Martin Bronze strings, and a simulated tortoiseshell guitar pick; accompanied by: a facsimile copy of a typescript letter from George Harrison to Mal Evans’ widow Lily on October 26th, 1982 on Harrisongs Ltd. headed stationery, regarding this guitar which states that this: Hofner is one of the first guitars of John’s going back to the early days in Liverpool (1960-ish)… ; and a photograph of Lennon playing a Hofner Club 40 at the Top Ten Club, Hamburg, 1960 —8x10in.(20x26c.) (printed later).

Two Hofner Violin basses, both signed by Paul McCartney, were also sold in the same auction; a 1960’s one sold for £8750 and a 1970’s model for £10, 625.

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

Ronnie Monrose sues Gary Moore over theft of ’59 Les Paul

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-09facebook481In a downer moment that must have left countless concert-goers blinking, shaking their heads, and bellowing, “drag, man!” Guitarist Ronnie Montrose actually stopped a show in mid-song, had the house lights turned on, and scoured the theater when his 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard was stolen right off the stage.

Gary MooreMontrose, a San Franciscan, hasn’t seen his guitar (which he bought from J. Geils) since that night on Oct. 10, 1972 when he played Dudley, Mass. with the Edgar Winter Band … until now. The San Francisco musician — who has played with Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison and others — claims that after 37 years of scouring and thousands of dollars spent on private detectives, his guitar has turned up in the possession of British musician and guitar collector Gary Moore — and, last week,  Montrose filed suit in San Francisco District Court.

Gibson Les Paul models of this vintage are crafted of mahogany; only around 1,700 or so were ever made and no two guitars look exactly alike. Montrose claims he can identify his old axe from pictures of Moore’s collection — but, more exactingly, he says the serial number of the guitar is the same as the one taken from him in Dudley.   

Reached at his home in Brighton, England, Moore refused to discuss the matter, saying only that the “whole thing is a sham” and “I’ve had that guitar for more than 20 years.” Montrose doesn’t dispute that notion, but he insists that doesn’t change the fact that Moore is in possession of his stolen guitar and must return it. An angry Moore refused to comment further on his tussle with Montrose over the decades-old instrument.

The legal ramifications of the case are complex, and Montrose hopes to get a judge to weigh in on several issues, including the statute of limitations on a 37-year-old case and an instance in which the current owner of a piece of stolen property is not alleged to have stolen it. Another major issue is jurisdictional, as the theft is alleged to have occurred in Massachusetts, its current owner lives in England and Montrose lives in San Francisco.

Ed Roman, owner of Ed Roman Guitars in Las Vegas, has served as an expert witness in stolen guitar cases for the estate of late guitar great Jimi Hendrix. He said Montrose faces an uphill battle, primarily because the alleged theft occurred so long ago.

Roman said the Hendrix estate and Paul McCartney have been unable to retrieve stolen guitars in cases where they knew who had them but were unable to overcome the years gone by. “If it is more than 10 years ago, the person who has it usually keeps it,” he said. “I doubt Ronnie is going to be able to get it back.”

Guitar thefts have long been common in the music business. R.E.M.’s Peter Buck had his prized Rickenbacker guitar stolen in September in Helsinki, Finland, only to have it returned anonymously two weeks later at a show in Luxembourg. Slash of Guns N’ Roses fame had his Gibson Les Paul Goldtop guitar stolen from his studio in 1998, and Gibson eventually made a new one for its longtime star client.

Montrose’s hunt for his guitar has been rife with false leads, missed opportunities and dead ends. In January 1977, someone contacted one of Montrose’s bandmates about the guitar’s whereabouts, only to disappear when Montrose hired a private investigator to look into it.

The hunt regained steam in the early 2000s when Indelicato was given a photo of a 1959 Gibson Les Paul by another guitar dealer at a Texas guitar show and told that Montrose’s instrument was in the hands of an English guitar player. The photo showed the guitar’s serial number, and Indelicato claims that an Internet search for the serial number sent him to a forum thread on the Gibson Web site that connected Moore and the serial number for Montrose’s missing guitar.

But it was the November 2007 issue of the British magazine Guitar Buyer that ignited the standoff between Montrose and Moore, who once played for Thin Lizzy as well as being a well respected solo artist.

The publication featured a multi-page spread on Moore and his guitar collection, including several photos of a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard. The Sunburst guitar is known for its distinctive maple wood face with unique wood grain patterns. Montrose claims a photo showing a pin-sized hole in the back of the guitar is the proof, as he drills such holes in all of his guitars.

The Guitar Buyer photos showed that the guitar had sustained significant wear and tear over the past 37 years, a sign that Montrose’s complaint claims “substantiates a risk of future damage so as long as the ’59 Gibson remains in Mr. Moore’s possession.”

An angry Moore refused to comment further on his tussle with Montrose over the decades-old instrument. But his quote in the Guitar Buyer story shed light on its value to both men.

When asked if he still played the ’59 Gibson on the road, he replied, “Sometimes, but don’t tell anyone that. I don’t really like taking it out too much because it’s getting a bit scary now. I don’t think I’ll find another Gibson Les Paul to replace it. I’d have to get one of the same vintage, because no matter what new ones I get, they’re never going to be like that.”


Legendary Guitars Going on Tour



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You lucky Californians!

Guitar Center will take its iconic “Legends Collection” on the road beginning May 23 for a 4-city tour that will make weekend stops in Fountain Valley, La Mesa, San Francisco and Hollywood.

Eric Clapton's The “Legends Collection” will feature three of rock’s most famous guitars – Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” Fender Stratocaster and Gibson ES-335, as well as Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” Fender Stratocaster. Purchased for over $2.4 million from the Clapton Crossroads Centre charity auction at Christies New York in 2004, these three guitars are among the most treasured guitars in rock history.

Assembled in 1973 by Eric Clapton himself from the parts of several guitars, Clapton played “Blackie” almost exclusively on stage and in the studio from 1973-1985, recording hits such as “Cocaine,” “I Shot The Sherriff,” “Wonderful Tonight,” “Further On Up The Road,” “Lay Down Sally” and various live versions of “Layla” as well as being featured on several album covers and videos. His Cherry Red Gibson “ES-335” was used to record Cream’s versions of “Badge” and “Crossroads” as well as many other historical performances during the 40 years he owned it.

Steve Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny,” which Guitar Center purchased for $623,500, was used to record his classic love songs including “Lenny” and “Riviera Paradise.”

Home to the largest collection of vintage instruments in the nation, Guitar Center is also proud to showcase a hand-picked selection of its most rare and sought-after vintage guitars as part of its Vintage Road Show.

Stevie Ray Vaughn

With Vintage locations in Hollywood, Nashville and Manhattan, Guitar Center’s vintage collection includes hundreds of the rarest and most valuable guitars, amplifiers and other instruments, including an impressive assemblage of ’50s and ’60s Strats and Les Pauls, handcrafted archtops, Jazz Basses, P-Basses and more.

Vintage guitar enthusiasts can visit the “Legends Collection” and Vintage Road Show at the following locations:

May 23-24
Guitar Center Fountain Valley
18361 Euclid Street
714-241-9140

May 30-31
Guitar Center La Mesa
8825 Murray Drive
619-668-8400

June 20-21
Guitar Center San Francisco
1645 Van Ness Ave.
415-409-0375

June 26-28
Guitar Center Hollywood
7425 Sunset Blvd
323-874-1060

New Guitar Collecting Facebook Group!

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-091facebook481I’ve just set up a group on facebook which will relate to this website, and will hopefully grow the content more quickly with posts from other readers. Please feel free to join the group, it is open membership, and add your comments, suggestions, photos or anything else you know about old and collectable guitars.

Guitar Collecting Facebook Group link

Michelle Obama gives Carla Bruni a Gibson Guitar

Much has been said about the Obama’s gift giving recently. An Ipod for the Queen, the DVDs given to Gordon Brown after his visit to the White House.

michelle obama and carla bruniBut Michelle Obama may have struck the right chord with her gift to her newest friend, Carla Bruni -Sarkozy.

After meeting the wife of French President Sarkozy, Mrs. Obama gave Carla Bruni an acoustic Gibson guitar.

Bruni, a former model, is also a singer/songwriter. and on each of her three CD’s, the last of which was released just this past June, she plays the guitar on many of the tracks.

The First lady presented Bruni with the gift  when the ladies visited the Cathedral de Norte Dame de Strasbourg with the rest of the NATO Summit spouses. 

The two first met the day before when Mr. and Mrs. Obama visited French Palace Rohan. The first lady’s office said that the two women really hit it off and enjoyed a private lunch together that lasted for over an hour together. 

The guitar is a Gibson “Legends” J-45 Acoustic.

Gibson J-45 GuitarGibson has painstakingly reproduced this knockout vintage acoustic down to the minute details. The Gibson J-45 is one of the most played and cherished acoustic guitars in history. This Legends version of the J-45 can handle music from the blues to bluegrass to folk to pop and everything in between.   Hand crafted by Gibson luthiers using techniques from the J-45 guitar’s heyday, the Legend J-45 boasts an Adirondack spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides to produce unmatched mellow, full-bodied tone.

Did you ever have one of the “what if” conversations? Like, “what if I won the lottery” kind of things.  Some three years ago the luthiers at Gibson’s acoustic guitar plant in Bozeman, Montana had one of those kind of conversations. It went sort of like this:  “What if we could go back in time and build a brand new guitar exactly the way they were built back then”. 

Well, nothing gets the juices flowing like a challenge like that, so the quest was on find the best sounding, original, mint condition Gibson acoustic guitar from the “vintage years,” and build a limited number of guitars today employing the same material, same types of tools, same specs, you name it. The plan was to build a new vintage guitar.

After a long search, a mint, 1942 J-45 was located. Owned by renowned acoustic guitar expert and author Eldon Whitford, the guitar was perfect. It was historically significant, as 1942 was the first year of production for the J-45. The fact that the J-45 is the number one selling acoustic guitar in Gibson’s history didn’t hurt either! Mr. Whitford was kind enough to loan the guitar to Gibson for a painstakingly thorough examination. The guitar went through both X-ray and cat scans  to accurately determine the bracing patterns, wood thickness. The glue and finish were chemically analyzed. To make a long story short, Gibson learned everything about that guitar. The result? The guitar you see here the “Legends Series” 1942 J-45.

Vintage Guitars stolen in Florida

Tens of thousands of dollars worth of vintage, rare and top-of-the-line electric guitars, a $4,200 banjo, ukulele and other musical instruments, CDs and equipment were stolen Saturday or Sunday night from Grampa’s Music, 804-A Anastasia Blvd.

Store owners “Grampa Reece” Smith and his wife, C.J., from St. Augustine Beach, re-organized their remaining inventory Tuesday and worked with customers while also moving instruments into spaces left by the ones stolen.

“It could be worse,” Smith said. “There was no damage done to the store. It’s a shock, but we’re recovering well and will continue with business as usual.”

Three guitars — one of which was a red-orange Gretch owned by the Monkees in 1967 — were each worth in the $5,000 range.

St. Augustine Police reported that the thieves may have entered by opening a locking bolt on the steel back door, which the Smiths found open when they arrived Monday.

Police Officer Walter Makowski reported, “I could not see any signs of a forced entry on the door or steel frame.”

In addition to the inventory, the thieves found $150 and a spare key to a white 1996 Dodge Caravan from behind the counter, loaded the instruments in the van and drove away.

The vehicle, with Grampa’s Music logos on its back windows, is covered by insurance. The inventory isn’t.

A custom guitar builder, Paul Reed Smith, had his first production guitar for sale there on consignment. It, too, was missing. It is labeled “Custom 22” and is wine red.

Grandpa Reece remained optimistic, joking that one of the things that irritated him most was the loss of two expensive dark chocolate bars he left on the counter.

“They came in with a list. They knew what they wanted,” he said. “We’ve had many people come in due to the tough economic times, trying to sell instruments.”

But he said he didn’t want to become like the Big Box stores, suspicious of everybody and watching them all the time.

“We’ll improve security but will continue our mellow and pleasant ways,” he said. “Life goes on. I’m not going to change my attitude.”

The missing instruments include:

* Ome Banjo (bluegrass style)

* Martin D35 guitar, 1971

* Ibanez JEM white, Steve Vai model

* Gibson ES330 Red, 1960s

* Gretch Monkees red-orange guitar, 1967

* Compass Rose tenor ukulele, walnut with maple top

* Fender Stratocaster, Gator orange American Standard 1986

* Brian Moore Electric DC-1, cherry sunburst solid body, 1999

* Paul Reed Smith, Custom 22, wine red

Ovation Breadwinners for sale

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-091After my post about the Ovation Breadwinner guitar, I found a couple for sale in London last week.

Both were in the Music Ground shop, and both priced at £899. 

Ovation Breadwinner guitar for saleHere is a photo of one of them; it seems to be in pretty good condition and original, but I can’t vouch for that.

The shop also had a pair of Hamer Phantoms, one white and one metallic red. Again, these both seemed to be in good condition and were alos both priced at £899.

Music Ground definitely has the most obscure collection of guitars in Denmark Street, everything from old Guyatones, Burns and Ekos through to Arias and Hamers from the 80’s.

I’d recommend a leisurely browse if you are ever in the vicinity!

Alan Rogan Interview

icontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-091Alan Rogan, legendary guitar technician with The Who and the Rolling Stones, talks about his work and guitars. Guitar tech to rock royalty for decades, Alan talks about his long stint with Who guitar legend Pete Townshend, and explains why Pete’s custom-modded Fender Stratocaster® guitar and Vibro-King® amp are “the real thing” …

Vintage Fender Colours

Fender 1960's Guitar Coloursicontexto-webdev-social-bookmark-091Just a quickie..I found Curtis Novak’s  great site with a wonderful pictorial view of vintage Fender colours.

Even if you aren’t interested in the colours, it’s worth having a look for the lovely photography.

In Curtis’ own words…

These are pictures of my sample blocks of Fender 60’s colors. I attempted to create as accurate as possible a representation of the colors Fender used in the 60’s. I used Dupont paint and the colors are mixed from the NOS Dupont paint mix numbers. They are cleared with Nitrocellulose Lacquer.

I have photographed my sample blocks in a way that attempts to show the dynamics of a given color rather than just a flat thumbnail image. I feel this better represents the color. I am still working at making the colors more accurate. Keep in mind that I am doing this and testing it on a few dozen different computers and they are rather consistent, but the color may very depending on your display and video card.

Fender 1960’s Custom Colours

Paul Brett – Paul Brett – Collecting Vintage Acoustic Guitars

I found this video sampler of Paul Brett’s “Paul Brett – Collecting Vintage Acoustic Guitars” DVD…

You can buy the full length DVD from Pauls website, at Fretdancer.com

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Vintage Guitar Forum

I found this great forum whilst researching a future post about Dwight guitars. I haven’t had the time to delve too deeply into all the sub forums, but I strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in vintage guitars should spend some time snooping around here…

http://www.vintaxe.com/boards/index.php

The State of the Vintage Guitar Market

Interviews with guitar dealers at the 2008 Arlington guitar show…

Vintage Guitar Collecting Trivia

I found this interesting video, I’ll let the author explain in his own words;

See how years of exposure to light has faded the finish of a Les Paul Junior. The same thing has happened to older Les Paul Standards – where the red fades away and “cherry” sunburst becomes “ice tea” sunburst.

Guitar collector info by Steve Evans of Jacksonville Guitar Center in Jacksonville, Arkansas. 


Interesting article about guitar collecting

I found this old, but still relevent article on bnet.com

Anyone who’s ever heard a Jimi Hendrix solo knows that guitars can produce fantastic sounds, and anyone who’s ever ogled the curves of a Fender Stratocaster will tell you they’re mighty stylish as well. But the instrument’s appeal goes well beyond its visual or sonic charm, its practicality or even its ties to musical history–it can also be a highly prized collectible. Certain vintage models are often regarded as investments, much like antique chairs or Impressionist paintings. Perhaps this is why so many people who start out with a youthful passion for playing end up happy victims of what Walter Becker of the rock band Steely Dan once drolly referred to as “GAS: Guitar Acquisition Syndrome.”

Look among the ranks of those who’ve caught this particular bug, and you’ll find a surprising number of chief executives, most of whom aren’t professional musicians but all of whom grew up with rock music and are now helping to drive the vintage market upwards. Take Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, for example; his collection includes the white 1968 Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock in August 1969. Bought from an Italian disk jockey for $1.3 million, that guitar is now the centerpiece of the Allen-funded Experience Music Project, a Seattle rock ‘n’ roll museum and historical foundation that opened in 2000.

Allen may be America’s best-known executive guitar collector, but there are lots more. Frank De Fina, president of Panasonic Systems Solutions Company of America, conservatively estimates that his collection is “in the dozens.” Its highlights include a 1939 Martin D-18 acoustic and three electric models lusted after by collectors worldwide: a 1953 Fender Esquire, a 1956 Fender Stratocaster and a 1959 Gibson Les Paul. With such a large number of treasures on hand, storage became an issue. So a few years back, De Fina bought a bank vault to house his collection. “Bank vaults are more readily available than many kinds of vintage guitars,” he quips, “and they’re a lot cheaper, too.”

Tom Simons, president and creative director of Partners & Simons, a Boston marketing firm, doesn’t have as extensive a collection as De Fina, and regards himself as “a guitar accumulator” rather than a collector. Still, the dozen instruments that he’s accumulated would probably strike most people as extravagant. One of them, a Danelectro Bellzouki electric 12-string from the mid-’60s, is described by its owner as “not playable but fun to look at.” Comments like this, by the way, are a sure sign that GAS has taken hold.

Henry Juszkiewicz’s early interest in playing and collecting guitars was so strong that he ended up buying a guitar company; since 1986, he’s been the CEO of Gibson, makers of the legendary Les Paul, among many others. His collection now numbers “around 40,” mainly Gibson prototypes, including two models designed by country great Chet Atkins. Juszkiewicz confesses that he owns guitars besides Gibsons–“I can’t be a one-brand guy,” he admits–but in deference to his position, he won’t reveal what they are.

Diamonds in the Rough

Why has guitar collecting become such a popular pursuit for these and so many other chief executives? Most just love the instrument, for the way it looks, sounds and feels. Many also love it for what it represents: their youth. “There’s a little bit of the outlaw in the electric guitar,” marketer Simons says. “What’s more, CEOs are the business world’s version of rock stars, and a climate-controlled closet humidor full of vintage instruments is a link back to a time when they were able to practice the occasional bad behaviors without repercussions. Those guitars are reminders of when the good times really rolled.”

Of course, there are other, perhaps more shrewd, reasons. “Look at a guitar that sells for $12,000,” says Gibson’s Juszkiewicz, “then look at a diamond that sells for the same amount of money. It’s this little stone. There’s no craftsmanship, there’s no history, and it does nothing. There are a lot of diamonds being sold out there, and yet I would posit that the guitar is of more legitimate value. The reality is that in our marketplace, the investment quality of instruments is pretty phenomenal.”

He’s not joking. In the last few years, the prices of vintage guitars have skyrocketed. The most extreme case is that of the Gibson Cherry Sunburst Les Paul. Approximately 1,700 of these guitars were made between 1958 and 1960 before the line was discontinued due to lack of popularity. Their original list price was under $300; as recently as five years ago, you could find one for $45,000. Today, they’re selling for $250,000. And Stan Jay, president of leading vintage guitar dealer Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island, N.Y., wagers that a mint-condition “Burst” could fetch $300,000 before this year is over.

Other high-ticket items are Martin acoustic guitars made before World War II and so-called “pre-CBS” Fender electric guitars, made before CBS bought the company in 1965. “The rate of appreciation for those models in the last year has been the fastest I’ve ever seen.” says George Gruhn, owner of Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, author of Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars, and generally acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost guitar authorities. “Some of them have jumped as much as 75 percent.” And though Gruhn is as shocked as anyone by these price hikes, he doubts that the bubble will burst in any lasting way: “I haven’t seen any guitars drop in value and never get back, and I’ve been doing this for 42 years.”

read the rest of the artice here

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Joe Satriani vs Coldplay

A bit off topic, but I thought I would add my thoughts to Joe Satriani’s accusations of plagiarism over his track “If I Could Fly” and the Coldplay track “Viva La Vida”.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rock guitarist Joe Satriani has sued Coldplay, accusing the Grammy-nominated stars of plagiarizing one of his songs.

Satriani’s copyright infringement suit, filed on Thursday in Los Angeles federal court, claims the Coldplay song “Viva La Vida” incorporates “substantial original portions” of his 2004 instrumental “If I Could Fly.”

The 52-year-old guitar virtuoso is seeking a jury trial, damages and “any and all profits” attributable to the alleged copyright infringement.

Although there is a strong similarity in one section of the song, I don’t believe a court will agree.

Any Musicologist worth his salt will be able to find many examples of the same passage, going back hundreds of years.

I beieve there was a similar case a few years ago, between Cat Stevens and the Pet Shop Boys regarding the song, It’s a Sin,  which never progressed for the same reasons… An expert found many examples from classical music of the same phrase, proving that Cat Stevens wasn’t original in the first place. Read Wikipedia about it here. I believe this will be a similar outcome, if it ever reaches court.

I reckon Joe is misguided in bringing this case…some nice publicity though..*wink*

Sorry, the video has been removed from Youtube for copyright reasons..

What makes a Guitar Collection?

I guess 2 guitars doesn’t add up to a collection, but maybe 5 does, even if it a small one!

Everyone who plays guitar has their own reasons for doing so..not all players are into their gear, whereas others (like me) take great pleasure from tinkering with instruments, modifying, refurbishing and rooting out new (old) guitars.

Eventually most players begin to see reasons to acquire extra guitars. Maybe an electric player realises they need an acoustic too, or an acoustic player decides to try out a resonator, or you decide to do some home recording and buy a bass to record with. At this rate, you end up guitar collection whether you intended to or not.

There are many types of collector; the high end big money types down to the young kids upgrading and swapping instruments between mates.

We intend to cover all areas of guitar collecting with this blog, so please bookmark us and visit often!

Guess what this is all about!

We’ll be talking about guitar collecting, different guitar models, beginners guitars, expensive guitars, where to find collectable guitars, advising on maintenance, pointing you towards some interesting guitars, online lessons, collating guitar information, guitar news, events, guitarists and interesting albums and gigs and just about anything else we can think of.

Bear with us while we get ourselves in gear and work out all this wordpress malarky…