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Re. Tremo Twenty
Just to let you know there is another one!
I bought it from someone at work in about 1967. The model no was 1978 and it was red. It came with a grey/blue "cardboard" carrying case and skinny red leather carrying strap.
In the '80's I lent it to a workmate who lost the tremelo arm and returned the guitar with the carrying case smoke damaged due to a house fire.
Controls crackly and some paint chipped.
Didn't realise there were so few of them about.
Thanks for your message - interesting to know that another one has surfaced. I now know of 2 others branded Tremo Twenty - one is in a aguitar museum in Switzerland and the other, by a strange coincidence, belongs to someone just six miles from where I live in Cornwall.
Of course there were plenty of guitars branded Top Twenty but obviously very few "Tremos".
I hope alls well with you. I thought I would send you some photos of the 1963 Watkins Rapier I bought.
All original parts on it, except the scratchplate. My daughter works at a film Studio. She got a guy who works there to put the gold Watkins logo on the new scratchplate (cool eh!) I've had it checked and set up. The machine heads needed attention. But we managed to get 4 original 1963 heads, to replace the damaged ones. I'm so happy with it . It sounds great. As I'm a better player than I was in 1964 I can play 4 chords now!
Swinging Blue Jeans.
I was really pleased to know that you've managed to buy an early Rapier which I know you've been looking for for some time - complete with the "Pifco" switch and the vibrato arm which is, as you know, so often missing. They are pretty rare in this condition and yours looks great too!
Please let me know if you ever plan to use it with the SBJs' as I'd love to have a photo of you playing it live with the band for the Archive page of my website.
Glad to know that you can play 4 chords now - that's 4 more than I can play, as you know!!!
All the best,
Re. Supersound Vibrato unit
Thanks for your reply - I've heard from Paul (thanks for forwarding my email!) and am very interested by this info from the Weills regarding Roger...
I've also now got the mysterious body blank and Roger's fitted neck in hand... the guys who bought the Roger factory stock advise me that they originally had 4 guitar bodies, all sycamore but 3 with Mahogany veneering front and back. Plus one Bass body, again mahogany veneered. I've never heard of Burns veneering bodies, but perhaps it was a refinement of the plastic plate seen over the back of some very early models? Paul seemed to suggest that this plate and the sometimes-seen raised area under the volume/tone controls etc was a result of having to work around the unavailability of wood of the correct thickness. He mentioned your Ike Isaacs-ish one as having an added Oak front?
I've read on Stephan Loss' site shlaggitarren.de that Roger's archtop sales slumped c.61/62 and they turned to importing solidbodies...
If there is no connection between Weill and Roger, my latest revised theory is that perhaps Jim Burns had parted from Weill with a stack of uncompleted RP2G bodies without necks, and having moved on to other designs offloaded them (somehow) to Roger? How that might happen, and why he wouldn't simply reshape them and reuse the wood himself, I don't know.
The bodies do seem identical, in particular there is a sharp edge on the body in the middle of the flat bottom-edge 'base', where the wrap-around tailpiece might have sat. Roger's model had a face-mounted vibrato unit, so this sharp ledge would make no sense for his design. You can just about make it out in outline of the catalogue photo.
Weird, eh? Well... I love a mystery!
All the best - and let me know if you have any ideas!
Thanks for your message and the interesting photo of a Roger guitar which appears to have a Burns Weill Super Streamline body and a Roger neck.
By the way, you no doubt noticed my "deliberate" mistake (being a drummer!) when I previously referred to "Roger" guitars as "Rogers" guitars - Roger, of course, being the name of Wenzel Rossmeisl's son, after whom he named the guitar brand.
When Jim Burns parted company with Supersound (for more information see the Jim Burns page of the Supersound website), he did take the Ike Isaacs bodies with him--hence the appearence of several "Burns" and Burns Weill versions of this guitar appearing for sale in early 1959. However when Jim Burns split with Henry Weill it was something of a clean break and he left all the BW bodies with Henry. In fact he was actually marketing the Burns Artist guitar by December 1959.
So the bodies which you mention would have come from Henry Weill and, no doubt, Henry Weill would have supplied then as a result of meeting Wenzel at the Frankfurt show where he had a stand which displayed complete guitars and components.
I checked with Paul Day about the veneering and he confirms that he's never seen a veneered Burns Weill instrument so he concludes that the veneering was carried out by Roger.
Incidently when Paul Day interviewed Henry Weill, prior to writing the Burns Book in the mid 1970s, he recalls a garage full of guitar bodies left over from when production ceased in c.1965! When we met Betty Weill recently we asked what had happened to these bodies and she told us that they had been put in a skip many years previously!
Supersound Vibrato unit
As a long-time late-night admired of your collection and website, I thought I should write and ask if you could offer any advice regarding a vibrato unit which I recently bought on ebay and I've never seen one before... it looks to be a completed unit (missing the bridge) of the Wooton-designed Supersound vibrato for guitar (for which blue-print drawings from August 1960 appear online on the Supersound website).
I bought it because I'm currently trying to assemble the parts to build a fantasy 'New Old Stock' Burns-Weill RP2G Super Streamline, and intended to use this unit in the build... I have a Roger-built body and neck (I am certain circumstantially that Roger were briefly supplying woodwork to H Weill after Burns departed, but before the design was refined and went 6-a-side on the headstock), and plan to flesh it out with era-correct suitable parts and some modern Adeson Classic Brit Pickups...
I guess you've seen the speculations about the Roger/Weill connection here?
Incidentally, has anyone to your knowledge ever seen a true Burns-Weill RP2G guitar? Basses, yes - several, but the six-stringers? I've only seen the photo in Per Gjorde's book, which has 'burns' clipped from the badge... clearly indicating that it was made post-Jim Burns' involvement...
Have you any reference photos of Super Streamlines which might help me on my way?
Kind Regards, and thanks for sharing all you have online!
Thanks for your message and kind comments on my site.
Re; the Supersound Vibrato unit (see the Supersound website for more music accessories). A number of these appeared for sale a year or two ago - evidently they turned up in a shop in London and yours is one of these.
Re; the Rogers connection to Burns Weill. Rogers never supplied woodwork to Henry Weill although Henry may have given or sold a neck and/or body to that company when he did the Frankfurt show. Although Paul Day was certain of this (Paul did a recorded interview with Henry in the 70s, and I have a copy, prior to writing "The Burns Book") we did double check with Betty Weill when we met her and she confirmed that Rogers had never supplied any woodwork to Henry.
Paul Day has a library of over 2,000 different guitar brands and within this has details of the RP2G guitar. You can contact him direct and I'm sure he will be happy to help.
I do hope my reply has dispelled the myth of the Rogers connection to Henry Weill!
I'll look forward to seeing photos of your fantasy "new old stock" Burns Weill when its completed.
Rare sighting of USO (Unidentified Supersound Object)
(More information on Supersound Guitars can be found at the Supersound website.)
Apologies for using an old email to convey a new subject, but I wanted to ensure it arrived okay and I'm not sure which of your seemingly many email addresses is currently functioning!
So, what do you think of this six-string being earnestly strummed by one of the members of Rory Blackwell & The Blackjacks, way back in 1959. The more I peruse the pic, the harder it is to work out just what there is on board a very familiar - looking chassis, but that scratchplate is a dead giveaway for a start. I look forward to hearing your comments, so give me a ring when it's convenient.
All the best,
So a picture of another Burns Short Scale guitar has surfaced - amazing after over 50 years! There is no question that that is what it is and this one is a single pick-up version too. In fact the only single pick up instrument that has come to light. I wonder if its still in existence today?
I've done some research and I think the guitarist is Kenny Fillingham so I hope that if he reads this, or anyone who knows him or gigged with him looks at my website, he or they will contact me. (Of course I'm always delighted to hear from anyone who owns or has pictures of old, rare or unusual vintage electric guitars).
Thanks again for forwarding on the picture.
Fenton Weill question from the Pacific Northwest...
Greetings from Seattle!
Please forgive the unsolicited attachment! Got this beautiful instrument from the original owner, who apparently purchased it in London in the early 60s while he was in the Army stationed in the UK.
I'm having a difficult time finding any information (other than the obvious...erm...Fenton Weill, London....)... I was curious, given the breadth of your gorgeous Anglocentric guitar collection, if you could tell me ANYTHING about it?
I am aware of the Weill/Burns history - just haven't found another photo of a comparable guitar. I have to say the SOUND of this instrument is spectacular! Quiet pickups (like a humbucker) and a sweet bold tone. PLUS the previous owner says that these are the ORIGINAL strings!
ANY guidance would be greatly appreciated!
My apologies for taking so long to reply to you but i just wanted to double check a few facts with Paul Day, who is the UK vintage guitar expert, before replying.
Your guitar is a rare Fenton Weill Twistmaster from the short lived Twister series and the only price list we can find dates this to late 1962. In the UK it retailed at 70 gns (Guineas - a Guinea was £1 and 1 shilling. Today that would be £1-05p). That was lot of money in the UK at that time as, I think, an average wage then was about £12 per week.
A leaflet on the Twister range describes it as the "Fenton Weill American Label guitar" with "high gain pick-ups", a "featherlite Vibrato which cannot be improved in any way". Also the "tuss rod is controlled from a counter sunk Allen nut at the blunt end of the fingerboard" with a 1/4 turn producing 1/8" on the neck of the guitar.
You may also be interested to know that I recently had the pleasure of meeting Betty Weill who with her husband Henry owned and ran the Fenton Weill Company. You will see a couple of pictures from that meeting on my Archive page and the first Fenton Weill factory really was their garage although they moved production to a factory unit in about 1962. Incidently Henry Weill and Jim Burns ceased working together in December 1959.
All in all its a very rare and interesting guitar and it seems in very good condition too. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention.
A very sincere thank you for all the information! And could there possibly be a more perfect name for this guitar than the "Twistmaster"?!? Spectacular!!!
When I got the guitar I was woefully unaware of the Fenton Weill story....(I mainly collect Rickenbackers.... and oddball 60s Hagstroms).
When I first saw the guitar (and before I read the label) it looked very "Burns-like" (and after learning what I could about it - I found out why!). Obviously a VERY well built instrument, beautiful lines and > workmanship - and the gold hardware leads me to think that it was a "deluxe" model.
As for condition...It's really clean! There's some cowboy chord wear on the lacquered fingerboard - (and I didn't mention the original strap and truss rod adjustment wrench in a little envelope!) ... And I'm a huge fan of tatstefully checked finishes... I particularly enjoyed seeing the photos of "Kingsize" Taylor as I'm a lifelong Beatles-nerd - and he looms rather large in their early history (no pun intended).
Well - I'm sending a few more photos - I know you didn't ask...but it is a very cool axe....enjoy!
Again, Thank You so MUCH!
Best of everything,
Very happy to know that you are always OK, me too I am always very busy, I understand.
Thank very much for your response and your courtesy to use your photos/infos for my article on Broadway guitars in Vintage Guitare. No Broadway guitars were sold in France so there is not much information here.
I am also doing an article on Klira guitars and attach a photo for your information. I'll have 2 more questions if you have time to respond:
Do you mean that the Burns Sonic and this Broadway Bass were made in England (Fenton Weill?) or Japan (Guyatone?) or both..:-)
I don't know the English market of guitars during the sixties, do you know a good book that I can buy on the guitars sold in Great Britain for that period?
For example in France we have this one: http://livre.fnac.com/a2004000/B-Iffra-Guitares-des-annees-60-rock-twist-et-jazz
Merci beaucoup Guy
et portes toi bien
PS: Sorry for my poor English
Thanks for your message and for sending on a copy of Vintage Guitare which I've included on my Media page. I'll also look forward to reading your article on Klira guitars when its published.
I've just bought a copy of the book you recommended "Guitares" and there are some makes that I've never heard of - so thank you for that info!
Re; Burns Sonics and Broadway basses. The brief answer is that all Burns Sonics were UK built and most Broadway basses were built in Japan although we now know that a few were built in the UK.
The UK book on guitars that inspired me is "The Ultimate Guitar Book" written by Paul Day and Tony Bacon and, as you can see from my Media page, I'm now the proud owner of several guitars which were actually featured in the book.
P.S. I apologise for my French...its almost non-existant!
Just a short note to keep in contact.
Thought you might like to see another Grimshaw Meteor which has surfaced. This makes three that I know of and is interesting in that it has Fender style head. It is in full working condition and is pretty much all original.
Thank you so much for sending me a picture of the latest Grimshaw Meteor that you've found. This must be the most rare British built solid of the 1960's (all hand built too) and I'm amazed that as many as three have surfaced!
Also many congratulations on your collection of Grimshaw guitars and, of course, your definitive Grimshaw guitars website.
Memories of a great night - my 80th birthday!
Congratulations on your 80th birthday and I wasn't surprised that you spent some of it behind your drum kit!
You are an inspiration!
Keep on rockin'
Note: Raye Du Val is the drummer of the Checkmates and played with Emile Ford when "What do you want to make those eyes at me for" reached No 1 in the charts in 1959. He still gigs with the band today and when I last spoke to him was off to do a lunchtime gig, followed by another the same evening! No wonder that, back in the day, he achieved the world non-stop drumming record -- not once but three times. The last time over 100 hours of playing his drums non-stop -- a feat which was verified by the Guiness Book of Records!
A photo has turned up of the Al Kline Five featuring the elusive early Burns guitar. Thought you might like to see it.
Thank you so much for sending through what is a fantastic photo of you with your Burns Short scale guitar (with your name on the headstock) which you bought as a prototype (because you'd never seen anything like it and "just had to have it") at the end of 1958. Of course its a really important piece of UK guitar history as its the very first Burns guitar (apart from the one Jim Burns built for Pete Dyke in about 1957/8 which was a "one off" for a friend) and I'm so pleased that you managed to find the photo! Perhaps the guitar will turn up one day too!!
I'll also send a copy of your email and photo to Frank Allen as it was, of course, his memory of seeing you with the guitar all those years ago which resulted in me tracking you down (which wasn't easy, as you know!) and of course the photograph turning up. And now, of course, it will be appreciated by anyone interested in vintage guitars...
Note: Alan Klein or Kline (not to be confused with the impressario of the same name) is a sucessful singer/songwriter/musician and composer who wrote and appeared in the film "What a Crazy World" and his many compositions include "Three Coins in the Sewer" produced by Joe Meek and "Sally Anne" recorded by Freddie and the Dreamers--in 1966 he toured as vocalist with the "New Vaudeville Band". More recently, in the 1990's, his "Well at Least its British" LP has been an inspiration to bands such as Blur and Pulp.
I love your site. Very Interesting indeed.
Last month I was luck enough to have the winning bid at Bonham's for the Dallas Tuxedo guitar (and partial strap) found in John Lennon's Mendips Liverpool home. I guess I am a collector of Beatles guitars. I have an acoustic used in the studio by Paul in 1968 and also the guitar George used in an LA studio to record a solo overdub for Got My Mind Set On You (the last Number 1 hit by any Beatle).
Anyway, I am searching for historical information about the Dallas Tuxedo and I have not been able to find any books that discuss the history of the famous guitar. Considering it is the first British made commercial electric guitar, I thought there would be plenty of information. I am also trying to date when the guitar was manufactured and sold.
Thank you for any assistance you can provide.
All the best,
Thanks for your message and glad to know that you liked my site.
Congratulations on buying the Tuxedo found in John Lennon's home, its a real piece of guitar history in itself apart from the Lennon connection. I understand from the Bonhams website that it was sold for £4,375 inc. premium. Also that the guitar was sold with letters from 2 local residents one who personally witnessed John Lennon in posession of the guitar at his home, Mendips, and the other at a local musical instrument store (Rushworths)trying to buy a case for the guitar.
The Dallas Tuxedos were made by Dallas Arbiter in the UK and the first models were launched in April 1959 with the Framus "add on" single pick-up and "add on" controls (see my Galleries) but they were not the first commercially UK built solid electrics. In fact they were the third after Supersound which first appeared in late summer 1958 and Burns Weill in Feb 1959.
There is an article on Burns guitars which has been reproduced several times (by guitar journalist Roger Cooper) included on my Background page -- also Guitar & Bass magazine (see my Media page) from July this year which confirm these details.
Incidently the first UK built electrics were the semis built by Grimshaw from about 1957.
The 2 pickup Dallas Tuxedo first appeared in about August/September 1959 following the launch, in August 1959, of the Dallas Tuxedo with a single Fenton Weill p/up and scratchplate mounted controls. Certainly this date fits in with the quoted October/November '59 date when the instrument came into John Lennon's posession.
All the best,
Reg Godwin at the WEM/Wilson guitar site, suggested I contact you regarding the guitar pictured to the right. It belongs to a friend and we're making a valiant effort to identify it and if possible restore it.
Would you happen to know the maker of this guitar? Some specifics: the scale length is 26.125" and it has 19 frets, there are no markings found as of yet. Any help or leads would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Sorry its taken so long to reply to your email but we've had several discussions about the guitar and our conclusions, to date, are as follows:-
Firstly we've never seen anything quite like it and, having looked at it carefully, we can be sure that its definitely not a Supersound and not UK made. We believe that it was built in the 70s (note: 70s copy of a Gibson 3 way switch and 70s style bridge) or possibly the 80s either as a home made one off (brass is easy to work) or by a skilled small luthier--probably in the States. Alternatively, just possibly, by a small maker in Eastern Europe or New Zealand.
We consider that the neck and headstock are fairly basic however the body and ebony fingerboard are well made and these variations in quality make it difficult for us to determine its origin along with the fact that we've never seen one before.
Its certainly an unusual and interesting guitar so please if you get any more definite information on its origin, do let me know.
I wonder if you can give me any information on this guitar (see right). It has the name Bendix Bel on the neck plate but I've never heard of a guitar called a Bendix. In any case I thought Bendix only made washing machines! So any help you can give me will be much appreciated.
I attach Paul Day's comments on your guitar. However since writing this, I told him that there had been a logo on the headstock and we both believe that this probably was an officially built guitar although it may have been a prototype or a very short run. If that's the case then probably the reasons that it didn't go into production are simply that , although innovative at the time, it wasn't of the quality to match the Bendix amps.
Hope this all has been of help to you!
All the best Guy.
Here are Paul's Comments:-
The Bendix solid is certainly intriguing. It's very primitive in some ways, certainly to the point of looking home-made, but other aspects suggest better-informed involvement. The woodworkng is pretty basic and quite crude in places, but the neck seems to be better quality in comparison. The scratchplate is equally more adept, complete with neatly executed control legends, which again suggests a proper, proprietary source. The pickups ring a bell with me and I'm sure I've seen the self-same type carrying the 'Plato' logo, offered as an add-on item back in the Sixties. Either that, or they've cropped up on some cheap Japanese electric. The other hardware isn't too helpful. The bridge is very basic and certainly suggests Far Eastern origins, but it could be a replacement, as there are no screw holes in the body. The tailpiece has also cropped up on various budget models of the period - I even have this selfsame component in my spares stock.
The styling is quite good and well-proportioned, not looking awkward and unbalanced like so many home-made efforts of the period. Like you, I put the latter at the early 60s. The scratchplate looks equally okay, seemingly quite well made and complementing the body outline, while controls are arranged in a logical, reasonably ergonomic way. The neckplate worries me, as this seems somewhat crude in comparison. The neck looks to be glued-in, so why the need to put a plate on anyway? It's almost as if such a component was expected to be there, regardless of actual construction.
In contrast again, the electrics are very advanced for the time. Assuming they work/did work and the date is indeed early 60s, then this has to be one of the first active six-strings, probably pre-dating the Burns TR2, commonly regarded as the first production example of its kind. But, assuming that IS a battery compartment on the back, it looks very rough and unfinished, unlike the rest of the body. Then again, the switch panel looks pretty pro and unlike any I've seen elsewhere.
Due to all these contrasts, contradictions and conflicting components, I do have my doubts about any 'proper' parentage. Maybe it was built by a Bendix employee, using components then available and maybe he built them for his band, or mates in one, hence the 'E.E.3' serial number (lead, rhythm, bass - the common line-up back then). I can't see it being an official Bendix venture, because, despite the innovative electrics, it's really too basic and cheap compared to the amps they actually produced. Also, why go the trouble of all that info on the neckplate (for impressive effect perhaps?) but not come up with a suitable company logo on the headstock? The model number is an oddity too, why T.B.1? Could it stand for 'Treble Boost One' or 'The Bell ( Bel) One'?
As you can tell by all this prevarication and pontification, you have indeed stumped the old guru. Although, if I'm being honest, I must admit to often being confounded in this way, usually at least once a week!
All the best,
Dear Mr McKenzie,
I found a Dallas Rangemaster guitar (see right), in a jumble sale over 40 years ago, but have not been able to find out much about it on the internet. I've discovered Dallas Tuxedos, and Rangemaster Amps and Treble Booster, and brief histories of the John E. Dallas company, but this particular guitar remains a mystery.
I would be interested to know if you have any information about it, especially more pictures.
It once had a tremelo arm, which I would like to replace, but no pictures, no copy!
I spoke to Paul Day on Sunday and we both agreed that your Rangemaster has been really interesting and puzzling too. But Paul's conclusion thanks to all the extra info you provided (and I agree with him) is that it is a factory made one off and built specially to promote the Rangemaster vibrato unit and that is why there is an extra badge below the unit. It dates almost certainly from c.1961 and it is an important piece of UK guitar making history.
I was delighted to hear from you - really pleased. I guess we could talk about guitars all day long. EXCELLENT.
Well here goes here is my little collection.
First and perhaps the most precious in emotional and value is a 1968 GIBSON J2OO CUSTOM which I have had from new (well I actually bought it of a John Cullivan who was the lead guitarist for Tah Mahal. He bought it at Mannys in New York and brought it to this country in order to sell as he thought at a vast profit. He was unable to do that but spotted my advert in Melody Maker and called me; I nervously went to London and did the deal for I think it was £240.00!! It was just two weeks old and unplayed when I got it. Its glorious. A natural front (which has now darkened a little and shows the lovely striping in the spruce) and a very dark rosewood back and sides. I have played this ever since and it has great meaning to me. (I actually sang with it at the funeral of my mother!)
I would add that I have had groups since I was 17 and played and gigged all my life and still am. I shall rock til I drop!!! Now I am the leader of The Rokkits!
Next I recently bought a Gibson Pete Townsend J200 which I use in the band as I was advised not to have a pick up system installed in my 1968 J200.
Then there is a early 80's Gibson Everly (J185) which I love. Well I love em all!!! as we do!!! I used this on stage and took it to Hanks in London and had a Martin thinline pickup installed and its great.
Now lets go electric.
4 yrs ago I got my pride and joy a FENDER CUSTOM SHOP MASTERBUILT 'MASTER SALUTE' STRATOCASTER built by Yuri Shiskov. I took one look at the white gold body and anodised scratchplate and the deal was sealed in my brain!!!! When I played it unplugged I had never heard such a ringing tone; its fantastic. Its very light and the tones are superb. Far too good for me really !!!!! this is my no.1 machine.
I have a Fender strat plus with the lace sensor pickups which is very powerful and totally different tonally to the Master Salute which has vintage 50 pickups. (less output BUT more tone!) the strat plus or strat PUS as it is sometimes known as it is in vintage white, is too a great guitar.
I have a Fender AMERICAN STANDARD TELECASTER in vintage white which had a black scratchplate fitted having seen the mighty Keef! (what a show the stones did aaah)
I have a MUSIC MAN ALBERT LEE in pearl blue which is sensational too. Its active and has the most superb neck with the gun stock oil finish.
I have a re issue BURNS MARVIN. As I guess the Shads and Hank were and still are my inspiration. Having had the pleasure and privilege to meet them on several occasions (and their boss too!!!) I can say that they are complete gentlemen and legends. So many stories to tell but I'd be here all night.
HOWEVER I MUST TELL YOU THIS. When my first engagement went down the tubes (HOORAH) I used the £100 I got on the refund for the engagement ring and bought from Pete Dyke the demonstrator at Burns in London - their first BURNS MARVIN GUITAR. When I opened the case and saw the guitar for the first time !!!!!!!I can still feel the excitement (sad - but true). Well I used this for some time in a Christian Beat Group (!!) one of the very first really in this country, called The A-Men!!!!!! We were mentioned in the Daily Mail.
When I met the Shads I got them to sign it on the reverse. In order to preserve the signatures, I had professionally made a perspex scratchplate fitted on with small screws. BIG MISTAKE!!!! One day I found to my horror that the polyurethane finish was splitting from all round the screws . SO what did i do. Sent it back to Burns to be re sprayed!!!!!!!!! BIG MISTAKE no2 Well then eventually as one had in those days - this was traded in for another machine.!!!!!!! I could go on !!!
I have a pretty stunning GRETSCH WHITE FALCON. Which all who see - fall in love with. I used this for some time in the band.
I also have a GRETSCH SILVER FALCON (which in fact is black with silver sparkle trim). Both the Gretsches have superb tone.
Then there is my precious HOFNER CLUB 60. I in fact as I didn't want to bore you; only told you part of the story. Really its even stranger.
I used this in my very first Christian group The Gospel - Tones! I got it from Norman Hackett in Reading arcade. Played it and loved it for some 3 years then decided to trade it in for a natural Hofner President. Very soon after I began to have qualms and felt upset and wished I hadnt sold it!!!( moral NEVER SELL A GUITAR). Well some 12 years later a small guitar shop opened in town and I got to talking and raving on about my guitars and I told lhim about the Club 60.
"Thats funny he said because I have a club 60 which I keep under my bed; never play it but I just like it".. I said REALLY ; I'd so love to see it. WHEN HE BOUGHT IT IN I WAS STAGGERED. Thats my actual guitar I told him because I had re finished and lined the case and to my amazement there it was!!!!!!! Well I was so emotional about it and I eventually persuaded him to sell it back to me. So I had it again; I was so thrilled.
THEN I got married; and times seemed so tough and tight money wise and stupidly I decided one day to sell it again. I put it in the window of the the family business we had in town and it sold and I made a profit of £100 so I felt quite pleased until- again- the old feelings came on and I thought "what have I done". SO now we track on another 15 years and I'm rocking and rolling and fronting "Live on stage" which eventually turn into THE ROKKITS and I was thinking and talking often about the Club 60 to friends etc., and something quite spooky happened. I thought first of all that Yes I would try and find my Club 60. Nothing ever showed up in the guitar mags; so I advertised in all of them but got no response at all.
I then had an old picture of my playing the Club 60 blown up and put into the local press in the hope that it would jog some memories- but again - NOTHING
SOME 6 MONTHS OR MORE after this, quite unconnected; one day I was walking through the town and this guy comes up to me out of the blue and says "Dunno If you remember me but I bought a guitar from you once". Immediately my brain started as you can imagine going into overdrive. "What was it like I askled - was it smallish and natural colour with lots of fancy pearl on the neck?"
I dunno really he said cos I gave it to my brother and he plays a bit!!!!!! Well to cut a very long story short I went accross to his brother and asked to see the guitar and to my amazement and horror THERE WAS MY CLUB 60 - AGAIN. But this time in a very sorry state!!!!! The guy didnt want to sell it and I think was himself in a pretty bad way. I talked at length with him and eventually after much discussion I persuaded him to sell. I was ecstatic. I have had her restored and NEVER EVER WILL I PART WITH HER AGAIN.
Sorry to go into "waffle" mode Guy. But I hope you understand.
Then there is the slightly strange DEPT. I have a DANELECTRO Pro. Which I like. It is a squarish shape with a triangular scratchplate; its quirky and clanky and I really like it. It has been likened to a tea tray!!!
I have one of the Gretsch Americana series of Cowboy acoustics with the Cowgirls on. I love a bit of QUIRK!!! I am on the look out for more of these.
I also have 3 ukeleles. A very old 1930s. "The Gibson" which is lovely with snowflake inlays and sounds great.
An aria current model and a really great "Recording King" chromium resonator uke which I love and looks fabulous.
Well Guy I do so hope I wont have bored you; I just love everything about guitars I really do. I havent told you about the ones that got away!!!!!!!!!!!!! Epiphone Frontiers/Epiphone Texans/Les Paul Juniors AAAAAAAAGH!!!!!!! Then there are the AMPS!!!!!!!
Well Guy in closing; my very warmest rocking good wishes to you and I'm now about to warm up the valves and get the Master Salute ready for tonights rehearsal.
I just wanted to say how much pleasure your article in Guitar and Bass gave me. TREMENDOUS. I have read it and re read it so many times. Like you I came up right from the 60s and simply love guitars and all the sounds with a passion. I have played in bands since I was 14!! Better not tell you my age!!!
All the guitars mentioned : Dallas Tuxedo, Guyatone LG50, Burns Vibra Artiste - I had all of these and of course your pics brought back so many many images and memories. I have so many stories of guitars I have had (though not as many as you!!) and unfortunately sold on to get the next classic. The very first demonstration BURNS MARVIN which i bought from the Burns Showroom in London and was subsequently signed by my (still) heroes- THE SHADOWS!
Will I could go on and on and on but I dont wish to bore you Guy!!! However two guitars I must tell you about. I still have my 44 yr old Gibson J200 custom which came from Mannys in New York and has such a glorious tone and is very special to me. It is in wonderful condition as I treasure it . (It has of course been lovingly played all these years) Recently I had a wonderful little job done on it as the scratchplate had just slid down the front slightly and was off position. It was re positioned and checked over by Bruce Welch's guitar tech Mick Johnson from Reading who did a WONDERFUL job.
The other is my precious Hofner Club 60. I love this guitar. I played it when I was 17 first then it was traded in at Norman Hacketts of Reading ( where I first gasped in amazement at a Fender Stratocaster )!. Then after about 30 years in a wonderful and mysterious way it surface again and I was able to buy it AGAIN.! This is so special to me.
Well I dont wish to sound crazy - but I think you will understand and I know share this love of the greatest instrument. Hoping perhaps one day that our paths will cross.
With kindest regards
ps . I too have a collection which I treasure ; though not as large as yours!!!!!
I've been trying to fix the guitar i own, butt never took care about the guitar i had, always tried to think that this guitar was special, but never realized how until i saw your page. I'd like you to give the most of info that you can provide about this model EP-8I. It's the one i have and i'd like to know more about it.
Great web-site. Back in 1969 bought a Rapier33 for thirty-three pounds that I paid one pound a week for out of my papaer round, when I was a boy back in Belfast N.Ireland. Unfortunately my Mother give it away when I joined the Navy. Now own several guitars Eko, Gibson, Fender's, etc, to name but a few, none of which will ever hold the memory my Rapier33 still holds for me. I'm sure it would be a collectors item now!!
Superb site, Guy, a true labour of love. Glad we found it!
twangCORP always carries a small but regular stock of ex-private collection guitars for sale online, which invariably tends towards the more unusual. At the time of writing this we have a superb (and rare) Teisco May Queen '99 (deluxe MIJ) reissue.
I have a question. I recently obtained a Zenon ZES-70 and i was wondering if it was worth anything at all? It is in good condition and really fun to play.Thanks
Hi fellow guitar collectors. We have a new website selling a small catalogue of collectable guitars from the USA and Japan. Please feel free to tell us what you think of the website, good and bad?, we are always looking to improve and evolve. Keep twanging!
Great site and a really wonderful collection that I keep coming back to. I have about 15 myself and of a similar era so really useful. All the best and look forward to seeing the collection grow. Jonathan
I have a Fenton Weill De-Luxe which I bought on H.P. @ 50 shilling a week in 63 and stilll going strong. I have allways wondered of the value of it. Can anyone help?
Graham (Robbie) Robinson
hello i've got a dallas tuxedo the same as the 1 on page 8 on galleries was wonderin if anyone would like to tell me what they think it might be worth cheers email me chris
Hi great site, had a few of these old guitar's wish i still had them today. I used to make the old watkins guitars back in the 60's/70's at Chertsey with Charlie and Syd. Many thanks, Pete Jessop.
Hi guys - Like the sight.
What also impresses is that your women seem to understand too this guys and guitars thing.
Used to own a splitsonic that I acquired for peanuts back in the 70's.
Unfortunately I let it slip through my fingers in a moment of madness for peanuts also. I have more sense now and am actively seeking a replacement.In the meantime I still cherish my '64 Epiphone Casino. I also own a rather nice American series Bad Boy Blue limited run deluxe Strat, a cheap and cheerful but very well made Korean Telecaster (nocaster), Burns Brian May special, Vintage Icon series PGM Les Paul, PRS SE Soapbar & finally another Korean made Ovation. Keep pluckin' !
What a brilliant site. Exceptionally informative and an absolute gift of marvellous photos of bygone mastery of the electric guitar. I shall spend some time in study of this very very interesting site. Thankyou.
Nice collection and a trip down memory lane to a few of my first 'finger slicing' guitars! My dad new Jim Burns in the late 50's / early 60's in Sunderland, Tyne & Wear and he gave my dad and the other guitarist (who were both in a band called the Dynatones) a couple of his guitars for free but they went on the purchase the first Fender Stratocasters in the North East from Windows in Newcastle (Fiesta Red of course!) I got the guitar bug also and have acquired a few Strats of my own.
Very interesting site - thanks!
I bought a Marlin Masterclass identical to the one in your collection about 15 years ago in a junk shop for £20. It was missing bit and pieces so I had to spend about £50 getting it put right at a music store. I was a bit gutted at the time spending so much on an unknown brand but the action was so sweet I kept it. I haven't played it for a while and was looking to sell it. Didn't realise till I looked at your site that it was a collectors piece!
Great site and great collection by the way.
Thanks David K
Superb collection... time & money both well spent.
A great website taking me back to my first foray into the world of music in 1962 when I, with friend John Penfold, ventured from the wilderness of Windsor (Berkshire) to Tin Pan Alley and purchased a second-hand (now vintage! but long gone) Broadway Bass Guitar - no case but I was King on the way home on the underground then GWR Paddington to Windsor with the final walk home (out of money). That was my first guitar and it took me into the Slough 'Blue Notes' occasional backing for the legendry Chuck Berry and a lifetime of in and out of music. You have restored my interest. BTW I used to work (after school) in Stones of Peascod Street Windsor selling such early guitars as the Hagstrom and others you are showing - such halcyon days. Check out the blogs on InTouchRadio as I bring that history forward.
Thank you for such a well documented site - should you need any info let me know.
Michael Dixon ITR-UK & Global
great website...solid archive information and quality images...good luck.
Could spend hours on here - and Guy is really interested in hearing from people about their guitars too.
I own a Teisco VN-4 in great condition. I recently pulled out of storage to begin playing the blues after going to a concert. It's hard to find anyone who owns one them. I love the guitar's sound, very 60s. Thanks for posting your collection online. Bob
Great site - it is always good to find other guitar enthusiasts out there. My first guitar was a Rossetti Lucky 7 f-hole acoustic in white, followed by an EKO jumbo acoustic.
I now have an Antoria Les Paul, a Freshman Telecaster, a Roberts Music Man copy, a Satellite short scale bass, a Jasmine semi-acoustic single cutaway, a couple of nylon strung spanish guitars, 2 mandolins and a 5 string banjo.
hi from dan, i own a framus p series 68 6string, hondo2 ricky 4001copy (which sounds awesome) also a fender p bass copy solid with no markings exept letter 'H' written in pencil when you take the neck off, any thoughts on this one guy. And of course the columbus constellation 13/0 which i have used many times in my funk jazz rock trio. pretty sure these guitars we'nt meant to be played like this but sound great thru 80's boogie and peavey 400 bass monster cab yipppy ! cheers guy and all dan
I have a 1961 Gibson ES330TD that I used when playing with Deke Rivers & The Big Sound in Manchester around 1962/3. Can anyone find me a catalogue with this guitar listed.
Great site & collection Guy! You helped me ID a Zenon last year & I just sent a picture of another guitar I bought with no markings.
some days ago I saw at the street a beautiful abandoned guitar, so I decided to take it to my home, I fixed the wires, and when I conect the guitar it worked, wonderful, I imagined,,jajaja,,I woud like that sombody help me to fix the last details of my telestar guitar,, tank you.
When I first started playing guitar, I got a dusty old guitar off of one of my friends dads for free, he said he got it for £5 at a junk sale.
I took it home and it was in great condition apart from the screws rusting.
I tried replacing the screws myself, but I gave up, I bought a new guitar and threw the old one out, without even realising it was the same as the sakai on your gallery until now.
This isn't cool.
I own a Shergold Modulator bass. Apparently it is one of the last to be made and was sold at the time that Shergold were going under. Found it in a 'junk' shop in Torquay while on holiday. It has the basic module - others are very rare and expensive! Great rock guitar! Got an original fretless neck to go with it! Nice site by the way.
Used to have a Wilson Rapier 44 in red, with the 4 single-coil pickups and rotary selector switches. Can't remember what happened to it but I wish I still had it <sigh>
I have a Burns Split Sonic which I have had since late 60's. All orginal and in good condition. Still play in a couple of bands. Anyone any idea of its value?
what!, been looking for a site like this for ages and went online as soon as i saw artical in helston news. great to see columbus which is identical to the first guitar i bought in 93 for £70 ( minus gibson neck i think! ) what a beaut. also framus in the frame good show, dan
hello just read about supersounds in mag interesting!. I am off work at the moment with a broken wrist so i thought i'd tell u about my Framus star bass which isnt the large semi-acoustic, but a short scale solid with a sliding pick up. Its not in very good nick, but plays ok despite a small crack at the headstock[i think where its glued on]. I might come on again and explain about my hofner solids.