The guitar collection

musical background

 
 
The Beatles meet their fans (including Guy Mackenzie), Roxburgh Hall, Stowe School 1963
The Beatles meet their fans (including Guy Mackenzie),  Roxburgh Hall, Stowe 1963. More on this in the Archive
The Blue Stars Southampton 1966
The Blue Stars  Southampton 1965
The setlist for The Blue Stars concert at Southampton Guildhall 1966
The Blue Stars Setlist  Southampton Guildhall 1966 (click on the image for a larger version)
The Blue Stars Southampton 1966
The Blue Stars  Southampton 1966
Fat Man's Toy 1973
Fat Man's Toy  1973
Fat Man's Toy 1975
Fat Man's Toy  1975
Clynol Christmas Party with Tony (Anthony) Lunch 1975
Clynol Christmas Party with Tony (Anthony) Lunch  1975
Earthborn Sept 1975 - early days
Earthborn  Sept 1975 - early days
Earthborn 1975-78
Earthborn  1975-78
Earthborn 1976
Earthborn  1976
With Wayne & Crystal, 1978
With Wayne & Crystal 1978
Talent Contest Final High Wycombe 1978
Talent Contest Final  High Wycombe 1978
Trooper 1978
Trooper  1978
Miss Midweek competition winner 1978
Miss Midweek  competition winner 1978
Tony & Guy 1979
Tony & Guy  1979
Equal Status, 1982
Equal Status 1982
Tony & Guy 1987
Tony & Guy  1987
Ron Barrett & Friends, Camborne 2012
Ron Barrett & Friends  2012. See the Archive for more on this gig
Slung Together, July 2013
Slung Together, July 2013.
Parchman Blues Band, August 2013
Parchman Blues Band, August 2013.
Ben Davis & The Thunderbirds, December 2103
Ben Davis & The Thunderbirds, December 2013.
Guy Mackenzie with KC Johnson
Buffs Club Jam with KC Johnson, February 2014.
Guy Mackenzie singing with Ben Davis and the Thunderbirds
Ben Davis & the Thunderbirds, April 2014.
Al Rideout Band March 2014
Al Rideout Band, March 2014.
Al Rideout Band June 2014
Al Rideout Band, June 2014.
The Ron Barrett Trio November 2014
The Ron Barrett Trio, November 2014.
Charlie Gracie & The Ron Barrett Trio November 2014
Charlie Gracie & The Ron Barrett Trio, November 2014.
The Guy Mackenzie Trio Playing Live in May 2016
The Guy Mackenzie Trio, May 2016.
Guy Mackenzie on drums 2016
51 years - end of the road? 1965-2016
Parchman Blues Band Poster
Red Jackets Poster for Ben Davis & The Thunderbirds
Poster for charity concert featuring Charlie Gracie
Poster for charity concert in support of The Hope for Tomorrows Mobile Chemotherapy Unit for Cornwall featuring the Al Rideout Band and No Apologies
Poster for 50s Mayhem Madness concert featuring the Guy Mackenzie Trio and other bands
  The guitar collection of Guy Mackenzie
www.theguitarcollection.org.uk

So how did a drummer get to be a collector of electric guitars? Guess it went something like this . . . .

It all began when my school friend Martin "Thumbs" Bellamy and I, inspired by listening to Joe Meek recording artistes (like John Leyton, Mike Berry, Heinz and The Tornados), one bright summer's day in 1964 went to look round the Soho music shops (near the 2 I's coffee bar) to kit ourselves out so we could hit the road as musicians. After much searching we finally decided on a Czech-built Futurama with a 10 watt Bird combo amp for him (at £25) and a Broadway drum kit for me (at £18) - mainly because they were the cheapest we could find!

Our first attempts at music were split between his home in Quenington, Gloucestershire and mine at Calgary House (now known as Calgary Castle) on the Isle of Mull, my idyllic childhood home with my parents - Eric, a very distinguished veteran of both World Wars, and Elizabeth Mackenzie who created the woodland garden that Calgary Castle has since become famous for. Calgary Castle is now a prestigious holiday home but thankfully, despite this, much loved by its current owners. Unfortunately, Gloucestershire and the Isle of Mull weren't quite ready for our renditions of classics such as 'Johnny B Goode' and 'Whole Lotta Shakin' etc. Actually nobody recognised them, which was a problem and fatal for a time!

After two years of musical wilderness I found myself in Southampton ensconced in the digs of the building firm that I worked for in Cranbury Avenue (yes, it is the street just off Derby Road). I learnt a lot there, but not about building, as it was then in the middle of Southampton's red light district. An eye opener, and more, for a shy lad from a sheltered background! But I digress. I still had a hankering for being a pop idol so I placed an ad in a newspaper for other musicians to form a band. I then met Bill and Bob, two guitarists who were looking for a drummer and I joined their band The Blue Stars - yep, yep, they really did name themselves after that well-known chain of garages and manufacturers of car batteries! Bob played a home made solid and Bill played his Watkins Rapier 33 and dreamt of emulating Hank Marvin. He was also a naturally gifted musician and certainly, the best drummer in the "Blue Stars"! Incidentally, Bill Geddes was still playing regularly, and had released several CDs, until his untimely death two years ago. We achieved a modest success and also appeared at Southampton's Guild Hall for the princely sum of £5 - on a package show featuring: The Footprints, The Nite People and headlined by Les Fleur de Lys, occasionally you can hear each of them on Sounds of the Sixties.

I then moved to London and it was back to the wilderness again until I moved to High Wycombe. I still couldn't get music out of my system so in 1973, and yes - you've guessed it - I advertised again! This time I met Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster look-alikes, Jack and Dennis and their Fender copy Antorias and was transported into the wonderful world of Status Quo - a world I've never entirely left - we called ourselves Fat Man's Toy. Yes we did 'Paper Plane' and 'Caroline' fuelled by home-made beer in Jack's house until the volume caused his kitchen shelf to collapse and, yes, it was the one that housed his crystal glass collection! But we also played numbers like 'Please Don't Touch' and 'Shakin' All Over', both written and first performed by the late, great Johnny Kidd - I recently saw The Pirates live at the Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne - absolutely fantastic! Anyway, to cut a long story short, we lined ourselves up for our first gig in a pub in Reading. Sadly, despite the fact that we were a trio, we, for the whole night, outnumbered the punters! Was that the end? No, not us, we hired a hall, argued a lot and practised non-stop for three months (doubling the intake of home-brew in the process!) and hit the road again but this time we were a success and for two years we were out gigging 1-3 nights every week, and over the Christmas and New Year period, it was often six nights out of seven. By this time Jack had graduated to a Hayman 3030 guitar and Dennis bought a huge bass amp. For me it was first a Pearl Dynamic drum kit which I bought direct from Dallas Arbiter at a trade price of 90.20 on 23rd November 1973. Then to Jack's fury, as he'd bought his Hayman 3030 guitar at the full retail price of 160, I bought a Hayman Showman drum kit in Solid Silver again at "trade" direct from Dallas Arbiter for 183.60 on 15th May 1975. One of our most popular numbers was 'Baby Jump' by Mungo Jerry, but my lasting souvenir of this time is a tape of me lead singing 'Twenty Flight Rock' by Eddie Cochran (recorded on 10 cassette recorder), live at The Bell in Maidenhead - a well known venue.

But, as with many bands, personalities clashed and Dennis and I left Jack to his own musical wilderness and joined Eric, and Earthborn was formed. We even had Roger Newell, but sadly without his triple necked custom Wal bass, (Yes, Rick Wakeman, Marty Wilde's Wildcats etc) join us for a few gigs and changed our style, ending up as a four-piece doing clubs and pubs within an area which included London, Hampshire, the South Midlands and Hertfordshire. In this band I was the one who drew the short straw and had to lead sing favourites like 'Viva Espana' and 'Una Paloma Blanca' - well, no-one else would! Thankfully, we always managed to avoid 'The Birdie Song'!! By now I had graduated to a Premier Kit (in black and orange hoops!), Slingerland chrome snare (I sometimes used an unusual 10-inch 1930s Premier Ace chrome snare drum with double snares - the second under the batter head), coupled with Super Zyn and Zildjan cymbals (which I still have today). Eric was using a Fender Stratocaster and a Fender Twin Reverb, Dennis had a Fender Musicmaster Bass and H & H amp and, Mike the new lead guitarist, a Fender Telecaster and another Twin Reverb.

All went well till about 1978 when another split occurred. Briefly I joined Wayne as a duo, backed a weekly talent contest at the King's Head in High Wycombe, then Trooper (at that time a young and upcoming band from Oxford) until I met the person who I enjoyed playing music with the most, Tony Price, who used an Epiphone E-270 and I have a similar model in my collection today. We sometimes gigged as Tony and Guy or as Earthborn 2 (or 3 or 4) or whatever our agent, Bob Kember from Watford, wanted us to be for the booking he'd made for us. Tony Price is an amazing entertainer and with the right luck and promotion would have been the star he always deserved to be. However for some reason, which I have never had difficulty understanding, Tony was never, in all our time together, appreciative of my singing ability! How do I know this - well, why else did he keep turning my mike down and his Watkins Copicat up, just as I was about to harmonise with him?

But we finally went our separate musical ways - he and his wife to Lincolnshire and me to Cornwall. Tony has since had a long and successful career in music and released several CDs, only retiring himself and his Fender Stratocasters in 2005. (Tony Price sadly passed away in December 2011.) Since moving to Cornwall I've only come out of retirement on a few occasions to gig in Penzance and Hayle, or to annoy the neighbours!

Through all this time I found a love of guitars and a love that I could never quite understand - because I can barely even play one! But for me that's a bonus because I can appreciate them without being hampered by liking them only because of their sound or action or whatever all you budding Jimmy Page's look for. So with that, how could I resist becoming a collector - and that's why my collection has yer Fenders (of course), yer Gibson (a Victory) but also a Fenton Weill and a Tremo Twenty (a what?) - the quirkiest guitar of all, excepting of course, my Burns Weill bass and my weird, wonderful Teisco SS-4L. And not forgetting my selection of Supersounds - some of the earliest solid body electrics made in the UK (more information on Supersound Guitars and the company itself can be found in the Story of Supersound website). Which do I love best - fair reader, I'll let you be the judge, as you check out my collection. It may not be the best and it hopefully isn't the worst - but it is all mine!

Finally, my own guitar heroes? Naturally - Mick Green (The Pirates, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Bryan Ferry) and, of course, the legendary Welsh rocker himself, Dave Edmunds - who can ever forget 'Deborah', or 'I Knew the Bride' and 'Girls Talk'.

However a special mention must go to guitar collector and the UK's No 1 Rockin' Blues guitarist Larry Miller and, of course, the greatest Rockin' Blues guitarist of them all...the incomparable Johnny Winter.

Stop Press: 2014 update.

In October 2012, a guitarist friend, Ron Barratt (Ron And Rosalind), persuaded me to dust off my drums and do a "one off" gig with him at Camborne Conservative Club, Cornwall to celebrate the 5th November and I reluctantly agreed. This was to be my first gig since 1987!

Of course having done it and to a very surprisingly (to me, anyway!) enthusiastic audience, I was hooked and decided I'd like to try to get my drumming back up to speed again.

So in January I was off to a jam session held by Alan Rideout and his partner Kc. (Casey) Johnson. Well, I sat quietly at the back of the venue open mouthed as a stream of excellent drummers (aged from about 10 years old!) got up and, in turn, did their stuff! How can I compete with children I asked myself and almost walked out. Luckily I managed to delay my performance till last (nearly everybody had left by then including the other drummers!) but thanks to the remaining musicians it was ok ...well I enjoyed it anyway!

As a consequence I spent the next few months practising or playing anywhere or everywhere I could ...jam sessions, open mike sessions or just anywhere or with anyone who needed a (free) drummer. Then in August I joined The Parchman Blues Band led by local businessman and guitarist John Cowles playing old blues. Our first gig together (after just one practice) was at a blues festival near Looe in S.E.Cornwall...so no pressure! Then in November local personality, ex-champion show jumper and rock 'n' roller Ben Davis asked me to join his band The Thunderbirds which he was reforming after a break due to ill health. And I'm still with them playing with Geoff Jackson on bass, Chris Ward lead guitar (surely the only person who can lift my Mapex traps bag above his head!) and Ben Davis jnr. on the mixer deck.

And not content with 2 bands I've now formed the Al Rideout band playing blues rock with the very talented multi instrumentalist Kc (Casey) Johnson on bass and vocals and occasionally Simon Bowman on keyboards. And here is a recording from one of our first gigs (done on a digital recorder) which was held at the Queens Arms, Breage, Helston on 8th March 2014:


MPS Audio   "Teenage Kicks" The Al Rideout Band

However by mid May, with no paid bookings in the pipeline and modest intentions, an amicable parting of the ways with the Parchman Blues Band became inevitable.

Finally a message to my friends Frank Allen (The Searchers), Alan Lovell (The Swinging Blue Jeans), Roger Newell (The Wildcats) if you or anyone you know are ever desperate (well you'd have to be!) and need a drummer....call me. And will I play for nothing just to be on the same stage as any of you? Well of course I will and I'll pay my own expenses too!

So has my phone rung? Well No - not to date anyway! But I live in hope and one day, who knows, I may be able to update this page!

And my present drum kit? A Mapex Meridian in birch:- 10/12/14/22. Cymbals:- 2 16" Zildjan K Dark crashs:- a medium and a thin, an old 20" Paiste 2002 ride and a pair of Paiste Alpha Hi-hats. Hi-Hat? A Premier given to me by my mother many years ago. Pedals? A Ludwig Speed King and a Yamaha pedal. Sticks? Vater sugar maple and my latest toy...Rock Stix Pro2!

And as for my Guitar Collection? Well that's still growing too so please keep checking!

Charlie Gracie Concert November 2014!

So, having waited what seemed like an age for the phone to ring (actually it was only a few months but it seemed like an age!!) I decided that if I wanted to play with a "Name" I'd have to organise it myself! So after hearing that legendary Rock 'n' Roll Pioneer Charlie Gracie ("Fabulous", "Butterfly", "Wanderin' Eyes" etc.) was touring the UK in November and had a few spare dates - I determined to book him myself and build a show round him!

Having made that decision I gave up my playing career in various line ups and concentrated on Charlie Gracie's set. I decided to make the event a Charity concert in aid of The Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust and put a band together to back him. Thankfully my friend and possibly the finest 50s guitarist Ron Barrett was available, as was Andy Pascoe a fine bassist and proprietor of Modern Music in Truro.

Support acts were No Apologies...acapello ladies singing 50s & 60s numbers and The Pistoleros who got the audience dancing with their versions of R 'n' R standards and 60s classics. Legendary BBC Radio Cornwall DJ Freddy Zapp compered the show and the BBC's Matt Shepherd auctioned a guitar specially built by my friend Trevor Williamson.

Charlie Gracie Live in Cornwall 2014 backed by The Guitar Collections very own Guy Mackenzie on drums, with Andy Pascoe on bass and Ron Barrett on guitar:

"Fabulous":

"Wanderin' Eyes":

"At the Hop":

The evening was a "Fabulous" success (far beyond my expectations) and the concert was sold out and raised over 2,000 for the Trust! Charlie Gracie was an absolute delight both as a man and as someone to play with and it was an evening I'll never forget. I've achieved my ambition to play with an internationally known star.

Update 2015

Following the success of the concert starring Charlie Gracie in 2014, I rebooked Charlie Gracie again in 2015 and this time I included, on the bill, Graham Fenton of "Matchbox". However, tragically Ron Barrett had passed away in March and so backing was provided by the "Sugar Bullets".

Support was again provided by the fabulous "No Apologies". Joint comperes were Matt Shepherd and Freddy Zapp and, once again, the Concert was sold out - a week beforehand! And, as a consequence, over 3,000 was raised for the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust!

2016

After one year of inactivity, my friends the Sugar Bullets invited me to put a band together and play at a Rock 'n' Roll charity weekend they were planning in May. This resulted in me putting a trio together under my own name and after some practice sessions, including some live, we opened a very successful weekend.

Concert photos available in the Archive »

The Guy Mackenzie Trio playing Route 66:

Other songs from the set list:


MPS Audio   "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

MPS Audio   "Folesome Prison" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

MPS Audio   "Roll Over Beethoven" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

MPS Audio   "Singing the Blues" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

MPS Audio   "Peggy Sue" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

MPS Audio   "Trouble in Mind" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

MPS Audio   "Wild Side of Life" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

MPS Audio   "Wipe Out" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

MPS Audio   "Old Time Rock & Roll" The Guy Mackenzie Trio

The Future?

Having fulfilled almost every musical ambition I've ever had, is it time for a second and final retirement? Watch this space!


Venues I have played include:

750 Club · High Wycombe
Bell · High Wycombe
Bell · Maidenhead
Black Swan · Gweek
Blues & Roots Festival · Looe, Cornwall
Brick Layers Arms · Wheelers End
Brimpton Grange · Milton Common, Oxfordshire
British Legion Club · Flackwell Heath
British Legion Club · Marlow
British Legion Club · Princes Risborough
Brittania · Aylesbury
Buck Inn · Burley, New Forest, Hampshire
Buffs Club · Penzance
Burnham Working Mens Club
Carriers · Watlington
Castle · High Wycombe
Cheltenham Hospital
Civil Engineer · Greenford, Middlesex
Corn Dolly · Oxford
The Cornubia · Hayle
Cressex Community Centre · High Wycombe
Crown · Aylesbury
Crown Tavern · High Wycombe
Dairymead · Aylesbury
Downley Donkey · Downley, High Wycombe
Downley Heights PTA · West Wycombe
Duck · Aylesbury
Duke of Clarence · London W11
Falcon · Woodley
Godolphin Club · Helston
Golden Goblet · Southend
Guild Hall · Southampton
Havelock Arms · Harrow
Hazells Club · Aylesbury
Hedsor Club · Buckinghamshire
Humphrey Davey · Penzance
John F Kennedy · Aylesbury
Kings Head · High Wycombe
Kings Head · Penzance
Kings Langley Services Club
London Village · London W4
Mawla Charity Rally · Redruth
Miners & Mechanics Institute · St Agnes, Cornwall
Moreton in the Marsh Football Club
Mounts Bay Inn · Mullion
Nags Head · London N7
Nettlebed Working Mens Club · Oxfordshire
New Holland Social Club · Aylesbury
New Inn · Wendron, Helston
Overton Football Club · Hampshire
Plough · Brackley
Queens Arms · Breage, Helston
Railway Inn · Eastleigh
Red Jackets · Camborne
Sandbar · Praa Sands, Cornwall
Scotts Social Club · Bletchley
SKF Sports and Social Club · Luton
Stable Bar of the White Hart · Hayle
Stithians Lake Cafe · Redruth
Swordfish · Newlyn
Tamarac Lodge · Volumntown, Ct., USA
Target · Northolt
Thames Valley Caravan Club · Windsor
Trades Union Club · Reading
Turnpike · High Wycombe
Victoria Inn · Four Lanes, Redruth
Union Hotel · Penzance
Watermill · Hayle
White Hart · Didcot
White Lion · Penzance
William IV · Langley, Slough
William IV · Madron, Penzance
Windmill · Slough
Windsor Racecourse
Woking Working Mens Club
Wooburn Green Working Mens Club Equal Status card The Blue Stars card Fat Man's Toy card The Al Rideout Band Playing at the Badger Inn Poster
An agency agreement engaging Guy Mackenzie as a drummer An agency agreement engaging Guy Mackenzie as a drummer An agency agreement engaging Guy Mackenzie as a drummer
Flyer for the band Earthborn
A poster for the band Earthborn A poster for Earthborn appearing in West Wycombe A newspaper advert for the band Fat Man's Toy
A poster for the band Fat Man's Toy appearing at the Crown Tavern A poster for Earthborn appearing in Nettlebed A poster for Earthborn
A poster for Earthborn New Tear 1977 A poster for Earthborn An advert for the Blue Stars
A newspaper advert for the band Earthborn A newspaper advert for the band Earthborn appearing at Hazells Club A newspaper advert for the band Earthborn appearing at Hazells Club
A poster for Sounds Around A poster for Christmas and New Year Entertainment
 
Vintage electric guitars   The Guitar Collection as featured in Guitar & Bass, Vol 18 No 1, Feb 2007
Text and photographs by Lars Mullen


Guy Mackenzie with his guitar collection
 
Vintage electric guitars   The Guitar Collection - my Supersound Guitar Collection as featured in Guitar & Bass May 2009
My thanks to Paul Day for all his help and encouragement
My Supersound Collection
 
Vintage electric guitars   The Guitar Collection as featured in Guitar & Bass Magazine 2010

Guy Mackenzie with his Guitar Collection
 
The Supersound story unfolds...

The full story of the Supersound story can be found on the The Supersound Story website.

Guitar and Bass Magazine September 2010 Vol 21 No. 10 Roger Cooper reports:-

The best of British

Guitar Buyer Magazine September 2010 Issue 109. Paul Alcantara reports and adds the Burns timeline:-

50 Years of Burns Guitars Burns Timeline

 
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