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Ovation 12 String
This was a country show. On the left Pete Pinkney, and my then husband Steve Bailey. We weren’t a trio although we did get together to do a few country shows.
Pete was a great guitarist who in my opinion was equal to Eric Clapton, and strangely as he grew older looked like him too. Steve Bailey was an excellent performer and writer, having written songs and a rock opera. He now resides near you in Looe in Cornwall. I at a later date did quite a few blues gigs with Pete. He at the moment is living in France. I carried on singing a mix of music. Liking blues I sang in France with the John Morgan Blues Band. Did lots of gigs here and abroad, until losing my voice some years back.
Had a good innings though, happy memories.
PS. Quite. The ovation was a dream guitar for Steve then. He said he didn’t want birthday or Christmas presents for the rest of his life. I think it cost around 400 which was a lot of money then. I wonder where it is now?
Thank you for sending on the picture and sharing some of your memories! Apart from being an interesting picture of 2 interesting guitars (and a very rare Ovation 12 string) you look fantastic!
Fenton Weil Fibratone
I wonder if you can help me, I’ve stumbled across the picture of your Fenton Weil Fibratone, I picked up a loaded Fibratone body at a house clearance which I’m hoping to undertake as a project but I can’t find anything about the 335 shaped one other than your photo, I’d love to restore it and find out what else I need, I am fortunate that the body still has all the electrics and Fenton weil pickups still in it, Matthew.
Thanks for your message! Great find! Can you send me some pictures and then I’ll have an idea of what you need?
Cheers, I was pretty chuffed, I got this and a second fiber glass 335 body for 36 quid, the second one I have no idea on and its in much worse condition.
The body seems in great condition and with the correct pickups, scratchplate and knobs too – what a great find! All you need now is a standard FW neck (which won’t be easy to find although I did see one for sale on a Facebook page either Fetishguitars.com or on one of Bill Lovegrove’s Burns guitars facebook pages – it would be worth joining Bill’s page and sending him a message) also a tailpiece and some Van Ghent open tuners (or closed if you can’t get the open ones).
By the way I’d love to see a picture of the second body you bought. And, if you don’t mind, I’d really appreciate adding your emails and pictures to the Guestbook of my website.
All the best,
PS the missing backplate, you could make yourself out of fibreglass – of course.
Thanks so much, the condition is stunning. Of course I don’t mind you adding the bits least I can do for the help. I have a neck that fits it for the time being.
Here are pictures of the second body I bought! (See the photo gallery.)
2nd body is littered with laquer cracks and the back panel is coming away, my guess is previous owner was trying to get at the holes for the electrics, unusual thing is there are no strap button holes, and I assume the 5 holes are 2 volume 2 tones plus input, but no hole for switch, also worth a not the neck pocket is its own sealed unit, segregated from the rest of the body with holes that don’t go through to the rear. As I say it has a back panel, and the rest seems to be one formed fiber glass unit, my guess is neck and electrics were loaded from the back then the rear fixed on.
In answer to your question about the Shark Guitar on the wall above the till, this is one of a couple of guitars custom built by one of our customers.
It certainly creates a lot of interest but is one of our own collection and, just in case anyone asks, its not for sale!
Absolute Music, Bournemouth
(Click on the photo to the top right for a larger version of this great guitar.)
Hello, sorry I speak little English, here are photos of my guitar to your website. It’s nice of you.
(Click on the photos for larger versions.)
Early Burns-Aristone Connection?
Every so often I trawl the internet for clues about my Aristone-branded Burns Sonic. Usualy all I come up with is a link to my own blog post Simon’s Musical Den: Burns Sonic guitar, 1960 (“The Aristone”) that you may have seen, since it’s been online since 2008.
Today I came across some extra info, not new info but new to me – that the Burns Ike Isaacs guitar included some parts from Aristone. This is first time I’ve seen the two names linked. The source (https://gypsyjazzuk.wordpress.com/36-2/ike-isaacs/ike-burns-guitars/) says they used Besson Aristone parts, which would be Framus I assume. I’ve seen a couple of other guitars with the same ‘The Aristone’ logo, which the Gypsy Jazz site suggests were made in England by Jack Abbott (see https://gypsyjazzuk.wordpress.com/gypsy-jazz-uk-home/uk-luthiers/aristoneguitars/)
The ’58-’60 period is quite confusing to me, but it seems like the different deals and partnerships overlap. Any thoughts on my guitar? I know nothing is definite, but I’ve been curious about it for a long time.
Thanks for your time, and your excellent website!
Simon Murphy London
Thanks for your message and my apologies for taking so long to get back to you.
Your guitar is a Burns Sonic and dates from 1960/61 and was branded Aristone and marketed by Besson. We don’t know how many of these were built for the Company but probably somewhere in the region of perhaps a couple of dozen. So, in this guise, its a rare instrument.
As you rightly say, Jim Burns did have dealings with Besson. After he parted company with Supersound in early Dec ’58 he retained bodies (a total of “less than 20” were built) of the Supersound Ike Issaacs guitar. But lacking pickups and tail pieces, due to the split with Supersound, he bought these from Besson and finished the guitars with these products. However, when he joined forces with Henry Weill in c.February ’59 he used Weill parts on the remainder.
Best wishes and hope this helps,
I’m in the process of reducing my guitar collection with a view to adding some different instruments and have a Hofner Galaxy which might be of interest to you. Please let me know if you are interested and, if not, I’ll put it on an internet auction site.
Thanks for your offer, yes I’d love to add it to my collection as I know that its in A1 condition!
All the best,
Note: Of course I bought Pete’s Hofner Galaxy and I recently uploaded a video to YouTube of it being played live. It sounds great! And here is the link on my new YouTube Channel:- Hofner Galaxie On The Guitar Collection YouTube Channel
Fenton Weill Guitar
Somewhere in the 80s I bought a special guitar in Turnhout, Belgium.
Last week a friend of mine gave me a few old issues of the Guitar & Bass Classics magazine. There I read an article about you and your guitar collection. That’s why I think you can tell me more about the guitar I own, see pictures in attachment.
Thanks for your message. I can’t see the name plate clearly but I’m sure it says…Fenton Weill? And, if so its an early Fenton Weill Triplemaster built in the UK in about 1960 and fairly collectable today.
Fenton Weill built guitars from 1960-1965 although their first entry into building electric guitars was in February 1959 when Henry Weill formed a partnership with Jim Burns called Burns Weill. The partnership ended in November 1959 when Jim Burns went on his own with Burns guitars (Ormston Burns) and Henry Weill formed (Weill then) Fenton Weill guitars.
Your model uses a left over neck from the B.W. partnership coupled with Henry’s new body – an updated B W Superstreamline body (see Betty Weill in my Archive page and the 2 B W Superstreamline instruments in my Galleries pages: Burns Weill Super Streamline Bass 1 & Burns Weill Super Streamline Bass 2).
Burns-Weill related questions
Martin Kelly here.
I hope this finds you well?
I have a couple of Burns-Weill related questions for you and hope you don’t mind me asking.
I have ’59 Super Streamline bass but don’t have the correct lead to plug the thing in!! As I’m sure you know these came with a tiny – and unusual – socket on the side of the body.
Like a mini male phono on the guitar that needs a female jack to link it to the amp. I’d rather never hear the bass than change the original socket.
With that in mind, might you have a spare of the correct lead or know which type of jack socket was used?
If you have pictures of the lead/socket that would be appreciated.
Also, do your two basses have serial numbers? Mine does and I only just found it hiding under the Burns – Weill headstock logo.
Any help much appreciated.
Thank you for your message – good to hear from you and I’m well and hope you are too.
I was surprised to know that your BW SS bass has a serial number! Is it printed on or engraved into the headstock?
The John Godfrey one has been modified with updated jack socket (and bridge). The headstock badge is a raised oval edged badge which I have never taken off and am a bit reluctant to do this myself. So I’m unable to answer this part of your question.
The one that I have which is still stripped down does have a sort of coax-socket (like a TV) and, although I’ve never tried it (as it unconnected) it appears to fit the made up lead I have which came with my Vox Shadow – which has a similar jack socket. The body has been stripped and sanded and there is no sign of a serial number. But, of course, if it was stamped or written on then its probably been sanded off.
I hope this helps – a bit anyway! But I’d be interested to know what the serial number of yours?
For the past nearly three years, a local film company down here in Cornwall has tried to put together a proposal to BBC4 for a film of the story of British Electric guitars. Quite honestly, it never really got off the ground.
But it seems to me that there is a story to be told and consequently I’ve just launched my own Youtube channel. OK it’s very small as of now but who knows… My plan being to do the story of British electrics in about 25 chapters and release it weekly on Youtube. Well that’s the idea anyway – time and other commitments permitting! Of course I couldn’t do the Vox chapter with out your involvement – would you be prepared to be involved? I’d come to you sometime in the future at a time and place to suit you.
Basically the headings are as follows:-
Guitars – the Story of British Electrics.
And the part they played in the story of British music – which conquered the world.
Told through the musicians who played them, the authors who write about them, the collectors who collect them and the stars who’s careers started with them.
All the best,
Thanks for your mail.
I attach a few pictures of my RP1/B Super Streamliner (see above).
It’s the only one I’ve seen in sunburst other than the one shown (with Burns Weill logo) in the first Fenton Weill catalogue. The serial number was located under the headstock plate and seems to be genuine – 14002.
The control cavity has pencil marks under the paint that read “Weill 2 Red Sunburst” there is also a number 2 scratched into the paintwork in that spot. Could it be the second bass made? Who knows?
You can see from the picture of the input socket that it’s quite tiny. Much smaller than a standard – Vox type – co-ax.
I’m sure it’ll be some sort of hi-fi lead of the day but I’m yet to source the correct item.
Your program on British guitars sounds interesting. Being a film maker I know how hard it is to score a commission. I did however, get a film I made on the band Dexys shown on BBC4 during 2015 but that wasn’t easy.
Yes, I’d be happy to help you on a Vox episode or two. I have a lot of Vox’s here – over 100 at last count.
I’m pretty certain that Vox were the most prolific – in terms of different models – of all the UK makers. There were close to 150 different models produced by JMI between ’59-67 (the same sort of number from the Italians!).
Something that has made writing my book a long process. That said my brother and I are almost finished.
Speak soon and let me know if you have any ideas re that jack socket!
Thanks for your offer of help with my films – I can assure you that any assistance you can give me will be very much appreciated!
In the meantime, I hope someone reading this will be able to help with your Burns Weill jack socket issue. I will pass on any emails regarding this.
In the meantime, best wishes and please keep in touch!
All the best,
Fenton Weil band sponsorship in the 1960s
My dad’s band in the early 60s were sponsored by Fenton Weil.
We’d like to know more about the band and what guitars they used…everything really!
All the best,
The band was called THE DRIFTIN STRANGERS. The members were made up from serving members in the RAF that were based at RAF WYTON which is near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.
The photo you see is from 1961-62…my dad was the bass player. I’m led to believe that the guitar on the right was stereophonic,as it had twin jack plug sockets in the guitar itself…as you might be able to see that guitar has at least 5 volume/tone pots on it.
The bass I’m led to believe is a CONTRA model? Dad says they spent at least a day at the factory getting shown round. He was even shown the piece of wood that ended up as his bass…he doesn’t think he spoke to Mr weill when at the factory.
As I said the back drop behind them, they had to use that at every public performance they did…oh before I forget they got the deal through their manager at the time via an booking agent called Glenn Craig. Theatrical agency.
That’s all I know.. I’d like to know more myself just to relay anymore information to my father.
Hope it helps.
Is this a Mirage or is it two!
I thought you’d like to see a picture of us with our Burns Mirages which was taken before the Charlie Gracie Concert last November. Bearing in mind just how rare these guitars are, I wonder if we’ll ever see another picture of two together? Or even one!
Thanks for sending on the pictures! But, I understand from Paul Day, since you wrote to me, that you have sold yours and at an amazing profit too! Although I know just how much you wanted one, I do accept that every guitar (or Guitar Collector!) has his price!
But I do know that I never want to be parted from mine!
All the best,