Guitar Collections

Posted on: 13th July 2012

Hi Guy

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.
Richard S.