Thanks for visiting The Guitar Collection!
If you would like to leave a comment for the Guestbook contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
My thanks to Alan Lovell of The Swinging Blue Jeans for forwarding this letter from Alan Jay.
Alan Jay writes:-
I haven’t played guitars for many years but here is a picture of me Back in the Day in the early 1960s with my Watkins Rapier.
Later on I went solo as a comic but recently did some guest spots at my Club, The Edgeford, Matlock, Derbys. I wish I’d never sold the Watkins Rapier…
Hi again Guy.
Thanks for getting back to me so soon. I appreciate your help very much. Yes, I’m happy to send you some pictures of my Masquerader. It’s a wonderful guitar.
I bought it a year or so, off of a chap who’s selling a huge collection (140+) of mainly British vintage instruments. Gordon Smiths, Deacons, Breadwinners, Luthier built, etc. He was in the right place, right time in the ’70’s.
Firstly, here’s a photo of the masquerader from the Shergold archive site. I’ve messaged them also, to find out exactly whether it is indeed one of the 1st 10 made, as claimed?
This guitar has a curved shaped headstock. Whereas my one has a squared off headstock.
It went well with the double neck 12/6 (which I recently sold), and the ’98 Status Groove 5 string active bass. A UK threesome. The 12/6 was a Lump, and in need of a bit too much work. It had an Ivory nut! And it was Stereo, too. It’s currently up for sale on gumtree for even more money?? Good luck to the chap.
Thanks once more for your help with the blue burst.
This might interest you…is it really one of the first Masqueraders?
Guitar Guru Paul Day replies:
The Masquerader with the curvy carved headstock is indeed one of the very early examples, as these used necks originally intended for Hayman guitars and Jack simply pinned his own badge over the hole in the top of the headstock. The shape was then simplified to a straight-sided outline and eventually the pinned badge was replaced by a stuck-on equivalent. I’ll need to know the serial number of John’s guitar and I can then provide an exact date.
All the best,
This is Paul’s reply and yours is a really interesting guitar too! If you let me know the serial number maybe you’ll have your answer!
All the best,
Shergold Masquerader serial is 3431
P.S. The only person i’ve ever seen actually playing a Shergold custom double, 12/6 – like mine was the late, and great John Goodsall of Brand x.
Guy’s and Paul Day’s responses:
Paul One more serial number for your records at least! All the best,
Having checked my Shergold manufacturing records, kindly provided by Jack Golder many years ago, I can confirm these indicate John’s guitar was made between the 13th and 28th of August 1976, being one of 21
Masqueraders and Meteors produced during that particular period. Up until then Jack & co had built 318 since production commenced in November 1975, with various changes in construction and components occurring pretty quickly. I assume John’s received a similar response from the Shergold archive site, as I allowed Andrew Mannering to copy everything I had on the company, so this info should tally.
By the way, I needed the serial number only to assist John, as thanks to Jack I already have sufficient info on Shergold. I wish I could say the same about the database I’m still compiling on Burns/Baldwin, which
continues to grow at snail’s pace. Of course, I also have one on the Jim Burns era, 1979-84, as I was personally involved, while the list I’m amassing on Watkins/WEM/Wilson instruments is purely for historic
research purposes, i.e. to help refute/correct Charlie’s (Charlie Watkins) woefully inaccurate account of proceedings!
All the best,
For further information about Shergold Guitars listen to this interview with Jack Shergold recorded by Paul Day back in 1977:
Gibson Epiphone ES335 Dot. 2003
Hello Guy. How do you do?
Great website and a fantastic collection you have.
I’m John. A bit of a collector, myself.
This guitar, I bought second hand, in Bristol, a couple of years back. It might not be your sort of thing, but I wondered if you could shed any light on it’s provenance, rarity, and value? It’s my prettiest guitar, by a mile. (I do also own a rare black Masquerader, which, I can see is your thing).
Obviously, I’m aware it’s Korean, and from 2003. I’ve contacted Epiphone, who denied all knowledge of it?? They put me onto Gibson Europe, who admitted it was one of theirs, but, curiously, refused to give me production numbers? You’d think they would give this information happily? As Marshall do, for instance.
I suspect it’s from a very limited paint shop run of about 100 ? What do you think? It’s called ‘Blue burst’, as opposed to the more common Pelham blue. The only other pictures of similar guitars I can find online are the original gumtree ad where I bought it, and a similarly stumped chap in Canada who’s also got one.
Be good to hear your opinion?
I referred your questions to Paul Day and here is his reply. I hope it helps.
All the best for 2018,
As you can imagine this means nothing to me but can you help at all?
All the best,
Thanks for this pre-Christmas poser! Obviously I have very little Epiphone info left in my considerably reduced archive, but my comprehensive literary library is still very much intact and I was able to glean sufficient details on this particular instrument from ‘The Epiphone Guitar Book’, so I feel I can answer John’s query with confidence.
The Epiphone ‘Dot’ was introduced in 1997 and the blueburst finish choice was apparently available 2000-2005, which means this guitar certainly wasn’t a limited edition of any sort, although I suspect such a far from traditional colour option didn’t prove too popular. The serial number confirms 2003 manufacture and the ‘U’ prefix indicates production originated from the Unsung factory in Korea. I hope this info is of some help.
All the best,
When I look at the photo on your front page I see the exact same guitar as this one (before the black repaint and the bridge change over). From your message I did note that the fret markers were rectangular and not round. Although they are now missing and need to be renewed you can still see the outlines clearly.
This is the only photo I have seen elsewhere as all of the others I’ve seen are the twin pick-up version. Mine was originally this exact colour with the same white pick guard which has unfortunately been lost over the years.
I enclose some photos that I took today of the parts I have. I am hoping to refurbish it and finish it off to at least a playable standard during this winter as it was last played i the 80s after the bridge was changed over.
I was based in the South East for years but I am now retired and living in South Wales. Would love to pop in and see your collection at some point on my travels
Thanks for your message and pictures. Your guitar dates from about 1961/2 and it is a Guyatone LG40 although it may have been branded Star (the Antoria had dot markers). Your guitar has the later headstock – I have added a second video on my LG50 description which has the same headstock as yours.
I think it’s a great find and in reasonably good condition too especially with the parts and the original case. I’m sure you will be able to restore it.
You will be very welcome to come and see my collection if you ever come to Cornwall!
All the best,
Simon Jones Guitarist
Me again, Lars here! I know a really good guitarist who’d love to play your guitars – his name is Simon Jones. I don’t know whether you know him but he’s a friend of Paul Day and I’ll send you his contact details if you’d like to contact him.
Flying around as usual!
Catch up soon!
Yes I met Simon once and would really like to do some guitar videos with him playing my guitars! I’ll contact him as soon as I have his contact details.
All the best and see you soon,
YouTube videos featuring Simon Jones playing Guy’s (and some of his own) guitars:
Blue Moon Guitar
Note: Russ Field was the guitarist with Showaddywaddy (until 1985) who played the Blue Moon Guitar in 1980!
It was very nice to speak to you today!
Here is the link to my website:- www.theguitarcollection.org.uk and on the Home page are links to my personal Facebook page, my Guitar Collection Facebook page and my Instagram page – all have pics of the Blue Moon guitar. In addition there is a link to my new You Tube video channel which I set up to feature some of my guitars & basses being played live & interviews – it’s still work in progress! But the channel includes “The Guitar Collection (my appearance) on BBC TV’s Antiques Road Trip” which features the Blue Moon guitar.
You will find the Blue Moon Guitar in the “Galleries” on my website, The “Archive page” and the “Historic Guitars” page where there is also a link to Paul Day’s appearance with the Blue Moon Guitar on BBC TV’s The History of the Guitar.
Lots of other guitars featured too! Have fun and enjoy the motor racing!
All the best,
Likewise I very much enjoyed our conversation!
Sorry I was unable to supply you with any further information about the Blue Moon Guitar but as I recall it was only used for promotional purposes with the exception of our own televised ‘Showaddywaddyshow’ www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHiXmx4w1qo
Have looked at the various links on your website and there are lots of interesting (and unusual) instruments and interviews to savour!
I noticed on one photo a Burns Artist – my first ‘proper’ guitar was a 1960 Burns Sonic which I sold many years ago but found an identical one on Ebay to replace it.
Some time ago I decided while my memory is still reasonably intact to list all my previous musical instruments over the years but the one I have always regretted selling was my stop-tail early 1960’s Gibson ES345 TDSV which I am determined to replace if the correct model ever comes up for sale.
With best wishes and please call in to see us if you are ever journeying this far North!
With best wishes,
Kris Barras Band
I’ve recently met an amazing blues/rock guitarist called Kris Barras – here in Torbay! And, believe it or not ,he’s a cage fighter as well!!
I feel that you should interview him and ask him to play some of his guitars – what do you think?
All the best,
Thanks for your message. Yes, lets arrange an interview as soon as possible as, judging from his videos, I think he’s amazing and must have an interesting story with the cage fighting!
All the best,
And here is the interview plus Kris playing his Cigarbox guitar:
And here is Kris playing Guy’s Gibson Victory:
Unknown Les Paul Style Guitar
I notice you have one unknown les paul guitar. Does it happen to be hollow and have metal gold knobs?
What do you know about it as I appear to have one that either myself or my brother has owned for about 40 years or so.
Thanks for your message. Yes mine is a hollow body with gold knobs and looking at your pictures (click on the thumbnails to see larger versions of the photos) and compared to mine they are identical!
It belonged to a friend of mine who sadly died recently and his family wanted me to have it. It was his favourite guitar of several.
After having done some research, we believe that it was marketed by Bells of Surbiton and dates from around 1970ish. How does this seem to you? I’d anyway like to add our exchange of emails and some pictures to my Guestbook if that’s ok with you?
All the best,
Yes that’s fine.
I was told by a chap from the States who is a self proclaimed MIJ Guitar expert that it was Teisco gen gakki factory that is not to be confused with Teisco.
I got the Guitar in a sorry state off my brother about 15 years ago as payment for repairing one of his amps. I’d always liked it when I was a kid my brother brought it in about 1975 or 1976 from Andertons in Guildford. It was second hand at the time. I tried to find out about it about 5 years ago on “My Les Paul” forum. One of the posters there thought it was the exact guitar he sold in 1975 to a shop in Horsham.
Mine is stuffed with a white cloth which the chap informed me was Kapok that he had stuffed in there to try to cut down on feed back. It would be interesting to see if yours has this as if not mine is definitely this chaps ex guitar.
My brother was told it was a Suzuki guitar and the chap on the Forum said he was Told it was an Antoria. I remember that my brother undid the wrong screws and dropped the neck pick up inside the body as he was trying to turn it round as it had been fitted back to front during a recent repair.
I am almost certain that at the time under the pick up there was a label. I looked and there is nothing there now it may be somewhere in the body or not. You may be lucky and still have it fitted on yours.
Bells did import a lot of stuff and in the day was one of the places Surrey residents went to buy Musical instruments. Apparently they imported an Organ similar to a Hammond that was branded with their own name. My mate knows quite a lot about them.
What is strange about the guitar other than it being hollow is that it has a Zero fret not much neck angle and a Gibson style head-stock. It’s made more like an acoustic. The hardware which was gold (mines worn silver now) has a tail piece nothing like a gibson and as you say those metal knobs. I always thought the machine heads would be the clue as the pattern is very distinctive. You mentioned Ibanez?
Mine plays really nicely and has a clean jazzy sound. I have declined many good offers to buy it over the years. I had believed up until the other night that it was maybe a sample supplied to someone like Rose Morris as an example of build quality they could expect on their own branded guitars hence why it is hollow demonstrating the factory’s ability to produce both electric and acoustic instruments.
Also being hollow would have been cheaper to ship as there would be no sense in shipping a heavy solid guitar to try to secure an order or contract. However yours is a game changer and points more towards a production model.
The other thing is that the neck is very thin in profile and this is actually very common with guitars made for the far eastern market.
But that’s about it from my knowledge base as it were. Hope that helps and do let me know if you unearth and more info.
I never realised till I saw one of your recent posts on Facebook, that you had basses as well as guitars.
If you’d ever like to do some you tube videos of your basses being played, I’d be up for that! No money involved – just a bit of fun as I’ve never heard or seen some of the early basses you own – let alone played them!
Just let me know either way,
Thank you for your message and offer. Yes I’d really appreciate it if you’d come and play some for me! In fact I’d be really honoured to have a professional who has literally toured all over the world, for many years, come and play my basses – and,just for fun, is a real bonus!
I’ll be in touch very soon!
All the best and thanks for your offer,
This exchange has now resulted in the Bass Files on Youtube:
Dear Guy (if I may),
I write to say what a wonderful collection you have. I was drawn to it by the John Bailey guitar.
My interest in it is that I knew John a bit back in the ‘60s. I was an enthusiastic bluegrass auto harp and guitar picker at the time in Sevenoaks, Kent. I saw the guitar when it was first owned by Andy Townend, the prodigious mandolin/fiddle and guitar picker for whom the guitar was built, and with whom I played Bluegrass for 5 years in a school boy band. We also played some swing and jazz which is what the Bailey guitar was used for as I recall.
Do you ever sell your guitars because I would be interested in this one if you do.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your message – it was very interesting to hear from you as you know the guitar. I had some contact with John several years ago which was very interesting – he seemed such a delightful person too.
Re your enquiry as whether I ever sell guitars, the answer is that I don’t and especially with this instrument – it is a one off and, as such, irreplaceable. But maybe one day and I’ll keep you in mind just in case.
Best wishes and please keep in touch.
PS as you probably already know, there is an excellent Wikipedia page on John – under John Bailey Luthier.