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Raye Du Val
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!
Elusive Burns Guitar
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…
All the best,
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.
Dallas Tuxedo guitar
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.
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.
All the best,
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,
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!!