Monday, 25 January 2016

Reeve Guitars and Basses. . . . .

When I bought my first Reeve, I never thought I would 
end up getting the whole story.
After much research and putting out requets, my call
was finally answered. 
Many thanks to Andy Gilbert, who slotted in the missing
piece of the jigsaw!!
Cheers mate! :) 

This is Val and Ges Reeve!

Val has made contact with me and is very happy to tell
the story of Reeve Guitars.
A story that is much bigger than I ever imagined it would
ever be!!

Val, take it away!!

Hi Eric
Right here we go.
It all started in the late seventies.  Mick had been raring to 

make a guitar, Ges more reluctant. 
One day Mick came in to us from school with a piece of beech 

saying 'here's the body'. 
He had retrieved the lid of a school desk that was being dumped 

at the school. 
They were totally inexperienced but this was a music household, 

my son having his own band.
Mick having his own musical connections, able to play both lead 

and bass plus being a whizz kid at electronics and Ges becoming 
involved so they both knew their way round a guitar. 
In actual fact it turned out brilliantly so that was it, Reeve Guitars 

was born.
Both Ges and Mick in their own fields were very very talented, 

each complimenting the other in their craftsmanship.

Because we were involved in the local music scene, word quickly 

got round and orders started to come in. 
A huge selling feature was that the customer could call in regularly 

to check the progress of the instrument and also we could produce 
whatever the customer wanted. 
We made instruments for The Wellington Bootles, a local band 

who had a certain amount of 'fame' at the time.

Obviously by this time, the garage which had become a workshop 

had been extended, part soundproofed and now housed a lot of 
very impressive wood working machinery. 
Ges and I went to Nottingham to order one particular beast. 
We found a very reliable  supplier Cass Music in Eastbourne, 

it was a lovely man there, Jeff Frost who ordered all our 
Kent Armstrong pickups, some made to a definite specification.  

The dining room was turned into a customer receiving room. 
Sometimes the place was packed with would be customers or just 

guitarist mates of my son, Michael (or Mike).  
Michael was the most talented guitarist.  Sadly he died in March 2001

I did all the ordering, correspondence, phoning etc and during 1983, 

we put our heads together because we needed to project our profile 
and I came up with contacting Melody Maker magazine. 
I was in touch with a Mark Jenkins who ran a couple of reviews  in 

Melody Maker on Reeve Guitars.  
Ges and I had taken one of our guitars to his home for him to try.
Mark also got Snowy White (famous guitarist then) to write a review. 
The publicity sure paid off -  we were away!!!


There is more to come from Val and more from the contacts
I have made along the way - owners, their Reeve Guitars and
their stories. 

My headless is almost complete, so will be gettting some final
shots of that, soon.

More to come next time.

Cheers. :) 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Reeve Headless Bass - Nearly There. . . . .

More progress has been made!

I tend to save old strings to mess around and do a basic set up.
I don't do it every time but this seemed like a good candidate.
These came from a Jazz bass and I think I may have cut them  
a little short!!

Never mind, they are only temporary, I'll correct that later on.

Having fixed the broken joint and fitted a new battery, it was time
to plug it in.
Very nice, indeed!!

On passive there is quite a big sound to it with some tones that are
more than acceptable - turn on the active - Wow!
As you have seen from the previous post, it has an "old fashioned" 
looking circuit but there is a lot going on in there.
The rear control knob operates a five position rotary switch, which
takes you from a deep, powerful thud, though to biting highs.
After playing around with it for a while, I think my favourite is
position two - big bottom end with some mid bite. Nice!
I must have taken the strings of the Jazz, as they were loosing their
edge but on this, they seem just fine!

The bridge is totally floating and to be honest a bit of a fiddle but
seems to follow the design of some other Reeve basses I have seen.
The action and intonation aren't set at the moment - I'll get around
to that soon, as I think I will leave these strings on for the time being.

The frets have come up really nicely and the wonderfully "hand made"
string anchor works a treat, with the setting being done with the little
tool screwed into the bottom. How thoughtful!

A few minor jobs to finish off and then time to plug it into something
big and powerful!

Back next time with a full report.

Cheers. :)


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Reeve Headless - The Re-build Continues. . . .

Hi to all you patient readers. :)

Right, where are we up to now?


The top shot show the tuners finished and re-fitted and the
one above shows it when I took the cover plate off it.

As you can see, in red marker, it says "Derek".

I have no idea who Derek is or was - or what the arrow is for, 
unless Derek was the engraver and the instruction is "this
is the top"? 

All cleaned up inside with a dab of white grease, to keep it
running smoothly.

The other day, whilst I had the iron out, I sorted out the 
wayward wire, which was the only thing that was wrong
with the electronics.

And finally, for this post - I cleaned up the board, making 
the frets and the brass position markers stand out very
nicely - all shiny.
One coat of lemon oil, job done.

Currently, I am in the middle of cleaning the body and 
refitting the bridge, then the string retainer and the knobs
for the pots and selector switch.

So, back next time with more details and pics.

Cheers. :)

Friday, 27 November 2015

Peter Cook - Guitars, Basses and July. . .

Any regular readers will know I did a big feature on 
Peter cook, the guitar builder - perhaps most famous
for his work with The Who.

He also made many other instruments, including these.


Quite a long time ago, Peter and I arranged another meeting
but Peter was not well at the time and that has sort of been
on-going, for some time.
In his own words, he said that the "Nuking" was over and he
is back in the loop.

So, after some considerable time, we are going to meet up,
early next year and chew over some of the other work he did,
as well as catching up.

I am pleased to tell you that he is back out gigging again, 
with "July"

July - The Band 

I had a lot of readers follow Peter's story, so. . . .  sit tight
and I'll keep you posted!!

The Reeve is coming on nicely - pics and details to follow!

Cheers. :)  

Monday, 19 October 2015

Bass Guitar Collection!

Dear readers.

I have had a bit of a telling off, which to be fair, is probably well deserved!

One of my long time readers, sent me several screen shots a few months
ago and said, that having done a search on various search engines, my
collection came first, top left, on a lot of the ones he tried.
Fair enough!

He continued with "so why don't you get cracking and show us some more!!"

Well, it's finding the time!!
The Reeve project has taken so much longer than it should - the weather
has not been too bad over the summer - hedges to trim, grass to be cut, gigs
to do and go to, several trots down to the pub and all manner of other things!!

I have apologised in the past, for my lack of continuity but anyone who runs
a blog, will know it takes more than just a few words.
Some I know, make an entry almost every day!

So, this is not an apology, more of a I will try harder - the winter is on it's way
so I may be able to knuckle down again.

And. . . . while I'm here, this is a call to anyone who has a Reeve Guitar or Bass.
I have had several good contacts from owners and would like to hear from others.

The Reeve is in hand and I will be putting up another post. . . . Real Soon!!

Cheers. :) 

Friday, 28 August 2015

Flat Eric. . . . Fame, at last!

Two posts in one day!! 

Yep, it's like London busses - you wait for ages and then
several all turn up at once!!

Back at the start of the year, I was contacted by Willie Mosely,
who writes for The Vintage Guitar magazine - he was writing a
book on Peavey guitars and basses and had read some of my features
that I had done with the help of Chip Todd.

Well, the book is finished, a few of my examples have been used in the 
book and my copy arrived today. 

If you are interested in Peavey, a very worthwhile purchace!

Fame at last!!

Cheers. :) 

Back onto the Reeve restoration next time. :)

Reeve - Other owner.

I've just received this comment and thought it worthy of posting up.

"Hi Flat Eric, Some info on Reeve guitars - bear with me it's a bit of a yarn! 

First, I bought a Mex Tele (I'm a 6 stringer by the way) that needed a set up. 
My bassist at the time suggested I take to a mate of his, one Jez Reeve in Luton. This we did and Jez did a splendid job for really no money and whilst I was there I took a shine to one of Jez's creations, a Tele shaped beast with stunning looks and magic action that I nicked from him for £300 (his asking price) - the hardware alone is worth twice that! My abiding memory is how utterly charming, generous and talented Jez was and what a lovely wife he had. 

Sadly I heard about a year later that Jez had passed away and that makes my Reeve Tele so much more special. 
The world of music is a much poorer place for not having Jez around but I am privileged to have a fine example of his artistry. One other piece of info: in conversation Jez mentioned that in his early days he was associated in some way with the old Alligator guitar company.

I do have the name of the person but won't post it up.

Please, please get in touch - more and more Reeve are coming out of
the woodwork, all with similar tales of how pleasant the two of them were.

Contact me here  

Cheers. :)


Friday, 24 July 2015

More Reeve and - Nick Smith. . . . .

I have finally managed to get back onto the Reeve!

Just so busy, these days!! :)

Before that. . . .  how about this!

This is Nick Smith's Collection!

I've know about Nick for around 6 or 7 years, corresponded
with him quite a few times - helped me out with details of
the controls on my Axis (he had one) but to date, never met
this collector, extraordinaire!!
Our mutual connection here, is Lars Mullen.
He is always on the lookout for another collector, so I put
forward Nick's name.
This is a link the the whole feature:
Nick Smith's Collection 


Right, so this is how all the brass ware looked:

This is what they look like now:

There is a little more work on these required - re-assembly
etc and then they will be put to one side, ready for re-fitting
when the other work is done.

Hope to be back soon.

Cheers. :)