Thursday, 20 October 2016

Derrick Taylor, Roachford - Reeve!

During my recent visit with Val Reeve, we went through a pile of documents that Val had saved, from all those years ago.
Whilst thumbing through albums and photos, one image suddenly caught my attention!
That was my headless bass! The one that started off the Reeve story - I pointed out to Val and she said, "Oh, I remember him quite well - nice lad"
That was definitely the bass! Underneath the photo, was a name - Derrick Taylor and looking through some of the old notes, it seemed that the order for the custom headless was taken on the 18th October, 1984!

The name rang a bell but as I was looking old Polaroid, it was sort of out of context - quick look on Google and up popped some details.
Derrick Taylor, of Roachford fame! Aha! Looking at the old photo and some more recent ones, it certainly did look like it was the same person.
Derrick and Andy Roachford recorded Cuddly Toy, one of my personal favourites of that period, in 1988 - just four years after the headless was ordered.

He has also worked with Steve Howe and Gabrielle - you can see more details here.

Check out the gallery, with Derrick behind Bryan Ferry - Sweet!

So, was it him? Well, a couple of emails and a phone call, confirmed that it was him. I made Val promise not to mention it to anyone, as I had said to Derrick, that I would let him read the article, before I posted it - she was over the moon, when I told her.

Derrick is still out there, doing the business, some 32 years after Val and Ges met him and started work on the headless bass.

Those of you that have followed the feature on Reeve, may remember that during the strip down of the bass, there was a name under the tuner cover.

Definitely, the very same bass!

Back next time with full shots of the restored Reeve.

Cheers, :)

Friday, 14 October 2016

A visit to Val Reeve. . . .

Well, for those of you out there that remember the heady days of a post at least once a week, if you are still with me - again, sorry for the lack of posts. . . . where does the time go to??

So, quite a few weeks ago, I finally made it to the home of Reeve!

Val was very welcoming and as soon as the kettle had boiled, we were chatting away.

I got to see the area that was the workshop and and talk about the old days, along with Colin, one of Val and Ges' friends, who remembered the old days.

The thing that grabbed me most was the amount of info that Val had still got and albums of pictures, promotional stuff and everything that went with an expanding small business.

It was for me and I'm sure Val, a great day, which got very interesting when we turned over one of the pages in an album - My Headless Bass, that started this feature on Reeve, in the hands of the original owner!

Could it be. . . .??

Back VERY SOON, with the reveal.

Cheers. :)


Friday, 22 July 2016

Reeve Guitar Gallery.

Another big gap in posts! Sorreeeee, so busy these days but I'm back on the case. No pun intended!

Other Reeve owners have been in touch and this is the gallery of the ones I have. There is one missing, a Red Long Horn Strat type, which I'm sure I had the images but can I find them? If you are the person who kindly sent them to me, please send again and I will include them.
Here we go!

 As you can see a varied mix of styles. The bass has the same hardware as mine, although that is a single pick-up, mine is two.
The green Vee shaped guitar, as the owner said, is much played and much modded - unusual shape.
The black LH Strat style, has some interesting switching - all on, all off or any perm you can get! The Burns type scroll was a special request by the customer.
Finally the last one shown has "aged" and again, has some interesting controls.
The position markers and very much in the Hofner style of things.

If anyone else has a Reeve Guitar, please drop me a line.

Next time, the pics of my finished Reeve Headless bass and then I'll move onto something different.

Cheers. :) 

Friday, 13 May 2016

Reeve - Brian May Red Special. . . .

More Reeve!

Bit of a delay - still got lots going on.

Val sent me another picture she had found, showing
that the Brian May Red Special I posted up, was inded
a Reeve, made for Adrian - who Val remebers very well
but has lost touch with him.

Feast your eyes on this Very Accurate replica!!!

 Another absolute Cracker from Reeve.
I would live to know where this is now!

Next time I am going to post up images of Reeve guitars, 
that have been sent to me by readers of this blog.

Any more Reeve owners??

Drop me a line: 

Back soon.

Cheers. :)

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Reeve Guitars - Continued. . . . .

The next instalment from Val Reeve.

Off we go again!

After the excitement of the eighties, things began to quieten down 

and we settled into a routine of making instruments and also began to 
do a lot of repairs.  
Eventually we were doing all the guitar repairs for a music shop in 
The recession was beginning to bite and orders began to dry up.  
Our accountant told us it was time now to revert back to 'hobby status'.  
We had tried but it was no longer viable to run Reeve Guitars as a 
business so Ges (the only one who was working full-time in Reeve Guitars) 
had to find a job and we went back to how it had been originally, working 
evenings and weekends.

In the late nineties, my son, Michael wanted a guitar made.  

This was a break through, Michael had always considered that nothing 
could better his Les Paul!!  
The consequent result of a gleaming white guitar was totally superb.  
Michael and Mike had worked closely, Michael explaining exactly what 
he required and with Mike's considerable electronic expertise, 
the guitar could produce every sound that Michael wanted and of course, 
the bodywork created by Ges was second to none.  
The ultimate praise came when Michael said the Reeve Guitar was far 
superior to his Les Paul!


More about Reeve next time.

Cheers. :)

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Val Reeve continues. . . . .

Val continues with the Reeve Story.

"Hi Eric

Hope you have had a good week.  

Anyway, on with the story.

During this period Ges just could not cope with working 

full time and the amount of guitar work coming in so he 
decided to try to make Reeve Guitars a full time business.  
At that time it certainly looked as though Reeve Guitars 
could be a going concern.  
I had the unenviable task of preparing the accounts ready 
for audit when the accountant took over.  
I drew the short straw yet again!
Mick was still teaching and keeping a low profile but the 

long school holidays were a bonus, and I also had the the 
school holidays.

Totally out of the blue, we were contacted by a guy in 

America who expressed interest in buying instruments on 
a regular basis.  
He had obviously been monitoring our progress through 
the regular reviews in the music magazines.  
He had also contacted an amplification firm in this 
country with a view to them making and shipping out 
amps to America.  
Our first reaction was of disbelief, quickly followed by a 
wildly excited "This is It"!!!  Obviously we had to check 
that he was bona fide.  
The Overseas Branch of our local Bank were brilliant 
and ran a check on this guy.  
Apparently he had financial backing and everything 
seemed ok. 
Although on one visit from an adviser from the Bank's 
Overseas Branch , I was told that we should not as much 
as purchase a screw until the finances were completely 

Of course, with deadlines already being given that was 
not possible and full production went ahead.  
Ges and Mick were working flat out because all these 
instruments were custom built. 
I was in contact with a shipping company who had 
supplied me with prices on packing and shipping out 
the instruments and I also had a lot of contact with the 
amplification firm.

Gradually we began to get very anxious as the money 

had not been transferred and despite repeated phone 
calls to America when we were assured it would be 
happening very soon, loud warning bells began to ring.   
The amplification firm were also very worried and they 
sent a representative to America to check out the situation.  
I was in contact with the Overseas Branch of our Bank and 
it was the Bank, through their sources in America, who 
notified me that this guy's financial backers had withdrawn. 
And that was it!  The Dream was over.

Although we had about a dozen bodies ready, we were ok 

because over time, these were used in the making of other 
I dont believe the amplification firm were so lucky."

So, it seems that Reeve could have gone international but
unfortunately, it wasn't to be.

Back with more of the Reeve Guitar story, along with some
more images.

Any Reeve owners out there??
 Drop me a line.
Contact me here 

Cheers. :)

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Reeve Brian May and more Reeve Guitars. . .

Another long delay - Sorry about that - loads on, at 
the moment! :)

The next part of the story, which Val sent to me a few
weeks ago, I put down onto a memory stick, which I have
left behind, somewhere!!
Think I know where it is, so no panic.

In the meantime, some more picks of Reeve.

The one below is my first Reeve - "Mr Lee"


Val has sent me some more from her archive, including
 this one, which Ges called Patchwork Guitar, as it was 
used as a demo for all the timbers he could offer.
Bit of a Brian May looking trem, there which brings me 
to the "mystery guitar", shown below the Patchwork.

This is a bit of a mystery to me and Val.
She can't remember if Ges built this Brian May Red Special
or if it was just in for repairs, as there are no shots of the
rest of it or the head.
I have tried to look for signature details on this - is it a Burns,
or a Guild? I don't think so - any comments, would be very
welcome, from those in the know.

This is another one that Val sent to me - a very 80's take on
a Strat - one pick-up in the "screaming position" and one
control, Volume!
Loud or off!! :)

I'll be back in a couple of days, honest. . . Promise!!!

Any Reeve Guitars out there?
I'm going to do a complete gallery of the ones that 
owners have sent me, at the end of this feature.

Back soon.

Cheers. :)

Friday, 4 March 2016

The Reeve Guitar Story

More about Reeve - A Cottage industry in Bedfordshire! 

 Val Reeve with a Bass & Guitar Twin Neck.

Val is helping me out with the story of Reeve, which relies 
on her detailing the story and finding old photos to scan.
So, after sever emails, we are off and running again.

Over to you Val! 

Off we go ......  Back to the eighties which, for Reeve Guitars, 
was a time of excitement and promise. 
In 1983, we were mentioned by a mutual acquaintance to 
Pete Tulett who at that time was Managing Director of 
Musicians Direct Supply Co producing the Alligator P.A.  
Pete was interested in bringing out an Alligator Guitar and 
Bass to celebrate the company's first anniversary.  
He came to meet Ges and Mick and decided that these two 
were more than capable of producing exactly what he wanted.  
Pete designed the shape, colours (green) and timbers while a 
guitarist and bassist helped out on the more technical aspects.  
These instruments would appear as a limited edition (6 guitars 
and 6 basses) to begin with. 
Each instrument had First Anniversary engraved on the neck 
plate and of course 'Alligator' on the headstock.  
It was never revealed who had produced these instruments, 
only that they were British made.  
Ges was a bit 'miffed' at this and each instrument carried a 
well-concealed 'Manufactured by Reeve Guitars' engraved plate.  
I think over the years, it did leak out.  
Obviously the instruments were checked regularly by Pete and 
his colleagues to make sure all was proceeding to plan. 
Pete had called us 'a cottage industry' and I guess we probably were.  
But this 'cottage industry' could produce the finest instruments and 
also provide a strong cup of tea!!!!


During this time, Ges had to rent the use of a Carpentry Shop 
(at Dunstable) for a couple of days a week because obviously 
this offered a range of facilities our workshop did not have.  
How I ever found time to go to work I do not know.  
I worked in a school and the Headmaster was well into our 
Several times, he waved me off saying ' Off you go, go and do 
what you have to!!'  Imagine that happened now!!!

The instruments were very positively reviewed in the 

International Musician and Recording World (Nov 1983), 
Music UK (Dec 83) and Guitarist (June 84).  
But after a triumphant debut, the Alligators seemed to 
gradually peter out.

Part II of this episode next week.

Anyone out there got an Alligator Bass or Guitar??