Friday, 21 May 2010

Keyboards killed the Guitar Stars!

With the advent of all the keyboard/synth bands of the late early
80's, Ultravox -Vienna, Soft Cell - Tainted love, Depeche Mode
Just can't get enough, etc there was a shift from guitar based music
to keyboards.
All sorts of gear came into the shop for sale. Muso came in, did a
deal and shot off with the cash to "go keyboard"
Because of this we ended up with a lot of stuff, that is nowadays
called Vintage and Rare but was then called something that's been
around the block a few times and could be sold to raise some £$£$£$.
If I'd have known then. . . . . . . :(
To give you an example of this, I bought a 1962 Gibson EBO for. . . . . .
£72.00!!!!!! To make this even more laughable, I hadn't used it for
sometime by the later 80's and was was told by a shop that "there
was no call for them and he would offer me £150.00.
Well, at least I would have doubled my money but I thought better
of it and still have it today.
I had a Hofner Verithin. . . . . £60.00!! Sold that along with many
others, around the same sort of time.

I was going through some old guitar magazines, the other day and
it made some very interesting reading.
I shall get round to scanning some of them in, so anyone who may
read this can cry into their beer, of a Friday night.
How things have changed!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Back to the story. . .

I needed some components for the new guitar and headed
off into town.
I called in at a new shop, told them what I was after and
placed the order.
I then spent the next two hours drinking coffee and talking
to one of the owners, until I realised I had to get back home
and left, thanking him for the coffee and the chat.
It was a couple of weeks before I went back and when I did
I was greeted very warmly.
During my previous conversation, I explained about my
fascination with guitars and some of the things that I had done.
It turned out that they had taken in a couple of minor repair
jobs, hoping I would be able to help.
I was given free use of the workshop, with the promise of a
Chinese meal for my efforts.
Somehow, by accepting the meal I had now joined the team!
Saturdays, for some time, were going to be different and in
only a couple of months, it would be week days as well.

These week days were long days - 12 hours a day, six days a week
and this is where I worked in the late 70's, and where a lot of my early
experience and knowledge of guitars came from.
Yes, we worked 72 hours a week, with the odd day off to do other stuff
but I was always very keen to get back to the shop.
I got to meet a lot of characters in those days and saw a lot of talented
youngsters strike up with Smoke on the water, Stairway to heaven and
half a dozen other tunes that used to ring around the shop.
If anyone out there has a dream job, they will understand how I felt
I walked through the door and into an Aladdin's Cave -
turn the lights on, answer machine checked and coffee made.
Turn on a couple of amps, grab a few pedals and reach out to the wall
for the desired instrument.

Now I'm going from memory and it was a very long time ago but on
any given day, the selection could be an Ibanez Jazz Guitar,
CSL Les Paul, Gibson L6S, Les Paul Junior, an Antigua Strat,
all sorts of stuff.
On the other side of the room, the basses.
A Guild B301, a Shergold/Hayman, bit of slapping on a
Fender Jazz and then it was time to get down to the business of
selling something.

Happy days!

Monday, 10 May 2010

"We interupt this story!"

I had intended to detail the story in the order it happened
but something has taken my eye off the ball, so I thought
I would have an intermission. :)

As a player, I have my favourite instruments but as a collector

I am, I guess, similar to a cigarette card collector, or any other
type of collector, for that matter - always interested in the next
item that may come along.

I have managed to find some really great and iteresting things,

including some unique intruments, like this Peter Cook Twin Neck,
being posed with Del Bromham, from Stray.

Del had one of these years ago and I believe there are only two of
them in existance.

Well, to cut a long story short, I have been offered a pack of
cigarette cards, so to speak, in the form of a collection
- the whole

I am quite excited by the offer and am looking forward to

seeing it in the flesh.

Time will tell.