Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Reeve Twin - Progtasic. . . . . . . . .

This is Mr Lee!
Can't think why! :)

Mr Lee is a fairly accurate "Tribute" (notice I choose my words
very carefully) to one of America's guitar makers.

It was made for the guy I bought it off, by a a small operation
called Reeve Guitars.
Some time after I bought it, I contacted the original owner,
who very kindly sent me this:

"I'm afraid I can't help with much information.
Reeve were a small family concern based out of a house in Luton.
I was put in touch with them by my local music shop when I needed
my Rickenbacker set up.
A mate of mine at the time had a Les Paul copy made by them soon
after, and though it wasn't to my tastes the actual craftsmanship
was faultless.
I'd wanted a Rickenbacker double-neck for some time but there was
no way I could have afforded one even if I could have found one!
So I had Reeve make me one - they measured up my 4001 and I
gave them a few photos from old catalogues and away they went.
This would have been in about 1986 I think.
At the time it cost me £750, which included the
case, and I was very lucky to see the guitar evolve from a lump of
wood to the finished article over a period of months.

Reeve were always fairly small fry.
They made a lot of guitars for local musos (I remember a Hofner
violin bass for a well respected covers band, the Wellington Bootles)
although I do know they made another double neck and an explorer
copy for a prog band who were fairly big at the time, Twelfth Night.
Funnily enough I saw them a while ago (another band on the nostalgia
circuit!) and the explorer was still being used".

"I lost touch with Reeve many years ago.
They were two brothers-in-law - one a carpenter and the other
a musician.
I do know that the musician brother is sadly no longer with us.

I hope this all helps, sorry I can't provide much more info!"

The Twelfth Night are still going and I was very kindly sent this:

Mr Lee has not been out for some time - these are older pics
but I think the time is right to have a quick noodle!
The down side with twins is the weight, not only of the instrument
but add the weight of the case . . . . . OUCH!!
This is not the heaviest twin I have, by a long way!
I'll share that with you another time.

As you can see, I am now on a roll and am trying to keep this
interesting enough for you folks to keep coming back, so sit
tight and I'll come back to you at the end of the week.

Hi to all of you out there - Worldwide - nice to see you popping
in looking for updates - there is still a long way to go!

Cheers. :)


Anonymous said...

Reeve were kind enough to build me a custom left-hand electric 6-string back in 1988 based on the fender strat but with a baldwin headstock. I still have it and it has served me well over the years.

Flat Eric said...

Hi. I would really like to hear from you. If you click on the heading - Flat Eric's Bass & Guitar Collection - it will take you to the latest post. It has my contact details there. Cheers. :)

Chris said...

E-mailed you some photos of the Reeve I have. Was wondering if you got them.

Flat Eric said...

Chris, Hi. Yes I did, thanks and I did reply. :) Will be doing a bit more on Reeve and will be in touch with you.
Cheers. :)

Paul said...

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. If I remember rightly these guitars were shipped to him in parts and he assembled them into complete instruments. If memory serves, he was a little miffed that they were badged as Alligators when he did all the work so he marked all of his with his name which can be found either on the back of the heel where it bolts onto the body or in the recess in the body where the neck bolts on, I can't remember which. Hope that helps and please excuse a mere lead player contributing to your esteemed organ!

Andy Gilbert said...

I can shed more light on the Reeve guitar making duo. In the late 1970s I ordered my guitar from Jez Reeve and Mick Berendrecht, who built guitars from Jez’s house in Luton.

I have just one video of it on Youtube at

They’ve both sadly passed away now but their workmanship couldn’t be faulted.

Jez, a carpenter, and Mick, a science teacher/guitarist invited me to draw a picture of the guitar I wanted and said they would build it. They took my design seriously even though it was a little on the ridiculous side. I was a young buck with a big ego and drew a guitar with the biggest horns you ever saw.

Now I’m old and somewhat embarrassed by its shape, but wouldn’t part with it as it has such a superb tone. I use it for slide and regularly play it at gigs. I enjoy playing this guitar more than any I’ve ever owned and wish Jez and Mick were still here making guitars.
Jez's lovely wife, Val and I keep in touch; she still lives in the Luton home where Reeve Guitars were built.
Andy Gilbert, organiser, One World Club MK

Flat Eric said...

Andy, Hi. Thank you for that, I'll be in touch.
Cheers. :)