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??