Luthier Bill Gruggett Passes


Luthier Bill Gruggett passesGuitar builder Bill Gruggett passed away October 7. He was 75 and had been battling health issues.

In the ’60s, Gruggett (VG, February ’97) had affiliations with the Bakersfield-area Mosrite and Hallmark guitar companies, and in ’67 established his own brand; the Stradette was an unusual series of instruments influenced by thinline electric guitars and violins. He continued luthiery after the company folded in ’68, and at the time of his death was working as a builder for the modern Hallmark, which has made reissues of the Stradette guitar. A profile of a ’67 Stradette bass was published in the July ’12 issue of VG.

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One Comment

  1. jakeb
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Bill, was amazing man, just the memory of going to his house and talking to him about his craft was a history lesson in it self. When I first met Bill I wanted my Ibanez Road star II bass turned from fretted to fret less. He took all of the frets out and replaced them with pieces of maple, sanding the rosewood flat and readjusting the action to mimic the sound of an acoustic bass!
    I had him sign it just to remember this wonderful man!

    On another occasion a television fell on my Englewood upright bass neck while in the case, it snapped off of the body! Bill worked on the neck 8 times until he got the action right, and within a week, I picked up my bass and it played better than before!

    He was a wonderful person, one that will be missed because, not only his smile which was infectious, but the way he made you feel welcome in his home!

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