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Category Archives: Classic Instruments

Holy Cripes

Holy Cripes! The Story of Jerry Garcia’s Last Guitars
 
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Steve Cripe left a unique legacy in the annals of music history. He was not a guitar player, not a songwriter. In fact, you may not even know his name. But the guitar builder became part of the fabric that makes up the story of the Grateful Dead when he built guitars for the legendary […]

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Star Board: Tom Guerra

 
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Guitarist/singer/songwriter (and VG contributor) Tom Guerra recently released his first solo album, All of the Above, which reviewer Pete Prown says is “hook-laden rock and roll originals that pay homage to everyone from the Beatles to the Byrds, and from Led Zeppelin to Mott (more…)

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The Beatles’ Casinos

 
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  Of all the guitars the Beatles made famous, the only one that John, Paul and George had in common was the Epiphone Casino. Each owned a Casino and used it for countless recordings and performances. Paul McCartney was the first Beatle to acquire a Casino. (more…)

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Gibson Super Jumbo 100

 
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The Super Jumbo 200 is Gibson’s most celebrated flat-top model, and deservedly so, thanks to its use by cowboy movie stars in the pre-World War II years and by country music stars in the post-war years. The Super Jumbo 100, on the other hand, is one of Gibson’s more obscure models – a status it […]

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Hofner 185

 
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Have you heard the line, “If Hendrix had a Magnatone, Strats would be worth $200 now?” A highly debatable proposition, for sure! But if Paul McCartney had not used a Höfner bass through much of the Beatles’ career, few collectors would remember the Höfner line today. Unlike (more…)

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’62 Les Paul Rarity

 
'62 Les Paul Rarity

In its early years, the Gibson Les Paul Custom evolved through several body-style and spec changes and was the earliest Gibson solidbody to have a Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece; the Les Paul model (a.k.a. “goldtop”) did not have them until late ’55. First appearing in Gibson catalogs in 1954, the company actually made a […]

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National Bel-Air

 
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The idea of Gibson providing guitar parts to another prominent guitar maker is laughable today, but in the 1940s and ’50s, relationships were cozier between some of the major instrument companies. The evidence lies in this 1960 National Bel-Aire, one of several Nationals of the postwar era to feature a body made by Gibson. Outsourcing […]

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Robin’s ’80s Import Basses

 
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While the Robin guitar brand’s reverse “imported then domestic” chronology has been documented in this space, the basses shown here are the first import models marketed by the company (and one of them is from the very first shipment). Robin guitars were marketed beginning in 1982, and basses (all manufactured by ESP in Japan) followed […]

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Rickenbacker Transonic

 
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Rickenbacker Transonic TS100 Topology: Solid State Output: 100 watts RMS Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass controls and Hollow, Mellow and Pierce switches on each channel; Tremolo Speed and Depth, Reverb, and Fuzz-Tortion on Custom channel. Speakers: two 12″ Altec 417.

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Boggs’ Quad

Four-neck Fender from a friend
 
Boggs' Quad

Noted in musical history as one of the players who pushed the steel guitar beyond Hawaiian music to more-complex chording and wild interchanges with Spanish-style electric guitarists, Noel Boggs emerged from a tragic childhood, using the guitar and music as a motivator, guide, and ultimately, means to a make a living. Boggs was born in […]

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