The History of Hamer, Part One

Part One
Part One

“We didn’t quite get it,” explains company cofounder Jol Dantzig, discussing the birth of Hamer Guitars. “It was kind of a mistake. When we created Hamer, we created the high-end boutique guitar category, but we didn’t intend it that way. We were seeing vintage ’50s Les Pauls selling for $3,000. We thought we could make guitars just as good and sell them for a third of that price. The irony was that to everyone else, we were this upstart company selling guitars for twice the amount of the most expensive Gibsons at the time! So our perspective has always been a little skewed.”
High-end or budget, there’s no doubt Hamer Guitars have been successful and earned the allegiance of players and collectors alike.

The beginnings of Hamer Guitars (pronounced Hay’-mer, not hammer) go back to those heady days of the early ’70s, when Chicago was the breeding ground of soon-to-be-famous rock bands such as REO Speedwagon, Styx, and Cheap Trick. Circa 1970, Dantzig was playing bass in a club band called Heartbreaker. Through a friend, guitarist Gary Gant, Dantzig met another guitar player named Paul Hamer, and the two struck up a friendship. One thing led to another and in ’73 Dantzig and Hamer opened a music store called Northern Prairie Music in the northwestern suburb of Wilmette, Illinois. Among their activities was buying bashed up old guitars and banjos and restoring them for resale. They were, in fact, one of the early vintage guitar stores, before there was such a thing as the vintage scene we know today.

“Vintage guitars were called ‘used guitars’ in those days,” laughs Dantzig. “After all, a late-’50s Les Paul was just a little more than 10 years old.”

Dantzig and Hamer did well with their business.

“We would buy old Strats for $150, Jazzmasters for $80,” he adds. Soon they were selling vintage guitars to some of the biggest bands of the time, including Bad Company, Wishbone Ash, and many other big-name outfits. And these contacts would prove useful.

Curiously enough, even back then their best customers were not Americans.

“We used to literally sell crates of old guitars – maybe 75 instruments at a time – to Australia and Japan, where buyers would pay twice what Americans would pay,” recalls Dantzig, who quickly amassed a huge collection that included some of the earliest Broadcasters, P-Basses, Strats, and Les Paul Standards – a stash many would kill for today. These, too, would come in handy before long.

Once you have a music store that specializes in repairing and restoring old instruments, it’s not a big step to think about making your own, and in ’73 that notion put Hamer Guitars in motion. Dantzig and Hamer were well-matched in those early days.

“Paul was the salesman. He liked to shake hands,” Dantzig explains. “I was the hands-on guy who liked to make guitars and do marketing. I’ve always been a gearhead.”

Already deep into vintage lore, Dantzig and Hamer believed the golden age of guitars ended in ’63, and the last good guitars had been made. Fender instruments made after the CBS takeover in ’65 had gotten a bad rap from guitarists by the end of the ’60s, based in part on some quality control problems and the infamous three-bolt neck controversy (Fender engineers felt four bolts were overkill and they could save money without sacrificing stability; players didn’t see it that way).

Basically, Dantzig and Hamer considered most ’60s guitars a joke. Likewise contemporary Gibsons and Fenders. And they considered the copies emerging from Japan beneath their attention. Instead, they decided to create their dream guitars, new guitars worthy of the respect they gave to the vintage ones.

The first Hamer guitar made (in ’73) was a short-scale Flying V bass built for Dantzig. It had no serial number, and when it was done, Dantzig began to take it to gigs. Other musicians would ask what it was and would be incredulous when told he made it himself.

This first Hamer pretty much replicated a Gibson Flying V. It had a variety of pickups, though the bridge pickup was always a Gibson EB-3. The neck pickup changed, finally landing on a Höfner “staple” pickup. Dantzig still has that first bass.

When asked why Hamer was chosen as the brand name, Dantzig replies, “Well, we just thought Hamer sounded more like a guitar name than Dantzig. Besides, I thought guitarmaking was going to be a short run and I’d end up a famous musician or race car driver or something.” Then he quickly quips, “But Dantzig is still available.”

The second Hamer was an Explorer copy made for Paul in ’74. Dantzig isn’t sure, but he thinks they may have gotten the plans from another Chicago luthier named Jim Beach. Apparently, a number of people around town were beginning to make copies of Gibson designs. In any case, Dantzig and Hamer decided to build a hybrid of their favorite guitars. They copied the Explorer shape but added the flamed maple top and binding of a Les Paul Standard. The guitar was finished in a cherry sunburst lacquer. Pickups were original Gibson PAFs. Soon, this guitar would become known as the Standard. They gave this guitar the serial number 0000.

Part of the early Hamer philosophy was making guitars the way Gibson did when Ted McCarty was running the company. McCarty, by this time, was running Bigsby, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In ’74, Dantzig packed his guitar and bass and visited McCarty, hoping to get some advice, and perhaps a blessing. To his dismay, McCarty couldn’t care less about guitars.

“He showed me a few of the new Bigsby products they were working on,” recalls Dantzig with some amusement. “But his real passion was for this new product he had, called the Flex Light. This was a little flashlight with a flexible lens you could turn in different directions and put in your pocket.”

McCarty was not impressed with the new Hamers and reminded Dantzig that the Explorer had been a failure when it was first introduced. Crushed, Dantzig returned to Chicago.

Nevertheless, Dantzig and Hamer continued to play with their new creations and got the attention of more and more curious musicians.

In ’75, the first order came in and “garage” production began. The first order was from Ted Turner (VG, June ’92), bassist for Wishbone Ash, who ordered an Explorer Bass with serial number #0001. Martin Barre of Jethro Tull (VG, October ’97) also ordered an early Hamer. So did their friend (and occasional jam partner) Rick Nielsen, of Cheap Trick (VG, January ’92, September ’97). “That’s how he ended up with #0000, which he still has,” recalls Dantzig. “We took so long to make his guitar that we just gave him Paul’s to satisfy him.”

In ’76, a meeting was called with everyone who worked at Northern Prairie Music – Dantzig, Hamer and two repair guys. It was held in Dantzig’s Volkswagen Minibus. They reasoned their shop was selling guitars to players who would put down $2,500 or $3,000 for a vintage Les Paul, but didn’t want to take them on the road for fear of breaking them or having them stolen. They felt they could make and sell a cheaper “modern vintage” guitar to these same people, and they wouldn’t be afraid to take them on the road. From these beginnings, Hamer USA Guitars was born, with all four as partners.

It was from this perspective that Dantzig and Hamer began to hawk their guitars. They’d take them to concerts passing through. It wasn’t long before word got around and other musicians began to order guitars and basses. Contemporary stars like Jan Akkermann and Rick Derringer (VG, August ’98) were clients.

Technically speaking, Dantzig’s ’73 Flying V bass was the first Hamer, the model never went into production. Paul Hamer’s bound flametop Explorer was given the name Standard and became the first of a long line that would be offered from ’74 until ’85 during its first run.

Keep in mind that while Hamer offered specific “catalog” models, the company was, especially in the early days, pretty much what we would now call a custom shop. In other words, while you may encounter mostly standard Standards as shown in brochures and ads, there are also many special features that occasionally show up. Indeed, as you read about special features that come online, these might appear on any instrument as a custom-order feature, so if you find an unusual Hamer, think twice before you conclude that it has been modified.

The Standard
Except for the bound flame top, the Standard was pretty close to a Gibson. It had a British Honduras mahogany body with a glued-in mahogany neck, the droopy banana or scimitar six-in-line headstock, an unbound fingerboard with dot inlays (243/4″ scale), fine-tune bridge, and stop tailpiece. By the time the Sunburst appeared in ’77, bound rosewood fingerboards with crown inlays were offered as an option, and these appointments begin appearing on some Standards. A few Standards are seen with the Sustain Block bridges used on Sunbursts (see below), so presumably they date from about this time. As mentioned, custom orders were accepted, so there were also a few Standards with bound ebony fingerboards and block inlays. Early Standards had Grover tuners, though these changed to Schallers in ’79 or ’80. In September of ’78 a Standard would set you back $1,199.95, list.

The earliest pickups on Hamer Standards were actual Gibson PAFs obtained from Gibson. However, PAFs were designed for jazz players in the ’50s. By the ’70s, guitar players were cranking up much larger amps in large arenas. In order to better balance the pickups in this environment, Hamer began to de-wind the neck pickup to decrease the output slightly. Very soon the supply of Gibson pickups was gone. Hamer gave its specifications to the young pickup maker Larry DiMarzio, who began making versions of his own DiMarzio PAFs to Hamer’s spec, with a de-wound neck pickup. This differed from the approach favored by most others at the time, which was to leave a PAF at the neck and add an even hotter DiMarzio Super Distortion to the bridge. Eventually, Hamer began to stamp its name into the baseplates of the pickups, and these would come to be known as Hamer Slammer pickups (they don’t rhyme!).

Early Hamers had black bobbins on the lead pickup and cream bobbins on the neck pickup. They quickly made a transition to zebra bobbins (one black, one cream) on the lead pickup. By around ’80, the Hamer Standard was also offered without the flamed maple top and in a variety of opaque colored finishes. A few 3/4-size Standards were also built from ’78 to ’82, identical except for their diminutive size.

While the Flying V-shaped bass didn’t go into production, there were a few guitar versions produced between ’77 and ’81. Except for the V-shaped bodies, these conform in all details to the original Standard including the Explorer-style headstock.

The Standard Bass
Hamer’s second model was the Standard Bass. Serial number 0001 went to Ted Turner in ’75. The Standard Bass was basically a bass version of the guitar with a bound flamed maple top over British Honduras mahogany body, a 34″ scale (found on most Hamer basses, unless otherwise noted), four-in-line scimitar headstock, rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays, a pair of twin-blade DiMarzio X2N bass pickups, often (by ’81) with an active preamp, and a Schaller Sustain Block bridge. The Standard Bass was offered until ’84.

Hamer guitars didn’t take off like a rocket. Dantzig and Hamer had to work hard, schlepping examples around the world and getting them into the hands of players. In an undated promotional piece that sports the Palatine address (making it before ’78), the Standard was being promoted as The Ultimate, a line that would be used for a few more years. Featured in the piece, wearing Hamer T-shirts or carrying Standards, were Nielsen, Ken Simmonds of Savoy Brown, Tommy Bolin, a very young Lita Ford, and Mick Ralphs. Several ads were reproduced, including one for Pastore Music of Union City, New Jersey, promoting Hamer and Travis Bean guitars, Risson and Orange amps, Anvil cases, and Tychobrahe effects pedals; a good snapshot of a real guitar shop of the times.

Hamer did get lots of good publicity, however. This was the source of the “mistake” mentioned earlier. Journalists from the guitar press flocked to cover Hamer, which had the cheek to offer a $1,200 guitar when a Gibson only set you back $600 or so. What they didn’t understand was that Hamer wasn’t competing with Gibson, it was competing with the growing vintage marketplace.

With limited orders coming in, existence was tough. How did they survive? That’s where Dantzig’s huge vintage collection came in handy. He had to sell it off piece by piece to keep the company afloat. By ’77, the other two original partners sold their shares, and the company was in the hands of Dantzig and Hamer.

Despite slow going, in ’77 Hamer introduced the second classic design of its early period – the Sunburst. Basically, it did with the Sunburst what it had done with the Explorer. The Sunburst was a double-cutaway Les Paul Junior copy, with a British Honduras mahogany body, glued-in mahogany neck, tapered three-and-three headstock, and a bound, flamed maple top with red-to-yellow sunburst finish. An unbound rosewood fingerboard with dots could be had for $699.95; $50 more got you a bound fingerboard with crown inlays. Pickups were the specially modified DiMarzio PAFs (de-wound zebra neck, cream bridge). Controls were one volume and two tone with a three-way select behind the bridge – unusual placement. For more tonal flexibility, in the middle position, the pickups were out-of-phase. Eschewing the fine-tune bridge and stop tailpiece of the Standard, Sunbursts featured a one-piece bridge/tailpiece assembly similar to that found on a stoptail Strat, with adjustable saddles and strings passing through the body. At first, this unit sat on a rosewood shim to give it the right height, but in ’78 these were replaced by the Sustain Block bridge, which featured a thicker chrome-plated milled brass base, giving them adequate height. The earliest Sunbursts had a noticeably longer headstock. Grover tuners were replaced by Schallers in ’80. The original run of Hamer Sunbursts lasted until ’83.

Adding Bass Strings… and More
In ’78, Tom Petersson, bassist with Cheap Trick, challenged Hamer to build him a 12-string bass, a request that was a harbinger. Petersson was playing a Hagstrom eight-string bass as the time. The result was the cleverly named 12-String Bass. This had a double-cutaway maple body basically the same as the Sunburst but without binding and with a glued-in mahogany neck, a large “split-V” headstock and a short 301/2″. There were six tuners on each side of the head, in two sizes, with smaller ones for the octave strings. The smaller octave strings were placed above the main string, as on a 12-string guitar. The main bass strings were tuned as on a normal bass guitar, with the two smaller strings tuned in unison at an octave above. For pick players, these could be reversed. Pickups were either one or two twin-blade DiMarzio X2N humbuckers. These were outfitted with a 12-saddle bridge and stop tailpiece.

By ’79, the 12-String Bass was offered with four “quadraphonic” outputs (plus one mono output – five in all) as the 12-String Quadbass. This version was in price lists at least through ’85, but was no longer listed in ’87.

Following delivery of the 12-String Bass, Hamer was challenged again in ’78 by an order for an 8-String Bass. This was essentially the same as the 12-String Bass except it had only one course of octave strings above the principal string and, of course, four fewer tuners. It otherwise shared the features and options available on the 12-String Bass.

Circa 1980, the 8-String Bass acquired a figured maple top and back, and by ’81 these featured an onboard active preamp with an LED indicator and three-way tone switch. At some point after ’84, the mahogany neck was changed to maple. Beginning in ’85, Alembic Activator pickups were offered as a $250 option. Also, by ’85, if not before, basses could be had in fretless versions for no extra charge. Similarly styled four-string basses were occasionally produced as custom orders. Recent versions of the 8-String Bass feature EMG pickups.

The 12-String Bass was offered until ’97. The 8-String Bass remains in the line to this day.

Dantzig recalls getting more and more requests for instruments they didn’t think they could make, but took the plunge and eventually built them. This included guitars like Nielsen’s five-necked monstrosity, which was built by ’82. Cheap Trick had also ordered at least one 10-string bass for Petersson (one octave string on the G and D, two octave strings on the A and E), and a custom 12-string guitar for Robin Zander.

Other “out there” models included various doublenecks, a Standard-shaped mandocello (mandocello scale with double strings tuned in fifths), a mandar (Standard-shaped with four pairs of strings tuned as a mandolin, but in a guitar scale), and at least one 20-string harp guitar (six-string neck with seven tunable sympathetic strings on either side). Another custom guitar was a seafoam green Teardrop made for Elliott Easton. It was shaped like a Vox Phantom with Hamer Phantom electronics(!), a triple-coil pickup, hand-delivered to Easton just before the Cars played on an episode of “Saturday Night Live.” Easton took the guitar from Dantzig and went onstage with it!

New Partner, New Digs
Still living off income from selling the collection, Hamer and Dantzig looked for help, and found it in ’78 in the person of Frank Untermeyer, a fellow getting a Master’s Degree in international business at the University of Wisconsin. Untermeyer was initially interested in joining the enterprise as its international sales manager, but he had some money and was convinced to become a partner. Dantzig controlled 60 percent of the stock, the rest was split between Hamer and Untermeyer.

With the influx of cash, the company relocated to Palatine, Illinois, to a larger space with some new equipment. It would stay at this site until early ’80, when it moved to a new 12,000-square-foot facility in Arlington Heights, where it remained until ’97. Most early Hamer catalogs do not have a copyright date, but you can get a clue by referring to the address.

The Special
With better facilities and the infusion of new enthusiasm, Hamer introduced its next model, a slightly downscale version of the Sunburst called the Special, in ’80. It differed from the Sunburst mainly in that it lacked binding. Most versions still came with a mahogany body capped in flamed maple, though opaque colors were an option. In ’81, finish options included sunburst, transparent cherry, natural, yellow, green, opaque red, blue, green, orange, and black. By ’81, a number of black-and-white graphic finishes were offered, primarily a series of stripes in various thicknesses. The glued-in neck featured a tapered three-and-three headstock and a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays. The Special also carried the special-wound Hamer/DiMarzio PAF humbuckers. Controls were a three-way select, with two volume and one tone control. The bridge was the heavy-duty Sustain Block. At some point after ’83, vibratos were available, and in ’84 a few were made with Kahler flat-mount vibratos. This first version of the Special lasted until ’84.

In March of ’80 the Standard with dots listed at $1,199.95, Standard with crowns $1,299.95, the 8-String Bass was $1,499.95, 12-String Bass $1,700, 12-String Quadbass $2,000, Sunburst with dots $799.90, Sunburst with crowns $869.90, and the Special was $699.90. Hardshell cases for Standards and Basses were $129.90, $119.90 for the Sunbursts and Special.

As evidenced by Hamer’s artist list from around ’79 (see sidebar), the company was garnering a pretty high-visibility clientele and sales continued to climb.

The Prototype
Until this point, Hamer guitars were essentially derivative, inspired by Gibson designs. But in ’81, Hamer took its first tentative steps toward creating original designs and introduced the Prototype, not to be confused with the Les Paul-style guitar with that name offered by Aria Pro II at the time. In a way, the Prototype was a fusion of Gibson and Fender ideas. The mahogany body had slightly offset double cutaways, vaguely Strat-ish, though the waists remained equal. The neck remained typically Hamer and definitely Gibson-ish, with the tapered Hamer three-and-three head and heel at the body. The 243/4″ scale, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard was unbound with dots, joining the body at 21 for excellent access. The bridge was the Sustain Block with strings passing through the body. New was a laminated pickguard with Prototype engraved and carrying a three-coil bridge pickup very similar to Mighty Mite Motherbuckers of the time, though actually it was a single-coil pickup tucked next to a humbucker in the same ring. Controls were one volume and one midrange tone/contour control with a three-way toggle, again behind the bridge, which offered humbucking and single-coil sounds.

By ’83, a 12-string Prototype was offered, differing only in the larger headstock (tapered, not the V-head of the basses) and having a 12-saddle bridge and stop tail.

Joining the Prototype later in ’83 was the Prototype II, which added a slanted single-coil pickup in the neck position and a top-mounted Kahler double-locking vibrato system. In ’84, the Prototype listed for $799.90, the Prototype 12-string was $849.90, the Prototype II $999.90.

This initial Prototype series was offered through ’86.

The Phantom
By around ’82, Hamer had turned the corner on the road to success. In celebration, it got bolder and introduced three new guitars and three new basses, all more consonant with the “glam image” of the emerging heavy metal scene, though still not straying far from the Gibson model.
First was the Phantom A5 guitar. This was similar to the Prototype II except for a more dramatically extended upper-cutaway horn and a contoured body with offset waists. Otherwise, the mahogany neck and electronics were very similar, with the three-coil/single-coil combination. By ’84, Hamer pickups were called Slammers, still produced by DiMarzio. New were three-and-three Hamerlock tuners, which allowed the guitarist to lock down the strings at the tuner, similar to the Sperzel concept. The Phantom A5 was available with Sustain Block string-through bridge or a new Sustain Block Tremolo vibrato, which basically transformed the fixed bridge into a non-locking Fender-style vibrato. By ’84, the Phantom A5 was available with a Kahler top-mounted double-locking vibrato system. However, this first version did not survive through ’84.

In ’84, the Phantom A5 changed to a second version basically the same as the earlier one, except it featured a six-in-line headstock and Kahler Flat-Mount vibrato system was standard. Pickup control changed to a five-way select on the pickguard. In ’85, the neck was changed to maple.

This second version of the Phantom was now also offered as the Phantom A7 Synthesizer Controller. This was the same as the new ’84 Phantom A5, with the addition of a Roland hex MIDI pickup in front of the vibrato, with a three-way toggle (MIDI/regular/both) and two other parameter control knobs. Outputs included 1/4″ and synth DIN plugs.

A streamlined version, the Phantom GT, was also offered beginning in ’84. This was identical except for having a single Hamer Slammer humbucker at the bridge and one volume control, available in custom colors and graphic finishes.

The Phantom guitar series lasted through ’86.

The Vector
You’ll recall the very first Hamer was a Flying V-shaped bass made for Dantzig. This model did not go into production in the ’70s, but the shape, at least, found an incarnation in ’82 as the Vector, right in step with the tastes of those heavy metal times. The Vector was a Flying V copy with a glued-in neck, tapered Hamer three-and-three head, unbound 22-fret rosewood fingerboard, and dot inlays. The body was Honduras mahogany with an optional unbound flamed-maple top. Pickups were initially the same Hamer-spec DiMarzio PAFs, which by ’83 had become re-dubbed Hamer Slammers. Controls were two volumes and one common midrange tone, with the three-way again behind the bridge. Most Vectors have the Sustain Block fixed bridge with strings through the body, but some are found with the Sustain Block vibrato, or Kahler or Floyd Rose double-locking units. Finish options included sunburst, cherry, yellow transparent, blue transparent, green transparent, opaque red, and a black-and-white graphic. Later Vectors switched to a triangular-shaped headstock similar to the Gibson style. The Vector was offered until ’87.

The third new style introduced in ’82 was the Blitz Guitar and Bass. The Blitz was a more basic take on the Explorer/Standard idea, again catering to the contemporary taste for guitars with less traditional styling. Basically, the Blitz guitar was an Explorer with a glued-in Hamer neck with the tapered three-and-three headstock. Unlike the Standard, it did not feature flamed maple tops, but came in opaque finishes. The unbound 22-fret rosewood fingerboard had a 243/4″ scale and dot inlays. The Blitz was outfitted with the two Hamer-spec DiMarzio humbuckers, now called Hamer Slammers. Initially, the Blitz came with either the Sustain Block fixed bridge or Sustain Block vibrato. Beginning in late ’83, many featured top-mounted Kahler vibratos.

The Blitz Bass was essentially the same, with P and J-type pickups and a Sustain Block bridge/tailpiece. The Blitz guitar lasted only two years until ’84, while the Blitz Bass lasted to ’90.

One final design that debuted in ’82 was the CruiseBass, basically a bass version of the double-cutaway Phantom with a glued-in neck, Hamer tapered headstock, and P and J-style pickups. The CruiseBass was available in four and five-string versions. The earliest examples have a pickguard, but by around ’84 this was eliminated. Like the Blitz Bass, the CruiseBass was offered until ’90.

Next month, we’ll pick up the Hamer chronicles as the company begins to pick up steam in the early to mid ’80s.

Hamer artists, ca. ’79
A undated list with a Palatine address, which places it between late ’78 and early ’80, lists artists who purchased Hamer instruments. It provides a fascinating glimpse of the guitarists who helped put Hamer on the map.

Aerosmith – Brad Whitford – Standards (2)
Bad Company – Mick Ralphs – Standard
Bad Company – Boz Burrell – Standard
Blues Brothers – John Belushi – Sunburst
Blues Brothers – Matt Murphy – Sunburst
Roy Buchanan – Roy Buchanan – Standards (2)
Cheap Trick – Rick Nielsen – Standards (7), Sunburst
Cheap Trick – Tom Petersson – 10 & 12-String Basses
Cheap Trick – Robin Zander – Custom 12-String Guitar
Dick & Alex – Alex Parche – Standards (2), Sunburst
Dire Straits – Mark Knopfler – Sunburst
Eagles – Joe Walsh – Sunburst
Focus – Jan Akkermann – Standard
Hall & Oates – Daryl Hall – Mandocello, Mandar
Jethro Tull – Ian Anderson – Standard, Sunburst
Jethro Tull – Martin Barre Standard, Sunbursts (2)
Kiss – Paul Stanley – Standards (3)
Krann – Helmudt Hattler – Standard Bass
Nick Lowe – Nick Lowe – 9-String Basses (2)
Molly Hatchet – Dave Hlubek – Standards (2)
Off Broadway – John Ivan – Sunbursts (4)
Paradise – Derek St. Holmes – Standard
Kenny Passarelli – Kenny Passarelli – Mandocello
Pezband – Tommy Gawenda – Sunburst
Pezband – Mike Gorman – 8-String Bass
The Police – Andy Summers – Standard, Sunbursts (3)
The Ramones – Johnny Ramone – Sunbursts (2)
Rockpile – Dave Edmunds – Sunburst
Rockpile – Billy Bremner – Sunburst
The Rolling Stones – Keith Richards – Standard
The Rolling Stones – Ron Wood – Standard
The Rumour – Brinsley Schwarz – Sunburst
The Runaways – Lita Ford – Standard
The Sex Pistols – Steve Jones – Sunburst
Shoes – Gary Klebe – Standard, Sunbursts (2)
Shoes – John Murphy – 8-String Basses (2)
Shoes – Jeff Murphy – Standard, Sunburst
Stink Band – Peter Aykroyd – Sunburst
Sweet – Andy Scott – Standard
Ted Nugent – Charles Huhn – Sunburst
Teenage Radiation – Steve Dahl – Sunburst
The Who – Pete Townshend – Sunburst
The Who – John Entwhistle – 12-String Quad Bass
Tony Williams Band – Tony Williams – Sunburst
Wishbone Ash – Martin Turner – Standard Bass

’78 Hamer Standard (#0105) with later larger logo and different headstock shape. Photo: Steve Matthes.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s June ’00 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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