July 2018

Table of Contents
July 2018

Find what’s in this issue, enter the latest exclusive VG contests, or learn the 3 ways to get your Vintage Guitar fix! Don’t forget to check out VG Classifieds and the playlist for this issue of VG on Youtube.

Table of Contents

July 2018 VOL. 32 NO. 09
For many players, the Fender Bassman is a surefire go-to amp. We take a look at the circuits and formats that have worn the name. We also tell the story of the Esquire used by Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. Then, we speak with John Oates about his incredibly special Guild F-30, and offer our best-in-the-business profiles of a ’28 Weymann Model 848 and the Goya Rangemaster 116. There are a million reasons to read the July issue, available now!
We talk new music, new guitars, and the latest goings-on with Jimmie Vaughan, Al Di Meola, Michael Bruce, Jonathan Wilson, June Millington, and Tommy Skeoch. Dan Forte delves into Clapton on film, Wolf Marshall tells the story of rocker John Sykes, Peter Kohman continues his exam of the Gibson EB-3, Dan Erlewine shows us his fix a broken Strat vibrato bar, and Will Kelly takes two DIY neck-through guitar kits and makes a doubleneck!
Update your listening with help from our music reviews, including new stuff by Led Zeppelin, Al Di Meola, Jack White, Eric Johnson, Tinsley Ellis, Barney Kessel, John Prine, Joe Bonamassa, John 5, Toto, and more. If it’s time for something new in the jam room (and when isn’t it?), be sure to read our no-bull reviews of VG Approved Gear.
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Raffle tickets are available for $25.

36 Mail-Order Rara Avis
The Weymann Model 848
For nearly a century, H.A. Weymann and Son, Inc. made, imported, and sold guitars along with other instruments. This rare example from 1928 offers sustain and reverb that make it great for playing blues, and stands out with its solid peghead, banjo tuners, and fancy dress. | By George Gruhn and Joe Spann

42 Italian Smorgasbord
The Goya Rangemaster 116 SB
American guitars made in the 1950s and ’60s constitute an almost-holy canon, yet most players in the era took their first steps on imported instruments – often good and interesting in their own right, like this one. | By Michael Wright

86 Roots Return
John Oates’ Prized Guild F-30
The Hall & Oates catalog lends few hints, but the co-founder of one of the most successful pop-music duos in history is a lifetime student of the guitar with a passion for the music of Mississippi John Hurt. We relate the story of a well-traveled instrument that landed in proper hands. | By Oscar Jordan

92 High Times For Low-End
History of the Fender Bassman
If they could have just one amplifier, many guitarists would choose the legendary Bassman. For nearly 70 years, it has been the go-to for those seeking robust, dynamic tones. We take a look at the many circuits and formats that have worn the name. | By Dave Hunter

98 Gate’s Swing
The “Okie Dokie Stomp” Esquire
Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown was a star in Houston before he made it big with the instrumental “Okie Dokie Stomp” and other hits. Here, we offer a look at the guitar given to Brown by Leo Fender in 1951, and used to record the classic track. | By Ward Meeker

App store logo

first fret

14 Reader Mail

18 News and Notes
NMM “Adopt an Instrument”; Willcutt Turns 50; In Memoriam

Find Jimmie Vaughan in First Fret, page 18.

18 Jimmie Vaughan
Full Plate, New Strats

22 Ask Zac

22 Bob Barry
Jazz Lenser, Guitar Lover

24 Al Di Meola
Still Elegant

26 June Millington
Rock-Guitar Hero

28 Tommy Skeoch
Rock and Roll Forever

30 Jonathan Wilson
Rare Bird

32 Michael Bruce
Eighteen Again


“The Guide is the bottom line when comes to staying up to date with the ever-changing market. It’s the number one tool when researching an instrument’s realistic retail value.” Review by S.J. “Frog” Forgey, Elderly Instruments ›› Learn more

48 Vintage Guitar Price Guide

80 Guide to New Amplifiers

102 Upcoming Events

116 Vintage Guitar Classifieds

121 WIN BIG! The Team Josie American Cancer Society Relay for Life Raffle
Win a Carr Raleigh, Reverend Pete Anderson PA-1, and other prizes worth more than $4,400! Enter now →

130 Showcase

136 Readers Gallery


52 The (Way) Back Beat
Cream Dream Machine: The Gibson EB-3, Part 2: | By Peter S. Kohman

60 Fretprints
John Sykes | By Wolf Marshall

68 Q&A With George Gruhn

72 Dan’s Guitar Rx
Bad Dreams: Repairing a Strat Vibrato Arm | By Dan Erlewine

76 Shop of Hard Knocks
Post-Secondary DIY: Tackling a Double Neck-Through Kit Build | By Will Kelly


108 The VG Hit List
Led Zeppelin, Jack White, Al Di Meola, Eric Johnson, Tinsley Ellis, Barney Kessel, John Prine, Joe Bonamassa, John 5, Toto, more!

109 Check This Action
Clapton’s Story on Film | By Dan Forte

122 VG Approved Gear
PRS Silver Sky, Carvin Audio X1, Death by Audio Deep Animation, Henriksen The Blu, Jam Pedals LucyDreamer, EHX Slammi Plus/Hot Wax, Guild Jetstar, Jext Telez Canyon Climber/Jext Face, Koll Guitar Co. Super Glide Almighty, Universal Audio OX Amp Top Box

123 Gearin’ Up!
The latest cool new stuff!


Gibson “Extra Butter?”
I really enjoyed Peter Stuart Kohman’s “Way Back Beat” columns on the Gibson EB series (June and July ’18). It’s a pleasure to read about stellar vintage basses; the EB made an impact on the music scene and continues to enjoy a small but loyal following. I remember the first time I played one and fell in love with the sound. It was – and remains – an exquisite instrument. Oh, and some of us refer to the unique tone of the neck pickup as “melting butter.” Keep the legend alive. Boom, boom, boomity boom!
-John Anfuso in Rochester, New York

Reader Mail
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Readers Gallery
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