Friday 6/5/2009 ~ Beatles Show
Pictures & The Meaning of Life
I just spent the last half hour
looking at 200 fabulous photos from last week's Big Beatle
We've been doing shows, and taking
pictures, at the Rex for the last six years... but we've never
taken photos as nice as the ones that were done last weekend
by Peter Wan. Peter came in from New York to document the show,
and his work is truly impressive.
Here are some samples that we
copied onto our site:
* Davy Rocket opening the show, with "Bad
* The Upbeats and the Zoners.
* Natalie & Melanie from 5K.
* The SPUDS! (Yes, Paul is flying.)
* Two of our guitar students, Philip singing "Here
Comes The Sun" and Lucas playing "Dizzy Miss Lizzy."
* Shoe and Augustus.
* The always entertaining Hank
*** But you really should go HERE and see the entire
Thanks to the many, many folks
who played at last week's Big Beatle Show #6! And thanks to the
many, many, more folks who came to enjoy the show! It was a wonderful
celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Pittsburgh Guitars! And
it was nice to see people having such a good time. (Plus, it
was great to see folks using guitars and basses that had been
Now that the store is 30 years
old, and I'm almost 100, I've been pondering the Big Picture.
You know, "life" and all of that stuff...
On my drive in to the store this
morning I started wondering, "What are the important things
in life?" Well, helping other people is a big one. And being
a good person. And learning how to properly parallel park...
But before we can do good things
for other people, we first have to get our own lives
together. So, I thought, "What are the important things
we can do for ourselves?" And as I was passing the Mellon
Arena, home of the Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins,
I made this mental list:
1) Stay healthy
2) Have pleasant interactions with other human beings (e.g. "fun")
3) Make enough money to get by
Then I thought, "How do
these three things relate to guitars?" (`cause most of my
mental ramblings lead there.)
Let's examine them in reverse
order, from the least important to the most important:
3) Here at Pittsburgh Guitars
we can't really promise that you'll ever make any money
playing the guitar. BUT in terms of your financial outlay when
buying a guitar, as we look back over the many years of guitars
that we've sold, it's interesting to note that a high percentage
of those guitars are worth more now than when they were originally
purchased. When plugging in on-stage at the show last Saturday
one guy turned to me and said, "This bass is now worth four
times what I paid for it. Thanks!" It's nice to know that
we're offering a product that is a good value the day you buy
it, and an even better value ten years later. (Compared to, for
example, a computer that you bought ten years ago.) (Or last
week...) So, we're sort of, kind of, helping out with the "money"
2) Re: human interaction. As
you may have noticed last weekend, playing in a band, even one
that was only formed to play three songs at The Big Beatle Show,
is a great experience. Performing with other musicians improves
your social skills, your organizational
skills, and encourages you to draw on your strengths and the
strengths of your fellow band-mates in pursuit of a common goal.
And it's fun! We heavily recommend playing music with your friends!
1) And lastly, with regard to
Staying Healthy: I've been saying it for years, and recent scientific
studies are now proving it: Playing music is good for you!
Here's a recent article from
(It's a bit long, but, hey, it's science!)
By Val Willingham, CNN Medical Producer
you didn't catch the white coat and the stethoscope, you might
take Dr. Mike Miller for a middle-aged rocker, roaming the halls
of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
"For years, Miller, a research
cardiologist, has been studying the effects of happiness -- or
things that make people happy -- on our hearts. He began his
research with laughter, and found watching funny movies and laughing
at them could actually open up blood vessels, allowing blood
to circulate more freely.
"Miller thought, if laughter
can do that, why not music? So, he tested the effects of music
on the cardiovascular system. 'Turns out music may be one of
the best de-stressors -- either by playing or even listening
to music,' said Miller.
"The setup was basically
the same as with the laughter study: Using high-tech imaging,
Miller measured blood vessel size as people listened to music.
"The results did not surprise
Miller. 'The inner lining of the blood vessel relaxed, opened
up and produced chemicals that are protective to the heart,'
"Long-term stress can wreak
havoc on the cardiovascular system. Over time, it can cause blood
vessels to stiffen and become rigid, constricting blood flow.
As people get older, arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries,
becomes a problem. Constricted vessels can cause blood pressure
to rise and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Stress
can also suppress the immune system, contribute to infertility
and impotence, speed the aging process and even rewire the brain,
leaving people more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
"But music can counter the
effects of stress. 'It gives us an overall feeling of good, well-being
-- a sense of euphoria in some cases,' Miller said.
"A recent study out of Stanford
University found elderly patients who were diagnosed with depression
gained self-esteem and saw an improvement in their mood when
they were visited by a music therapist.
"In fact, many hospitals
across the country use music therapy to help patients heal. The
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, uses music as part of its
cardiovascular surgery healing program to 'promote relaxation
and reduce tension, stress and anxiety.' Because music helps
these patients relax, it decreases their pain, improves their
moods and helps them to sleep better, especially during recovery.
"Miller has not only seen
these same results in some of his patients who use music therapy,
but he said he also believes music can be so relaxing that it
can actually keep the body young. 'We would like to believe that
it may slow down the aging process,' he said."
So there! For the last 30 years
Pittsburgh Guitars has kept us healthy, provided us with enjoyable
personal interaction, and sold instruments that in some cases
proved to be better investments than the stock market! Whew!!
This may be the greatest store, ever, in the history of stores!!!
Or, it could just be some guys and some guitars. (And Betsy!)
Either way, it's been a good 30 years.
Hey, thanks for shopping here.
See you soon,
PS: Our world-travelling-ex-guitar-teacher
Korel says "Hello!" Today he's in Moscow, Russia, touring
with Katy Perry.
PPS: Peter Wan says he has even
more photos! So if you didn't see yourself in the 200 pictures
linked-to above, we'll have more soon! Thanks again, Peter!
PPPS: Getting back to actual
business, we've been looking for a new bass amp line for some
time now, and we've decided on Hartke. They offer great sounding,
powerful amps for reasonable prices. A shipment just arrived,
and we're happy to have them. If you need "more bass,"
stop in and check them out.
PPPPS: Also, I just talked to
Danelectro, and their new models will finally be shipping in
late June. We ordered every color they have! Here's a link to
their page: Danelectro.
PPPPPS: Getting back to last
week's Big Beatle Show/Anniversary Party, thanks to your generosity
we were able to make a big donation to the Greater Pittsburgh
Food Bank. They were very grateful. Thanks!!!!!!
PPPPPS: Customer Of The Week:
Friday 6/12/2009 ~ Building Vocabulary
Yesterday I was taking a van-load
of cardboard to the ol' cardboard recycling place, and as always,
I cranked up the ol' satellite radio. You never know what will
come bouncing down from the satellite. The first song I heard
was "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield.
Girl" was a #1 hit for Rick in 1981, the same year he starred
as heart-throb Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.
Here's "Jessie's Girl"
I remember the song from `81.
The lyrics describe him being in love with his best friend's
"I wish that I had Jessie's
girl. Where can I find a woman like that?"
But it was the second verse that
"I'll play along with the
charade, there doesn't seem to be a reason to change.
"You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute,
"I wanna tell her that I love her, but the point is probably
As I was unloading the cardboard
yesterday, I thought, "That's gotta be the only time the
word 'moot' was used in a hit song!"
Which made me wonder about other
instances of hit songs containing seldom used words. Back in
1965 I was mystified by a line in The Kinks "Well Respected
"And he plays at stocks
"And he goes to the regatta."
I know what a "regatta" is, but it was a new word to
me then. And I still haven't heard it in another song.
Now, of course, I don't mean
nonsense, made-up words, like "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da"
by The Police, or "Tutti Fruitti" by Little Richard,
or all of those words Paul McCartney made up in "Michelle"
("Sont les mots qui vont trés bien ensemble"??)...
I mean actual, legitimate words...
Words that you don't generally hear in a song....
Can you think of any "hit"
songs that contain unusual words? Songs that expanded your horizons,
See you soon,
PS: Since we're off the topic
of guitars this week, I'd like to mention something that is WAY
off topic: my favorite TV show. Sunday morning at 9 EST on CBS
is a fascinating show,
hosted by Charles Osgood, called "Sunday Morning."
Each episode features a series of three to five minute segments
on a variety of different topics. You never know what they're
going to cover, but it's ALWAYS interesting. Even if the subject
matter is something that you don't think you'd care about, the
segments are SO well done that it draws you in, and you invariably
learn something new. A few weeks ago, one story was filmed at
the Vic Firth drumstick factory, and it was so impressive (he
takes great care to match each pair of sticks) that we were inspired
to start carrying Vic Firth sticks here at the store. The show
starts pretty early, so set your TiVo up to record it... You
won't be disappointed.
PPS: Speaking of TV:
"Friends" - Episode 7.08, December 23, 2000
Joey: "All right, Rach.
The big question is, 'Does he like you?' All right? Because if
he doesn't like you, this is all a moo point."
Rachel: "Huh? A moo point?"
Joey: "Yeah, it's like a
cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. It's moo."
PPPS: Speaking of TV and "words,"
I still remember an episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show that I
saw when I was eleven. This was the original Dick Van Dyke Show...
in black & white. Dick starred as a TV comedy writer, with
his two co-writers, Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam, and his lovely
wife, Mary Tyler Moore. In this particular episode Dick decided
to write a children's story, and one of the lines in his story
was "Bobby was morose..." (I'm paraphrasing here, because
I don't remember the exact quote and I can't find it on the internet...
and I thought the internet had EVERYTHING!) The comedic part
of the show dealt with the rest of the cast chiding Dick for
using "morose" in a children's story. The issue was
whether a child would know that word...but I sure learned it
from the show... and I've used it whenever I can over these last
forty years! It's funny how some things stick in your memory.
To tie this into music: On the show Dick played the head-writer
for a fictitious comedy program called The Alan Brady Show. "Alan
Brady" was played by Carl Reiner. Years later Carl's son,
Rob Reiner, produced the fabulous rock & roll movie. "This
Is Spinal Tap."
PPPPPS: Speaking of TV, The Sunday
Morning Show, Music AND Rob Reiner: Last Sunday's episode of
The Sunday Morning show featured a segment on TV producer Norman
Lear. (He produced "All In The Family" starring Rob
Reiner; "Sanford & Son;" "One Day At A Time"
starring the future Mrs. Eddie Van Halen Valerie Bertinelli;
"The Jeffersons;" and many, many other shows.) Norman
is now retired from TV producing but is involved in numerous
other projects. He so strongly believes in the power of music
that one of his current projects involves filming musicians around
the world performing the same song. He tapes the first version
somewhere (in the one I saw, it was a street musician in Santa
Monica, California) and then he has other folks play
along to it. Here's one of the videos. It's five and a
half minutes long, but it really brings home the universal nature
of music. Despite all of our differences, music can actually
bring the world together. We all need it in our lives.
PPPPPPPS: Customer Of The Week:
Friday 6/19/2009 ~ Excess Inventory
Getting rid of excess stuff is
always a challenge. (Especially excess pounds...)
With guitar manufacturers the
issue is usually excess inventory. This week the 'excess inventory'
topic came up twice.
The first story needs a prelude:
There are a thousand folks selling
vintage guitars around the world. (That may seem like a lot,
but not compared to the eight-million-three-hundred-and-twenty-five-thousand-four-hundred-and-twelve
people selling pet
supplies...) And if you asked those thousand vintage instrument
dealers (and maybe even some of the pet supply dealers) who the
most famous vintage guitar expert in the world is, most would
say: "George Gruhn." George opened his shop in Nashville
in 1970 and he is world renowned, to say the least. For the past
four decades he has been the go-to guy for vintage guitar questions.
When I opened Pittsburgh Guitars I often called him for advice,
and although I was just some kid in Pittsburgh, he was always
helpful. At this point he and I have known each other for longer
than we haven't known each other.
But despite George's wealth of
vintage guitar knowledge (he not only wrote the book on the subject,
he literally wrote the book on the subject), George has
never had much of an interest in European-made instruments...
like Hofners. So these days when someone contacts him about Hofner
basses, George calls me. I don't really claim to be a Hofner
expert... but I have seen a lot of them... and I own a bunch...
so I know more than your average pet supply dealer.
This week I received an email
from Mike U. in South Carolina. He was curious about a bass he
bought twenty years ago. It looks like a Hofner 500/1 "Beatle
Bass" but it has a bolt-on neck instead of a glued-in one;
a strange non-Hofner finish; and an even stranger Hofner logo
on the headstock. He searched the internet, but couldn't find
any info about it. He called the current owners of the Hofner
company, and they were mystified. So he went to the top, George
Gruhn... and George sent him to me.
Despite the fact that everyone
Mike had spoken to doubted the validity of his instrument, I
recognized it immediately. And its history goes back to the excess
has been making stringed instruments for one hundred and twenty
years, but to many of us they are best known for the Model 500/1
bass. They've never had an endorsement deal with Paul McCartney,
but that hasn't stopped the rest of the world from calling the
500/1 the "Beatle Bass." Paul is still using the exact
bass that he bought in 1963... and he's still on tour with it
in 2009... so they've had more free publicity than any business
could ever hope for.
However, the public visibility
of Paul's bass has had its ups and downs over the years. And
so has the general public interest in all things Beatle. After
the breakup of The Beatles, Paul toured regularly with his new
band, Wings, throughout the 1970s. By then his 500/1 bass was
semi-retired; he mostly used his Rickenbacker 4001 bass... but
he was still in the public eye and Hofner
Bass sales continued along their merry way. But in the 1980s
Paul stopped touring. And as the world embraced the new Duran
Duran video era of MTV, Beatle interest slowed. As you might
guess, so did sales of the Hofner 500/1 Bass.
By 1983 Hofner was looking for
a way to sell some of the 500/1 basses and bass parts that they
had in inventory. Two ideas came to mind. First, they decided
to offer a "1964-1984 Anniversary" model. Of course,
Paul's bass was not a 1964 model; and he didn't start using it
in 1964; and the bass they were offering was not a reissue of
any kind, just the standard 1983 model... BUT he did first use
the bass in America in 1964! So that was their hook. It was the
20th Anniversary of Paul first using a Hofner Bass in America.
They took the stock `83 model,
added "1964 - 1984" to the truss rod cover, enclosed
a "20th Anniversary Limited Edition" pamphlet, and
a "20th Anniversary Limited Edition" yellow sash...
and ta-dah! a marketing gimmick!!
Here's a picture
of John with a "20th Anniversary Limited Edition" Hofner
500/1 bass. Here's a
close-up of the truss-rod cover, and the pamphlet. (Sorry,
I can't find the sash... I know I have it somewhere...)
Hofner's other marketing plan
was an effort to get rid of excess parts. They decided to offer
a "build-it-yourself" version of the bass. You'd get
a bare wood neck and
body, along with all of the hardware. Since gluing a neck on
properly requires a little bit of expertise, the "build-it-yourself"
kit came with a neck plate and screws, so the neck could be bolted
on. The Hofner logo supplied was a decal on an oval sheet.
We sold two of these kits in
late 1983 at Pittsburgh Guitars. Hofner must have had second
thoughts about the concept, though, and the kit offer was withdrawn
So.... when Mike U. sent me the
photos of his bass, I knew what he had: a late 1983 Hofner "build-it-yourself"
kit bass. It had been assembled and finished before he got it.
Here's a picture. Rather than the traditional
Hofner tobacco sunburst, it has a nice amber finish. The headstock
has the exact oval Hofner logo decal that came with the kits;
and although you can't see it in the photo, the neck is bolted
on. You can also see that it has the same wide control panel,
with the skinny black slider switches as the "Anniversary"
model that John is holding the the photos above.
Needless to say, Mike was impressed
with my "vast, amazing" knowledge. But I told him it
wasn't that impressive... I simply remember being there when
I sold the kits. I also told him that, as rare as his bass is,
he'd have trouble selling it... because no one will believe him
when he tells them what it is. It looks too much like a weird
forgery. But it is truthfully a Hofner product. And, you know,
sometimes the truth is hard to believe.
Speaking of hard to believe...
and excess inventory... many people couldn't believe it at the
last NAMM show, when in the midst of a world-wide economic downturn, Fender decided to raise
many of their prices. And in some cases, the price increases
were significant. In January Fender announced that the Retail
Price of an American Standard Stratocaster was going from $1399
to $1590 (up $191.00), with the MAP ("Minimum Advertised
Price") going from $979 to $1275 (up an amazing $296.00!).
To no one's surprise, except
perhaps Fender, raising the price did not increase sales. And
this week they made some adjustments First, Fender lowered the
MAP price to $1199. PLUS from now through September 15th they
are offering a $100 rebate on any new American Standard Strat
or Tele. That brings your final price down to $1099, which is
only $120 more than last December. (And it will be even less
if you buy it at a small non-chain store that sells stuff below
MAP. But of course, the small store couldn't actually tell you
that.) Here's John with a new American Standard Strat, rebate
See you soon,
PS: Last week I mentioned use
of the word "moot" in Rick Springfield's "Jessie's
Girl." Many folks wrote back with other "odd"
word usage. Some good ones were:
"Did you forget about me Mr. Duplicity"
-Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know"
* et cetera
"You're my pride and joy, et cetera"
-The Turtles "Eleanor"
"And our love become a funeral pyre"
-The Doors "Light My Fire"
"Effect without a cause, Sub-atomic laws, Scientific pause,
-The Police "Synchronicity"
Surprisingly, a lot of people
mentioned "Pompatus" in Steve Miller's "The Joker."
Here's what my Thesaurus says:
The word pompatus (also spelled pompitous) is a neologism used
in the lyrics of Steve Miller's 1973 rock song "The Joker":
"Some people call me the space cowboy.
"Yeah! Some call me the gangster of love.
"Some people call me Maurice,
"'Cause I speak of the pompatus of love."
The phrases "space cowboy"
and "gangster of love" are both references to previous Miller songs. The "pompatus"
line is also a reference to an earlier song of his, "Enter
Maurice," which was recorded the previous year:
"My dearest darling, come closer to Maurice
"so I can whisper sweet words of epismetology
"in your ear and speak to you of the pompatus of love."
Although Miller claims he invented
the words "epismetology" (metathesis of epistemology)
and "pompatus," all of his song-writing shows strong
rhythm and blues influences, and a 1954 song called "The
Letter" by the Medallions had the lines:
"Oh my darling, let me whisper
"sweet words of pizmotality
"and discuss the puppetutes of love."
The song was composed by Vernon
Green as a description of his dream woman. "Pizmotality
described words of such secrecy that they could only be spoken
to the one you loved," Green explained. He coined the term
puppetutes "to mean a secret paper-doll fantasy figure who
would be my everything and bear my children."
Because of its peculiarity and
seemingly nonsensical usage, the word pompatus has become a minor
pop trivia icon. DJ Wolfman Jack frequently referenced the phrase
and has a soundclip of him using the line within the song "Clap
for the Wolfman" by The Guess Who. A 1996 movie titled "The
Pompatus of Love" starring Jon Cryer featured four guys
discussing a number of assorted topics, including attempts to
determine the meaning of the phrase. Humor columnist Dave Barry
frequently refers to the song line as a source of comedic value,
particularly in his 1997 book, "Dave Barry's Book of Bad
Songs." The line has also been mentioned in various television
show gags, including The Simpsons and South Park.
PPS: Customer Of The Week: Those Darlins
Friday 6/26/2009 ~ Twelve String
Electrics... Tom Petty... and Last Week's Email...
was up until 3:30 AM last night watching the new four-hour film
by Peter Bogdanovich, "Running Down A Dream." It's
a fascinating documentary about Tom Petty (and The Heartbreakers).
The film was a real eye-opener. (Which is exactly the opposite
of how I feel NOW after three hours of sleep...)
The film reminded me of the Pittsburgh
Guitars Big Beatle Show #6... which reminded me of a letter I
got right after our last show... which reminded me of last week's
Email Special about guitar manufacturers excess inventory...
which reminded me of something else... but I'm too sleepy to
remember what that was...
Let's start with the letter...
The day after the "Pittsburgh
Guitars 30th Anniversary / Big Beatle Show #6" event, Bill
A. wrote and said: "I saw several Rickenbacker and Danelectro
12-strings, but what about a Fender 12-string?"
I told Bill A. that although
you rarely see anyone using one, Fender made a solid-body 12-string
electric for four years, from mid 1965 until mid 1969.
He said, "You should write
about those in the Email Special."
I said, "One of these days
But we'll get to that in a minute...
First I want to apologize. Back
in June 2008 I wrote:
"I just finished reading an interview with Mike Campbell
from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
On their last tour, including a performance at last year's Super
Bowl, they appeared to use six Vox Super Beatle amps. It turns
out that the Super Beatles were just for show. Mike said that
he actually plays through two small Fender amps! But hey, you
know who REALLY plays through Vox Super Beatle Amps? YOU!!! At
the Pittsburgh Guitars Big Beatle Show #5!!!" And then I
linked to a side photo of Tom Petty's amp set-up, showing the
Fender amps hidden behind the Super Beatles. Here it is.
So I was implying how cool it
is that we actually use six Vox Super Beatle amps at the "Pittsburgh
Guitars Big Beatle Shows," while Tom Petty only pretends
to use them.
Well, after watching "Running
Down A Dream" last night I now see the light. First of all,
it is a fabulous film, with tons of old footage documenting Tom
Petty's entire musical career, including performance clips of
Tom and The Heartbreakers from all over the world. His love of
rock & roll is inspiring, and he has kept the band alive
(and relevant) for thirty three years. And two things are consistent throughout
The Heartbreakers history: (1) Tom and Mike Campbell regularly
use a variety of super-cool vintage guitars; and (2) They have
used Vox Super Beatle amps since the very beginning of the band.
I was shocked to see the thousands of shows that they dragged
those amps to. I've been very proud that OUR six amps have made
it through all six Big Beatle Shows. But that's nothing compared
to the decades that Tom has used his. He deserves some sort of
commendation from Vox for his dedication to that amp.
And after all of these years,
if he wants to stop worrying about how much longer those amps
will work and use a Fender amp behind them, I think that's fine.
They (both Tom and the Super Beatles) deserve a rest! I'm sorry
to have ever thought that Tom didn't care enough to actually
use them. He has faithfully used Super Beatle amps for longer
than any other guitarist in history.
Getting back to the great classic
guitars owned and used by Tom and Mike... the DVD features dozens
of them. And in addition to a variety of cool six-strings, Tom
often uses electric 12-strings, including different Rickenbackers
and Vox guitars. And I was particularly impressed to learn that
he also owns.... a Fender electric 12-string.
And that brings us back to Bill's
It all started in 1961...
The great innovator Nat Daniel,
founder of the Danelectro Company, introduced a lot of new ideas
to the guitar world, including the first six-string bass; the
first electric sitar; the first tilt-adjustable neck; the first
shielded electronics on an electric guitar; and, in 1961, the
world's first electric 12-string.
Daniels electric 12-string, The Danelectro Bellzouki, produced
a wonderful new sound. Three years later in 1964, Rickenbacker,
recognizing the beauty of the 12-string's ringing jangle, introduced
their version, the Rickenbacker 360/12. They promptly gave one
to George Harrison, who promptly used it on twenty Beatle records.
And the world promptly wanted electric 12s!
So a year later, in 1965 both
Gibson and Fender jumped on the multi-string bandwagon. Gibson
added a longer headstock to their regular model ES-335 and called
it the "ES-335-12." And Fender introduced a completely
new design, the Fender "Electric XII." It featured
two pickups with a four position rotary selector switch, string-through-the-body
construction and a long hockey-stick-looking headstock.
Here's John with
a 1965 "Fender Electric XII." (That picture is a bit old because a couple of
years ago someone offered me more than the guitar was worth,
so I sold it. Unfortunately, "more than the guitar is worth"
THEN is less that the guitar is worth NOW. And I miss it. So,
I'm sorry I sold it.) (Guitars are like family members. You should
try to avoid selling them.)
Here's Tom Petty using his Electric XII.
Rickenbacker's 12-string has
had a long and successful life. But both Gibson and
Fender's electric 12-strings were market failures. Gibson's ES-335-12
lasted from 1965 to 1971. Fender gave up even sooner, and they
discontinued the Fender XII in mid-1969.
But in 1969 Fender did something
interesting. And that brings us to last week's Email Special,
concerning excess inventory.
When Fender decided to discontinue
the Electric XII, they still had a number of bodies and necks
left. Rather than scrap the inventory, they decided to create
a new six-string model just to use up the unassembled parts.
Back in the woodshop they got out their trusty router and cut
a point into the bottom edge. Then they cut off a bit of the
upper cutaway. They decided to keep the long headstock, but only
drilled it for the six machine heads. The resulting guitar looked
a bit odd. In fact it was so odd that they couldn't even decide
what to call it. Most said "Fender Custom" on the headstock.
A few, for some unknown reason, said "Fender Maverick."
And here's one of each! Here's John with a 1969 Fender "Custom."
And here's John with a rare 1970 Fender "Maverick."
Unfortunately one thing Fender
forgot to take into consideration is that the Electric XII was
designed with a wider fingerboard to accommodate the 12 strings.
When you only put six strings on that neck the spacing is unusually
wide and a bit difficult to get used to. The "Custom"
and "Maverick" guitars were less successful than the
Electric XII, and it took Fender several years to sell them off.
But at least they got rid of those extra parts!
Speaking of extra stuff, yesterday
I got a call from a store that is going out of business. They
wanted to sell me the rest of their inventory.
Unfortunately, there wasn't much there that we could use. But
they did have a big pile of new chipboard cases. So I bought
We haven't sold chipboard cases
for years a while because their increased shipping costs made
them impractical. For a long time they were $24.95... and then
$27.95... and then $29.95. Once they cleared the $30 mark we
stopped carrying them and switched to gig bags.
See you soon,
PS: Oh yeah, I just remembered
the other thing that crossed my mind at 3:30 AM. I seem to recall
that Jimmy Page once said that he used a Fender Electric XII
to record the 12-string part of "Stairway To Heaven."
I wonder if that's true? I'll have to consult some Led Zeppelin
experts. That has to be in the top ten of The- Most -Famous -Electric-12-string-Recordings.
PPS: Customer Of The Week: Thriving