Email Specials from June 2009

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 Show #6!

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 Boy."

* 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 Band.

*** But you really should go HERE and see the entire slide show.


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 purchased here.)


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" thing.


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

"If 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,' he said.

"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: Dublin Rising

Friday 6/12/2009 ~ Building Vocabulary Through Music


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.

"Jessie's 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" on youtube.

I remember the song from `81. The lyrics describe him being in love with his best friend's girl:

"I wish that I had Jessie's girl. Where can I find a woman like that?"

But it was the second verse that impressed me:

"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 moot."

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 Man":

"And he plays at stocks and shares,
"And he goes to the regatta."

Today 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, vocabularily speaking?


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.

PPPPS: 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: The Pittsburgh Penguins

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 inventory concept.

Hofner 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 shortly thereafter.

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 in hand.




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:

* duplicity
"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"

* pyre
"And our love become a funeral pyre"
-The Doors "Light My Fire"

* synchronicity
"Effect without a cause, Sub-atomic laws, Scientific pause, Synchronicity"
-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...


I 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 I will."


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 letter.


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.

Nat 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 those.

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 Ivory

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