Wednesday, 30 October 2013

1950s Stratosphere Twin - doublenecked 12+6 string monster guitar!
One thing that you can guarantee about this lumpen-shaped 1950s twin-necked behemoth is that were it being marketed today they certainly wouldn't be allowed to use the name "Stratosphere". A certain American guitar manufacturer would nip that in the bud with threatened legal action as soon as they heard about it.

Of course there is nothing "Strat"-like about it; the nearest it comes to any Fender is that the bolt-on maple necks are rather Telecaster-like aside from the design of the headstocks, of course. Incidentally, it's nice to see that the headstocks are slotted and fitted with rear-facing machine heads. One some doublenecks, the tuners on one neck get in the way of those on the other - and you can just forget about using a string winder!

The eBay seller tells us that Stratosphere guitars were:
...made by a pair or brothers in Missouri, there were probably less than 200 made and who knows how many remain, it is the guitar used by Jimmy Bryant to play and record "Stratosphere Boogie" in the mid 1950s, it was the first electric 12 string guitar, and most importantly, the 12 string neck is tuned in major and minor thirds, unlike a normal 12 string. It really is a rare piece of American History, albeit an obscure one.
This example is currently listed on ebay with a Buy It Now price of $15,000.

G L Wilson

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    Stratosphere Boogie featuring Jimmy Bryant on the 3rds-tuned 12-string neck of the Stratosphere doubleneck. Also featuring his partner in crime Speedy West on steel guitar. Hot stuff!

  2. The Stratosphere was once featured as a centerfold in GuitarPlayer magazine, and a flexidisc of "Stratosphere Boogie" was bound into the issue.

  3. The Stratosphere was once featured as a centerfold ("Miss Off the Wall") in GuitarPlayer Magazine, and a flexidisc of "Stratospher Boogie" was bound into the same issue.



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