Thursday 15 May 2003

Rare guitar given CAT scan for rockabilly star
Guitar men flock to Wembley for festival of sound - but the amp man steals the show
Lennon guitar goes on show
Entwistle's 'Frankenstein' Guitar Sold at Auction
See also: Who star auction reaches £1m

Tuesday 13 May 2003

Legendary bassist Noel Redding dies

The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Noel Redding (pictured above, bottom left), bass guitarist for The Jimi Hendrix Experience has died in Ireland at the age of 57.

The news was announced by Noel's partner Deborah McNaughton. She writes at the Track Records website "I am very shocked to learn of my partner's death. Noel was extremely gentle and gracious soul. He had a kind of chivalry and nobility about him and he was kind to everyone bar none, people and animals alike".

Noel Redding was born December 25, 1945. He joined The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1966 and played on classics such as 'Hey Joe'. 'Foxy Lady' and 'Highway Chile'.

After leaving the band I 1969 he moved back to Cork, Ireland where he bought a house from his Experience earnings but royalties from his work with the band dried up in 1974 when he said he was forced to sign over his future royalties for $16,000. Redding had been fighting these last few years to
take the Hendrix Estate to court of back royalties and the case was looming.

At this stage details of the cause of death have not been released.

Same story, as reported on BBC website

Monday 12 May 2003

London Guitar Show

This Sunday I went to the London Guitar Show in Wembley, and I must say that I really enjoyed it. I didn't even go and watch any of the gigs that had been lined up throughout the day; I was quite happy simply browsing the stalls and looking at all the wonderful gear (and buying one or two bits and pieces as well - but we'll get onto that in a moment).

There were lots of Paisley Pink Strats and Teles (and P-basses) in evidence. Perhaps I should be grateful that I sold mine last year - they're obviously getting old hat now. Alas, I couldn't find any of the new Fender Strat-O-Sonics anywhere (I really wanted to try one of those), although the Arbiter stand had a Stratacoustic and plenty of re-issue Thinline Teles in a variety of colours (pink, blue, etc).

Things that caught my eye:
  • These fabby African oil can guitars

  • The retro-classic stylings of Fret King Guitars

  • More retro-styled madness from Italia Guitars.
    Italia Guitars Rimimi Double
    This Rickenbacker-inspired double-necked Rimini model was truly a thing of beauty.

  • The Vox Brian May Special amp.
    Vox Brian May SpecialI had a go on this and it had a fabulous tone. I want one, but they are not going to be publicly available until next month, RRP £139. Incidentally, I tested the amp using a Burns Brian May Red Special type guitar which I hated, and also with a Parker Fly guitar which I thought I was going to hate but which played beautifully.

I also fell in love with this delightful guitar, the Traveler, so much so that I went home with one!

As the name implies, it's a travel guitar. It has a full scale length but packs away into a tiny little gig bag. The lower bout is detachable for tranpsorting purposes. As well as the single coil pickup which you can see in the picture it has a Shadow piezo pickup beneath the bridge and can produce some fairly respectable acoustic sounds, and two volume controls allow you the blend the tones produced from each pickup. Finally, and rather rather bizarrely, a pair of stethoscope type headphones are included for practice purposes. These pick up sound vibrations from a membrane mounted beneath the bridge and the system actually works quite nicely, even if the descrption of it makes it sound a bit Heath Robinson. It does mean that there are no batteries involved, as the sound is carried by air pressure alone.

Other things I bought included a couple of guitar stands and strings at those crazy low show prices, and the latest EBow Plus to replace my 20 year old EBow.
Another Hendrix guitar up for auction, and this time it's a Les Paul. How many guitars did that man get through?

Saturday 10 May 2003

Wednesday 7 May 2003

New project: Frankenstrat 2

Frankenstrat 2
Here's my next guitar building project. After the suprise success of my first Frankenstrat I've been buying up more parts from eBay and think I'm going to have a really quality looking instrument this time. The photo doesn't really do these parts justice: the body is finished in a glossy translucent red which shows the grain of the wood beneath, and the scratchplate is a white pearloid affair. The neck, although old, is apparently a custom built one and is in fact a left-handed Explorer type neck. I just happen to think it looks great on this Strat body, and is reminiscent of the Strat type guitars built by the Robin company.
More about the John Entwistle auction at Sotheby's:
Veleno aluminium guitars - these legendary instruments are real class, and what's more is that they are being manufactured once again. Yours for a mere snip with prices beginning at $8,995.


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