Friday, 11 February 2011

Califone-branded Murph Squire XII from 1966
We've previously looked at a California-made Murph Squire 12-string back in December 2009. Murph guitars don't come up on eBay all too often, but the above-pictured example - currently for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $1650 - is even rarer as it carries the "Califone" brandname and is effectively a prototype. To borrow from the eBay listing:
Califone guitars were made for Rheem Califone (the record player people) in Los Angeles to complement their range of school PA equipment. In mid 1966 Murphy Music was approached by Califone (also located in San Fernando) to build a range of guitars and amps (this is how the amp side of the business got started) that they could market to schools to compliment the audio stuff they were providing to the education department - a potential BIG money spinner for MURPH! ...BUT, as seemed to happen a lot with them, the luck of the Irish WASN'T with Pat Murphy with this venture either - Califone had a change of heart and called off the deal after 25 or so prototypes were made. They were made up of 6 strings, basses and 12 string guitars. Most were basic Squires [...] with a changed nameplate but they did do some with ‘slanted’ pickups and different Gumby-like headstocks.
G L Wilson

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