Fretless Wonder


By Michael Wright The Different Strummer Back in the early 1990s I did a few “guitar shows” for my son’s primary school classes, basically a show-n-tell with half a dozen guitars in various shapes and colors.  I’d conclude with “Swamp Thing,” the then-popular TV show theme adaptation of the Troggs’ classic. At the end, I’d ask […]

Bad Moon Rising

1982 Kawai MS-700 MoonSault CU

By Michael Wright The Different Strummer   I’ve always been a sucker for oddball guitars.  A LaBaye 2×4?  You bet!  A Bunker Astral Series Sunstar?  Yup!  A Jay Turser Shark?  O’Hagan Shark?  Of course.  So, when a chance to get a moon-shaped guitars beckoned, the call was irresistible.  Now, despite its hallowed place in the […]

Seat-backs straight. Prepare for Take-off.

1983 Modulus Graphite Flight 6 Monocoque

By Michael Wright The Different Strummer I never really warmed up to headless guitars.  Oh, they were really cool looking and there’s no denying Andy Summers had real style playing a Steinberger for The Police.  But I guess I’m old fashioned.  I need a head to keep me oriented.  Still, present me with something made […]

1987 Casio DG-20 Digital Guitar

1987 Casio DG-20

By Michael Wright The Different Strummer Blame it on disco.  I remember it well…as an observer, of course!  The excesses of early ‘70s hard rock inspired a vapid dance craze reaction toward the end of the decade with mirror balls and platform shoes and, well, you know, Studio 54, glitter spandex, and Donna Summer and […]

Vintage Surf n’ Turf

1964 Montclair Model No 3904

In the good old days, guitar cognoscenti used to snicker at ‘60s Japanese guitar styles because they looked as if they just couldn’t get it right.  As in make a guitar as clean and cool as a Fender Strat or Jazzmaster.  The joke was on the experts.  If the Japanese guitar designers did anything, they got […]

Don’t Ask Me, I Don’t Know!

1983 Aria Pro II XX Series XX Deluxe

Rhetorical question: What do getting fit through exercise and liking solidbody electric guitars have in common? And, no, I don’t mean Sweatin’ to the Oldies with Richard Simmons or any workout program designed to dance your way to 6-pack abs. I mean discovering Heavy Metal and the guitars that were made for it, like this […]

The Origins of the Electric Guitar: Part 3


    The first wheel ever invented to be used for transportation would be obsolete by todays standards. It was probably made out of a chunk of heavy stone, and while it may have made life easier thousands of years ago, to use one today would make you that much more thankful for rubber and spokes. Inventions go […]

The Origins of The Electric Guitar: Part One


It may seem hypocritical, but in fact, the advancement of the human race would not be possible if it weren’t for laziness. We all have that burning desire to want to accomplish something, but along with that desire comes the inherent need to do it in the simplest, most efficient way possible. Of course it’s not easy […]

Ugly Mugs No. 3: Walk, Don’t Run (Vintage 1967 Guyatone LG-160T Electric Guitar)

Vintage 1967 Guyatone LG-160T Electric Guitar

For this last musing on ugly duckling guitars, let us turn our attention to this example from Japan, this Guyatone LG-160T. The Fenton-Weill Tux-master we contemplated was pretty much unrelentingly ugly, only redeemable if you fondly remember it from your youth. The Burns UK Flyte was more of a space oddity than especially ugly, but it sure didn’t grow on me, at least. However, some unusual guitars do eventually win your heart over the more you stare at them. I think that this is the case here.