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The Continental by Jeff Senn

New Jeff Senn & Eastwood Custom Shop Guitar

The Continental is the latest collaboration between Jeff Senn and Eastwood. This model is more “upmarket” than the popular Model One, and looks very much like a vintage classic!

On a recent interview on the Eastwood website, Jeff Senn Explained the inspiration behind his new design, which also has a certain hint of the legendary Supro Ozark to it.

“When I was building the original Continental for myself it was built with a vintage Supro pickup in the bridge position and a vintage Guyatone pickup in the neck position. When we decided to make The Continental available as a production instrument I chose pickups that evoked a similar tonality but were easily accessible. 

“It’s a very versatile combination as the guitar can twang, growl, sparkle and cover many genres of music from Punk to Western Swing, Blues and Jazz. I’m personally drawn to guitars that I can take on almost any gig without worrying if they will fit the style of music. Versatility is a good thing and this is what I had in mind for The Continental. Another aspect of the pickup choices is that they are easily replaceable with a plethora of choices should the player want a different sound or output. By mounting the mini-humbucker in a P-90 rout the mini can be traded out easily for a P-90 should the owner wish to, which would be another great version of the instrument.”

Read the full Jeff Senn interview here.

More about the Continental by Jeff Senn

The Continental by Jeff Senn

The Continental by Jeff Senn

It’s worth mentioning that The Continental is NOT in production just yet (March 31 as we write this) because this is a new crowdfunding project by the Eastwood Custom Shop. Even though the guitar was designed by Jeff Senn, this model won’t be manufactured or sold by Jeff Senn Guitars, Senn’s own brand.

Those interested can simply pay a deposit ($200 for hardtail version, $250 for Bigsby version) via the Eastwood Continental Page, to guarantee theirs – if Eastwood reach their target! If they don’t reach at least 100% of their goal, the guitar won’t be made and those who left a deposit will be refunded.

Crowdfunding ends on April 27, 2017.

But, oh boy… it’s such a beautiful guitar, that we can only hope she’ll get made! It would be a shame otherwise, wouldn’t it?

View the Continental

Call For Papers

Submit your Stories – Earn MRG Cash

Call For Papers

Call for Papers

Every month we have people contributing articles to the My Rare Guitars Monthly Newsletter – My Rare Guitaricles. Now you too can get in on the fun and earn some cash credits in the meantime. All articles and stories that get published will receive a $50 MRG Shop credit.
What type of article will qualify? If you are a regular reader of this website, you already have a good idea of what would be of interest to our readers. Anything that is guitar related – some examples would be educational, humorous, historical, best of lists, a CD review, a story about your favourite guitarist, a close encounter, or anything in-between.
Typically 500-1000 words and a couple of photos is more than enough, but no limits or guidlines other than to make is something that our current readers will enjoy. Also, the more you submit, the more MRG Cash you can rack up, no limit there either. Submit your articles to michael@myrareguitars.com, enter as often as you wish. (Please do not submit reprinted content or “already published elsewhere”content, only original content will be considered for publication at MRG)

Guitars, Golf Courses & Trivial Pursuit

No, Chris Haney had nothing to do with guitars, but it’s likely you’ve played the game Trivial Pursuit at some point in your life. Chris Haney was one of the co-creators of Trivial Pursuit, but there was little that was trivial about the former journalist who died Monday at the age of 59. Haney died in a Toronto hospital after a long illness.

Chris Haney: Co-Creator of Trivial Pursuit

Chris Haney: Co-Creator of Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit was born when Haney and friend Scott Abbott got together for a game of Scrabble in the late ’70s. Their banter turned to ideas for their own game and by the end of the evening they had come up with the formula that would eventually turn them into millionaires. Released in 1982, it took off after a slow start. “We had no idea just how successful it would become,” Scott added. “We didn’t realize it would transcend games players and become, with the Cabbage Patch Kids, what Time magazine in 1984 called an American social phenomenon.”

The duo sold the rights to toy giant Hasbro in 2008 for $80 million US. Like all his friends, Abbott chuckled when asked to suggest a defining anecdote about Haney, suggesting there were too many to choose from. “He was not a scholar in the conventional sense,” Abbott laughed. “He had no use for the classroom. He always said, ‘I quit school in Grade 12. It was the biggest mistake I ever made. I should have done it in Grade 10.’

Why BLOG about Chris Haney at MRG? As some of you know, my passion for golf is equal to my passion for goofy guitars. Four or fives times each week I have the honor to play a couple of GREAT golf courses here in Toronto – The Devil’s Pulpit and The Devil’s Paintbrush – both of which are ranked in the top 20 in the country and both exist due to the vision of Chris Haney and Scott Abbott. In the late 1980’s they followed their passion for the game and built the Devil’s Pulpit which opened in 1990 followed by the second course two years later.

Toronto golf courses: Devil's Paintbrush & Devil's Pulpit

Toronto golf courses: Devil's Paintbrush & Devil's Pulpit

So, if you are a guitar player, trivia fan and you like to play golf, you should some day plan to take a walk in the house that Haney built. Both courses are a worthwhile experience, and Chris was very proud of them. Sad to see Chris go so early, a crisp reminder of our mortality and the need for some personal legacy. Fortunately by virtue of the Devil’s Pulpit and Paintbrush, Chris succeeded in doing that, and in my mind FAR beyond the legacy of Trivial Pursuit.

Gibson Creates Signature Jimi Hendrix Strat

I’d like to write about this myself, but this article that came in my email earlier this week pretty much sums it up:

There’s been buzz on the Web and an actual broo-ha-ha this week in anticipation of the announcement of Gibson’s “Jimi Hendrix Guitar” package. As even the most casual Hendrix fans know, his main axe was a Fender Stratocaster. Especially devoted followers are likely aware that Jimi occasionally played a Gibson Flying V. Gibson’s Custom Shop already offered a high-end tribute model Flying V of just 300 copies with a list of $12,300 in 2007, so this new model would surely be some variation on that, right?

Signature Jimi Hendrix Strat Guitar from Gibson Guitars

Signature Jimi Hendrix Strat Guitar from Gibson Guitars

What was instead unveiled is something that is baffling many: it’s a Strat copy.

Gibson is clearly excited about the project. At Gibson.com a Hendrix image is on the main page, top of the fold, and when one clicks through it, a long tribute to Hendrix with pictures of the iconic guitarist are posted, including one with his Fender Strat.

According to the press release, this new product will be an entry-level guitar package that includes the guitar, a Hendrix signature Voodoo Child amplifier, and a Foxey Fuzz pedal. Hendrix’s face is on the pick guard. The pack also includes an instructional DVD and a USB drive containing exclusive Hendrix media content and a “Hendrix inspired tie-dyed tee-shirt and bandana.” It is reported to retail at $199.

When asked for a comment, Fender’s media department replied: “I understand you’re interested in a comment regarding the recent product announcement from Gibson. As it is not an FMIC product, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on it.”

Gibson Guitars Presents the Jimi Hendrix Package of Goodies

Gibson Guitars Presents the Jimi Hendrix Package of Goodies

Gibson’s media department did not respond to several requests for a comment of any kind, including how they thought the product would do, or whether or not they are concerned with possible patent infringement. President/CEO Henry Juszkiewicz’s office was contacted directly but calls and e-mails were not returned at press time

Out in the blogosphere, virtual tongues were wagging. Musicradar.com, one of the first to break the news, commented on the irony: “Gibson sued Paul Reed Smith in the early 1990s over the latter’s Singlecut design, claiming it breached design copyright. In that drawn-out case, Gibson finally conceded in 2006 that only ‘an idiot’ could confuse PRS Singlecut with a Gibson.”

Guitarist.co.uk featured an interview with Hendrix’s daughter, Janie, his sister and head of Authentic Hendrix, the estate. In it she points out that it’s not “Gibson branded” but “Jimi Hendrix branded.” Also she says: “It was Gibson who saw a vision from the beginning and was willing to work with us. We don’t have anything against Fender, we have no bad blood, but it’s just that we built a better relationship with Gibson over the years.” She stressed that with Gibson they hope to bring music making to a new generation, something her brother would certainly approve of.

When asked if this might be seen as exploiting her brother’s name, she states: “Jimi was our family member and we’ll just make sure that we take care of him the best way we can. We are committed to keeping Jimi’s legacy alive and intact and bring it to you in the most authentic form.”

In reporting this, the U.K. music trade magazine, MI Pro, writes: “The bewildering move by Gibson to create, essentially, a copy of a guitar it has been in direct competition with for over 50 years seems at best ill-advised, at worst arrogant bravado, particularly when considering Gibson’s continual recourse to the law courts, suing those that encroach upon what it sees as trademark design.”

Some retailers, upon hearing the news, were surprised. “Is this for real?” responded Bob Moggio of Mojo’s Music, Edwardsville, Ill.

“I guess April Fool’s Day is early this year,” sighed Gary Gand, of Gand Music and Sound, Chicago. “One more low-cost toy to try to tap into the babies of the baby boomer market. Dad will buy it for himself but give it to the kids…what was that old saw about one born every minute?”

“If it does as well as the Wayne’s World Strat, none of us are gonna get rich,” Gand cracked.

“As an independent retailer nothing seems to amaze me more than stunts like this,” says Gordy Wilcher of Owensboro Music, Owensboro, Ky. “The lines from the major guitar players are more blurred than ever. There is no loyalty. Even more surprising, these manufacturers have completely lost site of working to maintain the integrity and value of their products. This newest “Jimipaulcaster” is just the latest in any attempt to ‘move’ some wood. Guess what? Most new consumers don’t have the emotional investment and love for the logo. Our customers want something unique and of value. Sorry guys, I just ain’t buying it!”

REPRINTED from MMR: Musical Merchandise Review E-newsletter (9/26/2009)

What I Learned at My First NAMM Show

What I learned at my first NAMM show:

  • The NAMM show is incredibly HUGE. It’s fitting that it’s across the street from Disneyland, as you end up walking just as much as you would at the self-proclaimed happiest place on earth (not when there’s a million guitars across the street, Walt). On a further plus, there’s a lot less puke and fewer children at the NAMM show.
  • Parking is a slice of hell. Maybe two slices. And that’s with Disney running the parking, and Disney does parking with an efficiency that rivals the train schedules of Fascist Governments.
  • NAMM is, however, one of the most incredibly organized colossal endeavors I’ve ever seen. We’re not just talking about hundreds upon hundreds of booths with guitars and amps and accordions and ukuleles, but full rooms of grand pianos and other enormous instruments. Add to this the complexity of visitor lists, vendors, exhibitors, performers, and so on, and it’s just incredible that the whole thing comes off without a train wreck of disasters.
  • People who wear sunglasses indoors look like idiots. The NAMM show is no exception. Knock it off, people. If you don’t have some eye condition and you’re wearing sunglasses inside during the day, you look stupid. You do not look like a rock star. You look like a guy trying to look like a rock star. Which is really not an admirable goal for anyone over 14.
  • The guys at the Eastwood booth were a kick and a half to hang out with for four days. Many laughs, much guitar geek love and a cool surf guitar show for the first two days by fellow Buster Keaton fan Peter Robinson of the CA surf band Surf Cinema. Thanks for the great time, guys!
  • Metal and shredding are with us to stay. As is guitar-face. And sunglasses inside. And men in their fifties in leather pants. We can ask why, or we can accept it and move on.

I also learned there were a lot of guitars I wanted. The short list:

  • A radical Fritz Bros Jimmy Reed Thin Twin model (high end…got a spare four grand for a fellow down on his luck?)
  • A cheapie (retail under three bills) Dano Pro (in Aqua, and several colors that were not Aqua…which is what happens to me when a guitar is offered in Aqua and/or Sea Foam Green…I know only that it is offered in other, non-essential colors. Aqua, people!). It played really well, and it had an improved bridge over the last re-issues. And it comes in Aqua.
  • Some very cool Italia models, including an absolutely stunning twelve string electric with a beautiful headstock. Why aren’t there more sparkly guitars in the world? Well, Italia is doing their part to right that wrong. A big sparkly thanks, folks!
  • See-through Ampeg Dan Armstrong. I didn’t play it, but it’s see-through. That’s enough cool factor.
  • SEVERAL Eastwood models released at NAMM, but there were also a couple of others that will be ready in April – the AIRLINE Tuxedo “Kay Barney Kessel” Model and the Map Shaped Bass. The Saturn (man, that’s a fun guitar to play…and I got one!), The Town & Country (ditto), but the big hit was the Map Shaped Guitars. I’m guessing EASTWOOD sold out of those at the show. All great lookers and players.

And a bunch more. What else did I learn?

  • Peavey continues to make solid, well-made really ugly stuff. 40 years and counting of truly aesthetically challenged design. You would think they might have accidentally made a cool looking guitar by now, but nope, you’d be wrong.
  • There was a guy who always dressed in camouflage and sold machine-gun shaped electric guitars. I kept my distance.
  • In a world of large booths, Fender and Gibson have REALLY large booths. No stunner there, but the Fender booth did have some cool historic guitars. They also had a new Eddie Van Halen model that costs a lot of money for something that looks like it was made in a high school shop class by a stoner in 1982.
  • Randy Bachman seems like a nice guy in addition to being a legend who has played on lots of great tunes.
  • I learned there were a lot of amps I wanted.

Again, the short list:

  • The new. Which isn’t really a re-issue, as I don’t think they ever did a Jet with 6V6 output tubes (a early Reverberocket, yes, maybe a Jet, but I don’t remember that…I’m pretty sure they all had 7591’s). But, anyway, it sounded great, and had only Volume, Tone and Tremolo Speed and Intensity knobs. Cool. Low wattage, few knobs. Gotta love that.
  • Our very own Don Mackrill’s Airline 18 Watt amplifier. Just a great looking and sounding amplifier. Hand made, with style and care and great tone. What’s not to love? Don, I want one in Sea Foam Green! (Everything should come in Sea Foam Green with a Bigsby option. I’d put a Bigsby on my Sea Foam kitchen table if I could).
  • Ben Fargen’s 4x6V6 amp. Yummy. Four 6V6’s, which is such a cool way to get to your 30-40 watts, rather than the more conventional two 6L6’s.

What else?

  • Joel Weaver of Home Brew Electronics, in addition to making my favorite overdrive pedal (The Power Screamer), is a nice guy. Check out his pedals. Great stuff.
  • I begged Groove Tubes…I cajoled JJ Tubes…Nobody is going to make a new 7189A tube. Argh. This is sad news to a Magnatone M10 lover. They just don’t run on EL84’s, no matter how rugged, and there is an ever-dwindling (and ever-expensive) supply of 7189A’s. As my niece likes to say, this news is “poopy.” Poopy, indeed.
  • A lot more people that I might have expected wanted Paul Stanley’s autograph. But, hey, it’s a big world. More power to him, I suppose.
  • There’s one very cranky and not incredibly competent woman who checks your bags on the way out. There may be more than her, but I kept running into the same one. She would demand I open my bag, not really look in, and then bark at me to move on. I could have had a severed head in that bag for all she knew. (I did NOT have a severed head, for those wondering at home).
  • There are a LOT of people who play guitar better than me. That’s not a huge surprise to me, but when they’re all in the same room with you (albeit a VERY LARGE room), it’s pretty humbling. A lot of people who can play out there in the world. Pretty cool.
  • I learned that I had to sell some stuff to make some room for what I carried out of there. NAMM is a heady experience, a gear freak’s nirvana (or close…maybe it would be nirvana with vintage axes, too), and a tiring sensory overload that’s a ball.

There’s nothing quite like it, and I can’t wait until next year to see what’s new.

See you in next month’s newsletter.