One of the most legendary musicians of all time was also quite the great guitar player. Many don’t associate John Lennon with being a great guitarist, but in actuality he was. Sure in the early Beatles’ days, he played standard rhythm guitar, but in later years he was soloing along side George Harrison. So what guitars did John use as a Beatle? Lets take a closer look.
Since 2005, Rob Roberge has been entertaining the My Rare Guitars subscribers with his insightful and often hilarious stories. Ranging from The Close Relationship Between Booze & Lost Gear to his curious observations from our annual trip to the NAMM Show, and a bunch of interesting articles about oddball vintage amps.
Aria was formed in Japan in 1953 by Shiro Arai as Arai and Company. They began retailing acoustic guitars in 1960, although the company didn’t actually start manufacturing their own until 1964. Aria arranged for Matsumoku, the musical instrument maker, to build the guitars for them under contract. Arai and Matsumoku started building acoustic guitars in 1964, and then electric guitars in 1966, using Arai, Aria, Aria Diamond, Diamond, and much less frequently, Arita brand names.
Here are a pair of Airline Barney Kessel models from the 1960’s. It was also known as the Swingmaster, and could be found under the Kay brand and the Old Kraftsmen brand.
Here is a rare bass from Italy. There is little information about the Espana brand, but it was most certainly created under the Crucianelli brand in the 1960’s Italy, likely the late 60’s. This bass was obviously targeted at the Fender crowd – check out the headstock – and the body too is quite reminiscent of the classic Fender style.
Back in the late 1960s, amplifiers were big. No, I don’t mean as in “popular.” I mean as in big! I had a giant 350-watt solid-state Mosrite that ran a whole band. It was so big, I had to buy a VW Bus to schlep it around. Back then, probably no big amp brand was bigger—as in more popular—than Standel out of California. Those were the amps to have (I suspect my Mosrite was really made by them). Standel got so big, the company introduced its own guitar lines. And, just as Mosrite probably didn’t make any amps, Standel didn’t make any of its guitars.
As a full time repair tech, I would say that set ups are probably the most common procedure I do in the shop on the average day. And probably 90% of the guitars that come through the door need a fret level and recrown along with the set up. I thought I would share with you the process I go through to inspect frets and what is actually involved in a fret level, as well as some of the reasons your guitar’s frets became undeveloped in the first place.
Wow! Check out this new Limited Production Sidejack Baritone DLX in Greenburst. Available March 19, only 24 were made, so don’t wait too long to pull the trigger. only $499 (case $99 extra). FREE Shipping to North America, $99 to UK and Europe. Body: Bound Solid Basswood Neck: Bound Maple, SET neck Fingerboard: Rosewood, Dot […]
Limited Edition Metallic Orange Mandocaster – only 24 Made Eastwood has produced a limited edition color of their top selling Mandocaster, this one-time run of only 24 pieces in Metallic Orange, shipping now. Order yours TODAY! SOLD OUT Specifications: Colours: Metallic Orange Body: Solid Alder Neck: Maple, Bolt-on Fingerboard: Rosewood, Block Markers Scale Length: 14″ […]
Airline guitars were being made in USA from 1958-1968 by Valco Manufacturing Company and sold primarily through the Montgomery Ward catalog company. Valco also made other popular brands like Supro and National. Today they are being made through Canadian company Eastwood Guitars. By the early 1960’s Airline were producing many different models – the more valuable vintage models were made of res-o-glas – but most in those early days were solid wood designs like this Town and Country Standard.
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