Guitar history has yielded some very odd marriages, from a business perspective, at least. While these can be found at almost any time, perhaps the glory days of unusual conjunctions was the 1960s, when cascading demand for electric guitars among maturing Baby Boomers caused corporations, both with and without music industry experience, to realize that thar’s gold in them thar hills. Among the odder of these unions was that between Chicago’s Heads & Threads company and Norma, Noble, and even National guitars.
Tips on Tone: issue 6 by Vince Schaljo Here in the great white north, winters can be… well… pretty great and pretty white! Unfortunately they can also be pretty annoying for your everyday commute, just trying to get from point A to point B. One thing that can really help keep you safe and make […]
Recently in a television interview, Linda Ronstadt was asked what it was like on a tour bus with an all-guy band. She started to give a politic answer and then changed her mind, admitting that “they were a bunch of cowboys.” I think we all know what she meant. It was the kind of macho gestalt that led a company like Ampeg to name its immediately post-Dan-Armstrong line of guitars the, uh, Stud series. Stud, eh?! Geddit?! Har, har.
This Imperial came out of a little piece of Dickens in Philadelphia called Torresdale Music in the neighborhood with that name, in the “near northeast” as we call it, near the Burlington-Bristol Bridge (cheapest toll bridge over the Delaware River to New Jersey and back). Torresdale was a tiny, ancient corner shop just up the street from Chink’s Steaks, a legendary cheesesteak sandwich purveyor, the name of whose establishment has been the source of some local ethnic controversy. (Really good cheesesteaks consumed while sitting in 1940s-vintage wooden booths, highly recommended.)
One of the big influences on my guitar writing “career” was Dan Forte’s writing—under the nom de plume Teisco del Rey—for Guitar Player magazine back in the 1970s and ‘80s. Dan, or Teisco, took a much more tongue-in-cheeky approach to regaling the often goofy guitar designs of the 1960s, whereas I’ve always been a bit more dourly serious about the subject, but I like to think we kept the torch burning for decades for those of us who love whatever’s whacky about guitars.
If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve heard or said the phrase “this guitar’s action is too low/high!” It either buzzes all over the neck, or it’s a pain just to fret a note. The reality is… Guitar parts move. With a piece of wood that’s constantly putting up with over 100 pounds of string tension, it’s understandable. Living here in Canada where the weather and humidity is ever-changing doesn’t help either!
After a long days work it’s nice to have a peaceful, yet quick drive home to set into relaxation mode. Although, when fortune smiles against you and the drive is filled with red lights, it’s easy to get frustrated. Even more aggravating would be having to sit next to some guy with his speakers full […]
Any time you identify a “first,” there’s always some other dude who shows up to spoil the party and own the claim. However, I think it’s safe to assert that the first company to use computer numerical control (CNC) carving machines to build guitars in the U.S. was Peavey Electronics.
Guitars are funny. Six strings, a piece of wood, and a rather simple electronic circuit is all they’re made of. They’re all the same thing! Why does one cost $200 dollars, and the next is $2000? While many would jump to “brand name” as their go-to answer, you have to consider how the big brand […]
Even for someone as guitar promiscuous as me, some brands of guitar just don’t speak to me. Rickenbacker was always one of those brands for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with Rickys; it’s just a matter of personality. However, when I found out Rickenbacker made a guitar with slanted frets, that definitely piqued my interest!
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