Can a brand new guitar be better than a legendary, vintage one? Mosrite vs. Sidejack: Which One Is Better? This is a tougher question that you might’ve thought… Before we start a fight, let’s be clear: we LOVE Mosrite here at My Rare Guitars, as Mike himself made clear in previous blogs. They sound amazing, […]
A couple of months ago, I inquired about an Eastwood 12-string electric guitar. Your response was immediate, and ever since, I have enjoyed your website. After seeing today’s email, your request for stories brought back memories of my first Fender. I hope you find it interesting.
I think there’s an illusion among many vintage guitar enthusiasts that the 1960s were some sort of candy store filled with glittering guitars at every turn. Certainly the remarkable variety of brands and designs that were produced and have survived help foster this illusion of abundance. But the reality on the ground back then was quite different for most of us. Few of us ever encountered a guitar like this 1967 TeleStar until well after the fact!
It wasn’t long after we moved back to Toronto from California that I acquired this guitar. You have to understand – I’ve bought and sold more guitars in the past 20 years than there are Beatles fans in Liverpool. When you are in the business of buying/selling guitars, you simply cannot afford to get attached to them. Yes, it is hard some times, but in the end this is what pays the bills, so you have to let them go.
Well, well, well. What have we here? On the surface, of course, it’s a 1968 Guyatone LG-350T Sharp 5. A sight little seen in North America, but not uncommon in Japan, at least once upon a time. And if it makes you think of a little bit of a Mosrite on drugs, well then you’re not too far off the mark! Welcome to a bit about the Ventures and the early world of copy guitars!
What is it about the Japanese and the Ventures? I mean, I cut my teeth with the Ventures. They were the perfect band to learn guitar from. The Ventures took songs with often complex harmonic structures—like the wonderful Johnny Smith classic—and stripped them down to their basic melodies, gave them a simple rock groove, and played them clean. I had the sheet music to Smith’s song, but there was no way in you know where I was gong to play off that. But follow along with the Ventures’ single? You bet!
Since its inception, legions of surf guitar players have engaged in heated debate about gear. Suffice it to say, everyone has an opinion. However, newbies often want a simple answer to the question, “What do I need to get going?” Below, I lay out the answers, based on the classic traditional surf sound of the Sixties. Whether you want to nail the sound with vintage gear, or whether you are on a budget, you’ll find useful guidelines here.
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