Guest blogger Michael Wright remembers the Guild S-200, an unpopular model when it was first released but now quite desirable model that inspired the now-sold out Eastwood Custom Shop S-200. This model is also a reminder of the era when the acoustic sounds of folk music gave way to electric guitars… Where were you when […]
Swedish brand Hagstrom is a familiar name for most players interested in vintage and rare guitars. But most of them probably know little about this Patch 2000 model. Guest blogger Michael Wright sheds some light on this obscure guitar. When I pick up a guitar to plunk on these days, 99% of the time it’s […]
Guest blogger Michael Wright highlights the story of an oddball Gretsch, designed by Jimmie Webster. Not a lot of people loved it at the time… but it was a visionary creation! History seems to go in cycles, it appears. Not perfect circles, but close enough. When it comes to guitars we seem to go through […]
Casio. Not a name you’d expect to find on a guitar’s headstock. But yes it’s true – they did have a go at guitar manufacturing, and guest blogger Michael Wright tells us more about the Casio MG-500 MIDI Guitar! Back in the mid-1970s guitar players got a bad scare from Disco. Hard rock had ruled […]
Guest blogger Michael Wright highlights a little-known EKO model… from the Eighties! EKO guitars were almost archetypically “’60s” guitars. Cool colors, cool shapes. And not expensive. They were the stuff of garage-band dreams, at least before Japanese guitars dominated the budget guitar market. But, if you’ve ever had much experience with EKOs, you know they […]
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.
Last week I opined about my penchant for unusual, not to say, ugly guitars like the Fenton-Weill Tux-master from England. Now, I don’t mean to throw (rolling) stones—the States has produced its share of butt-ugly guitars—but Merry Old England has contributed mightily to the cause. And even though he’s revered in the U.K. as their very own Leo Fender, Jim Burns has had a hand in more than a few guitar models that might crack a mirror if they could see themselves. One case in point: the Burns Flyte.
If you’re a young person, you probably don’t have much of a reaction to the adjective “Commie.” You might know that China is still officially “Communist,” but so fiercely Capitalistic that any associations with Mao are hard to parse out. Ditto Russia and Lenin and Stalin. You’ve got to find an old map to locate the “former Soviet Union.” But, if you’re an old fogey like me the term is full of “complex notes” as the vinophiles would say. What has this to do with guitars, you ask?
If you’ve read even a little of my writing about guitars over the years, you know I’m fatally attracted to unusual guitars. There’s a reason I’m “The Different Strummer.” But even I have to admit some guitars are just plain ugly. A case in point: the Fenton-Weill Tux-master from England, a country (sorry, friends) that has more than its share of these birds.
If you’d have told me I was going to write an appreciation of a guitar like this Dean Z Autograph—let alone any Korean-made guitar—back in the ‘80s, I probably wouldn’t have laughed outright, but I certainly would have been skeptical. Then again, a good many of us probably couldn’t have imagined people writing books about or paying premium collectible prices for Japanese guitars back in the early ‘70s. Times change and reality and history intervene to challenge our preconceptions!
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