Eddie Cochran was only 21 years old when he died in an auto accident while on tour in England on April 17th 1960. In his brief but illustrious career Eddie recorded some of the most influential early rock and roll, tunes like, Twenty Flight Rock, C’mon Everybody, Too Much Monkey Business, and Something Else, but Eddie’s Summertime Blues was a monster hit. Summertime Blues was also covered by Blue Cheer (a Billboard Top 40 hit) and the Who (Live at Leeds) but neither version could match the magic and originality of Eddie’s version.
Bigsby’s first “commercial” design for Magnatone was the Mark III, a neck-through-body semi-hollow guitar, Bigsby’s take on a Ricky Combo. We know some of these were built because one turned up a few years back at an L.A.-area yard sale (how often have you had that fantasy!). But it appears that Magnatone’s production folks made some changes and almost all that are found with solid bodies and a glued-in neck with a “tongue” extension that slips in under the neck pickup. The formica pickguard and Daka-Ware knobs are a little dated now, but back in ’56 they were strictly the cat’s pajamas!
I believe this story happened in about 1966, during my last year of high school at Paradise Valley High in Phoenix, Arizona. I was a wannabe rock ‘n roll guy and like most of my friends, always had a few guitars lying around. I had this one friend, Richard Guimont, who was not a musician, but his Mom just happened to own JD’s night club in Scottsdale.
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