By Michael Wright The Different Strummer I’ve always been a sucker for oddball guitars. A LaBaye 2×4? You bet! A Bunker Astral Series Sunstar? Yup! A Jay Turser Shark? O’Hagan Shark? Of course. So, when a chance to get a moon-shaped guitars beckoned, the call was irresistible. Now, despite its hallowed place in the […]
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!
There is very little information available on this model, which is surprising given its excellent quality of construction and sound range. I understand that they were made around the late 1970 or early 1980’s in Japan by The Kawai company. This 12-string solid seems rare, and is possibly one of only a handful in existence.
One of the most unconventional and impractical body shapes from the electric guitar world, this Kawai Moonsault was a big hit in Japan. Really. The initial production was 1982 and the build quality was superb as Japanese guitar manufacturing had hit its stride in the early 1980’s, many producing better quality guitar than those in USA.
Over many years of writing about and photographing guitars, I’ve had numerous occasion to take pictures of guitars “on location.” That means packing up rather bulky photographic gear—cameras, tripods, lights, backdrops—and voyaging near and far. Sometimes this took place at a vintage guitar shop, sometimes at a collector’s place. When it came to the subject of TeleStar guitars, I got to combine both.
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