February 2012 Letters
360º with a Rick 360
I had such a terrible morning. I was stuck in traffic for over two hours. This [“Rickenbacker Guitars Factory Tour” video on premierguitar.com] completely made my day. Thank you. I think I’ll spend the night with my 360.
Thanks, epoch. Glad we could tame your road rage! You’ll be happy to see that we’ve got even more Rickenbacker radness in our new feature on p.74.
Merry Christmas to Blues
This [“Beyond Blues: Liberating Blues Changes,” January 2012] is a great Christmas present. Cool changes and voicings—my favorite is the Em11 to A7#5. It’s gonna be playing in my head for a while. Thanks!
Oddly strange, but intriguing designs [“Builder Profile: Teuffel Guitars,” January 2012]. The Birdfish is out of this world, but would love to own one and see the looks on people’s faces while “rawking” it onstage.
Don’t Forget the Doubleneck
Besides being one of the original designers of the solidbody modern guitar, Bigsby [“Forgotten Heroes: Paul Bigsby,” December 2011] was the doubleneck guitar guy, too. Davie Allan [leader of the 1960s band Davie Allan & the Arrows] played a Mosrite Joe Maphis model doubleneck that Semie Moseley gave to him, and Semie was a right-hand man to Bigsby. There should be doublenecked guitars featured in this write-up!
Thanks for noting this, Whammy. We asked vintage guitar expert George Gruhn about Paul Bigsby’s development of doublenecks, and this is what he had to say. “Certainly Bigsby did doubleneck guitars very early on. Gibson had also done doublenecks, even pre-WWII—and I‘ve even seen a Gibson doubleneck acoustic. But Bigsby was definitely a prominent doubleneck guy, and his doubleneck designs are featured in the book your author references in the article.”
Country Gentleman,” December 2011] is a fine summary of Chet’s great guitars and his long career as displayed in Nashville. There are a lot of guys who play flashy and fast and play a lot of notes, but nobody will ever come again with the creativity, style, grace, and tone of Chet Atkins. Chet invented or developed a lot of the licks we all play today and have copied from him. He played every style of music. [And that’s] without even getting into his skill as a producer of records. The only sad note in the article is the fact that instrumental guitar is nearly unknown on the popular scene today.
Bang for Your Buck
Trev Wilkinson [“Builder Profile: Trev Wilkinson,” December 2011] makes some really fine instruments at a price point that can’t be beat, and his technological and mechanical innovations put the big guitar companies to shame. He also seems like a genuinely friendly and down-to-earth guy who nevertheless is passionate about making the best instruments he can at a given price point. I love his philosophy of truly giving players more bang for their buck, instead of the usual approach of “That’s your budget? Well then, you can have one of our shoddily built, budget-level instruments with NO features.” Every Vintage guitar I’ve tried plays, sounds, and looks far better than its price would indicate. Thank you for the fascinating interview, PG! Although, one important question was overlooked: Why is it that no one in the US or Canada seems to carry Fret-King guitars? I’ve been gassing for an Esprit III for years, and I can’t find a dealer anywhere!
Dennis Drumm from JHS, Fret-King’s London distributor, replies: “We’ll be announcing at Winter NAMM that our Vintage distributor, MDG in New Jersey, will be handling Fret-King for the US. This will get Esprits in the market in the second quarter of 2012. In the meantime, contact Ivor Mairants Musicentre (ivormairants.co.uk) in London. They ship worldwide and will cut you an amazing deal.”
I played a Vintage LP guitar in-store and
ABC’d it against an Epiphone and Gibson.
The Vintage was better than the Epi but not
as good sounding as the Gibson. Great midprice
guitars, in my humble opinion.
Tastes Like Chickenfoot
What a great interview [“For the Birds,” December 2011]. I, for one, am glad [Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, and co.] are already rich and have nothing to prove. It shows in their music in a most positive way.
Thanks, Jeff. We like the idea of being rich and having nothing to prove, too, but we’re afraid we may need a rabbit’s foot or two for that. Har-har ….