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Joe Walsh - July '15 Ex. 5

Name: Bill Follett

Hometown: Calabasas, California

Guitar: Plectron Labs Prototype #1

After a California wildfire destroyed his home and all his instruments, a guitarist took matters into his own hands and started building for the future.

This adventure started with an event that none of us ever want to experience. I had 10 minutes to gather a suitcase, some pictures, and choose one (and only one) guitar to save. It was 2 a.m. at our home in the mountains on the outskirts of Los Angeles when we got the call to evacuate immediately because of an approaching wildfire. We had to fit whatever we could into our cars. I left some expensive guitars, including two that I’ve had for over 40 years, but brought my number one, my Reverend Spacehawk. We lost the house and everything in it. I replaced a number of guitars with insurance money, but still, my desire for guitars vastly outpaced my budget. Then Covid hit.
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The Accent vibrato, slash soundhole, and distinctive pickguard and control set make for an iconic and distinctive design.

Here’s how a cat named Capri, a German designer, and a whammy-bar inventor fit into the history of a maple-bodied marvel.

Here’s some Rickenbacker history you might enjoy—especially if you’re a fan of the company’s Fireglo works of art. F.C. Hall, the owner of Radio & Television Equipment Co. (Radio-Tel), purchased the Electro String Company from Adolph Rickenbacker in 1953. Hall revamped the business to focus on standard electric guitars rather than the steel guitars the company began producing in the early 1930s, such as the historic “Frying Pan” lap model.

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When Louis Cato received this Univox LP-style as a gift in high school, it needed some major TLC. A few years later, it got some practical upgrades and now makes regular appearances with Cato on The Late Show.

Photo by Scott Kowalchyk

The self-described “utility knife” played drums with John Scofield and Marcus Miller and spent time in the studio with Q-Tip before landing on Stephen Colbert’s show as a multi-instrumentalist member of the house band. Now, he’s taken over as the show’s guitar-wielding bandleader and is making his mark.

It’s a classic old-school-show-biz move: Bring out the band, introduce them one by one, and build up the song to its explosive beginning. It’s fun, dramatic, audiences love it, and that’s how every The Late Show with Stephen Colbert taping starts.

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