The records of Japan-based 1960s guitar makers are notoriously unclear, but most students of FujiGen agree the VN-4 was made only in 1964.

The Demian VN-4 shares DNA with Teisco, Guyatone, and Kawai relatives.

What can I say? I love weird old guitars! And that extends to resonators, mandolins, banjos, and dulcimers, too. I could go on, but I've got to tell you that nothing intrigues me more than the oddball electric guitars that hit the American market from the late 1950s on into the late '70s. The main suppliers of these often interestingly shaped and outfitted electrics were factories in Japan, with imports from Germany, Italy, Sweden, and the U.K. playing a lesser role in the story.

The guitar I've brought to the table this month—a 1964 Demian VN-4 electric baritone—is a rare product of the '60s. It came into Nashville Used Music as a “this used to belong to our dad and we're clearing out the closet" instrument, accessorized by the usual question: “How much can we get for it?"

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You could WIN a Greenhouse Effects Deity in This week's All-new giveaway! Ends December 15, 2021.

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Sam Fender shares a moment with his saxophonist and childhood friend, Johnny "Blue Hat" Davis, at London's O2 Brixton Academy in September 2021.

Photo by Linda Brindley

The British songwriter traversed the bleak thoroughfares of his past while writing his autobiographical sophomore album, Seventeen Going Under—a tale of growing up down-and-out, set to an epic chorus of Jazzmasters and soaring sax.

British songwriter Sam Fender hails from North Shields, England, an industrial coastal port town near the North Sea, about eight miles northeast of Newcastle upon Tyne. Fender grew up in this small village, which he calls "a drinking town with a fishing problem." He lived there with his mother on a council estate, a type of British public housing. This is the mise-en-scène for Sam Fender's coming-of-age autobiographical new album, Seventeen Going Under. On the album's cover, a photograph shows Sam sitting on a brick stoop.

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