Strange Electric Guitars
The seed for my electric guitar obsession ended up being planted way back into the middle ’80s, when my mom got myself a vintage, used Japanese electric guitar. Man, I really adored that guitar, although it was tough to try out. The intonation had been down, and every electric connection ended up being scratchy and quirky. Nonetheless it had been my very first guitar, and merely like your first love, there’s a lifelong link indeed there.
That first electric guitar was a Marvel EJ2, also it ended up being quite unique. It performedn’t seem like the pointy “super strats” that were therefore popular during the time. Actually, my Marvel didn’t seem like any guitar I’d ever before seen. I was pleased with that slab of lumber aided by the gold-foil pickups!
I became the sort of kid who was simply always enthusiastic about items that were various, so my taste in guitars from that point on leaned toward the strange. Anytime I’d visit the neighborhood songs shops, I’d rapidly scan the wall space for weird-looking guitars like my Marvel. While my buddies purchased guitars with neon paint schemes, I became peeking to the back rooms for old guitars with sparkle finishes and four pickups. We enjoyed buying interesting guitars that no body else wanted. And coming from a humble back ground, we loved the prices had been right.
I recall walking into a music store when and getting infatuated with a classic Gretsch White Falcon, but the price ended up being way out of my range. That darn Gretsch had been only stunning, with this strong, white paint plan and a great amount of knobs and switches. After two weeks, the shop owner noticed my enthusiasm and stated, “Hey, in the event that you can’t afford that Gretsch, after that check out this old Domino.”
It was a 1967 Domino Silver Hawk, to be exact—and it was only $100. During my globe, the Silver Hawk had been in the same way cool due to the fact White Falcon. And thus started my adventure along the proverbial bunny opening of vintage guitars.
While my friends bought guitars with neon paint schemes, I became peeking into the straight back rooms for old guitars with glow finishes and four pickups.
Most of the garage and punk groups I liked then were using inexpensive guitars, too. In 1989, whenever I saw a then-unknown Nirvana in Hoboken, nj-new jersey, I happened to be surprised to see Kurt Cobain playing a vintage Univox Hi-Flier. He and Nirvana tore up Maxwell’s that night, and it just reinforced my teenage fix to shun high-priced guitars. We found view these guitars as a form of outsider art. I lurked in neighborhood pawnshops, attention peeled for 6-stringed oddities. I obtained great at fixing these forgotten treasures, also, which made me appreciate the interesting designs a lot more.
Twenty-five years later, I’d accumulated a big number of these strange, beautiful guitars. Some thing gnawed at me, though: the full total lack of available information about the companies that made these old imports. I had guitars throughout the world—England, Germany, Italy, Japan, Brazil—so I started spending my summers investigating these old tool producers. By 2011, I’d accumulated enough information to start out DrowningInGuitars.com therefore I could share my passion for these guitars and their particular record. I thought a few other weird-guitar fans might share my enthusiasm, but within a couple of months I happened to be getting hundreds of e-mails every day.
Since beginning DrowningInGuitars.com, I’ve traveled to Japan to locate the mysteries shrouding so many cool guitars that began there. We invested a couple of weeks interviewing above 30 people involved in the guitar industry through the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. We also took my old Marvel EJ2 guitar returning to the factory in which it had been made, came across individuals which created it, and chatted using the really worker whom painted it 50 years ago! We uncovered a great deal information within my check out that I wrote a novel about the subject, and it’ll be out the following year.
Nowadays, we spend a shorter time buying guitars and much more time researching and writing about all of them. Men and women often ask me, “What’s the weirdest guitar you’ve ever seen?” But once you’ve seen as many guitars as I have actually, it’s tough to express which are the weirdest or most interesting. I have my preferences, of course—guitars that I’ll hold for an extremely lengthy time—but it’s nevertheless difficult to resolve that concern.
But the 10 instruments provided right here provide a great cross-section of interesting guitars from around the entire world. All were manufactured in the ’60s and very early ’70s. Perhaps hardly any other period in guitar record saw as numerous intriguing and imaginative designs—before the “lawsuit” the main ’70s, whenever numerous overseas manufacturers focused on mimicking famous U.S. designs. Prior to the copycat era, even more manufacturers did actually just take pride in initial designs. A lot of them sound great, and some of them just search great. But these deserve some recognition for their contribution to your relatively short history of the electric guitar.