Share your interesting stories about scoring a "vintage" piece.

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by telelion, Aug 11, 2017.


  1. Gilky

    Gilky Gold Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    Amazing story, amazing you still have it after all these years. I can only imagine what it means to you.

    Pics!
     
  2. micamused

    micamused Member

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    This story is really great, but a couple of pictures would make it PERFECT !!!
     
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  3. datguytim

    datguytim Supporting Member

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    I was on tour back in 1990 (or '91 - can't quite remeber) and we rolled into Ithica, NY to play a show. We needed strings & drumsticks, so we found a combined music store/pawnshop in town that was recommended by a friend. As we walked in, the first thing I noticed was a tobacco sunburst Les Paul with DiMarzios hung high on a wall. We all gathered up our bits & bobs for the show, when I asked the owner how much the Les Paul was. $350.00 was his reply. The whole band, roadcrew and myself all said in unison "bring it down"!! Turned out to be a '76 - pancake body Norlin 3pc maple neck. But it was MAGIC!!!! The band bought it for me & it became my #1 for 12 years straight!! Once it needed a refret, I sold it to a friend who had wanted it badly for years - for $1,200.00. It was truly a great guitar - some Norlins are, many aren't, but this one had it.

    AND....

    Last year a business relation buddy of mine were talking about life (he knew I was a guitarist) and we were talking about things we probably spend too much money on. He's pretty wealthy, and told me that he spends too much on XXXXXXX (no one's business but his), and I stated that I probably spend too much on guitars. He says to me "yeah? I got a guitar..." I say I didn't know you played. He says "I don't" with a smile. I ask him what kind of guitar he has. He says after a pregnant pause "a Rickenbacker". Hmmmmmmmm.....I don't have a Rick in my stable, they are pretty cool, so I ask him how he came to own the guitar. He tells me a crazy story about how 15 years ago his car that had been held up in a police case (not involving him, but his mechanic, who turned out to be up to no good). He got his car (Benz) back, drove it home, parked it in his garage, and went to bed. Next morning he gets up, inspects his car to make sure all is well, pops the trunk, and lo and behold, there is a guitar case in the trunk! He looks at the "Rickenbacker", and brings it inside his house, and puts in a closet - for 15 years!!!! I ask him if he'd be so kind to bring it by for me to check out sometime, and if I like it, I might be open to paying him for it. He says "I don't even play, you can just have it". WOW! I'm kinda stoked at this point, a free Rick! Right?

    WRONG!!!!!!!!!

    He rolls up a week later with a Gibson soft case, and brings it to me, in a rush, and says "let me know what you think of it".

    I open up the case - it's a 1979 B.C. Rich Koa Mockingbird!!!!!!!! The headstock had a crack (not all the way through) and there were acoustic strings strung up so tight that they may have broken the headstock. Plus a horrible Kahler trem unit, but other than those things, it was in great shape! I texted pics to my tech, who immediately offered me a large sum of cash for the guitar. I declined the sale. He said "good move, I wouldn't sell that thing, bring it in). He fixed up the headstock, took off the horrible Kahler, filled the hole with a matching piece of Koa, and put an original hardtail wrap bridge in it's place, restoring her to her former glory! Now she's the killer axe that she was born to be. I lusted over Koa Mocks & Bichs since I was a kid in the '70s, seeing my heroes (Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rick Derringer, Carlos Alomar, Dick Wagner, Steve Hunter, etc., etc.) rocking out on 'em - nice to be in good company!
     
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  4. eddie101

    eddie101 Silver Supporting Member

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    I lusted over them too. Funny you mentioned BC Rich guitar. When I ran into Rick Derringer at the Dallas Guitar Show a few years back I asked him if he still had BC Rich Mockingbird. He paused and in his frustrated voice, he said "no man, it got stolen and it was a great guitar!". Perhaps you should contact Rick.... ;)
     
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  5. Wolfgangsta

    Wolfgangsta Member

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    I've got no good guitar stories, except for the LP Jr for $5 at a garage sale that my brother posted a few pages ago. About 5 years ago, I scored a Marshall Jubilee 2554 1x12 combo off of CL for $250. Back in the late 80's, I picked up a TC Electronics Sustain+Parametric EQ pedal at a pawn shop for $25. Sold it about 15 years ago for somewhere around $200.
     
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  6. nmiller

    nmiller Drowning in lap steels Silver Supporting Member

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    I knew something was up when I saw this lap steel appear on Guitar Center's website at the beginning of this year. They had it listed as a Vega from the 1930s, but I could tell from the photo that it was nothing of the kind. I could see that it had some unusual features: a metal body, seven strings, and a horseshoe pickup that was clearly copied from Rickenbacker, but with just enough discrepancies to indicate that it wasn't an original Rick. The price was definitely right, so I took a gamble and bought it. Worst case, I figured, I'd have a nice usable instrument that nobody could identify.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I posted pics on the Steel Guitar Forum and expected a whole lot of "never seen anything like that". Instead, within half an hour, the first reply gave me a name: Trotmore. I did some searching around, and sure enough, there were a bunch of old threads on these steels. They were built around 1952-1954 by a couple of folks with the input of Jerry Byrd, one of the most famous steel players of all time. It turns out that these Trotmore steels were intended to be the equal of Rickenbacker's aluminum and Bakelite models, which are still regarded as some of the best electric steels ever made. They were cast from magnesium, and most were single-neck 7-stringers like mine. At least one double-neck was also built, and probably two with wooden bodies. Most were painted silver all over.

    Then, after I had a name to associate with the instrument, someone posted an old article about a player named Charles Miller who used to play a Trotmore steel. The pictures showed my instrument, complete with its unique two-tone paint job. It turns out that Miller was born without a right hand, but he learned to play steel by strapping the bar to his right wrist with a watch band. Inside the case, I had found a bar with a watch band taped to it - and now I understood why. Because Miller played as a lefty, when he added a tone control he placed it in an odd position (for a righty), so now that made sense as well.

    [​IMG]

    It appears that around a dozen Trotmore steels were built (the article says just three, but that has since been proven incorrect). Relations between the builders and several of their customers seem to have soured, so the project never took off. Today, the steels remain sought-after partly due to their rarity, partly due to their association with Jerry Byrd, and partly because they are excellent instruments in their own right. When I bought it, I doubted that I would be able to identify the builder. I never imagined I'd see the exact instrument in print.
     
  7. Jonny Hotnuts

    Jonny Hotnuts Member

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    Here is a great story.
    I seen an ad on CL for a Duo Sonic, it was being sold by a used guitar shop near PDX (Briz, and they have some neat stuff http://briz.us/ ) and they were asking $500. I was at the shop before it opened and got it. After paying for it, it was apparent they didnt know the year. It turned out to be a 59.

    (pictured from top to bottom: 65 Jag, 63 strat, 59 DS)

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    As soon as I got her home I took it apart to accurately date. I noticed a faint scratch in the shield. It was a name....and not common.


    [​IMG]

    I did a search of the name and found a match on a list of senior account mgrs for Caterpillar/Pepe (heavy equipment).
    I contacted the person and said "Rick, did you ever own a late 50s Fender DS". The phone went silent...he was choked up. He replied "that was my first guitar, I mowed lawns for years to afford a real Fender. I had to sell the guitar at a pawn shop because I joined the Air Force and they wouldnt let me take it on base. I always wondered what happened to that guitar".

    He also confirmed that it was originally purchased new as white. I found that it was originally sunburst but this confirmed that it was sprayed oly (*no clear coat) over sunburst in the factory (I suspected this due to some tells) but wasnt able to say 100% that it wasnt a home refin until this.

    The guitar made it from Indiana to Portland.

    He sent me a picture of him playing the guitar in the 70s.


    [​IMG]


    Its my sons (7) guitar now....and...the thing is a peach. It plays and sounds great. The shorter scale makes it really easy to play and do bends. The funny thing is that it really feels like a 60s strat...only slightly smaller. They really are neat little guitars.

    ~JH
     
  8. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Nothing spectacular, but in the end, I did end up with a great guitar.
    Jan '76, I joined a band. Had just turned 19. I was playing a '60 330 (which I still have). Got the gig but they said the guy I was replacing played a tele and they liked that sound, could I get a tele? Well, I always wanted a strat and well, close enough.

    Go to a local store. They have a bunch of '50s maple ones, but too expensive (they started around $1000 I think). I played some new ones and some used ones, none of them really knocked me out. The guy goes, well, I have this one over here in the corner, it is kind of beat up though. A well worn Sunburst '60. I played it for a bit, said yea. Guy said "I think the rosewood ones are just as good as the maple, but everyone wants maple" so it was only $265. That included new tuners. This was the 70s, they convinced me the tuners needed to be replaced with Schallers, lol. So, it would have been even cheaper.

    I still have it, still gig it occasionally. I probably have 2000 gigs on that guitar. Just played it the other day. Keith Holland doweled and redrilled so I could put vintage type tuners back on it, in the 80s. volume pot has been replaced twice, on its fourth set of frets. It's pretty beat up, now.

    I was just looking for a guitar to play. I just got lucky.
     
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  9. eddie101

    eddie101 Silver Supporting Member

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    Sunburst '60 tele ala Robben Ford!! I love those too! Post some pix PLEASE!! ;)
     
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  10. scmavl

    scmavl Enjoyer Silver Supporting Member

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    Great story! Did Rick have any desire to buy it back from you?
     
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  11. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    that is one of my "the one that got away" stories.
    I was working part time in a place that did a lot of used music stuff. They got in a '60 SB tele and a vibrolux reverb, a BF if I remember.
    I got to sit and play them for about 1/2 hour. Man. Just man. I wasn't in the market for a tele, and it was 2k, a little more than I could have afforded (I could have put in on layaway, though, and taken as long as I wanted to pay it off). Man, what a guitar. I wish I HAD grabbed it, I ended up needing a tele a few years later, anyway. Would have made a great match for my strat.
    Problem with that place, all sorts of cool stuff went through there. My drummer worked there too, he ended up with this big collection are really great vintage snare drums.
    Yea, I still think about that one.
     
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  12. eddie101

    eddie101 Silver Supporting Member

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  13. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    ?
    Don't understand the question.
     
  14. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    I got a Rick lapsteel, back in '98.
    Single neck 8 string. $150. Couldn't pass it up.
    Turns out it was a '49 or '50 double neck somebody cut into two single neck, looks like they did it with a bandsaw.
    It is a killer sounding steel, though with an aluminum body, it is subject to tuning issues on stage, so don't gig it anymore. I have a Stringmaster for that.
    Not so much as the scoring as what it is - somewhere out in the world, is the other half floating around, getting played?
     
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  15. eddie101

    eddie101 Silver Supporting Member

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    I was asking if you still had the '60 tele. Unless I read it wrong; in one post you said "I still have it, still gig it occasionally" but in other post you said you don't. Did I miss something or what? :)
     
  16. VJF

    VJF Member

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    He asked you to post a pic of the 60 SB Tele you said you bought in 1976 when you went looking for a maple one. You said you still have it.

    Instead of posting a pic in response to his request you tell a story of what I presume to be another SB 60's Tele one that got away.
     
  17. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Ah, no, I didn't buy the '60 tele, to my lament.
    Yes, I do still have the '60 strat and do gig it fairly often.
     
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  18. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Yea, sorry for the confusion, the '60 tele was in the 90s and was one that got away.
    I was asked to get a tele, and like I said, I always Wanted a strat, and - close enough. It was the strat I got in '76.
    I have a pic of the strat, I have posted it before, I can dig it up (it is on photobucket so need to find a new place to post pics). I didn't see that he had asked to post a picture.
     
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  19. eddie101

    eddie101 Silver Supporting Member

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    Good to know that you read the same line that I thought I read. I was about to question my reading comprehension skill. LOL
     
  20. eddie101

    eddie101 Silver Supporting Member

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    I see. So it was the sunburst Strat that you STILL have and gigs with. Got it now! ;)
     

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