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The coolest guitar I have ever owned!

Messages
8,093
Through a complicated and convoluted series of events I owned a D'Angelico for a while in the seventies. It came to me trashed and it took a bit of research work (including an exchange of letters and photographs with James D'Aquisto) to find out that it was a 1933 D'Angelico. This would make it a pretty early D'Angelico from his "L-5 copy" period. The guitar had been poorly "refinished" (the headstock was fully slathered in opaque flat black) and had some binding and inlay missing. The guitar was refinished and repaired and as a "starving hippie musician" I could barely afford the repair costs. I kept the guitar for a couple of months after restoration, before selling it off. In the ensuing years I have largely forgotten the guitar except for the occasion when the name D'Angelico would come up and I would recall, "I used to own one!". I knew it was a nice guitar but was fully cognizant that it was "too much guitar" for me.

I had recent contact after many years with a ex-girlfriend from this period who offered photographs from our time and travels together. I hollered out loud when I saw photographs of me with this nearly forgotten guitar as I had occasionally bemoaned, with my increasing vinnidge guitar conscienceness through the years, that I never had pictures of it. Now, thirty-some years later I have photographic documentation of both the guitar and of the fact that I was actually once a skinny young man! Woohoo!!







Yes, I took it camping! I told you I was a hippie!
 

m-m-m

Member
Messages
688
Great story, man. Thanks for sharing. It's always nice when someone presents you with a young skinny image of yourself, rather than posting the more recent pics of Drunk and fat from last new years eve on facebook.

How do you remove the tag?





..... OK, so maybe that's just me
 
Messages
8,093
"How do you remove the tag?"

Huh? Remove the tag?? I don't get it...


"I could only imagine the number of people who assumed you were lying when you claimed to have owned it!"

Hmm, I guess. I have never been overtly accused of this or even thought of the possibility. I am just happy to have a coupla shots from the time I did own it, and not to prove anything. But, especially knowing what I know now, I cannot help but wish I could have it back, or at least take one more spin around the block on it!! Does anyone out there presently own D'A #1133????
 

MKB

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,459
You took a D'Angelico camping?!?! As Muddy said, "Ain't that a man??"

One staggers at the thought of what that would be worth today.
 

BCJek

Member
Messages
902
Nice guitar, but hey, isn't that a 1978 Honda civic? Now that was a CAR.

Great pictures.
 
Messages
8,093
Nice guitar, but hey, isn't that a 1978 Honda civic? Now that was a CAR.

Great pictures.
Yes, vinnidge Honda! Ha!

"One staggers at the thought of what that would be worth today."

Probably not as much as one might think. A blonde New Yorker cutaway from the late forties-early sixties? That's a $75,000 guitar, easy. One of these? Probably considerably less than $10,000 with the refin and nonm-original issues. I guess that's still a lotta dough!
 

dvilla76

Member
Messages
682
Great story and awesome pics from back in the day. :aok

Makes an old early 50's hippie guy like me feel good reading this and seeing your sweet D' and your vintage pics including your Honda.


Takes me back to a warm place in time.

Good times..... :rockin


Good fortune that your ex was able to give this back to you - I lost ALL of my past life pics in a divorce. :cry: Oh well.
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,991
The only D'Angelico I ever played had a similar story. A childhood friend of mine worked for his father in a Culligan water softening business. One day he saw a badly smashed guitar - in pieces - in a box out for trash p/u. Brought it home, and later found out it was a D'Angelico archtop from the 30s. He saved up, spent big to have it completely redone, and done right. What an amazing instrument! Didn't sound like much from where I'd be playing it ... but when I got across the room to listen to him play, suddenly that guitar made sense. Projected like no other acoustic I've heard.
MD
 
Messages
8,093
The only D'Angelico I ever played had a similar story. A childhood friend of mine worked for his father in a Culligan water softening business. One day he saw a badly smashed guitar - in pieces - in a box out for trash p/u. Brought it home, and later found out it was a D'Angelico archtop from the 30s. He saved up, spent big to have it completely redone, and done right. What an amazing instrument! Didn't sound like much from where I'd be playing it ... but when I got across the room to listen to him play, suddenly that guitar made sense. Projected like no other acoustic I've heard.
MD
Yes, I have never heard another guitar that sounded quite like this one. High velocity projection, to be sure. The tonality...I find it difficult to describe other than to say it had the timbre of an electric guitar, especially when picked hard near the bridge. Similar also, to the best resonator guitars I have heard. The sweet, warm (but loud!) ones, not the brash, clangy ones. I wish I had recorded it. This guitar later appeared in this book (pub. 1988. I had the guitar in 1980), posted by Voltage Guitars:



Certainly not the only guitar on my "Whatta f*cking dummy for getting rid of" list, but with the recent resurfacing of these photos...sh*t!!!
 

JimR56

Member
Messages
728
I had a non-cut New Yorker back in the 80's, which I got in a trade involving multiple guitars (as a result, I ended up having less into it than what it was worth). It was gorgeous- blond, nice wood (of course), although it had been refinished too. It had a nice sound, but less sustain than I wanted. The only reason I don't really regret trading it away is that I did another good trade, and have ended up owning some nice guitars that better suit my needs.

Here's a nice-sounding '34 model A, played by jazz guitarist Eddie Diehl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaWFh5pU_Cc
 




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