Having spent the last couple of days repairing and servicing Gurramul Yunnapingu's Martin HD28, recently recovered after being stolen in the NT, made me reflect on the many famous guitars I have been privileged to have worked on.
In rough chronological order, here we go.
Denis Waterman actor ( Minder and Sweeney hard man), had a minor UK chart hit 'Hooray for Curley Wolf' from memory ~ (Gibson Mark 53), Sascha Distel more known outside France as a crooner, but in fact was a highly skilled jazz guitarist ~ (Gibson L5), Mario Maccaferri ~ (Sakura TG30 classical ) Joan Armatrading (mandolin can't remember brand), John Williams Sakura TG30 Classical and Gibson Les Paul Custom, Neil Finn (Rickenbacker Roger McGuinn 12st, Gibson Chet Atkins Solid Body Classical, Gretsch Country Gent, Gretsch Roc Jet) Slava Grigoryan, hand made classical - (can't emember the maker), Eric Bana,( Maton Acoustic) John Wood (Maton Acoustic), Greg MaCainsh, Music Man Stingray Bass (for John Farnham gigs) Fender Tele, GIbson B25 Acoustic. Andy Symes ( Yarra Yarra Jazz Band ), Martin Tenor Guitar and Paramount Tenor Banjo.
Many Aussie rock legends, Ross Wilson, Bob Starkey, Jimi Hocking, Rick Brewster, Paul Kelly, Guy McDonough and Bill McDonough of Australian Crawl, (everybody in Oz Crawl when I think about it) see below too, Phil Para, all of British India, Nic Cester, Cam Muncey (Jet) Joel from Airbourne, Rupert Keiller - Sonic Animation, ( Fender Telecaster) Nick Charles, Anthony O'Neil, Matt Fagan, Tommy Emmanuel, well strictly speaking can't I take the credit for this one, but Tommy (as, when managed by Ron Leigh had offices just up from the shop) quite frequently would breeze in and chirpily enquire, 'alright if I use the workbench lads?' I mean what were we gonna say !!
One guitar, a 1956 Les Paul Junior, had a tale, all its own. This guitar had been given to Bill McDonagh by Steve Miller ( yes Stevie Guitar Miller, The Joker etc ). It had been given to Bill, drummer in Australian Crawl at the time, ( Bills wife is American and is a friend of the Millers) as a wedding present. Interesting enough you'd think? Well Bill had been told by Steve that HE, had been given the Junior by Leslie West. As Leslie West had played with his band Mountain at Max Yasgurs farm in upstate New York in THAT festival AND the Great Fatsby was known to favour this model Gibson, it is possible I was handling a guitar that had been played at Woodstock. Bill was kind enough to let us display this great old Gibbo for a few weeks and we had in on display in the foyer at the Frankston Guitar Show a few years back, along with another interesting Fender Jazzmaster, 1965 in Fiesta Red finish. Another great guitar that has a great back story.