While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact date that the guitar made its celluloid debut, it’s likely that the instrument was first captured in a motion picture sometime in the mid 1890s, when Edison Laboratories began filming music hall performances with its newly invented Kinetograph. It’s equally likely that, even in its earliest movie appearances, the guitar was used as a comedic prop.
If you're a professional or semi-professional musician (session and/or touring), guitar builder, guitar teacher, guitar repairman (or woman), guitar shop owner or -- well, you get the idea -- and feel you have something interesting to say that might be helpful to guitarists, write to Online Managing Editor Damian Fanelli at email@example.com.
George Harrison played many a classic guitar during the course of his career, popularizing some models so extensively that he is inextricably linked with them. In the Sixties, during his time with the Beatles, he helped make famous the Rickenbacker 360/12 electric 12-string, a rosewood version of the Fender Telecaster, and the Gibson J-160 acoustic/electric, among others, while his solo years saw him in possession of guitars by famed luthier Tony Zemaitis.
As the Sixties drew to a close, guitar manufacturers were faced with a dwindling supply of lightweight ash. This affected Fender in particular, as the company had traditionally relied on this timber for the bodies of its Telecaster guitars. Early attempts to produce a weight-relieved Telecaster using heavier ash yielded a small number of guitars with hollowed-out portions under their pickguards.
A lot has been made of the recent federal investigation of the illegal importation of rare wood, particularly a raid of Gibson Guitars' office and manufacturing headquarters. Whether or not the raid was Constitutionally viable, well, that's up for you -- or more accurately, the supreme court -- to decide.
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In the case of those guitar enthusiasts familiar with the guitars of Fender Japan (Fujigen), or MIJ/CIJ as they are commonly known in Fender circles, we’re not just talking imitation—we’re talking major collector’s vibe.
The Epiphone and Gibson companies were fierce rivals in the Thirties, constantly trying to outdo each other’s designs. But with the death of its dynamic leader, Epi Stathopoulo, in 1943, Epiphone’s reputation for quality and innovation began to slide. In 1957, the East Coast–based company finally threw in the towel and sold its bass line, and the right to manufacture under the Epiphone name, to Gibson.