Guitars can be like acquaintances - if you haven't seen them
for a while you can simply forget all about them. I've owned
a lot of guitars in my time and while you do form attachments
to some of them and actually regret not still having them in
your arsenal, for various reasons some others have been forgotten
about entirely. Guitar Horror Story #442 is one such never-ending
saga - and, as just reported by the observant Stephen Ramsay,
there's an epilogue. The very same guitar's was up for sale
Precision bass story
1) Bill with his two stripped loves 2) The Precisions'
- Once upon a time (1972) Mike and I went to check
out an Aussie made Leslie speaker box, somewhere in South
Yarra. On entering said premises, I noticed the headstock
of a bass guitar sticking out from a pile of rubbish in
the corner. After carefully removing the instrument I
went weak at the knees. It was a 1963 Fender Precision.
From memory I think the band payed $200.00 for it. Many
happy years followed - that bass played on everything
Spectrum and Ariel recorded from 1972 through to 1979
when I stupidly sold it and got stuck into six-stringed
instruments. I heard on the bass grapevine that it had
been sold again (and painted RED - almost a criminal offence).
Then, here we are in 2007, and at a gig last week, in
walks Paul with my old bass, no longer red and back to
its beautiful old self.
is the original story
and subsequent correspondence relating to two of my ex-guitars
(one literally 'ex' as you will read), as it appeared in the
March 2005 Stop Press. I've recently had some more correspondence
from a past owner of the mystery 'red guitar' that started this
flurry of conjecture and nostalgia for alluringly-shaped pieces
of painted wood with some basic electronics, fret wire, strings
and other essential accoutrements that are attracting prices
far beyond their actual worth in today's ridiculous Culture
of the Collector.
Horror Story #442
pink Strat at the Mushroom concert in the '80s
I have a red strat that I bought in the early 80's from
a music store in Boronia (i think... possibly Bosnia).
I was in the store at the time and told the guy he had
a crap array of guitars on offer, with which he said "check
this baby out". In almost the same sentence he said
it was previously Mike Rudds guitar.
To be honest i nearly laughed at the sight of this thing,
it had all that Roland synth stuff built into it (it was
the 80's) and had a teak neck.
I plugged 'Ol Bluey' in....and was staggered by the
sound. Not the synth..the guitar. It still sounds
awesome to this day. It has had a significant overhaul...in
fact I have spent $2,700 on her. New neck, rip out the
synth gear and god knows what else....but those
Unfortunately when I took it in for the rebuild Jim and
Merv Cargill thought they would do me a favour and repaint
her for me....and replace the pickup covers and guards.
I hate them now...just kidding.
However, I have always wondered if it was in fact one
of Mikes. If not, I am sure he probably wishes it was.
Whats more he no doubt doesnt give a rats.
thought I'd remember
if I had ever owned a red Strat, and told Peter so. But
there's a twist to this story. You'll remember Spectrum
played at the McWilliams Winery a couple of weeks ago.
I didn't mention it at the time, but Paul Murphy approached
me at the gig with a DVD of the Mushroom Evolution Concert.
The Heaters played a couple of numbers at the concert,
including a version of I'll Be Gone (what else?) with
Ariel's Harvey James and Glyn Mason as guests. For some
time now, Paul has been attempting to put together the
definitive pictorial history of Spectrum, Ariel et al.
There's quite a bit of it around, but it's difficult to
pin down, and some eras are pretty light on for images.
The Heaters aren't particularly well represented and Paul
thought the footage from this concert would fill in the
last major gap. (Hopefully I'll have more news on Paul's
I put the DVD in my gig bag and promptly forgot about
it - that is, until last night at the Nighthawk Blues
gig when I rediscovered it. So, this evening I put it
on - and bugger me! There was I, as large as life and
hirsute as anything, playing a red Strat with a teak neck
The Roland synth stuff I'm not owning up to, mind you.
But, given that I'd completely erased the red Strat from
the memory banks, anything's possible.
So, I'm calling on all you guitarists out there - give
me your weird and wonderful guitar stories and I'll print
'em right here on this website. I'm sure I've got a few
more stories myself - if only I could remember them..
In the meantime, here's more about that red/pink guitar..
Guitar Horror Story #442
and the pink Strat look into the camera
- Assuming you've been following the story, this'll
make sense, but if you haven't a clue, check the
original story above. Anyway, Shane Wynn, the original
owner of the red/pink Fender, has written in and
shed a little more light on the life and times of
that slightly famous guitar.
i found one of the photos "crikey i look like
paul kelly without the broken nose" i have
some more somewhere but you know how it is there
is shit all over the place in my spare room i remember
that i bought it from the music shop on the corner
in ringwood i think there called troy music now,
the teak neck is definately a shecktor neck i remember
i was going to buy a fender replacement neck from
Palmi (think that's how you spell it) from the music
junction in camberwell..but i changed my mind, cause
i thought it might change the great sound it had....i
used to go and see Russell Morris and the Rubes
everywhere they played when they were in
melbourne and Joey
Amenta was playing the same coloured one with a
fender neck on it i always wondered is that my ex
guitar And i think he played for Wendy and the rockets
too, i traded it in on a fender75 amp (which was
the equivalent to the sob boogie amp back then)
to a music shop that used to be in canterbury not
far from Maton, the reason i got rid of it was cause
i listened to much to dire straits and when ever
i jammed i always copped the you sound like Mark
Knopfler, but when i seen you doing "i'll be
gone" (the classic) at the mushroom evolution
concert i jumped up and down, i knew it had gone
to a good home...the 70's were a great time..i used
to go over to mal eastick's unit (flat) over near
the bay somewhere and have some lessons with him
i had a kasuga les paul then it's a shame about
what happened to Stars i was awe struck by all the
gold records he had hanging on the wall....i have
a lot of vinyl stacked up in my room i'll go thru
them at some time and scan the covers and send them
to you i think i have some rare stuff in there...anyway
i hope i haven't bored you with my rambling..
Shane Wynn 9.12.05
from Peter Gordon
For the sake of posterity and closure.. and for
the reason that I took this picture for insurance
purposes, please find attached 'that' guitar in
its current form.
Also, oddly...one of my other strats is a vintage
lake placid blue, rosewood neck and Seymore Duncan...(see
attached also) Funny aint it?
L-series sunburst Strat
L-series Strat' (Carolan)
in 1983 I had saved up my hard earned dollars to
buy a pre L Strat. So I headed of to Guitar Village
in Frankston with much anticipation, and they had
two Strats, one Tele and a couple of Jazzmasters.
The first Strat had been resprayed but everything
else was bog standard (it had been resprayed Lake
The other Strat was a two tone sunburst and wasn't
as original as the first. After spending 30 minutes
playing each guitar I opted for the blue Strat.
(the rosewood neck just felt better to me than the
rosewood neck on the other Strat.
When I parted with my money they informed me they
would swap the cases over as they agreed the blue
Strat was in the better condition of the two.
So I walked out the door ecstatic at my purchase
even though the aluminium flight case was bloody
heavy. When I got home I noticed the case had Great
Keppell Island and other airline stickers on it.
I also noticed faded yellow stencilled writing on
the back of said case, and bugger
if it didn't say Ariel Aust. I went back to Guitar
Village and they told me the sunburst Strat had
been bought off Bob Spencer, who confirmed it was
your old Strat.
I just wish I could have afforded that Strat as
well but I had a family of hungry mouths to feed.
Gary Hall 6.3.05
L-series sunburst Strat -
Your story is up on the site. I read it so quickly the sequence
of events got a bit warped - of course you would've seen any
mods Bob made to the guitar. I was told he attempted to shave
off the 'wings' and changed the shape from the classic Strat
profile. Was that the case? Or did it just have the humbucker
mod I got Merv Cargill to install? And what price were they
asking for it? I sold it to Bob for $400.00.
From memory the wings had been shaved down and the pick ups
were single coil in the neck and middle with I think a Seymour
Duncan humbucker in the bridge possy.
Also the neck had been re fretted with bloody wide and high
wire . The pickguard had also been replaced with a ultra bright
white one. There were 3 toggle switches which were a treble
boost for each pick up Not that you need it on a Strat also
the neck had been scalloped from the 12th fret down (weird)
I also remember when I tried out both Strats that I played the
riff from Some Good Advice and Worm Turning Blues- hows that
for a coincidence They were asking $1100 for your old Strat
I payed $1250 for the blue Strat
Wow! The details are burned on your memory! So, really it was
beyond saving - as far as a collectable is concerned. Hmm. I'm
pretty sure it could have been restored when I sold it - in
which case it could have been worth anything between $7,500.00
- $12,00.00. Or not. The main thing is that it's a damn fine
story of what might've been - for both of us.
You're not wrong - the price of vintage guitars and amps is
Unfortunately some scumbag stole my Strat (and flight case)
vintage vox amp and other gear back in 1994 BASTARD
Have a good one