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guitar horror r
 
 
 
Why Guitar Horror?
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 now up for sale on
Gumtree! Read on..
 
Bill's Precision bass story 

1) Bill with his two stripped loves 2) The Precisions' headstocks
20.12.07 - 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.    
 
Below 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.
 
Guitar Horror Story #442

Mike and the pink Strat' at the Mushroom concert
6.3.05 - I got an e-mail a few days ago from a Peter Gordon who'd just recently discovered this site. He wrote: 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 pickups!!! 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.
 
I 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 DVD soon).
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 !! (pic)
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..
 
More Guitar Horror Story #442

Shane and the pink Strat look meaningfully into the camera

14.12.05 - 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 famous guitar.
g'day mike
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
 
More from Peter Gordon
Gday Mike,
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?
Peter
 
 
The L-series sunburst Strat 

Mike & the L-series sunburst Strat' (Carolan)
Back 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 Placid Blue)
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 me 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
The L-series sunburst Strat - the sequel
Gary,
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.
Mike.
Mike
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
Gary.
Gary,
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.
Mike.
Mike
You're not wrong - the price of vintage guitars and amps is obscene.
Unfortunately some scumbag stole my Strat (and flight case) vintage vox amp and other gear back in 1994 BASTARD
Have a good one
Gary

Gary Hall 8.3.05
 
 
 
 
 
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