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  1. 1944 J-45 double rescue

    13 March 2017 - 01:22 PM

    After seeing the thread about the 1954 J-45 restoration, I thought I might tell a story about one of our guitars that has had a rough life. It is a 1944 J-45.

    We acquired it about 20 years ago, and when we got it it was already very messed up. We bought it from a old guy while waiting in line to enter the Galax Fiddler's Convention. For those of you not familiar with this event, it nominally starts on Wednesday, but in those days its gates opened the previous Sunday morning. As a result hundreds of RVs started lining up on the roads on Saturday spreading out for miles in all directions. Saturday night is a giant party, with jam sessions all up and down the roads with temporary neighbors.

    There we met an old man on a motorized wheel chair who wanted to sell his guitar -- he had decided his lifelong days as a musician were over, and he was planning to spend his time now fishing. The guitar was a c. 1944 J-45 that had an old, cosmetically bad refinish, a replaced belly bridge, and a number of repaired cracks. It was not a collector piece at all, but it sounded fine and his price was quite reasonable -- so we bought it as a player.

    Here is an old picture:
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    So for ten years we just used it -- a fine sounding and sad looking player. But then in 2006 we had a disaster -- a pipe broke in our kitchen. The guitar was stored well away from the kitchen, but as bad luck would have it the water ran along a beam and made a waterfall on the guitar -- for three days!

    Well the guitar was total toast -- it wrinkled up and fell apart.

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    Well it was insured for $1500. After it dried out, we took it to Randy Wood and said "we have $1500 -- can you do anything with this?" Here is the result.

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    Not perfect but hey -- what do you expect. A great player.

    Here a video from a jam show at the Osprey Theater in Shelburne NS five years later -2011. The guitar is being played by (Dr.) Kelly Moore, who is in the wheelchair because of MD and who with my daughter (also Dr.) Tracy make up the folk duo "Dead Girl Songs." Both teach at the University of Houston.



    This is what you get when you mix wonderful instruments with wonderful people. You can't make this stuff up -- no one would believe you.

    Let's pick,

    -Tom
  2. Small Gibsons Flattops -- 1926-1946

    11 February 2017 - 11:10 AM

    I made this picture and posted it on FB, but then it occurred to me it might be fun to post it here too.

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    26 L-1, 31 L-2, 33 HG-CENTURY, 34 KG-11 (CARSON ROBESON), 34 KG-14, 35 L-00 3/4, 36 KT-14, 38 L-CENTURY, 39 HG-00, 42 LG-1, 42 SPORT MODEL, 46 LG-2.

    Best,

    -Tom
  3. Very early AJ

    07 January 2017 - 09:48 AM

    Here is a copy of a post I just put up on facebook. I thought there might be some interest here.

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    This is fascinating. This "36 AJ" just popped up on a site in the Netherlands -- I saw it on the UMGF. I also included in the pictures our 36 AJ and 36 Trojan. Obviously, the SB on the Netherlands guitar is more like Gary Burnetts prototype than our 36. Joe Spann shows the FON for the dark guitar (1075) -- documented in 1934 as a batch of Jumbos and in 1936 as something entirely different. Maybe this is a second prototype built with a batch of Jumbos in 1934? It is fun to waste time on stuff like this! I also added a picture of our 1935 Jumbo as a SB reference.


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    Let's pick,

    -Tom
  4. Birth year guitars, green screens, and facebook photos

    27 November 2016 - 10:53 AM

    I recently photographed all our guitars in high resolution for id purposes. Since I did it with a green screen, so you can fun with that.


    People often make a big deal out of birth year guitars -- not something I ever thought of, but it turns out that all of my birth year (1943) guitars are Gibsons. Since these are all heavenly sounding, I thought I would make them an appropriate picture. This is also a test of using FB photos on forums.

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    Let picks,

    -Tom
  5. 80th Birthday

    19 November 2016 - 01:08 PM

    Time to celebrate an 80th -- not mine: these.

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    Sort of guitars from late 1936 that changed the world. The one on the left is 960-12 -- the only Trojan documented in the shipping ledger with FON. The one on the right is a three tone bar AJ -- a very rare and early variation. Given the history to follow, I would say 1936 was a very good year for Gibson.

    Let's pick,

    -Tom

    PS Just to sort out the adjectives. We (wife and I) own the guitars (although my wife's nickname is AJ -- but that is another story.) The guitars are 80 -- we are not (yet).Posted Image

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