Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 12
MoRe oF The "SToRy"
Like all the great songs, the guitar in "Soldier's
Story" (May '16) embodies all the pain, sorrow,
and joy that life can bring. Thank you for a
great, moving story, and I hope the guitar finds
a permanent, safe place so it is preserved and
can be shared with everyone. I can only imagine
Ben Miller's setlist played from the top of that
wagon. Keep up the great work!
It was interesting to read "Soldier's Story,"
particularly because I have a 1926 Martin that
to lend his creativity to the Epiphone
line. Nelson relentlessly fought parent company CMI's concept that
Epiphone would be relegated to
being Gibson's second line.
Gruhn's column was par-
my late father-inlaw, who exchanged it
for cigarettes with a Yankee
soldier who was travelling to
North Queensland by train during
World War II. He was a shy person,
and never spoke to me about his musical
history, but his family recalls that he was an
avid Hawaiian-style player who had a grasp of
music and was able to sightread while playing
in a small combo.
Unfortunately, the only two sons who knew
of his musical skills died before I could question them. It's a shame his story his will never
be known, as I'm certain his guitar could tell
Queensland , Australia
Andy & The CReST
I was delighted to see George Gruhn's
excellent piece presenting the history of
Gibson's Crest, referencing both the model's
rare Brazilian rosewood first-iteration and the
production model that resurfaced 10 years later.
Moreover, Gruhn touched on the impact of
Andy Nelson, who designed the original Crest
and helped develop the ES-355, the Dove, the
EB line, the George Gobel L5-CT, and many
other models before he was "kicked upstairs"
Send letters to
ticularly meaningful to me because
Andy Nelson was like
my second father. My dad was
a studio guitarist in Chicago in
the late '40s/early '50s, and he
and Andy were close friends. Andy
traveled in his International Harvester
truck (stocked with at least two dozen of
Gibson's finest) pulling his Airstream trailer,
and would present extraordinarily entertaining clinics, often billed as "Gibson Days" or
"A Gibson Jamboree" at dealerships across the
nation. I've encountered many famous players who were enamored of Andy's charisma,
talent, and blazing version of "Flight of the
For too long, Andy has been relegated to an
asterisk in the history of modern guitar, and I
thank George Gruhn for helping to illuminate
Mount Dora, Florida
(Ed. Note: The author is a frequent contributor
to VG - including the interview with Ray Cummins in this section. He is compiling a retrospective
piece on Nelson.)
I very much appreciated George Gruhn's
feature on the 1939 Gibson Super 400 Premier
(May '16), especially that it told us where Gibson
sourced wood and parts! I read the story while
on a business trip in Syracuse, just 85 miles
from Dolgeville. I'm a Brooklyn guy, and they
bought wood from there!
Now, I want to research those addresses and
look for the buildings so I can drive by them
like I do when I am in Williamsburg and see
the Gretsch building. You can feel the vibe
Massapequa, New York
Send letters to vguitar@VintageGuitar.com, or Vintage Guitar,
Attn: Reader Mail, PO Box 7301, Bismarck, ND 58507.
Illustration: Sean Thorenson.
What a treat to read Dan Forte's
interview with Larry Campbell
and see pics of some of his instruments (June '16). A humble
man despite all his credits
and accomplishments, a true
musician's musician, he can
play virtually anything with
We're privileged to have
Larry and his wife Teresa
Williams (the Tennessee
Spitfire!) as not-too-fardown-the-road neighbors,
and I've strummed some of
his guitars over the years
- that's about all I can do
in front of Larry, since
my fingers just freeze
up in his presence. He
loaned me his Manzer
Baritone once for me
to write a brief piece
about it; the guitar can
be heard on the title track
Gotta point out an error,
though, probably just a typo.
That's a 1941 J-35, not a J-45.
Gibson discontinued the 35 in '42,
replacing it with the 45. He let me try
it one night, and it is indeed everything
one would hope to find in a good old J-35!
Larry and Teresa (and Friends) have closed
the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase
the past six out of seven years, and I can attest
that they are the absolute sweetest, nicest people
in the world!
Bearsville, New York