Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 33

unlikely assemblage of seven players
using electric banjos and two using doubleneck lap-steels. Each is
posed in front of a Vega 131 amp
identical to the unit which remains
with the banjo today. The majority
of the banjoists appear to be holding
examples of the regular Vega electric
banjos with dot-inlayed fingerboards and
dark-wood veneered pegheads. The exceptions are Mr. Hulslander himself (who
is holding what is clearly an upgraded
model) and an unidentified musician
on the far right with a plectrum-neck
instrument.
Interestingly, the amplifier with this
instrument is inscribed with the name
"Garcia" in penciled script handwriting
on the rear control plate, clearly a necessity for any musician who is performing in a
group of nine men with identical amps. The
amplifier is a Vega Model 131 with an output
of 18 watts and was priced at $77.
When the 1939 photo was made, a newly
divorced Hulslander (1904-'56) was a recent
transplant to San Francisco from Chicago. He
was working as a salesman at Coast Wholesale
Music, which may explain the unlikely instru-

Vega publicity photo featuring Bud huslanders Gang and their instruments.

mentation of the group
in the catalog photo. The
banjo featured here was
discovered in Portland,
Oregon, so it could be the
same one.
Any Vega electric banjo
from the late '30s or early

'40s is an uncommon instrument. While
production numbers are unknown, given they
shared the same market, Gibson logs offer
an idea; in the same period, Gibson built 68
electric banjos, two-thirds with tenor necks.
Plectrum banjos did not enjoy the popularity
of tenors, so a Vega electric plectrum banjo
with custom features must be rare.

MIKE MORENO
plays

713-522-7221
www.marchione.com

July 2016

33

Vintage guitar


http://www.coveramp.com http://www.marchione.com http://www.vintageguitar.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover1
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Cover2
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 2
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Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - Contents
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