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Guitar Stories

Every once in a while I come across a guitar that is either so cool or so strange, that you look at it and wonder, "What were they thinking!” Once in a while you get some clues and can track things down a little so that things that seemed mysterious to those of us who love guitars make some kind of sense.

I told David that I thought you might be interested in reading about some of the “Odd Ducks” around the shop. I promise to come up with a new one every so often. There are plenty around here, but I know that some of you have birds of your own that I would love to feature. 


This month I decided to start things rolling with what appears to be a mid sixties Greco copy of, (or tribute to, depending on your perspective) the rather obscure Gibson Barney Kessel. The body shape is right and “bow tie” position markers is the clincher. From fifty yards away it could fool almost any of us. Greco was a name used on Japanese guitars imported by the Goya/Avnet Company and manufactured by a number of Japanese builders. This one appears to have been built by Fuji Gen Gakki who also made guitars for Ibanez.

When you consider that in 1964 one the top American bands was the Young Rascals and their guitarist the Canadian Gene Cornish, played a Gibson Barney Kessel of the same color it makes sense. If there is any doubt that Gene Cornish was not one of the top rockers of the day listen to “The Young Rascals”  (first album). “Slow Down” is certainly a monster. In fact I saw “Cream” open for the “Young Rascals” (not to be confused with the later “Rascals.”)  Both bands were spectacular. At that time in my life I had about as much chance of coming up with the money for a real Gibson Barney Kessel as a Corvette Stingray which I also coveted. However…a Greco Gene Cornish might not have been completely out of the question.

Please let me know two things. First, should we continue this feature? Secondly, if you have any guitar stories of your own that you would like to share.  Cheers, john