This month, Assistant Editor Chris Kies takes us through two sites
perfect for scratching that vintage itch of yours.
Ever wonder how music fanatics and fellow gearheads get their hands
on authentic artist-owned gear? Well, at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville,
Tennessee, the inventory is chock full of vintage models and guitars
once used by the stars. One such model – a Gibson Les Paul, circa
1954 – was given to an audience member during a Hank Williams
Jr. show in Topeka, Kansas, after she was accidentally struck in the
face by a harmonica thrown from the stage by Bocephus. In addition to Williams’ guitar, the expansive store boasts guitars used by
legends like Buddy Guy, steel guitarist Don Helms and Bob Welch, of
Fleetwood Mac fame.
If you’re not familiar with this American vintage institution, Gruhn
Guitars is a four-story shop that includes hundreds of acoustic and
electric guitars, basses, mandolins and other stringed instruments.
There’s even a floor completely dedicated to repairing and refurbishing classics before they head home with customers. Located in historic
downtown Nashville, Tennessee, the website offers a photo and video
tour of the renowned guitar shop and repair center.
For true vintage fanatics who might have a classic axe or two
under their bed, the site’s appraisal feature will be an instant draw.
Recognized as one of the premier appraisers in the industry, the folks
at Gruhn’s will complete an appraisal of your instrument through the
mail or electronically (for a small fee, of course). On the other hand,
if you’re looking for a specific piece of history but just can’t seem to
track it down, you can post a listing on the website’s “Want” section.
Enthusiasts and collectors can post their dream guitar, in the hopes
that George can dredge the murky waters of the vintage market and
uncover a gem.
Go vintage at gruhn.com
8 PREMIERGUITAR JUNE 2008
Vintage and Rare Guitars
Credited with changing the American music scene more than anything else in the sixties, the British Invasion launched a musical revolution that remains unmatched to this day. Interestingly, although
the musicians were from across the pond, the guitars they used
most often were made from American manufacturers. Vintage and
Rare Guitars, a shop with locations in London and Bath, England,
is celebrating that early example of globalization by featuring
some of the finest original guitars from both the United States and
The website features an extensive photo gallery and thorough
descriptions of their impressive catalog of guitars from the fifties,
sixties and seventies. Just as their name states, the shop only deals
with classic guitars; their current collection focuses mostly on vintage models from American companies including Fender, Martin,
Rickenbacker and Gibson.
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out the amps and
pedals featured here. While not as deep as the guitar catalog, there
are a handful of vintage Fenders and Marshalls to dream about, and
a wide variety of modern selections to choose from as well. Pedal
hounds will have a great time looking through offerings from today’s
coolest boutique companies, including Throbak, Rothwell Audio
Products and Frantone (just to name a few).
Once you’re done drooling over instruments you may never be able
to afford, you’ll want to earmark a few minutes to cruise through
the “Celebrity Customer” section. Sure, it’s just photos of famous
players who’ve swung by, but it’s always nice to know who you’re
shopping with. Gary Moore, Bruce Welch, Rick Nielsen, Mick Marrs
(looking ghastly as usual), Nicholas Cage and England’s favorite
couple, Pete Doherty and Kate Moss, have all stopped in for a riff or
two. The photos include the stars bolstering their latest purchases
and favorite axes.
Start drooling at vintageandrareguitars.com