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Back in the day

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by otterhound, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    When Leo Fender was just getting started and there was an internet . How do you think that the internet would have responded to some guy that can't even play an instrument wanting to design and build them based on his own new ideas ?
    Using some of the comments in this forum alone , I believe that it would not have been a friendly place . Somehow , the pioneers of this industry managed to stay their course and forge ahead . Such is the lot of those that dare to challenge the status quo . I say thanks to each and every one of you .
     
  2. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Afflicted

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    There was a "network" of sorts... back in the day. I think it was called NAAM or some such... ;)

    ... and Leo go laughed at by some folks and other guitar makers too... yet he forged ahead.
     
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  3. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    I disagree. I think this is completely wrong... :eek::D:lol:
     
  4. kuvash

    kuvash Friend of Leo's

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    That's easy for you to say :confused:
     
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  5. kuvash

    kuvash Friend of Leo's

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    Seriously though,I had my doubts about them.That said,I was also quite sure that British motorcycles would always be big over here the the bikes from Japan would never be a very big deal. :(
     
  6. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    Plenty of people laughed.

    A guitar designed by a radio repairman and put together with wood screws? HA!

    Built in a couple of hours by people that weren't skilled luthiers, or even experienced woodworkers? HAHAHA!

    He stuck by his vision and made it work. Another industry-changing idea from a do-it-yourselfer.

    Thanks, Leo. Way to go!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Did they laugh, I wonder? From the beginning, Leo worked closely with C&W players in the area. This surely gave him a lot of insight into what was needed and how players responded to it.

    As far as the Internet goes, back in the day, music stores were where people gathered to talk shop. The back rooms were even livelier without customers listening in. Some of those musicians carried this new info to the next town's music store, wherever they were playing next. We got a lot of info this way. It seemed easier to detect BS because it was face-to-face. Musicians who gigged knew when people were scamming them or selling them a wolf ticket.

    I'd venture that any thread in this forum was discussed in the back rooms of music stores back then. Well, not threads about the internet or robo-tuners, but you get my drift.
     
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  8. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    I'll also add that without Leo, the Les Paul models wouldn't have happened either.

    Les had shopped his vision for a solidbody to Gibson and been turned down flat. They weren't interested at all - that is, until they saw sales of Esquires and Broadcasters taking off. Only at that point did Gibson decided they'd better get in the game, and put Ted McCarty on the project working with Les.

    So in a way we can thank Leo for LPs too!
     
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  9. adeiderich

    adeiderich Tele-Afflicted

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    If you break it down, he just borrowed from Edison, Bell and Ford. Of course it would work!
     
  10. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Confession time..I had already been playing for about 10 years when Leo brought out his first guitars..I had seen a couple of Teles and wrote them off as cheap toys that would never make it in the real world..Hell, they didn't even look like guitars..
    Then in 1957 I bought my first electric..Could have had a Fender but still didn't see anything that made me want one..
    After two years of playing my big Guild jazz box I began to see that it was not getting the job done so I went guitar shopping..
    TV shows with hot young pickers playing Fenders opened my mind big time..
    Still didn't like the simple Teles..Toys..Kinda liked the Strat but passed on it because I thought it was dumb to have a three pickup guitar and could only use one pickup at a time..(remember the three way switch ?)..
    The Jazzmaster had just reached the Detroit area and I played it and fell in love..Two hours or so in the store in a small room I became a ten times better guitar player..
    Bought that and a Fender Super amp and never looked back..
    Gigged the hell out of that Jazzmaster for 15 years till the frets were worn down to nearly a fretless guitar..
    That's when I got my first Tele..A 1969 Thinline..Best damn guitar I ever owned..
    Since then I've owned dozens of Teles and Strats..
    Yeah I'm a slow learner but not untrainable..
     
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  11. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well the Les Paul could still have happened without Les' consent.
    You do know they did not get his consent, but had him on contractural obilgation.
     
  12. Brokenpick

    Brokenpick Tele-Afflicted

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    Well I'm not sure I'm even trainable!
    God bless ya. Got there in the end! Nothing like hands-on experience, right?!
     
  13. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

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    Sure - it was McCarty who designed the Les Paul, not Les himself, although Les did have some limited input. Later, Gibson put Les' name on a guitar he'd never even seen. Les told me the first he knew about the SG/LP was when he saw it in a music store window. With his name on the headstock. Les was a pretty even-tempered guy; I think that was the only time I ever saw him get red in the face.

    My point was, absent Leo's success Gibson might not ever have gotten into solidbodies at all, with or without Les.
     
  14. jarpat

    jarpat Tele-Holic

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    I raise my (imaginary) hat for Leo's indomitable work and success. Buddy Holly bought first a LesPaul, but it really is not for everyone or everything. Even though it ( = a Fender guitar) was made cheap/simple and looked like a "snowshoe", it was - as we know - something what was needed.
     
  15. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

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    I don't think an inability to play an instrument is necessarily a hindrance to making them. Most electric guitars follow a similar recipe - body, neck, pots, pickups, truss rod, bridge and tuners.

    Okay, it's not quite so simple but take a good quality instrument apart and, with some dexterity and practice, most people could make one.

    Getting the design, ergonomics and quality consistent is probably as hard, if not harder, than understanding the bare-bones mechanics of how to build one.

    I was reading about Mike Zaite (Dr Z) who was the son of a TV repair man and played the drums. His artistry is understanding how to interpret what a guitarist wants and then being able to get the electronics, speakers and cabinet to produce it.

    The guys who design Formula 1 racing cars are seldom great racing drivers - but they have the ability to take feedback from the great drivers and make the cars faster and safer, year-on-year.

    Consumers can act very strangely but, if the item is good, safe and affordable, they'll buy it. The internet is just a means to an end. Mind you, there's an old product management adage that "there's nothing better than good advertising to kill a bad product".
     
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  16. stratclub

    stratclub Tele-Meister

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    That's true, except it would have been called something else.

    Gibson’s Ted McCarty was the chief designer of the guitar later dubbed the Gibson Les Paul, and entered into a promotional and financial arrangement with Les Paul, paying him a royalty on sales. Paul made design suggestions such as a change to the tailpiece. The guitar went on sale in 1952.
    You have to remember that by the time Gibson approached Les about the guitar (1951), Les was an inventor, composer, recording genius/pioneer and also one of the hottest guitar player around with some very solid popularity for his music with the public.

    I would imagine that it was more like: "Yes sir Mister Paul, just tell us your terms and they will be written into the contract".
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  17. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

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    They all said Ha!! to Edison every time he failed at making an electric light bulb. The captains of industry were aghast at Ford when he paid his workers the unheard of salary of 5 dollars a day and said he was a traitor to his class. We can now read at night and a newly emerging middle class was born.
     
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