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Look what I bought. Ex Mayall guitar?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by guitarswheelies, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. guitarswheelies

    guitarswheelies TDPRI Member

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    Howdy. I have a guitar that looks like the maple neck version of the guitar John Mayall is holding on the cover of his 1968 record Diary of a Band.

    I'm curious if anyone out there knows much about the history of the guitar on the record? This one looks like the same thing and has his initials on the neck heel. Upon inpection it looks to have originally have been a six in line Fender headstock style guitar that was reworked. I read that he likes to cut down the bodies on his guitars.

    I contacted his assistant and sent him a pic but she said he doesn't recognize it. They said perhaps he only had it for a short time or might not remember it being it was over 50 years ago.
     

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  2. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Looking forward to more of this story. Nothing to add myself except that it's a wild cool guitar. I have that JM album but curiously never gave much thought to the unusual guitar on the cover.
     
  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks like a replica. The one on the album cover--and most all his others--has relief carving on the front.

    All the hardware looks pretty close. The neck is quite different (maple FB, no zero fret, etc.).

    Someone took their time with this to do a faithful recreation of Mayall's Diary cover guitar.
     
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  4. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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  6. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    John had many guitars that he had customised, he hated heavy guitars and the changes were mostly made with that in mind...
    However, being an ex-art student, he also wanted them to look like pieces of art, and was perfectly happy to carve them up and paint them to suit...
    I saw the Bluesbreakers 3 or 4 times as a teenager in Manchester (with various personnel changes) and they were a fantastic act to watch.
    One time I was surprised to see my art teacher laughing and chatting to John - turned out they were both at at art school together.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  7. guitarswheelies

    guitarswheelies TDPRI Member

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    It looks like there is something on mine where the artsy stuff is on his but it was obscured or removed. Like a rough outline of this area. Perhaps the one I have was repainted? There are some initials carved into the paint with a '69 for I presume 1969.

    We looked at that bridge and can't figure out where that would have come from.

    I asked politely about the one on the cover and if he puts his initials on the neck heel but no reply. I get the feeling artists don't like that you might make money off of them somehow.

    I remember in the 80s Rainer Ptacek played some Bluesbreakers music with Clapton for me. He remarked that on anything after that Clapton played on he sounded like he was on quaaludes
     
  8. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    very cool.
    krazy kat  bomb.jpg
     
  9. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    The bridge resembles the ones that were installed on Micro Frets guitars...specifically the Space Tone. Not an exact match, but similar.

    The headstock shape of the guitar on the album cover resembles the one on a 60's La Baye 2x4:

    https://www.vintageguitar.com/3681/la-baye-2x4/
     
  10. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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    Yamaha ?
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  11. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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    Ovation Breadwinner ?
    upload_2020-10-6_18-11-16.jpeg
     
  12. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The Godfather of British Blues
    Screen Shot 2020-10-07 at 11.26.31.png
     
  13. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Looks cool..nice.
     
  14. guitarswheelies

    guitarswheelies TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for your replies. Interesting story about seeing Mayall in the 60s there mate. I mentioned that bit to his assistant.

    She said that unfortunately the guitar on the cover of the record was destroyed in a tragic house fire in 1978. He apparently lost everything.

    I've been thinking about this guitar and how there is a whole thing where the iconic guitars of famous players get copied in custom shops now. I'm talking about Page's #1, Pearly Gates, Andy Summer's Tele custom etc. I toured the custom shop at Fender bitd with John Page when I was looking at getting a job with Fender as an engineer. My point is that these people are highly skilled craftsman who can do custom work and they do it day in and day out. Regular production line stuff isn't like that-they do the same thing you are shown how to do over and over.

    Which makes me think that this white guitar is unlikely to be a replica from a fan from back in 1969. The talent level wasn't really there to build it and people didn't really do that. I would reference some really bad but touching reproductions of Eddie Van Halen's guitars.

    But the conundrum is that John doesn't remember the guitar. Oh well...
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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