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Friday, February 25, 2011

Need to thank a couple of shredders, Yoshi guitars?

I still haven't heard from anyone about JooDee guitars....but I keep hoping.  I have heard from a couple of resident experts on guitar badges "Feather" and  "Crown".  Thank you for your input!!!  I also have found a new guitar that needs researching...Yoshi.  Sounds like an old anime character. 

If you checked out the page lately, you'll notice the table is gone.  I decided to hide it as I was making so many changes to the original list that I felt it was only adding to the confusion for people reading my written listing.  I'll put it back up when I've made more corrections.  Corrections ARE going very well, thanks to several helping hands and a few new places to do research!  I'm even more hopeful that we'll have a good list within a year or two instead of the decade I was anticipating!  So thank you once again! 

Keep those questions and comments coming!

Monday, February 21, 2011

JooDee Guitars

In researching MIJ guitars, one badge name comes up frequently:  JooDee.  It's been the bane of my existence lately.

Why?

Because nobody can seem to pin down with any accuracy who made the darn thing. 

I've talked to local dealers, read articles and threads online...yet I can't seem to pin it down to one or two companies.  One source even suggested that there was a JooDee manufacturing company in the 1970's, a fact I haven't been able to find any evidence of. 

Who made JooDee guitars? 

God.  I may be spending a year just on this one.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Orlando Guitar, A Friend and an Inability To Find Information....

So people ask, 'Hey, Torch! How'd you get this research blog started since you don't play?!'

Good question.  Here's the story.

Torch has a good friend called Noah.  Yeah, like the ark.  He's a musician and plays guitar for screamo bands.  Anyhow, while visiting him one afternoon, he says "Got a new guitar.  It's cool.  Want to see?"

I said sure.  And he brings out this guitar with 'Orlando' on the mother of pearl. A nice guitar.  Wicked.

Noah plays it for a song or two.  Then he sighs.  "Isn't it cool?  I wish I knew who made it...."

I laughed.  "Look on the Internet!  Everything's on there!"

"Not this guitar." said Noah.  "I know, I've looked.  I can find this model and a picture of one like it, sure.  But NOBODY knows who made this brand.  NOBODY."

I snorted. "Yeah, right.  Come on, SOMEBODY has to know."

"Then you find 'em"  Noah said.  And that was the start of my search.  I promised Noah I'd have his answer in a week.  A week turned into two weeks. A month.  Two months.  Finally after THREE MONTHS of reading everything I could find, both online and in print, I discovered ONE person who had an Orlando in his shop which needed repairs.  In taking the guitar apart, he found an ARIA label!  Solved!  Noah was totally geeked to hear the news.

But it bugged me.  It bugged me that it took that much time and effort to find the answer.  So I began the quest to get it all in one spot, as accurate as possible.  Why?  Because I don't think ANYONE should have to work that hard for a simple answer!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Well the good news is you have more information....

The fellow that was unhappy with my list wrote back and was REALLY nice about it.  Really nice.  He explained a lot and told me a few things to look into or just plain set me straight where the list is way off, which was a good thing.  So the long and short of it is, I know more about the topic but I've got a lot more work ahead to make it accurate. Sigh.  Such is life.  Nothing comes easy.

And I just want to say here and now that guitar collectors are some of the nicest and friendliest people on earth.  I've got a friend who runs an in-home concert venue for musicians who has been so sweet about helping me through my frustration in researching this topic.  Another friend of mine, who manufactures guitars, told me I was plain crazy to attempt such a list...that it couldn't be done.  But it hasn't stopped me from trying.

I leave with a quote from the great Albert Einstein:  "If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called Research."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oh god...the comment I didn't want to see

Well, everything was going just fine...got some new information to add to my list...when a reader out there in cyberspace says "Hey, Torch!  You're waaaay wrong on some of those brands...." 

Oh god.  Please don't tell me that.  Please don't tell me I wasted months of reading threads, articles, magazines and a book here and there.  Please don't tell me the list is wrong or somehow, I got the wrong information. Please don't tell me that.

Damn.  Double damn. 

Sigh.  Well, it's not like I've been studying this for 20 years. Or 10.  Or 5.  I'm a relative newcomer.  And I just want to help the vintage guitar community find information.  ACCURATE information!

You know, one of the sites I found as I read was Jedistar.  If you haven't seen it, you should.  I was in awe. To think that someone, somewhere, took the time and effort to put all that information on the Internet in easy to search form....it made me realize how important collecting is to the vintage guitar community.

Sigh.  I'm nowhere near that high point of Jedistar.  I'm not a Jedi yet.  And I want to correct the damn list.  And I don't know if the guy pointing out my failure will bother to take the time to explain where I'm wrong, damn it.

Now what should I do?  Take it down?  Forget the whole thing?  Put all that work aside and say "Forget it?"

No.  I don't give up that easy.

I guess I just wrote all this to say if you see a error or omission, LET ME KNOW!  I want to get it right.  REALLY!  

Now if I could just get some sleep.....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Starting the blog...calling all shredders!!!!

As just a simple country person with little to no musical ability who has never owned a guitar or played in a band, it probably strikes you odd that I'd have an interest in vintage guitars.  But in doing research on various obscure badged guitars for friends of mine, I found something endlessly fascinating as an amateur historian and internet geek!  Much of what is known about this topic comes from enthusiasts only. To my knowledge other than the occasional article in a vintage guitar mag or paragraph in a vintage guitar collectors' book no one ever addresses the missing information in sum.  It is something that needs to be tracked down and recorded.  To do that, I need all you shredders and threshers out there to help me!

So I started this blog in a five year mission....no, that's Star Trek.... to gather all the bits of information out there on obscure, branded or badged guitars...to try to go back in time, find out who made them and why, and hopefully provide badly needed information to the folks out there who play and own these things and just love 'em to death!

This week I gathered what I know so far from the 1960's-1980's era, which I posted on Hubpages under the title Japanese Manufacturers of Made In Japan Badged Electric Guitars from 1960 to 1980.  This was a period where Japanese firms made hundreds of badged, low priced guitars that were modeled on the more expensive great American guitars during the height of electric guitarsmanship.  Kids everywhere wanted to play like Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana, so they got their parents or saved their money to buy Les Paul or Rickenbacker copies made in Japan or Korea for the American market. 

American manufacturers like Aria and Ibanez gave contracts to Japanese companies to produce products that were copies of famous Fender and Gibson guitar designs, reproducing them into cheaper versions with cool sounding names like Raven, Shadow and Vox.  These were transported and sold right here on main street, sold by the thousands...until Fender and Gibson sued for copyright infringement to stop their flooding the American market with copies.

The odd thing is, some of these cheap 'copies' are highly sought-after collectibles that guitarists LOVE to play! 

So let's begin the investigation, my soulful friends, and figure out....WHO MADE MY VINTAGE GUITAR!