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!