12.14.10

Gold-leaf guitar: Fender Gilded Age Musical Instruments

Posted in Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 11:37 am by George Smith

Having riffed on the fact that iconic rock music instrument makers in the US have turned themselves into artisan businesses for the plutonomy, news of Fender’s gold leaf guitar for Prince fits right in. From today’s paper edition of the LA Times (no link): “Prince told his friends at Fender that he’d had a dream […]

07.05.17

Electric guitars have the blues

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 2:48 pm by George Smith

A reader points out a recent story in the Washington Post: Why my guitar gently weeps: The slow, secret death of the six-string electric. And why you should care. Written by Geoff Edgers, it’s a good piece that touches on some subjects and people I’ve written about over the years, with special focus on the […]

08.19.15

The Trouble With Fender

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll at 11:30 am by George Smith

12.06.13

The Plutocrat’s Guitar: From revolution to acquisition

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 4:40 pm by George Smith

From the wire: A guitar once owned by music legend Bob Dylan sold for $965,000 Friday at Christie’s, setting a new world auction record for any guitar, according to a statement from the auction house. The 1964 Fender Stratocaster was purchased by an unidentified bidder, said a Christie’s spokesperson. Dylan, now 72, played the electric […]

11.03.13

Justifiable theft of intellectual property — guitars

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Made in China at 5:22 pm by George Smith

Today, a short return to a common subject here, the bifurcation of “American” goods, following the rise of inequality, a study in contrast. The video is of major US guitar and western guitar brands being made in China. You can ascertain the different brands by headstocks. But it’s an omnibus factory that does work for […]

10.17.13

New America snob culture — folkie guitars for six figures

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll at 2:29 pm by George Smith

There are no Holy Grails or epiphanies to be had in Nazareth, PA. It is not a town of treasure or import. Trust me. Been there many times. The Highway Kings rehearsed in a Pleasant-Valley-Sunday-style tract home in Nazareth. But over the weekend the New York Times ran a piece on another bifurcation in New […]

02.15.12

The old Fender factory, in 8mm

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Made in China at 1:29 pm by George Smith

Today Fender, the “iconic American” guitar maker, employs more people in China and Indonesia than it does in this country. However, at one time it was an obviously proud-to-be-American company. And average Americans, as seen in the above home movie, worked in guitar manufacturing for it. There was no rubbish spouted in newspapers about Americans […]

09.15.11

Guitarring — loud, digital, not bad

Posted in Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 4:15 pm by George Smith

Back on Made-In-China Day at Guitar Center, DD’s colleague — a drummer who does not play guitar dropped an eye-popping 900 bucks for a Roland KC-550 keyboard amp and a Chinese-manufactured Classic Vibe Fender Telecaster. He’d been sold on the guitar by a friend, and despite my advice, bought the Roland as an all-purpose amp. […]

09.06.11

Made in China day at Guitar Center

Posted in Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 3:15 pm by George Smith

Over the Labor Day weekend, Guitar Centers nationwide had a sale. Naturally, DD went to the store in Pasadena. What was being sold, tried out and handled — I was there on Saturday and Monday — were guitars, all made in China. They were the only ones the customers, middle class youngsters, could afford. The […]

07.14.11

Another long day among the foreign-made guitars

Posted in Made in China, Rock 'n' Roll at 12:50 pm by George Smith

Yesterday I foolishly decided to take an old Gibson SG to Pasadena’s Guitar Center. The idea, since I don’t use it very much anymore and it’s an old American-made piece when Gibson was still in Michigan, was to trade it in for something new. Big mistake. GC Pasadena spent an hour and half photographing it […]

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