Our summer's vacation plans found my family and I sticking around the Western US, not too far from our home state of Montana. Given my interest in music and guitars, I decided to make it as interesting as possible and visit a few guitar makers along our path. This documents this rather interesting journey.
Grosh Guitars - Broomfield, Colorado - June 20, 2011
I love the music of Mark Knopfler, and during his last tour for the promotion of his "Get Lucky" album, I acquired the lithograph you see to the right. In the top right corner is a Grosh Electrajet used on the song "Piper to the End". Brent Johnson from Grosh Guitars kindly allowed us to drop by while we were in Colorado for my brother-in-law's wedding. I did not think of taking pictures, at the time, but thankfully Brent sent me these after the fact.
Grosh Guitars - It all starts with a wood pile
Grosh Guitars - Carved bodies
Grosh Guitars - Don Grosh, the man behind the name
Grosh Guitars - Long drying process for the superior nitrocellulose lacquer
Grosh Guitars - Neck carving
Many thanks to Don and Brent at Grosh Guitars for a very pleasant visit.
For more information, visit www.groshguitars.com
Subway Guitars - Berkeley, California - July 28, 2011
"Fat Dawg" (look for a drawing of him in the top, right corner of the picture below) runs Subway Guitars, a tightly packed and eclectic guitar store where he sells some of his own creations: American made guitars with Dan Electro necks from the 60's. One of these models is the Jizzblaster, that you see me try out below. These no-thrill guitars are quite inexpensive ($400) and Fat Dawg will work with you to customize color and pickup. Note that both the Grosh Electrajet and the Jizzblaster have recently been experimented with on Mark Knopfler's latest album, currently under production.
Subway Guitars - Trying out a Jizzblaster
Gibson Accoustic Guitars - Bozeman, Montana - September 7, 2011
I have known for some years now that the Gibson accoustic guitar factory is located just 3 hours from my house, yet I have not taken the opportunity to visit it, until this year. It was a special treat to see the exquisite work associated with building accoustic guitars! Our guide was Don Ruffatto, seen on the picture below, who took me and a few Japanese students on an hour-long tour that will be remembered for a long time to come.
On my way to Gibson Guitars - Smokey Montana sunrise!
Gibson Guitars - It all starts with a wood pile here too!
Gibson Guitars - Putting the sides together
Gibson Guitars - Neck and Headstock
Gibson Guitars - Freatboard Ornaments
Gibson Guitars - Dove In Flight Headstock
Gibson Guitars - In the making
Gibson Guitars - Custom Carving
Gibson Guitars - Nitrocellulose lacquer drying carousel
Gibson Guitars - Guitar massage, a.k.a. sanding
Gibson Guitars - A lonely typewriter still used for soundhole labels
Gibson Guitars - Ren Ferguson, master luthier at work
Gibson Guitars - One-of-a-kind Led Zeppelin model built by Ren Ferguson
Gibson Guitars - Shipping room
Thank you Don for showing us around and thanks to all you readers for looking.