I have been designing and building guitars since the mid 1970’s. Many of those years, 21 in fact, at Fender Guitars… the first 9 as a Guitar Designer in Research and Development and the last 12 as the co-founder and head of the Fender Custom Shop. During those years I worked with some incredible people and created guitars for some great artists. Artists like Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend, Elliot Easton and Cesar Rosas, just to name a few.
Taken from John Page’s bio.
He offers a number of models although the DL looks the most interesting to me:
The classic retirement shot, a couple, dressed in white, on the beach.
Pensions for people employed outside the public sector are vanishing. The defined-contribution plans that have replaced them aren’t cutting it. According to Fidelity Investments, the average 401(k) account belonging to someone at least 55 years old is worth $165,000. (And those people are lucky. They actually have workplace retirement accounts.) The Federal Reserve says the median amount held in all retirement accounts—individual or workplace—where the head of the household is at least 35 but hasn’t yet reached the official retirement age of 65 is $59,000.
I suspect the Canadian numbers are similar.
The concept that people will be able to work into their late 60s, 70s and beyond is a false hope:
Working longer is a retirement plan like winning the lottery or dying earlier is a retirement plan. Being able to work longer is not a plan. It’s a hope.
Teresa Ghilarducci has more to say about the pending retirement crisis here.
I have a number of friends that have recently decided to retire.
They are all in their late fifties or early sixties. And they all have defined pensions and savings.
From Deluxe Guitar Exchange:
When you ask anyone who has played a Grosh guitar about Don Grosh and his guitars words like passion, tone, quality, and outstanding are often used.
This Wildwood Guitars interview with Don Grosh provides a good perspective on his approach to building Grosh Guitars:
Don got his start at Valley Arts Guitar (now owned and operated by Gibson Guitar Corp).
Valley Arts was founded in the mid-1970s and took its name from their original location in the San Fernando Valley.
They built guitars for players like Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Tommy Tedesco and Larry Carlton. I found an old photo of a Larry Carlton Valley Arts guitar on the Strat-Talk forum. Certainly a nice looking instrument.
Don Grosh was the shop foreman with Valley Arts until 1993 when he started Don Grosh Custom Guitars.
The vision was clear—to build hand-crafted custom guitars with the best tone, looks and playability available, and to build them from the from the ground up, from original design and concept to full production of the necks and bodies.
The NOS Vintage T pictured at the top of this post is a classic take on the Fender Telecaster. The instrument features master-grade, tone-tapped woods, a nitro-lacquer finish and Grosh pickups. The base price for the guitar is $2,899 USD although with a few options, the instrument can easily reach $3,500 or more.
Here is another shot of a NOS Vintage T. I love the fretwork on this guitar.
Al Di Meola is one of my guitar heroes and he is still playing strong at 60 years of age so there is still some hope left for me.
Four of the best guitar players in the world on one stage: Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, and Al Dimeola. This video was shot in 2012. Al does not look like he is in his late fifties. And he was having no trouble keeping up with the other players.
What exactly is Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Brands, holding in his hands?
The Eden of Coronet.
The guitar is a 2014 Gibson SG, Alpine White. There are over 400 carat diamonds set in roughly 1.6kg of 18k gold.
Coronet, a brand of Aaron Shum Jewelry, created this diamond Gibson guitar to enter the Guinness Book of Records as the most valuable guitar ever made. It’s estimated value is $2 million USD.
From Gibson’s website:
The masterpiece is a joint effort of three distinct brands. The creativity comes from the process of blending ideas and cultures from different industries, which further solidifies Gibson beyond just a guitar brand. All along we’ve been striving to expand our business to different sectors of the consumer market and ‘Eden of CORONET’ is definitely an important milestone for what we target to achieve.
Gibson Guitar Corp. rebranded itself in 2013 as Gibson Brands. Gibson has acquired a number of audio companies in recent years including Teac, Cerwin Vega, KRK Systems and Onkyo. Gibson Guitar Corp. is a division of Gibson Brands. And now, it seems, Gibson is involved in selling jewelry.
This particular project involved 70 or more people and roughly 700 hours to create the jewelry.
Guinness did give the piece the title of most valuable guitar ever made. As far as I can tell, it is not yet the most valuable guitar ever sold.
Some have said that the New York luthier Rick Kelly makes his guitars from the city’s old bones. They speak of his signature style, which involves building guitars from the old wood that once made up establishments in the city’s historic districts, such as the Bowery – once a murky landscape of vice, home to smoky flophouses, dark dive bars, and gambling holes. But amid this squalor existed an authenticity and ruggedness of character that has since become part of the city’s DNA, and New Yorkers constantly lament the damage to this lineage when fabled institutions such as Chumley’s pub, established in 1922, are closed down. But Kelly makes his Fender-influenced guitars from the wooden hearts of such faded establishments, and over time musicians as esteemed and diverse as Bob Dylan, Bill Frisell, Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith, and Lou Reed have all adopted his instruments. His shop, Carmine Street Guitars, is in the West Village.
Such an amazing video. It talks to the heart of what it means to be a true artisan, an intelligent hand. Rick’s shop is at Carmine Street Guitars.
Matthew just chilling with his smartphone. I, on the other hand, was reading on a vintage platform, a book. A bit of a lazy day which was spent enjoying the mountain cabin and some of the shops around the Pigeon Forge area.
The main event for the evening was the Lumberjack Feud. One of many dinner theatres in the area. We also had booked Hatfields and McCoys for the following evening.
The show began with a set of country music songs featuring this banjo player. A very skilled banjo player. Although not my style of music, I do appreciate hearing quality players and he was certainly that and more.
The show, as you might have gathered from the name, is based on two logging camps that are embattled in a feud. And only one camp will win. The show features Lumberjacks and Lumberjills that compete in a variety of competitions including band saws, chainsaws and log rolling.
There were also a number of events that featured dogs. Well trained and entertaining.
The highlight of the evening was the logrolling competition. Our side won, although all I did was eat, watch and take a few photos.
By the way, the images were all shot on the big Nikon rig, my D800, handheld at ISO 4000. I am still in shock at how well these cameras can do indoors particularly with challenging lighting and action.
This would be why they are called the Great Smoky Mountains.