Tag Archives: Martin

Andy Baxter Bass & Guitars: Q&A

Could you please tell us a little bit about Andy Baxter Bass & Guitars and where you are located? How long have you been in the business?

 Andy Baxter Bass & Guitars was set up in my own name in 2009, at that time I was running the small business from the living room of my flat in East London. By 2011 the business had outgrown the flat so I set up shop in our first proper showroom in Andrew Weatherall’s recording studio on Scrutton Street in Shoreditch, which allowed me to expand even more.  Most recently in 2015 I moved in to the new showroom at 152-154 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6SH. Over the years Andy Baxter Bass & Guitars has established a name as the best place to shop for vintage basses in the UK and recently added vintage 6 string electric & acoustic guitars along with amplification to the inventory. I have always maintained the ‘by appointment only’ approach, as I feel this helps to keep the customers’ buying experience personal as well as allowing the right work/lifestyle balance for myself – that way everyone is happy. Continue reading

Joe Satriani interview: ”To my fans: I owe you everything”.

Joe Satriani is one of those guitarists who can be described in a single word – legend. Vintage & Rare is proud to present you interview with Joe, the guitarist whose music has no requirement for lyrics. He told us something about his musical beginnings, his inspiration and his plans for the future.

Could you please tell us a bit about how you got into playing music ? Do you remember any specific moments that sparked your interest in music and playing guitar?
I started playing the drums at age nine after seeing The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on TV. Then in September of 1970 I switched to guitar the day Jimi Hendrix died. He remains my main inspiration.

Which musicians or bands have been the greatest inspiration and have had the greatest influence on your understanding of music and your playing?
Besides Hendrix, I was influenced by early American blues, rock ’n’ roll, Motown, R & B, jazz and classical music. I played Black Sabbath and Led Zep in my early bands, and then some fusion. My greatest understanding of music came from my high school music theory teacher Bill Westcott. He gave me my foundation.

What advise you you give to fans wishing to perfect their playing and broaden out their understanding of music?
Practice being a musician everyday, be creative and curious and never stop learning.

How many days a year do you spend on road? Is it hard to be on a tour and still keep the mindset to create and produce music?
It seems like I’m on tour half of every year these days. Some years see me touring more, some less. The music business is always changing, you have to be able to adapt.

Can you please tell us about the guitars, amps and effects you are mainly  using, and why you have chosen the guitars & gear you have?
My main guitar now is my Ibanez JS2400. I have come to really love the 24 fret JS model now. I have put a Sustainiac pickup in a few of my 2400’s as well, they are very useful and add functionality to the guitar. My new signature Marshall JVM410H JS head is fantastic! I love playing through this new system as it really sets me free.

Do the guitars & gear you play live differ from the guitars you’re using during recording sessions?
Not really. The last two records and tours both solo and with Chickenfoot saw me with the same gear.

Maybe you could eloborate a little bit about your collaboration with Ibanez and the cool Chromeboy project?
Chromeboy was born back in 1990! It is so very hard to successfuly chrome a guitar body made of wood. We have tried everything you can think of, but it still eludes all who try. Eventually the chrome lifts away from the body, cracks and becomes dangerous. Now, the very process of chroming is being restricted due to safetey concerns for the environment as well as the people doing the chroming. So, if you’ve got an original Chromeboy, keep it safe!

Are you into vintage guitars & old amps/effects? If yes which brands/models and why? Maybe you have a special story to tell around one or more of your guitars?
I like to collect vintage Fender, Gibson and Martin guitars. Mainly Strats, Tele’s, Les Pauls and acoustics. My current favorite is a 1969 Olympic White maple-cap Stratocaster. It’s a total Hendrix-fetish collectable, and it sounds great too!

Any exciting new projects that you would like to tell us more about? Could you please eloborate more on your movie Satchurated 3D.
Having ”Satchurated 3D” playing theaters around the world is just so cool! Think about it, an instrumental rock guitar movie in theaters, what a crazy world we live in! When we release the DVD and people see the whole show and the bonus features they will freak out!

Any famous last words?
To my fans: Thank you so much for listening to me play my guitar! I owe you everything and will keep playing my best as long as I live.


Would you like to add something about Joe Satriani? Please leave a comment…

Thunder Road Guitars interview with Frank Gross from Thunder Road Guitars

Hi Frank, thank you for taking your time to speak to us. Could you please tell as a little bit about Thunder Road Guitars? Where are you located?
Hello Vintage and Rare! Thunder Road Guitars is an online-based guitar shop by musicians for musicians. We buy, sell, trade and cosign guitars and amplifiers with folks all over the globe. We opened our doors January of 2012 and have loved every moment of it since. We are located in Seattle, Washington, USA.

What initially motivated you to set up a music store, and when was that?
I’ve worked in music shops since I was old enough to have a job and have always had a love and passion for great guitars. I have managed a well-known Seattle vintage guitar shop and have also worked for a US chain store. I learned a lot working for both companies and eventually decided to open my own store this January. My favorite thing about independent music stores is the “shop culture” – the things that happen day to day, the guitars that come in and go and the interesting folks you meet. I love it! At Thunder Road we try and give our customers that same experience online by offering great customer service and a very personal approach. I’m very hands on and if you are buying a guitar from us more than likely you will speak to me directly.

What has been the biggest challenge in setting up your shop?
The biggest challenge for me was to take this dream of mine and make it a reality. I’ve always dreamed of owning my place, but there’s a lot of risk involved when you start any new business. Like I mentioned earlier I have just opened my digital doors to the world, but so far so good.

In EU the current Gibson case “lacey act” has gotten a lot of attention, what is your perspective on shipping between US & EU? Have you had any problems regarding this case so far?
I’ve shipped a lot of guitars between the US and Europe in my time buying and selling instruments and I think it’s unfortunate that the “Lacey Act” has created the issues that it has. I’ve seen it scare off customers and make it harder for someone like myself or other dealers out there to share great Brazilian rosewood vintage instruments with customers around the globe. With that said, it seems that if you can provide proper documentation of your instrument and show that it was built before a certain time period then you will be fine shipping, or so I’ve heard.

Do you play music yourself? If so, what do you play, for how long have you been doing it?
I sure do. I started my first band at age eleven, before I could even really play guitar. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to play in two professional bands, put out records, tour the US for what seems like a million times, and also tour Europe. One time on tour with my band in Europe the border guards in Croatia didn’t want to let us in because we didn’t have work visas so we bribed our way in with CDs, T-shirts, and other merchandise. We ended up making it across the border and rocked a great show. I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences playing music. I am very grateful for my experiences and feel lucky for the opportunities I’ve been given through music.

What do you consider the biggest challenge for dealers of musical instruments today?
I would say the biggest challenge is also one of the greatest strengths, and that is globalization. When I first started working in this field the primary option someone would have would be to walk into a brick and mortar store to pick out a guitar. Now they have the entire world’s instrument supply at the click of a button. For us this has been a good thing because it allows us to connect with buyers worldwide, but it is also challenging because there is much more competition for sales.

How do you choose what products to carry?
I carry instruments that I like, plain and simple. I’m a big fan of American and import vintage guitars and amplifiers from the 50s, 60s, and 70s as well as modern custom shop instruments from Gibson, Fender, Martin, Gretsch, Marshall, Dr. Z, and Orange. Right now Thunder Road offers used and vintage instruments, but in the near future we will be expanding to include boutique guitars and amplifiers.

What role has technology (the internet, your website, etc.) played in the success of your business? Do you use social media channels to promote your business?
Technology is huge for us as we are an Internet based business. Without the huge role the Internet now plays in instrument sales it would have been much harder for Thunder Road to get off the ground. We use social networking as a source of promotion as well as a way to connect with our customers and keep them updated on new and exciting instruments we acquire.

Is there a general trend to the people who purchase from you, in terms of how skilled or experienced they are?
We sell guitars and amplifiers to folks all over the globe. Some touring musicians, some recording musicians, and some hobby rockers. The thing they all seem to have in common is a passion for great guitars. I love how into guitars my customers are and love talking with them about music, life, and instruments.

You are known for your dedication to providing a good customer service. What advice do you give to somebody looking to purchase an instrument from you?
Being a musician myself I would not want to carry or sell an instrument that I wouldn’t feel comfortable personally owning or playing. Being a business owner I want to give my customers the same experience I would expect from a guitar shop. We go to great lengths to get to know everyone who crosses our path, whether it is selling them something or a simple inquiry asking about a guitar. We want people to feel comfortable when they work with us and feel as though they’re getting a great guitar from a great shop.

Any famous last words?
I want to thank the fine folks at Vintage and Rare for this interview and thank you (the reader) for taking time out of your day to read about Thunder Road Guitars. Please check out our website: www.thunderroadguitars.com/

Airline H8396 – 1960s Sunburst
Gibson ES335 – 1965 Cherry Red
Gibson GA18T Explorer – 1960

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Fender Guitars- The Dark Era?

Guest blog written by Emil Puris

So I`ve been reading this blog by a guy stating that today`s Fender Stratocasters are “light years” better than any 70`s Strat he`s ever come across. The argument was supported by the fact that Fender was taken over by a company called CBS in 1965 and every Fender made between 1965 and 1985 supposedly belonged to the dark era of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.

Doing some research on the net about the subject, as I had no historical knowledge of Fender guitars, even though I own two Fender Stratocasters myself, I found out that players perceived a loss of the initial high quality of Fender guitars after the company was taken over by CBS. As a result, the late 60`s Stratocasters with the large “CBS” headstock and (from the mid 70`s) the 3-bolt necked models (instead of the conventional 4 bolts) with the “Bullet” truss-rod and the MicroTilt adjustment system fell “out of fashion”. I literally have to get up and make myself a cup of coffee after writing this last sentence. However, the point of the above-mentioned, is that all of this supposedly led to a reduction of the quality of Fender`s guitars while under the management of “cost-cutting” CBS. When Fender was bought from CBS by Bill Schultz in 1985, manufacturing resumed its “former” high quality and Fender regained market share and brand reputation.

Furthermore, so-called “pre-CBS” Stratocasters are, accordingly, quite sought after and expensive due to the perceived difference in quality even compared with contemporary post-CBS models. In recent times, some Stratocasters manufactured from 1954 to 1958 have sold for more than US$175,000 which is perverted if you ask me, but then again everybody has their own fetishes.

I have two Fender Stratocasters, one from 1976 and the other one is from 1995, and after doing this research, I was amazed to learn that my 1995 Fender should be superior to the 1976 model according to these so-called guitar-enthusiasts and experts. Well, I have to say that my personal opinion is that my 1995 Stratocaster is a toy, which should be sold at supermarkets around the country, compared to my 1976 Fender Stratocaster. The history of Fender guitars, or any guitars for that matter, has never interested me and the only reason I did this research was because I was asked to write this blog. Personally, I don’t care about whether a guitar is made by well-recognized companies such as Fender, Gibson, Martin or a luthier from China or some monk chopping a piece of wood in the mountains of Tibet (hard to find by the way, the wood that is) who decides to open a Custom Guitar Shop, just out of boredom.

When I pick up a guitar I don`t look at a label or a serial number or what kind of wood the top, back and sides and fret board is made of. If it sounds and feels good, than that`s the right guitar for me. I`ve played guitars from the above-mentioned brands that sounded like crap and that are being sold for ridiculous prices, and I have played guitars sold for much less that sounded a lot better. For example, my $600 western Chinese-made Fina sounds better than some guitars that I`ve played in $2000-3000 category. This goes another way around, of course, but I`m just saying. The important thing to remember is that it is individual what kind of guitar suits one`s playing style and feels comfortable, and not what you read on the Internet and follow the sheep-mentality.

My purpose with this, rather short, article is not to promote 70`s Stratocasters, but to make some kind of stand against the ridiculous statements that one can find on the Internet. To end this article, I have found pictures of a few guitarists that are playing these ridiculous 30-40 years old badly-made Fender Stratocasters.

But what do these guys know, I think I`m going to start saving money for a $50,000 1957 Fender, instead of buying a “crappy” Fender from 70`s for around $4000.