We spend a lot of time on each story in the Journal to avoid typos and factual errors. We agonize over names and dates and guitar models, double-check quotes and much more. But, once in a while, stuff slips through the cracks. Take, for instance, Sam Bush’s two electric Fender Mandocasters that were featured in Fretboard Journal #19. Our caption on page 74 simply states, “the new [mandolin] has the first-ever Mandocaster vibrato tailpiece.” Sadly, we were wrong.
The inventor of the electric mandolin vibrato (say that ten times fast!) is actually British born guitar (and mandolin) shredder Maestro Alex Gregory. He caught the typo and sent us an explanation: “Fender signed a deal with me in 1991 for the production of the first-ever tremolo and humbucker equipped Mandocaster and I still have the documentation as well as a personal letter from no other than Ted McCarty (of Gibson fame) talking about my Gibson Explorer prototypes, which Sam Bush flipped on when we met at a NAMM show in 1993.”
Thanks to Google’s patent search, you can view the specs and detailed drawings of Gregory’s original patent here.
Gregory has also patented a seven-string Stratocaster.
I’m disappointed that we had this error in our magazine (and offer my sincerest apologies to Gregory) but, on the other hand, it has turned up this fascinating bit of esoteric electric mandolin history. It’s amazing what turns up around these parts!