Five for Friday, October 25, 2019

A new column where we recap what went down in the guitar world this week…

Walter Becker Auction Fetches $3 Million

Last weekend, over 1000 instruments from the estate of Steely Dan’s Walter Becker were auctioned off. Noteworthy were the hundreds of handmade instruments built by individual luthiers / amp builders that Becker accumulated through the years. Though one would expect the biggest sale of the night to be a vintage, stage-used Fender or Gibson, that award actually went to a Becker-cherished green Strat-style guitar built by Chihoe Hahn, which sold for over $68,000.  We have a story on Becker’s love for the small builders coming in our forthcoming Electric Guitar Annual.

Jimmy Page’s Strat in Spokane

Speaking of Strats: We love a good “how did it get here?” story. Here’s one on how Jimmy Page’s 1979 Fender Strat found its way to a mom & pop guitar store in Spokane, Washington.

Passings: Nick Tosches

One of the world’s great music writers, Nick Tosches, died, just a few days short of his 70th birthday. Though arguably best known for Dino, his riveting biography of Dean Martin, as guitarists we appreciated the writings found in Where Dead Voices Gather and Country, influential tomes that turned a ton of us onto the music of Emmett Miller and other obscure (but powerful) musicians of the early 20th century. There were lots of great obits posted about Tosches but our favorite belongs to writer/Tosches’ friend Jim Merlis.

Gibson Loses Its Firebird Body Trademark in the EU

Guitar.com reports that Gibson recently lost its trademark for the Firebird body shape in the EU. The EU Intellectual Property Office made the ruling on October 11. Earlier this year, a similar EU trademark cancellation was issued on the Flying V body shape. Will independent builders and overseas makers ramp up their copies with the ruling? Time will tell…

Emerald City Guitars Bursting at the Seams with ‘Bursts

Seattle’s Emerald City Guitars – recently our guest on the Fretboard Journal Podcast – have been known to have a big-ticket guitar or two in their inventory, but this week they took the cake with six 1959-1960 ‘Bursts in their inventory. If you’re flush with cash and need to do some A/B’ing, they have three ‘59s and three ‘60s ready for you. (shown above)