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WHOA! HOW much?


whitefang

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I've often stated, over the years here, that my first (and only) electric guitar was a cheapie '67 KALAMAZOO. I never did know the MODEL of it, but recently, while looking it up on Gbase, mostly just for the fun of it and to trip down Memory Lane, I think, based on other sources online, that it was a KG.

 

It had a "powder blue" finish, a body style similar to the Gibson SG, but with a not so great neck w/a "six on one" headstock, simiar to Fender's.

 

I found an old magazine ad for Kalamazoo guitars which had a black and white photo of a kid, (probably MY age now) playing the model I had. Because the photo was B%W, is probably why the guitar looked to be a darker color.

 

I got that axe as a late birthday gift( as my birthday is in late July) in mid August of 1967. My grandmother at first just rented it from the Grinnell Bros. store in Lincoln Park. They had a deal where you could rent ANY instrument, guitar, violin, clarinet, whatEVER for $5 a month. By November of that year, my grandma figured, "what the hell", and just paid it off. All told, it cost a total of a whopping $80 after taxes! WITH the AMP, which was a cheap little piece o' crap not much bigger than the 10" speaker it housed. Crank that sucker up past 5, and there was NO NEED for a disortion/fuzz pedal!

 

Back to the story....I did manage to find one on Gbase back then( late 1990's) but no price was listed( one of them "contact seller for price" deals), anyway, it WAS kinda fun to SEE it again. Same color, same funky tremolo, same cheezy pick-ups.( The electronics were SO cheezy that if you plugged into the same amp with ANY other guitar, which WAS the case with the bands I was in, it would be overpowered.VERY easily). The photo in Gbase looked like it did when I first got it!

 

Then a few years later, I was walking past the window of a PAWN SHOP that I lived near by, and THEY HAD ONE! Hanging in the window was the TWIN BROTHER of my old Kalamazoo electric! Now, I had left MINE at my old drummer's house. It had VERY lousy action by that time, and the electronics were frazzled. When he asked what I wanted him to DO with it, I just said, "If it's in your way, just toss it."

Now, I toyed with the idea that HE hocked it, and now it's hanging in the pawn shop's window!

 

But, MINE was decorated with a "Woodstock" sticker I obtained on one of my more that ONE DOZEN trips to Downtown Detroit to see the movie in 1970....as there WAS no sticker, I knew it wasn't mine. AND the shop had no price on it. I toyed with the idea to go in and offer them &60, since when it was NEW, THIRTY YEARS EARLIER, it only cost $80! Don't know WHY I didn't, and it's long gone.

 

But, while looking recently online for a possible PHOTO of one, I noticed OTHER and OLDER Kalamazoo electrics, which probably cost around the same $80 new, were being offered for up to FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS! Are they KIDDING? Now, for ME, it would have a lot of SENTIMENTAL value. But, not THAT much! Even in LIKE NEW ondition, the guitar really wasn't all THAT good, so, I'm hoping clearer heads will prevail and nobody blows that much bread on one. But, if anyone has any success selling one of them for that price, I'm REALLY gonna regret NOT hanging onto MINE!

Whitefang

 

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Whitefang, a lot of guitars we thought of as beaters have become "vintage" collectibles now. Look up old Dano's, Kays or Harmony guitars - not all of them are high-dollar collectibles, but still, it's more than either of us would want to pay.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

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You inspired me to look up my first electric (a Univox copy of one of those Dan Armstrong Lucite guitars) on eBay.

 

Some dude's trying to sell one for $575. I paid $225 for mine, I think.

 

I still have it...well, minus the pickguard and electronics. Now I'm feeling inspired to get it back in working condition. :)

 

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What we tend to overlook now is that a low cost guitar is actually pretty decent these days. Epiphones, Squiers, PRS SE's. etc are all pretty playable. This was not the case in the 60s. Cheap guitars then were really crap, both sonically & playability-wise. I think assigning vintage mojo to those instruments is badly misplaced nostalgia. Yes, for purely nostalgic reasons I would love to have my first 'Melody' (Teisco) back, but only for sentiment, not as a player. And I wouldn't be willing to pay much more than the original $40 for it.
Scott Fraser
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Well at least you can find one like your first. Mine was a Winston in white that looked like a strat. I have never seen one even remotely like it. It did get traded in on a nice SG so I guess that's OK. Not sure I would want one even if I found a duplicate somewhere. It was not that great of a guitar. :roll:
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"Rooster hits the washboard and people just got to smile;

Blinky, thumps the gut bass and solos for a while.

 

Poorboy twangs the rhythm out on his Kalamazoo;

Willy goes into a dance and doubles on kazoo.

 

Down on the corner, out in the street

Willy and the Poorboys are playin'.

Bring a nickel; tap your feet... "

 

(From "Down On The Corner" by John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival)

 

There were also the pre-WWII Gibson-made Kalamazoo acoustic flat-top and arch-top guitars, which, while also budget/beginner models, were of a higher degree of quality than the '60s Gibson/Kalamazoo budget electric guitars, basses, and amps. (Those axes have bodies made of MDF... !) Apparently, one of Robert Johnson's favorite guitars was a '30s Kalamazoo KG-14...

 

:D:cool: Here's a 1960's Kalamazoo catalog cover:

 

http://www.vintageguitarandbass.com/graphics/kalamazoo1966catalog_1.jpg

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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MDF? What's that?

 

"Medium Density Fiberboard"; essentially, a type of 'particle-board'. I'm not sure if it was labeled "MDF" in the '60s when those guitars and basses were made, or what the general quality and grade was supposed to be then; from the '80s on, it's been of a higher quality and grade than 'particle-board'. Still not what I'd want in a guitar or bass, though!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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In the late 60s my Grandfather gave me a b&w Silvertone electric with vinyl covering that I was embarrassed to even show my friends. LOL!! It was exactly like the one Jimmy Page was holding on the cover of an old issue of GP. I don't even remember what happened to that guitar.

:hitt:

SEHpicker

 

The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell

 

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It was exactly like the one Jimmy Page was holding on the cover of an old issue of GP. I don't even remember what happened to that guitar.

:hitt:

 

That issue would be July 1977, which is still sitting on a bookshelf in my basement. And NO, it is not for sale. :)

I rock; therefore, I am.
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In the late 60s my Grandfather gave me a b&w Silvertone electric with vinyl covering that I was embarrassed to even show my friends. LOL!! It was exactly like the one Jimmy Page was holding on the cover of an old issue of GP. I don't even remember what happened to that guitar.

:hitt:

 

+1 I wouldn't mind having my 1st electric back (Sivertone lip-sticker) to hang on the wall...paid $20 bucks for it with an amp! :hitt:

Take care, Larryz
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It was exactly like the one Jimmy Page was holding on the cover of an old issue of GP. I don't even remember what happened to that guitar.

:hitt:

 

That issue would be July 1977, which is still sitting on a bookshelf in my basement. And NO, it is not for sale. :)

 

Yup - that's the one.

 

"Ahhhhh the pain, the pain, the pain of it all..." quote: Dr. Zachary Smith :D

SEHpicker

 

The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." George Orwell

 

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"Rooster hits the washboard and people just got to smile;

Blinky, thumps the gut bass and solos for a while.

 

Poorboy twangs the rhythm out on his Kalamazoo;

Willy goes into a dance and doubles on kazoo.

 

Down on the corner, out in the street

Willy and the Poorboys are playin'.

Bring a nickel; tap your feet... "

 

(From "Down On The Corner" by John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival)

 

There were also the pre-WWII Gibson-made Kalamazoo acoustic flat-top and arch-top guitars, which, while also budget/beginner models, were of a higher degree of quality than the '60s Gibson/Kalamazoo budget electric guitars, basses, and amps. (Those axes have bodies made of MDF... !) Apparently, one of Robert Johnson's favorite guitars was a '30s Kalamazoo KG-14...

 

:D:cool: Here's a 1960's Kalamazoo catalog cover:

 

http://www.vintageguitarandbass.com/graphics/kalamazoo1966catalog_1.jpg

 

Caev, that old ad is a decent commercial art replication of the guitar I had. Right down to the COLOR!

 

Sorry, but even with the wrong to consider $80 1967 dollars having $570 purchasing power today, the Kalamazoo back then wasn't all that good of a guitar. But, as it WAS my first( and so far, ONLY) elecric, it does have sentimental value and I did manage to have tons of fun with it---but---NOT $400+ of it!

 

Old Kays, old Harmonys and old Teisco' andeven SILVERTONES have more collector value than that old Kalamazoo. I'm willing to bet they even PLAYED better, AND had better electronics.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Whitefang, a lot of guitars we thought of as beaters have become "vintage" collectibles now. Look up old Dano's, Kays or Harmony guitars - not all of them are high-dollar collectibles, but still, it's more than either of us would want to pay.

 

This has long been something I laugh about... I know kids younger than me who will plop down $500 for an old, crappy condition Danelectro, Kay or Harmony, and be strangely proud of it... and get angry at me when I tell them it's a $75 guitar in $50 shape. "But it's vintage!"

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I think GP did an article about this back in the late '90's. They even provided a photo of some guitarist I wasn't familiar with from some "New wave" group I wasn't familiar with playing onstage picking on an old Monkey Ward's AIRLINE. It never made clear if it was for the vibe of the LOOK it gave him, or the SOUND it provided....

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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