Monday, January 31, 2011


At the Doug Sahm sessions - NYC - early October 72...grabbing a standar telecaster with rosewood fingerboard...


On the New Years  Concert '72 with The Band Bob played a blonde telecaster that became one of the favourites on years to come...


Bob with a Guild CE-100 DP  at the 17 & 20 November 1971 Allen Ginsberg recording sessions.

GIBSON J-200 sunburst

This gorgeous J-200 is claimed to be a present from George Harrison himself...and the same guitar that Bob will play next year at the Isle of Wight festival...

Friday, January 28, 2011


Bob Dylan outside his Byrdcliff home, Woodstock, NY, 1968 with an Epiphone Caballero.


Carl and August Larson were among the more obscure guitar makers of the first half of the 20th century, but their flattops—made under their own Maurer, Prairie State, and Euphonon brands, as well as for such companies as Dyer, Stahl, and Wack—have a distinct sound and look, along with a collectable appeal that approaches the better-known Gibson and Martin models.

The Chicago-based Larsons regularly built jumbo-size models, but with a whopping 21 inches across the lower bout, this late 1930s Prairie State guitar is an extreme example, even for them. The Larsons braced their tops with a slight arch, but this is still considered a flattop guitar, despite its elevated pickguard and archtop-style bridge. The Larsons’ names didn’t appear on any of their instruments, and in this case, the Prairie State brand stamp is visible through the soundhole on the back center brace. The metal support bar through the middle of the body—also visible through the soundhole—is a distinctive Larson feature, found on all Prairie States and on some Maurers and Euphonons. This guitar is braced for steel strings, as are all Larsons, with their patented laminated braces; they were the first flattop maker to specialize in steel-string guitars, predating Martin and Gibson by more than 20 years.

1957 SILVERTONE 1319

Bob in 1958 with a 1957 Silvertone 1319.

Since we do not see the lower part of the guitar in the photo of Bob we do not know if it's a 1317 (one pick-up) or a 1319 (two pick-ups). Otherwise the two models are identical.

Silvertone was the brand name used by Sears, Roebuck and Company for its line of sound equipment from 1915 to 1972. The Silvertone name adorned guitars from several different manufacturers over the years, including Danelectro, National, Harmony, Kay andTeisco.

thanks to Andreas Volkert


Memorial Building.
 Dylan performig with The Golden Chords (Bob’s second band) 
at the Winter Frolic Talent Contest in February 1958.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


King, Kingman guitar.

Introduced in late 1963. Natural finish.
Renamed Kingman in 1966. Available in sunburst or natural top.
Maple, rosewood or vermilion back and sides optional.
Antigua finish (silver to black sunburst),
black and some custom color finishes available in 1968.
Discontinued 1971.


Bob rehearsing with the band at Big Pink (Woodstock) in 1967...with a Martin 0-18...


A new black Fender Telecaster was played during the 1966 tour...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This is a 12 strings Fender electric guitar played during the Highway 61 sessions...

Designed by Leo Fender, the Fender Electric XII was introduced in late 1965 with the bulk of the production taking place in 1966 before it was discontinued around 1970. Unlike its competitors’ electric 12-string models which were simply existing 6-string guitars with six extra strings, the Fender Electric XII was a purpose-built 12-string designed to capture a part of the folk-rock market. The bridge has an individual saddle for each string making precise intonation possible. The Electric XII was not particularly popular during its run, and by 1969, it was dropped from the Fender line. The body overstock was used for the Fender Custom (aka Fender Maverick).


A new electric guitar appeared over the US tour with The Hawks in the fall of 65...a sunburst fender telecaster....

Gibson SJ Southern Jumbo Flattop Guitar

After the thunderstorm at Newport Bob went again on stage to perform with Paul's guitar (Peter, Paul & Mary)...a Gibson SJ Southern Jumbo Flattop Guitar

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


On the afternoon of July 24 Dylan went on stage for the writers workshop with a sunburst Gibson J-200 with double pickguard...the day before the ghost of electricity appeared...

fender stratocaster'62

This sunburst Fender Stratocaster'62 appeared for the very first time at the 'Bringing it all back home sessions'...and then again at the 'Highway 61 sessions' in this year of 1965...but this guitar will always be remembered because she was in Bob's hands in the long aclaimed night at Newport'65...electrifying...

American '62 Stratocaster
1962 was a benchmark year for the Stratocaster® guitar.
Five years of experimentation after the famous ’57 model
culminated in another pivotal year for the Stratocaster.
The Stratocaster’62  features a capped rosewood fingerboard,
three-ply white pickguard and special pickups.

fender jaguar'62

In 1965 Bob went electric...this is a picture from the 'Bringing it all back home' sessions with a new Fender Jaguar'62...a sunburst one with a rosewood fingerboard...

Fender American'62 Jaguar Electric Guitar
Offspring of the Jazzmaster, the Jaguar paired brighter pickups with a mellow, short 24 in. scale length.
A trio of sliding pickup selector switches, rotary volume wheels on the upper bout,
and chrome hardware and tremolo lock, are distinctive Jaguar traits.
The wacky and removable Fender Mute is a built-in string-damping device created with surf bands in mind.

gibson j-45 sunburst

This is Bob at  NEWPORT 1963 at the workshop on stage 2 with a borrowed gibson that surely is a J-45...

Monday, January 24, 2011



The Gibson Nick Lucas Special

This was the main acoustic guitar that he used in concert from late '63 through '66, and which can be heard on Another Side of Bob Dylan andBringing it All Back Home.
He had bought it from Marc Silber who ran the shop Fretted Instruments in NYC:
I didn’t really see him too much after that, although I sold him a couple of guitars along the way during the ’60s. That 1930s Gibson Nick Lucas Special he played in “Don’t Look Back” had belonged to my sister. It was in mint condition when I sold it to him, but it got a little wrecked. He had that guitar for a long time. Later, probably in the early ’70s, I drove up to Woodstock to sell him a really nice late-’60s Martin. He was a tough guy to do business with, though, because he didn’t have any idea what the guitars were worth. [read the full story]
Paul Hostetter gives another version of the same story:
This guitar was sold to Bob Dylan by my friend Marc Silber at his shop, sometime in 1963. It replaced Dylan's old Gibson J-50, which was lost in action. It's a 13-fret Nick Lucas that had been refinished blonde, and had had a Guild type bridge and a Martin-type pickguard put on. It had earlier belonged to Marc's sister Julie. Marc and Julie and their family are old friends of mine from Detroit, and I knew this guitar before Marc sold it to Dylan.
In January of 1964 I saw Dylan perform in Denver, and he played this guitar. He stopped by the Folklore Center (where I worked then) after-hours the next day, and he told me that the J-50 had gone missing, but I never connected the fact that the new guitar was Julie's old Nick Lucas. I wonder where it is now. [full story]
When the guitar was rebuilt, it was blonde instead of sunburst, and supposedly had a Martin pickguard and a Guild bridge. A reliable account of the story has it that the guitar was rebuilt already before Dylan bought it.
Then “it got a little wrecked,” as Silber says. Reportedly because Dylan put a lot of harps on top of it in his case and the front caved in. DON'T DO THAT! Apparently, this happened upon arrival in Australia during the 1966 tour. Phillip T. Pascoe told me:
Happened on arrival in Melbourne, Australia in '66. He borrowed a really nice guitar made by a local luthier & played it on the rest of his “Australian” tour in Adelaide & Perth, while the Nick Lucas was being repaired.
The one he borrowed went on sale in a little guitar shop in Melbourne for $500.00. I went by that store after school every day for a couple of weeks and dreamed up ways of coming up with that kind of money (impossible when you're 18 years old). He had only played 4 concerts but that sucker had flat pick scratches all across the face. I'd watched him play it and man he flat picked from the elbow not the wrist.
The Nick Lucas is often referred to as a 1929 model. Marc Silber refers to it as a 1930s model. According to Paul Hostetter, the 13-fret guitars were all pretty much from 1933, so that's probably the safest bet.
Here's a site dedicated to the Nick Lucas Special in general, and here'ssome more info on Dylan's exemplar (although the guitar in the picture is the 12-fret version, and not the 13-fret version that Dylan had).

Dylan’s Guitars

a survey compiled by Eyolf Østrem
relying heavily on input from
Peter Stone Brown and Paul Hostetter


Thursday, January 20, 2011

GIBSON J-50 (1961-63)


The next regular guitar was an old Gibson, according to John Hammond Jr a J50 model ("... beat up but real neat ... it was a great guitar," interview in The Telegraph). It is the guitar Dylan is holding on the cover of "Bob Dylan" (photo negative reversed). It was also used at the Freewheelin'sessions, along with some Martins.

                                                                    Dylan’s Guitars

a survey compiled by Eyolf Østrem
relying heavily on input from
Peter Stone Brown and Paul Hostetter

MARTIN 1949 00-17

His first guitar, which he played in his coffeehouse days, was a Martin 1949 00-17. He acquired it in 1959, when he first moved to Minneapolis. He writes about this in Chronicles:
First thing I did was go trade in my electric guitar, which would have been useless for me, for a double-O Martin acoustic. The man at the store traded me even and I left carrying the guitar in its case. I would play this guitar for the next couple of years or so (p. 237).

This 'couple of years' happens to be before his official recording days, but the guitar can be heard on the Minnesota tapes and some other early tapes, including ‘Wade in the Water’, from the Minnesota Hotel Tape, which was released on Live 1961–2000

In 1961, Dylan gave the guitar to Kevin Krown, who was then working as his manager. When Krown died in 1992, the guitar was passed on to Peter MacKenzie, the son in the house of Mac and Eve MacKenzie, where Dylan used to play (and sleep) occasionally in his early NY days. The guitar later ended up in Paul Allen's Experience Museum Project in Seattle, where it can be seen online.
by Eyolf Østrem
relying heavily on input from
Peter Stone Brown and Paul Hostetter

HARMONY H1213 - Archtone

H1213 - Archtone
Acoustic archtop - Brown sunburst
Production year(s) : 1950-1971 (other years possible, not verified)

Other brands : H1213 Archtone was also sold as Alden 9946 | Silvertone 623

One of the most popular archtop models from the "Archtone" serie. See also H1214 and H1215. All birch body (solid woods).

[1957 catalog]
HARMONY ARCHED GUITARS- AUDITORIUM MODEL Arched top and back, birch, with F-holes, in a pleasing brown mahogany shaded and highlighted finish. White striped edges. Ovaled hard maple fingerboard, grained to resemble rosewood. Celluloid guardplate, on bracket: adjustable bridge.

HARMONY H1213 - Archtone