On the 'tube

Burns UK factory in 1965 — short news film

1

Shame about the patronising berk doing the commentary. Sadly this was the sort of ill-informed ridicule we had to put up with, even as late as 1965. I'm proud to say I was happy to join in with "the bedlam of adolescent noise", although I never owned a Burns.

2

Wow, just as though they were real musical instruments!

3

I had a Burns Sonic for a while and I would really struggle to call it a musical instrument. It was more like a cricket bat with six strings lashed to it.

4

Wow! Up to 2 miles of wiring, eh?

I guess with three pickups, it's possible.

5

I bought a white Burns Sonic guitar in 1964. It was a massive improvement on the Hofner Futerama 3 that I had before it. The Wild Dog setting gave a really distinctive sound! I even bought a Burns NUsonic transistorised 50 Watt amp that matched it perfectly. It had a heavy solid body but I thought it was a briliant guitar right up to the neck starting to warp and I couldnt find a technician who was prepared to have a go at it. In 1966 I swapped it for my Gretsch Tennessean 6119. Kept the Burns amp for another 10 years before I swapped that for a Fender Bandmaster stack.

What a prat that was doing the commentary!!!!

6

I was always breaking strings on the Burns guitar but the good thing about it was that the remaining strings didn't go out of tune! I remember finishing many a guitar solo with only 4 strings and I was the only one who knew. Or was it that I always played that bad that nobody noticed the difference. I found the change to Tenny a bit frustrating at first because if you broke just one string the remaining strings went out of tune. I then had to stop and replace the string and retune before I could carry on!

9

Is that a Watkins Rapier 33 on the left of the Pacific’s gear shot?

A friend of mine had a Rapier 44, great sounding guitar...in that thin, early 60s way.

10

Great video but man, the voice over is so condescending, full of pride and ignorance it makes me cringe.

11

Cool video. I never realized that instrument building could be so matter-of fact. I think we have to give the commentator the benefit of the doubt though, in that this was probably the 60s equivalent of English humor - anyone remember Monty Python?

13

Yup, the other guitarist’s main squeeze is that Watkins Rapier 33. I’ve half a mind to get one myself, they’re kind of the ultimate early 60s scratchy guitar.

14

The commentary was Bob Danvers-Walker

He was the voice of Pathe news reels for many years. The clipped RP delivery was typical of broadcasting at the time, and the condescending jibes at the subject matter clearly shows how little respect the arts had for ‘beat’ music in its infancy.

15

Yup, the other guitarist’s main squeeze is that Watkins Rapier 33. I’ve half a mind to get one myself, they’re kind of the ultimate early 60s scratchy guitar.

– Tsar Nicholas

Yep, “scratchy” is the perfect word!

Re Burns. I had a modern Black Bison reissue which sounded and played great. The slab body with 4 Trisonics was a good combo.


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