Other Guitars

Revived the Thunderstick


I just got my Supro back from a total setup and cleanup at my local guitar shop and thought some of ya' might appreciate it. It's a Supro two-pickup "Super" or "Tosca" or "Thunderstick" (I'm looking for a proper lesson on Valco nomenclature). I did some research and the serial number dates to 1960 if I'm correct.

It had been hanging on the wall at my apartment for a while. I inherited it from a former grade school music teacher when I first started taking interest in playing the guitar. The electronics were in bad shape, so it was more fun to look at than play. After taking it down from the wall when we moved into the new house, I thought it time for a tune-up. The shop did a fantastic job bringing it back to life!

I plugged it in last night and it's a fun little axe. I think this warrants it being upgraded from "wall art" to "cool retro ride." What's old is new again!


These are great little guitars with a big sound. I have a 1964 Tosca.


As had a buddy of mine when I was a lad, also in red. Though it might have been a single-cut.

One of the first electric guitars I heard (and made noise on) in person. In an old country farmhouse, a bit frayed, gray, dusty and decayed, the bright and shiny pristine new guitar, resplendent in red-red and white - and a new Supro amp with its gray flecked tolex, salt-n-pepper grillecloth, and 3-D plastic appliqué logo - were a vivid shock of New in a dreary frame of Old.

I swear I suddenly remember chickens pecking around the dusty farmyard outside the house, peeling paint, the back porch on old stone blocks at each corner, mangy hounds under it, the loose screen door and its twanging spring, cracked and curling linoleum in the kitchen, worn creaking floorboards and threadbare faded floral rugs in the adjacent living room, graying chintz curtains fluttering over slumping glass panes in casement windows rattling slowly in the light breeze, a heavy old couch with assorted cheap throws meant to cover the fraying cushions and arms - and there beside the worn coffee table, that crisp amp. You could smell the new coming off it. Then the guitar came out of its still-dustless soft shell case, a violent blast of color and sex in a place that had neither.


I'd never thought till now how the kid's parents must have had to scrape and save to get him that rig. He died in the backseat of a VW Beetle a couple years later when he and three classmates played hooky on a spring day and went joyriding. They wanted to see how far they could get and then make it back during a school day. They made it to Indiana from central Ohio - but not all made it back.

All apropos of nothing. The picture of the red Supro did it. Moments lost in time. Sorry to reminisce all over your thread, TV - just my associations with Supro. Glad yours is up and running again, hope you enjoy it. They're kinda special.


Beautiful prose, Proteus. There's never a need to apologize for masterful use of the written word. Thank you, as always, for sharing.


It's amazing how an image can spark a memory. Tim, the first car that I ever , well, borrowed, was an old V.W. beetle. I was only about 10 years old. We didn't go that far, only every street on Staten Island, but what a time did we have.

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