Miscellaneous Rumbles

the endorsement scene

1

Les Paul was involved with the design of his Gibson model. Chet was involved with how his Gretsch models came out (mostly) -- it's thought he had nothing to do with the Hi Lo Tenny, although that one probably earned him a few bucks.

But endorsement scene now -- Fender goes berserk -- like the world actually needs a Bonnie Raitt Strat, or this latest one, a Chris Stapleton brown Princeton -- it's just a freekin amp reissue they maybe hadn't gotten around to. But if this stuff is attracting buyers, then so be it.

I think the big companies are worrying where the next generation of customer are going to come from after the antiques of my era are out of the pix.

2

The Bonnie Raitt strat gave a percentage of money to charities that promote girls music education.

3

+1 for Bonnie Raitt.

4

Well there is that side of it then -- good to know.

5

There was the Keith Scott Gretsch ... (Ducking ...)

6

It would be interesting to know how many different signature Strats, exist. They seem to be everywhere.

I still like the Chonny Billy/bo.

7

Clapton was the first Strat endorsee with a sig model. I heard he gets 7% off the top. Not bad, considering the number they must have sold in the last 20 years!

8

Les Paul was involved with the design of his Gibson model

It turns out he wasn't - Gibson presented him with a prototype that was extremely close to what became The Les Paul as we know it.

9

It would be interesting to know how many different signature Strats, exist. They seem to be everywhere.

I still like the Chonny Billy/bo.

– Suprdave

The Blue Book lists 47 different Signature Series Strats.

This includes two different Eric Johnson models. Interestingly Eric also has a signature pickup from DiMarzio which is a humbucker. It doesn't appear on his signature guitars. I wonder how he explains the discrepancy?

11

How can you have an issue with a Bonnie Raitt Strat? If you want to call someone out then there's the Dusenberg Johnny Depp Signature model. Complete with tattoos!

12

It's all about the money, the marketing. How much more does a sig model usually cost? In the case of Les Paul, or Chet, their reputations as superb guitarists preceded that of their sig models, and were totally newly designed instruments that were not based on or modified from any particular prior model. With Strats and Teles, mods are a way of life, even if you're not a celebrity. In cases like Bonnie Raitt, the money goes to charity. In others, the guitars suit an iconic player, like Clapton or Gilmour. I'd be really surprised if those were exactly identical to their actual guitars in every minute detail. To be painfully honest, having a sig guitar isn't going to make me sound like the artist in question. I don't have the same amp, FX pedals, strings, or even the setup. I'm going to sound like me, even if I played the artist's own personal guitar.

13

I'm going to sound like me, even if I played the artist's own personal guitar....

And when we all get down to it, that's the point, isn't it?

14

Funny footnote on the Keith Scott Gretsch...

I was in Victoria, BC late 2015, and I had some time to tour the Royal BC Museum of Natural History.

They had an Exhibition Section on "Gold", and how it changed BC forever.

In one of the displays they had a Keith Scott 6120...

15

To be fair there are plenty of eyebrow raising signature models that have been made,

For starters how about the Jonas Brothers Gibson Melody Maker,

I don't know, maybe I just became way out of touch but I Googled "Gibson Signature" and found that I really didn't know many of the players.

And folks please don't stand too close to Joe Bonamassa as he puts his name on everything a bit like Andy from Toy Story.

16

This is one of those things that I really don't care about - except when it means I can get a guitar with the features I really want which isn't available any other way. Like the Setzer range of 6120s - I love those guitars. Or the Luther Dickinson 335 - Luther who? I don't care - what a cool guitar! The Eric Johnson Strats are pretty cool. To say I am not a fan of Eris Johnson would be an understatement - but his maple-necked Strat is a very cool guitar. I just wish the frets were a bit higher.

Whether someone "deserves" a signature guitar doesn't matter at all - it's irrelevant. If I like it I like it. If I don't nobody is making me buy it. And putting Joe Bonnamassa's name on something will pretty much guarantee I don't buy it.

17

To be fair there are plenty of eyebrow raising signature models that have been made,

For starters how about the Jonas Brothers Gibson Melody Maker,

I don't know, maybe I just became way out of touch but I Googled "Gibson Signature" and found that I really didn't know many of the players.

And folks please don't stand too close to Joe Bonamassa as he puts his name on everything a bit like Andy from Toy Story.

– Mr Tubs

I know this might not be a popular opinion but I have always liked the look of the Jonas Brothers sig Gibson. I'd play it! (if any blues snobs make fun of you tell 'em the JB is for Joe Bonamassa).

19

Just to offer another wrinkle to the picture....

When Rickenbacker approached Tom Petty to come up with a sig model 12-string, one of the specs he asked for was a slightly wider neck. They made 1000 TP Sig models with him getting a royalty per unit sold. Then they KEPT making them after that run of 1000, but calling it the model 660. They make both 6- and 12-string iterations like in the above pic. And since TP’s name was no longer on them...

Petty said he went backstage at a Springsteen gig and saw a 660/12. He said, “Hey! I designed that!” Springsteen said, “We have 2 of ‘em.” Petty said, “Well THERE’S two royalties I didn’t get.”

21

I appreciate it when they place their signature on the BACK of the headstock. Then I’m not obligated to be a fanboy if I dig the features (like the EJ neck profile or the Johhny Marr Jaguar controls).

That said, Marr & Setzer could write their names on my forehead!

22

There really is no rhyme or reason to this. It’s marketing I guess and who is the flavor of the month. Or of course The classic guitar legends.

23

Dunlop also went berserk. Anyone who has ever put his foot on a wah pedal has a signature version.

I tend to steer away from signature gear unless it brings some really usefull features to the table.

24

Hey, I loved the BR strat and still wish I'd bought it. And my main guitar guy in my band tears up an EC strat. Love the rhh and setzer 6120s.

Can't complain about sigs. Been wanting EC 6120 forever too.

K

25

In strictly semantic terms, I guess just playing a guitar implies that artist's endorsement of the product, well before he's well enough known to attract a sig model. That "endorsement" arguably means more than when he's paid (in some way) to play his "own" model after he gets the company's endorsement.

That transition is not always for the better, sonically: while I love the DiPinto Los Straitjackets Galaxie, I think the guitar sounded better on their early albums when they were playing Fenders. And while I don't like the Johnny A Gibson (a pair of Florentines creeps me out), I also thought he sounded better on the Gibsons he played before that model was developed.

In general, if an artist I like uses a particular guitar, I'll be inspired to at least look into the model to see if I like it. But I've never wanted a signature guitar because of an artist endorsement. If it's a config I want, the endorsement won't stop me - unless it's emblazoned too stupidly on the guitar.

Case in point: I'd otherwise like the Reverend Unknown Hinson model - but the batwing fret markers kill it daid-daid-daid. (I can live with the sig on the pickguard and even his silhouette on the headstock.) Others must feel the same way, as there's now a Stu D Baker version that leaves that stuff behind.


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