What was your first guitar, or guitars?
I defy any passionate guitarist not to look back with feelings of nostalgia at their very first instruments. Like a first kiss or first love, memories of first guitars come with a great deal of emotional attachment, no matter what the quality of sound was like.
The pictures above are of my first electric guitar – a Top Twenty, made by the Japanese company, Teisco; and my first acoustic which was an ‘ Jumbo’ size (all the rage at the time) Eko Ranger made by the Italian company, Eko. These I owned in the early 1970’s.
Both were second hand models. The Top Twenty was bought for £25 (I was shocked to learn this was around £210 in today’s money), and the Eko was £32 (around £270 today).
Interestingly, around the mid 70’s, standard Strat’s and Tele’s were selling for about £250 – which today would be around £2300(ish). From this you can see just what great value today’s guitars really are, especially considering the improvements in sound and build quality.
I must say that the Top Twenty and Eko brands were budget guitars, nevertheless, as you can see, above is a picture of Robert Smith of the Cure playing a Top Twenty and a young Jimmy Page with an Eko – so you could say I was in good company.
The 70’s were explosive times for guitar manufacturers and there were a great many different brands – you could even buy some at Woolworth’s. Popular brands were Kay, Audition, Kawai, Aria, Antoria, Columbus, Shaftsbury, Arbiter, Framus, Burns, Shergold, to name but a few.
But this is worthy of another, separate piece.