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 Post subject: Zappa's Instruments
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 10:31 am 
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what guitars did Frank Zappa use in his music?...


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 11:51 am 
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Gibson Les Paul Gold Top 1952...?
Gibson SG...
Fender Telecaster (just after the Mother's Gear burned in Montreux)
Strato...

I think I saw a website with all his stuff

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:44 pm 
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That Goldtop was from the fifties ?
I did not know that.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:40 pm 
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buddy wrote:
That Goldtop was from the fifties ?
I did not know that.


don't forget...Gibson never made the 'Les Paul' shape between 1959 and 1968

The 1968 goldtop 'Deluxe' had minihumbuckers..
which makes Frank's goldtop most likely a '53 to '59 model

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:19 pm 
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http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/switch.gif
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/zgoldtop.gif
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/SG2.gif
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/hendrix.gif
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/LPcustom.gif
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/strato88.gif
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/gibson160.gif
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/zmartin.gif
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/hagstrom.gif

TAken from
http://www.angelfire.com/freak2/arfz/equipment.html

I have a real nice Martin -- I don't know what the model number is, but it has a classical-width neck that joins the body right at the 12th fret, in a jumbo shell. I also have an Ovation and a bouzouki with a Barcus on it.FZ.

THE ovation can be seen on some Australian chat show from the 70s Cant find it on You tube now.cant remember the interviewers name.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:06 pm 
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The Norman Gunston Show

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:13 pm 
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Thats him thanks

-Martin’s Dick Boak helped us identify this guitar, which is a D-18S 12-fret “standard” Dreadnought with a slotted headstock; Brazilian rosewood fretboard, headplate, and bridge; and mahogany back and sides. It was used on the 1974 recording of “Sleep Dirt” and the tune “Blessed Relief” from The Grand Wazoo. Zappa traded a Telecaster to get the Martin from its owner, Mark Volman (a.k.a “Flo”) from Zappa’s early-’70’s Flo and Eddie lineup.
ASK VOLMAN :|
i think he said he said 22 guitars

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:41 am 
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cleon wrote:
-Martin’s Dick Boak helped us identify this guitar, which is a D-18S 12-fret “standard” Dreadnought with a slotted headstock; Brazilian rosewood fretboard, headplate, and bridge; and mahogany back and sides. It was used on the 1974 recording of “Sleep Dirt” and the tune “Blessed Relief” from The Grand Wazoo. Zappa traded a Telecaster to get the Martin from its owner, Mark Volman (a.k.a “Flo”) from Zappa’s early-’70’s Flo and Eddie lineup.
ASK VOLMAN :|
i think he said he said 22 guitars


The Martin D-18S is quite a sought after instrument....often referred to as the
'Clarence White' model..they sound better than a 14 fret model because the
bridge is further back...a real fave model for flatpickers (which is probably
why Frank loved the tone) I think he did a good swap for the Tele

man, I can't believe how many mistakes are in the Zappa equipment page
(all credit to the guy for trying though)
Frank's original SG Special was not black...it was cherry
it didn't have a Bigsby, but a Gibson Vibrola
the SG with the mirror scratchplate was not a different guitar, but the same one modified
the Hendrix strat was not red....but sunburst
the Les Paul Custom was not red...it was cherry sunburst
the Black Widow was made by Acoustic, and it was fretless....there were
no other fretless guitars unless Frank had another one custom made
(which I've never heard of)
Frank didn't go and have his custom SG made....from memory, some fan
made it and presented it to him at a gig (don't know if any money changed hands)
Also, the other Les Paul shaped guitar is most likely the Jacobacci Frank
bought in Europe after the casino fire
(there's a pic of Frank playing it when he was in his wheelchair)

I've seen Frank pictured with other guitars...but I don't know if he owned them
(a nice Gibson ES-355TD for example)


[/i]

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:31 pm 
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The solos were never long enough.

I figured the only way I was going to get to hear enough of what I wanted was to play it my self.

FZappa's father had a guitar hanging around his brother Bobby bought one for £1.50 in an auction, Bobby gave It to Frank Arch top and a T hole the base was cracked and the strings were so high you couldnt play chords. .
about a year later Frank wanted to learn chords so Bobby helped him on his fathers one. Added dearmond sound hole pick up.
Also rented Telecaster and think Jazzmaster guitar.
Quality Guitars

frank bought his and studo z with money from when run home slow resurfaced 1963.
Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster which can be heard on the fisrt 3 albums.
The one he uses on 200 motel looks like the one
edit SG http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XNp_7xLiS ... re=related

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:56 pm 
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Frank didn't go and have his custom SG made....from memory, some fan
made it and presented it to him at a gig (don't know if any money changed hands)


I Think he paid $500 not sure if it was at a gig or going to gig on a aeroplane
seems buy this vid that the swithmaster was still in use end of 1970
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=4VoVV9b1g ... re=related
and on bbc 68 the gold top Les paul
was ther any other guitars inbetween that time :?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:18 pm 
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mutronboy wrote:
... the Black Widow was made by Acoustic, and it was fretless....there were no other fretless guitars unless Frank had another one custom made ...

The fretless was stolen. My understanding of the Black Widow is that it was not a fretless guitar. It certainly doesn't sound fretless on Stucco Homes.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:01 am 
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polydigm wrote:
mutronboy wrote:
... the Black Widow was made by Acoustic, and it was fretless....there were no other fretless guitars unless Frank had another one custom made ...

The fretless was stolen. My understanding of the Black Widow is that it was not a fretless guitar. It certainly doesn't sound fretless on Stucco Homes.


oh..I thought I read that the Acoustic model name was Black Widow
better check

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:45 am 
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mutronboy wrote:
polydigm wrote:
mutronboy wrote:
... the Black Widow was made by Acoustic, and it was fretless....there were no other fretless guitars unless Frank had another one custom made ...

The fretless was stolen. My understanding of the Black Widow is that it was not a fretless guitar. It certainly doesn't sound fretless on Stucco Homes.


oh..I thought I read that the Acoustic model name was Black Widow
better check
Check the 1973 part
http://www.unfretted.com/loader.php?LINK=history

http://zappa.radio6.nl/files/2007/04/zappa-71.jpg
Rotterdam Ahoy 11-27 1971
so which guitar was in the fire ?or both

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:42 pm 
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cleon wrote:
mutronboy wrote:
polydigm wrote:
mutronboy wrote:
... the Black Widow was made by Acoustic, and it was fretless....there were no other fretless guitars unless Frank had another one custom made ...

The fretless was stolen. My understanding of the Black Widow is that it was not a fretless guitar. It certainly doesn't sound fretless on Stucco Homes.


oh..I thought I read that the Acoustic model name was Black Widow
better check
Check the 1973 part
http://www.unfretted.com/loader.php?LINK=history

http://zappa.radio6.nl/files/2007/04/zappa-71.jpg
Rotterdam Ahoy 11-27 1971
so which guitar was in the fire ?or both


that unfretted article confirms what I said..
that the Acoustic Black Widow was fretless

the other pic of Frank with the ES-355TD
maybe he saved that guitar from the fire..
he would have thought it more valuable than the Les Paul
I thought I saw a later pic of Frank playing it

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:53 pm 
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mutronboy wrote:
... that unfretted article confirms what I said.. that the Acoustic Black Widow was fretless ...

None the less, listen to "While You Were Out" and "Stucco Homes" where FZ is using a Black Widow that doesn't sound fretless to me. I can't remember which interview I read, but the interviewer commented that he hadn't heard any fretless stuff since the examples on the One Size Fits All and Zoot Allures albums and FZ replied that it had been stolen and he hadn't got himself another fretless guitar.

So maybe the fretless he had then was a Black Widow but I don't think it's the same one on the Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar series.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:07 pm 
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What recordings did he use the Tele on, anyone got any idea? Or is the answer 'none'?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:14 pm 
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Raoul Duke wrote:
What recordings did he use the Tele on, anyone got any idea? Or is the answer 'none'?


Some of the early solos sound too twangy to be a Gibson...might be a Tele
"Trouble Every Day" for example

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:58 am 
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He took his telecaster back to the shop in 1961 no more rental :wink:
and Bought the Jazzmaster in 1961

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 3:32 am 
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mutronboy wrote:

the other pic of Frank with the ES-355TD
maybe he saved that guitar from the fire..
he would have thought it more valuable than the Les Paul
I thought I saw a later pic of Frank playing it


I have seen the terms ES-5 And ES-355TD Special
http://www.gibson.com/en%2Dus/Support/T ... 0Diagrams/
maybe the diagrams on there might help looks like one had two pickups and the other three :shock:
Edit the fire was shortly after that year of the photo.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:12 am 
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look at this he had more ES Model,s the thing is fat as fuck
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCa7Xpbr8h4

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 11:18 am 
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the gold top :?
http://www.modernguitars.com/archives/002006.html

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:41 pm 
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June 14, 2006
Frank Zappa's Gibson Les Paul Goldtop to be Auctioned


Frank Zappa (right) with Gibson Les Paul Goldtop

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Frank Zappa with Gibson Les Paul Goldtop prior to his full customization of the guitar.
Collector's take note, the Cooper Owen auction house will offer Frank Zappa's customized Les Paul Goldtop in an auction to take place on July 28, 2006, at the Abbey Road Studios in London (and eBay Live). The instrument was Zappa's main guitar on stage and in the studio in the mid-1960s until replaced by Zappa's famous Gibson SG.

Tentative lot description of the Frank Zappa Les Paul Goldtop

"A 1952/53 Gibson Les Paul model, in gold/natural finish, single cutaway mahogany body with maple top, bound mahogany neck, twenty-two fret rosewood fingerboard with crown inlays, headstock facia with Les Paul MODEL, one P-90 single coil pickup, one single coil pickup, one humbacking pickup, six rotary controls, toggle switch, pick-up selector switch, metal bridge with Bigsby tremolo tailpiece; and an original brown Lifton hardshell contour case painted green with pink plush lining.

Image

This guitar was customised by Frank Zappa who used it on stage and in studio during the mid-1960s. According to his interview with Steve Rosen that appeared in Guitar Player magazine in 1977, this was his main guitar before he acquired his famous mid-60s SG."

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:30 pm 
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one pick up it is frank TAke from IT can't Happen here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLV0lI-5 ... re=related
two pickups
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCa7Xpbr8h4
Three pickups

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:47 pm 
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cleon wrote:
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one pick up it is frank TAke from IT can't Happen here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLV0lI-5 ... re=related
two pickups
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCa7Xpbr8h4
Three pickups


That pic looks like a Guild Starfire
they have different shaped horns to Gibson..and the neck goes further in
never seen a one pickup version...is his hand just hiding the other p/u?
one pickup guitars are usually budget models and don't have nice inlay
and binding like that one

The 1971 clip (2 pickups) is a Gibson ES-355TDS (stereo, with Vari-tone)
The 1968 clip is the humbucker version Switchmaster

totally different guitars..the 355 is 'semi-solid' and has a wooden block down the centre inside
(they perform almost like a solid body)
the Switchmaster is a totally hollow 'jazz' type guitar
notice the Switchmaster is three times the body thickness of the 355

______________________________________________________

not the best pic, but...

Image

notice how the neck goes in deeper on the Guild on the right
they changed this model around a bit over the years but I think that's
what Frank's got there...but with a few extra inlays
probably an early 70's Starfire VI (fancier model than those pictured)


description from 1973 catalogue (but I still can't find a pic)
Quote:
Starfire SF-VI
Super Starfire. Finest in the Starfire series. Inlaid ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl position markers and Mexican abalone insets. Bound f-holes. Gold-plated Grover Roto-Matic machines. Gold-plated pick-ups and gold-plated Guild Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece. Master volume. Sunburst or Blonde.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:04 pm 
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polydigm wrote:
mutronboy wrote:
... that unfretted article confirms what I said.. that the Acoustic Black Widow was fretless ...

None the less, listen to "While You Were Out" and "Stucco Homes" where FZ is using a Black Widow that doesn't sound fretless to me. I can't remember which interview I read, but the interviewer commented that he hadn't heard any fretless stuff since the examples on the One Size Fits All and Zoot Allures albums and FZ replied that it had been stolen and he hadn't got himself another fretless guitar.

So maybe the fretless he had then was a Black Widow but I don't think it's the same one on the Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar series.


hoy poly,
it might have been the Black Widow...he might have just wanted that particular tone...
you don't have to slide around on it..he might have been playing it like a regular guitar

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