We recently had an amazing experience that we wanted to share with our friends.
If you have ever watched the SNL band back some the greatest names in music, you probably saw G. E. Smith on guitar. GE has been THE rock steady guitar sound behind SNL, Hall & Oates, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, MoonAlice and many more.
GE had been thinking about selling some of the gear he'd collected during his long career. While looking for an established, knowledgeable and trusted buyer, he ran across our shop and liked what he saw. After checking out the store's bona fides, he decided to touch base with John Majdalani, Cream City Music store co-owner and head vintage buyer for the store.
Fortunately, John and GE hit it off immediately and GE asked John to come out east (where he lives) to see in person the portion his collection he was no longer using. They exchanged some of the collection details via email and agreed to move forward. Within a week or two, John found himself at the wheel of a 26' straight truck motoring eastward to meet GE at his place.
When John arrived at GE's, GE invited him down into his basement and they spent the next eight hours deep-diving through the whole thing: amps first, then guitars, all the while jibber-jabbering about gear, life, food and rock'n'roll war stories. To hear tell about it from John, there was a lot about food.
The collection turned out to be a total of 60 pieces: roughly 30 guitars and 30 amps - an astonishing wealth of great vintage gear.
At the end of the long day, as John was packing everything into the truck, GE sat on the tailgate and played a goodbye tune on his old, trustworthy '60 Black Beauty Les Paul (pictured).
Most of the collection has already left Cream City Music for new homes but while it was here, it gave us an opportunity to see, play and hear some of the most extraordinary vintage pieces we have seen in many years.
Here's a sampling of some of GE's collection that came home with us:
A veritable trove of 40s, 50s and 60s tube amps all in incredible shape
Ben W, our amp tech double checking the '58 Tweed Twin amp from GE's collection
Andy G on our team checks out GE's '60 Black Beauty through a '58 Tweed Twin Amp
One of GE Smith's go-to axes on SNL, Dylan tours and hundreds of sessions, a '60 triple PAF Black Beauty.More here.
A near perfect 1920's Dyer Harp Guitar made by the Larson Bros. of Chicago.
An 1894 Martin 0-28 gut string slotted headstock with coffin case.
An immaculate 1937 Pre-war Martin 0-17H Hawaiian all mahogany guitar
....and many, many more perfect condition rarities that he found while on the road over his long career.
Suffice it to say that GE still has many more years to go in his long career and many, many more wonderful instruments left in his (still growing) collection. We were just very lucky that GE discovered Cream City Music at the right time in his career, that he hit it off really well with John Majdalani, and that this gear that took years to amass found its way back to our doorstep and on to our blog.
Look for more cool gear blogs coming your way soon.