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Fall Philly, 2009- The Show, Part I

Fall Philly, 2009- The Show, Part I

Ah, the Fall Philly show: An event that always proves to be interesting and provides Lee and I the opportunity to stay in a hotel that shares its parking lot with the dreaded and feared "North of the Mason- Dixon line" Hooters. The vibe was pretty laid- back and the show was accented by several events: The MyLesPaul Forum guys had their first official meeting, Frank "Frankie B" Beatrice displayed some of Les Paul's personal guitars and was interviewed for a television documentary and the best dang Led Zeppelin tribute band on this planet played on Saturday. Add to that us getting to hang out with the usual Philly crowd and a decent showing of guitars coming in the door and I'd say we had another fine weekend of doing what we love to do. Now, onto the show!

  • Photo 1.
  • Many of you may recognize the dapper gentleman leaned up against this table as Gary Burnett, owner of B-3 Vintage and founder of the B-3 Vintage Guitars Shows. But, what you might not know about Gary is that long before he was either of the above, he was, in fact a Hollywood stunt double. Gary starred in many notable movies, including "Beach Blanket Bingo", starring Annette Funicello, "Any Which Way You Can", with Clint Eastwood and that unforgettable masterpiece by director James Bridges, "Urban Cowboy". When Ray and I asked Gary about how hard it must have been to leave all the glitz and glamor behind him, Gary (being a former star and a Hollywood A-Lister) sheepishly replied, "Heck, I'm still doing what I love with the guitars and all and besides,I do still work on the occasional project". Gary also went on to say, "Did you two boys see Men in Black"? Well, who in blue blazes do you think was Tommy Lee Jones' stand in?

  • Photo 2.
  • Here's Kaz, of Hyper Guitars in Japan. Several times a year, his company flies him over to America with bags and bags of money, supposedly to purchase guitars. What's not known is when he arrives in Los Angeles, he calls up the city's most expensive escort service and tells them to send him six or seven of the most beautiful ladies they have. Then, he goes down to the corner "tobacco" shop and buys a couple of boxes of the finest Cuban cigars ever to be smuggled, I mean "found floating" off the California shore. Now Kaz really moves into action; He charters a 56' fishing boat, aptly titled "Don't Get Caught" and takes the ladies, the cigars and about 15 grand worth of deep sea fishing gear for a week- long Tarpon hunting extravaganza. When the week's over and he just can't take it anymore, he hops the next red- eye to the guitar show he was supposed to be attending, walks in and buys about three refinned SG's, a cracked- neck Firebird with a reissue pickguard and a box of picks to prove to his bosses back home that he was in reality, workin' hard for the company. I guess they were getting suspicious of 'ol Kaz's ways because this time, he was waiting in the parking lot on dealer day, wrapped up in an old, ratty Eskimo coat when we all arrived. Now, the folks back in Japan might be impressed with this picture, but we thought it was a little overkill for him to say he was in America, at the Great American Guitar Show, buying a guitar shaped like America and in red, white and blue no less. The next time we see him, we're going to tell him about a little saying we have down South about falling off a tomato truck....

  • Photo 3.
  • Following ancient Scandinavia tradition, when a close relative of a Viking dies shortly before the birth of a child, particularly while the child is in utero, that unborn child is always given the name of the deceased. This was the answer we received when we asked this fellow about his more than unusual surname, Grettir Hálfdan. This moniker translates to "Turid Longstaff", in which Turid means "Thor, the mythical Viking God of Thunder, and Longstaff, the meaning of which we are still unsure although this fellow sure does wink at us a lot when he walks by.

  • Photo 4.
  • This is Carl, from Pittsburgh Guitars and there's not much to say except we were dang impressed by what has to be the largest Antigua collection on our planet. Oh, and the Jazz bass is missing...

  • Photo 5.
  • Now this photo was a softball as big as a house, but no matter how hard we tried and because we like them both a great deal, we'll just say that in their own individual ways, they are both employees of Bonnie Burnett, Inc....

  • Photo 6.
  • If you're a guitar dealer and your skills are starting to fade a bit or it's getting to the point that you couldn't give away a fried pork chop in a dog pound, you might want to consider a second job. Here we see (insert dealer of your choice here _____________) working his night job at the Annual Scanticon Jobobo Hatian Voodoo Root Festival. Believe me, after catching this guy in the parking lot with a camera, we get up every morning and thank our lucky stars that we get to do what we do. It sure beats spitting rum on a chicken, if you get my drift.....

  • Photo 7.
  • While talking to Jim, of Jim's Guitars at the show, he mentioned something about having trouble with hobos sleeping in front of his store. Lee asked him, "Jim, why don't you call the police?" Jim said, "I did, but the hobos ran them off". Lee then asked him, "Jim, why don't you talk to your City Councilman?" Jim said, "I did, but when he came over to see what the fuss was all about, they took his coat and his shoes. Then they ran him off." Finally after about 30 minutes of this babble, I piped up, "Doggone it, Jim, what you need is a werewolf. I'll bet those hobos don't steal his shoes." Jim said, " Yeah, right Genius, but where am I going to find a werewolf?" Immediately impatient, I responded with the quickness of a small cat. "I just happen to know a wolf Pimp and if the money's right, she'll deliver one of the skinniest, meanest, hungriest, snarlingest, crossed- eyed, mangled- toothed slobberin' werewolves on the market and boy, is he a dandy. I heard he tore the cotton off a whole platoon of drunken Merchant Marines down on River Street and there wasn't nothing left but the change when he was through." Jim's glasses fogged up and he looked at me with a leery glare. "Did you say she?" I then proceeded to explain to the small crowd that had gathered that to be a werewolf Pimp, you had to be female in order to get the beast to do your bidding. Can you imagine any guy you know walking up to a werewolf and saying, " Hey Hairy, get out on that track and make my money?" Believe you me, the next thing that would happen involves some bloodletting and a lot of screaming. Anyway, I told Jim that I would set up the meeting and that he had better show up with the cashola or he'd find himself answering his cellphone in a body cast in some backwoods Mississippi emergency room. The next morning, as Lee and I were on our way into the show, I captured the only picture known to exist of our very own, dearly beloved Rebecca, pimping her werewolf in the parking lot of a Philadelphia hotel. Ladies and Gentlemen, seeing truly is believing.....

  • Photo 8.
  • I am Sam, Sam I am. When Ben's away, I'm on the lam. I like to sleep and dream of ham, but if Ben comes back, it's gonna be WHAM! Aw damn.....

  • Photo 9.
  • Here are a few of the MyLes Paul guys, their wives and Jr's in a group photo with the Bonnie Burnett of Bee- 3 Vintage. Moments after this picture was taken, Bonnie set her Star Trek phaser to stun, blew the head off the Pigtronix guy across the aisle and simultaneously put this entire group of people in "time out". And all this time, you guys thought this was a decibel meter she was carrying around.....

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