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1956 Fender Super Amp

Super Amp
Since the '58 Super and the '57 Junior are sold, I had to think fast on my feet before preparing the story for this amp. Basically, I did the same thing to Lee as I did to Kevin the Magnificent; I waited until he showed up to work and pinned him down before he could even get his first cup of coffee. He walked into the office and there I stood with this Super warmed up and our '60 Les Paul Junior in my hands. "Man, do me a favor," I said. "Get on this rig and jam for a minute. I have to list the Super today and I want to hear it first. "Talk about getting the stink- eye! The Tall One hadn't even had his coffee, so I agreed to go make a fresh pot while he did his thing and checked this combo out. Even though I was upstairs, the pair sounded so good together, I literally stalled on the coffee making so I could listen a bit longer. The sounds emitting from the office were...authentic and even more so, they sounded American, so as I came down with my business partner's coffee in hand, the seeds for this description had been planted...

To know what "American Authentic" is, I'm convinced you have to have been exposed to something made in the 1950's. That was the true decade of excellence here in the good 'ole U.S. of A. and it brings me to the Chevrolet Belair. My Father's younger brother, Jim and his family lived next door to us on Jaillette road when I was a youngster. He was a true child of the 50's and loved the cars made during that period. His black '57 Belair always sat next to his house on the kitchen door side and every now and then, he would take his son Jimmy, my brother Dale and me to get an ice cream cone down in the neighboring town of Fairburn, Ga. All three boys in the back (with no seatbelts on, of course) and off he'd go. At just about every stop sign, he'd take off with those dual glass-packs blaring (right after he had them installed, he ran them hot and then sprayed them down with the water hose, breaking the glass inside. "Makes 'em sound meaner," he said.)

On more than one occasion, on the way back, he would tell us the difference between the model years. "Now there's only three years that matter on the Belair," he would say. "The '55, the '56 and the '57 and you boys always remember: the '55 rear end is straight, the '56 curves down the '57 goes high with the fins. The '57's the best of 'em all." Jimmy, Dale and I all sat in the back with ice cream running down our arms nodding our heads, but somehow, after all these years, those little talks stuck in my mind. Maybe it's because my Uncle Jim passed last year, the last of nine kids to go. As a child, I never even considered he would be the "last man standing," as we say in our family. He was truly a fine example of an American Authentic...

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