FIVE COOL THINGS - Department Store Guitars

I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND GUYS WHO COLLECT HIGH-DOLLAR BOUTIQUE GUITARS.  All my life, I've been fascinated by the cheap, bizarre and downright weird guitars that were sold in department stores in the 1950's and 60's.  I've owned dozens and dozens of them, always swapping out various oddities in my collection.  Here's just a few that were sitting beside me as I was blogging today.

THING ONE:  (ABOVE) This is a 1960's Harmony Rocket, single pickup model with a missing pickguard.  Cheapo hollow body guitars usually have muddy tones.  This one is the exception.  Even though the pickup is in the neck position, it has a very treble tone, chimy and Beatlesque.  It's almost impossible to play smooth blues on this!  LOL.  Harmony was sold at Sears and other department stores.

THING TWO:  Stella Acoustic - one of countless Stellas I've owned.  A fantastic example of the 23" scale, tiger striped (painted) birch body.  The action is low at the nut and high at the 12th fret.  In other words, perfect for slide.  Stellas were sold at sears

THING THREE:  Stella Sundale - this guitar has gotten a lot of attention lately as I've copied the paint scheme in a series of instruments built for C. B. Gitty.  The whole acoustic is wrecked, but I still want get it playable someday. 

THING FOUR:  Unknown Japanese electric with incorrect Kay badge (replacement) on the headstock.  It's a snarling trash monster.  I really need to play this more.  Probably sold at Montgomery Wards or other similar department store.  The knobs were replaced with Pignose snout knobs!

THING FIVE:  1964 Kay Vanguard.  This one pickup beast is fantastic in concert.  I keep it tuned to open D and have the action jacked up for slide playing.  This guitar was branded under the Kay name and also Truetone, which was sold at Western Autos during Christmas season! 

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