DAN ARMSTRONG-AMPEG, LINDEN, NEW JERSEY, CIRCA 1971
DAN ARMSTRONG-AMPEG, LINDEN, NEW JERSEY, CIRCA 1971
DAN ARMSTRONG-AMPEG, LINDEN, NEW JERSEY, CIRCA 1971
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DAN ARMSTRONG-AMPEG, LINDEN, NEW JERSEY, CIRCA 1971
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DAN ARMSTRONG-AMPEG, LINDEN, NEW JERSEY, CIRCA 1971

A LUCITE SOLID-BODY ELECTRIC GUITAR

Details
DAN ARMSTRONG-AMPEG, LINDEN, NEW JERSEY, CIRCA 1971
A LUCITE SOLID-BODY ELECTRIC GUITAR
The pickguard engraved DAN ARMSTRONG - AMPEG, the body bearing the serial number A2257D, the transparent body of Lucite, together with a hard-shell case, extra single-coil pickup and bridge saddle
Length of back 13 3⁄8 in. (34 cm.)
Sale room notice
Mark Knopfler plans to donate no less than 25% of the total hammer price received, to be split equally between The British Red Cross Society (a charity registered in England and Wales with charity number 220949, Scotland with charity number SC037738, Isle of Man with charity number 0752, and Jersey with charity number 430), Brave Hearts of the North East (a charity registered in England and Wales with charity number 1006247) and the Tusk Trust Limited (a charity registered in England and Wales with charity number 1186533).

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Lot Essay


Mark Knopfler used this guitar, in open tuning, on the 1990 Notting Hillbillies album Missing...Presumed Having A Good Time, which Q magazine called 'an album of vintage acoustic blues by artists such as Lonnie Donegan, The Delmore Brothers, Jesse Fuller and Charlie Rich.' The Notting Hillbillies formed by accident when Knopfler, knackered from two years of recording and touring Brothers In Arms, reunited with his two old finger-picking pals Steve Phillips and Brendan Croker for a pub gig in 1986 and decided to make an album. Brought in to control the Synclavier and co-produce the album, keyboard player Guy Fletcher completed the quartet. 'I've always been in love with country music', Knopfler told Dave Zimmer of BAM in 1990, 'particularly country music with a little swing, a little blues mixed in.' Employing an assortment of vintage instruments, the foursome worked on the record for eighteen months in the tiny home studio of Mark’s Notting Hill mews house, enjoying considerable success when the album reached number two in the UK album charts upon release in March 1990. After following up with a short UK tour in support of the album, which saw longtime manager Ed Bicknell join the band on drums, each hillbilly returned to their other projects, occasionally reuniting for the odd charity show and a few short Ronnie Scott’s residencies throughout the nineties and early noughties.

AMPEG
Ampeg was founded in 1947 by the New York jazz bassist Everett Hull, who perfected an amplification technique for the acoustic double bass by mounting a pickup in the endpin support peg. This amplified peg would be the inspiration for the company name. By 1957, Ampeg was offering a complete line of guitar amplifiers. Unfortunately, the company's ethos, led by Hull, showed a certain disdain for rock and roll music and its musicians. This led to a substantial loss in market share to Fender's growing prowess with rock and roll musicians. By 1962, the Ampeg Company had moved its production facilities to Linden, New Jersey, and began the expansion into the guitar market. With the ownership change to Unimusic Incorporated and the departure of Hull, Ampeg recalibrated its product line to compete directly with the more successful electric guitar brands like Gibson and Fender. In 1968, they contracted with session guitarist, guitar builder and repairman Dan Armstrong to consult on developing a model line of solid-body guitars. The project would call for both a guitar and bass guitar. When interviewed for Guitar Player magazine, Armstrong was quoted as saying, 'My intention was to make a guitar that sustained extremely well. Plastic was an obviously good material for the body because of its rigidity.' With a clear acrylic body, the guitar quickly became known as the "See-Through Guitar". Innovations included a 24-fret neck that allowed the player to access a full two-octaves up the fingerboard. The pickup would be designed by electrics and pickup designer Bill Lawrence.

The guitar came with six interchangeable single-coil pickups allowing the player to access different tonal colours and qualities. The guitar would become iconic after Keith Richards used a Dan Armstrong-Ampeg prototype for the Rolling Stones US tour in 1969.

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