This guitar was acquired by David Gilmour from a London based Melobar collector in 1981 as an alternative to his lap steel guitars. In an interview with Melody Maker’s Karl Dallas in February 1981, Gilmour explained that the guitar would allow a pedal steel player to leap around like a rock ‘n’ roller.
Designed by Southern California musician Walter Smith, whose original mission was to make a steel guitar easier to play, the Melobar was designed with ten strings, six tuned to a major triad, usually an open G or E, and the remaining four used for the relative minor 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th or flatted 7th. The electric models were made in the Mosrite workshops of Walter Mosley and released in 1967. Production continued into the 1970s.
Designed to be played by a standing performer, the fingerboard and playing surface was pitched toward the musician for ease of accessing the strings and to allow the player visual contact. Like a standard guitar, the instrument was supported by a strap, allowing the player to move around the stage. Rusty Young of the Country-Rock band Poco gave the Melobar exposure to a mass audience.