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Thread: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

  1. #1
    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Default George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    This is a great video- George describes his personal Loar L5, and talks about what makes it special to him



    I don't have any pictures yet, though it is
    L5 77394.

    We also have a new July 9 serial in the archive- F5 73989
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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    Great talk George! Thanks for posting that Dan, It made my morning

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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    After staring at every feature for the entire video the only thing that would be an asthetic improvement to me would have been worm over gears so the knobs would be more centered in the peghead. Of course George would bristle at the suggestion.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    What a great story! Early happy birthday, Mr. G.!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    Wow, I thought that George had one of those already, though maybe not a Loar-signed one. I do like his comment that the guitar suggests things to him in playing. I get that!

    I could never afford a Loar L-5 but I was lucky to acquire a post Loar one with very similar features. I never like the slightly later 16" ones with the block inlays. You can see mine on this vintage L-5 site.

    Dan, feel free to add mine to the archive, if you like. Take photos from the link above.

    I love the look and the tone of that small archtop. I am and was a big fan of both Mother Maybelle Carter and Eddie Lang so was thrilled to come across this gem.
    Jim

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    Registered User tree's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    I was hoping to hear more playing, at least a few nice color chords so we could try to hear what he hears.
    Clark Beavans

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    I am not sure that it would come across online. In my 30 minutes playing a Loar signed F-5 I hear lots of things but they were subtle nuances tones that I doubt would be obvious if it were posted online.

    On the other hand:

    Jim

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    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    What an insightful and touching tribute from "The Godfather" of American vintage stringed instruments. He certainly leaves no doubt that this must be a very special guitar. Good on ya George... have a most Happy Birthday!

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    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    Nice Story. Beautiful L5

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    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    Dan, thanks for sharing that! George is an absolute treasure! I met him years ago and he took us upstairs in his old building to the real vintage stuff. We played Loars, ferns and prewar dreads! It was a blast. My favorite story about a George, is some guy was trying to buy and old banjo from him. The guy said, if I lay $2000 on the table, will you take it? George said, “yes, I’ll take it, but you’re still not getting the banjo!”.

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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    This is an extremely wonderful tribute to his guitar (I just listened to it again.) I understand his feelings, although I cannot imagine playing a $50,000 guitar, when I played my favorite mandolins, they felt like "coming home." I get the emotion, and I very much enjoy his passion for the instrument.

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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    Thanks Dan! Great Story! Happy Birthday George!

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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    He has a lovely voice.
    David A. Gordon

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    Default Re: George Gruhn with his favorite guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Wow, I thought that George had one of those already, though maybe not a Loar-signed one. I do like his comment that the guitar suggests things to him in playing.
    He is partial, in general, to the Lloyd Loar signed L5s and had one for many many years that he considered his #1. He was forced to sell that one due to tax issues with the IRS in the 1980s. He knows where that guitar is and could likely buy it back if he really wanted to do so. None of his subsequent L5s had the exact tone he was looking for--until he found this one. This guitar had been owned by the previous owner's father. She is around 85 years old and it had been in the case for nearly her entire life (Dad died when she was 5). Difficult to tell exact condition from the posted video but this guitar is pristine shape--near mint. It was initially played for a few years but has no finish wear or checking. George really only had to change the strings and adjust the bridge a little bit (had some buzzing on the low E string) I have held and played it many times along with George's other guitars in his "personal" collection. I cannot say I have the exact same appreciation for his current Lloyd Loar L5, but he does, and he knows more about guitars than anyone on earth (likely of all time). He calls Maybelle Carter's L5 "the most important guitar he has ever owned" but claims that one is inferior to his current L5. (Maybelle's L5 was purchased by the Country Music Hall of Fame)

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    Here is a photo of that guitar at a neighborhood jam session. I holding it with my 17 year old and George

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