That Was The Year... 1963

Cleopa­tra, Birds and Wild Dogs

Guitar Techniques - - Intro -

SWEDISH MAN­U­FAC­TURER HAGSTRÖM pro­duces 200 Fu­tu­rama Coron­ado Au­to­matic gui­tars for the Selmer Com­pany in Lon­don to their spec­i­fi­ca­tion. It’s a cu­ri­ous gui­tar with a Jazzmas­ter-like ap­pear­ance, through-neck con­struc­tion and a strik­ing or­angey-red sun­burst fin­ish. It sports a vi­brato, three sin­gle-coil pick­ups with in­di­vid­ual edge-mounted vol­ume con­trols, plus a gang of 12 num­bered switches on a chrome plate. The ‘Acrylite’ fin­ger­board fea­tures large white dot in­lays, and the sealed-gear tuners have dis­tinc­tive ‘crown’-style plas­tic but­tons. LYN­DON B. JOHN­SON IS SWORN in as Pres­i­dent fol­low­ing the as­sas­si­na­tion of John F Kennedy in Dal­las; Sir Win­ston Churchill be­comes an hon­orary ci­ti­zen of the United States; Kuwait joins the United Na­tions; and 70,000 Ban The Bomb marchers leave Al­der­mas­ton and head to Lon­don for a mas­sive demon­stra­tion. TEISCO-MADE MJ2 SOLID-BODY GUI­TARS of­fer a cheap al­ter­na­tive to the ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers and, like many Ja­panese gui­tars, they’re is­sued un­der dif­fer­ent brand names such as Lafayette, ET200 and St. Ge­orge. The pick­ups are sur­face mounted with the chan­nelled wiring hid­den by the scratch­plate. It’s a good gui­tar, with a contoured body, thumb­nail in­lays and a sub­stan­tial ‘V’ pro­file to the neck. THE MUCH-TROU­BLED FILM Cleopa­tra is fi­nally re­leased af­ter heavy cut­ting; Al­fred Hitch­cock’s film The Birds is re­leased; and the United States fi­nally gets to ex­hibit Leonardo da Vinci’ s Mona Lisa at the Na­tional Gallery of Art in Wash­ing­ton DC. ONE DAY IN THE ABBEY ROAD STU­DIOS for The Bea­tles to record their Please Please Me de­but al­bum. Their sec­ond al­bum, With The Bea­tles, is also re­leased this year, and Beatle­ma­nia ar­rives. The Free­wheelin’ Bob Dy­lan and Phil Spec­tor’s ever-pop­u­lar A Christ­mas Gift For You are also in the shops, and af­ter try­ing to reg­is­ter at a ‘whites only’ mo­tel, Sam Cooke and his band are ar­rested. It re­sults in him record­ing A Change Is Gonna Come. THE UNIVER­SITY OF EAST ANGLIA is es­tab­lished in Nor­wich; a new is­land, Surt­sey, is cre­ated fol­low­ing a vol­canic erup­tion in the sea off the coast of Ice­land; the AC Co­bra ap­pears for the first time at Le Mans; and Ital­ian car man­u­fac­turer Lam­borgh­ini be­gins pro­duc­tion. AMPEG IM­PORTS BURNS GUI­TARS from Eng­land. The six mod­els are ex­actly the same, ex­cept they have ‘Ampeg By Burns Of Lon­don’ etched on the scratch­plate. One of the most pop­u­lar mod­els is the Jazz Split Sound gui­tar, known in Amer­ica as the Wild Dog (taken from the set­ting named on the ro­tary tone se­lec­tor). It’s a pow­er­ful gui­tar with its unusual Split-Sound pick­ups, of­fer­ing a closer nod to Fender with a shorter scale and contoured body; it proves very pop­u­lar on both sides of the At­lantic.

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