That Was The Year... 1970 Alligators, Rocs and Jumbos
GRETSCH EXPANDS ITS ROC JET
range of guitars with the 7610 featuring an arched, bound mahogany body and Florentine cutaway. The mahogany neck has a bound rosewood fretboard, 22 frets and pearloid thumbnail inlays. The two exposed pickups have chrome surrounds, individual volume and tone controls plus the usual Gretsch master volume on the cutaway bout plus a three-way selector switch.
THE NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION
Treaty is ratified by the United Nations and comes into effect. Its aim is to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons around the world, work towards disarmament and cooperate for the safe development of nuclear energy. The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet makes its first commercial passenger flight to London for Pan-Am carrying 332 passengers and 18 crew. Concorde makes its first supersonic flight and Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister.
GRAHAM NASH GIVES JERRY GARCIA A
Fender Strat made up of components from different years. Jerry hands it over to the Alembic engineers to alter it dramatically. The tremolo cavity is filled, brass hardware is added plus a host of electronics to change the sound. With stickers on the body and a new tailpiece the result is the Alligator, a guitar that would continue to morph.
JAPAN JOINS THE SOVIET UNION
the United States and France to become the fourth space power following the launch of its first satellite Ōsumi. The Apollo 13 crew calmly announces to CapCom: “Houston, we have a problem,” after one of their main oxygen tanks explodes on the way to the Moon, but against all the odds the crew return safely to Earth. The Soviet Union’s Venera 7 spacecraft successfully lands on the surface of Venus and transmits information for about 23 minutes.
ERIC CLAPTON BEGINS HIS SOLO CAREER,
The Beatles disband and Paul McCartney releases his first solo album aptly titled McCartney. Jethro Tull, the Doors and Jimi Hendrix play the Isle of Wight Festival but sadly Jimi dies from choking in his sleep later in the year. New fruits from the tree of life include Jason Orange, John Frusciante, Sharon Corr, Mariah Carey and Aled Jones.
JAPANESE MANUFACTURERS ARE COPYING
American guitars and one of the first is the Emperador made by the Kasuga Company. While obviously influenced by Gibson’s SG guitar the body surface contouring is much more dramatic. Interestingly, the hardware and electronics are predominantly Guyatone manufacture as that company is struggling to survive, but the build quality is good and the alnico pickups are forceful with a great sound. The Emperador name was suggested by the Canadian importer where the guitars are proving very popular.