Here’s a quick thank-you that will hopefully make you smile. In 1993 I entered a competition in Guitarist to win a US-made Hamer Diablo as used by Jan Cyrka. Much to my amazement I won! The instrument was presented to me by David Mead at the Live ’93 event, the year that Guthrie Govan won Guitarist Of The Year. Unfortunately, my partner and I had to leave the event before Jan had a chance to sign the guitar and hand it over, but I did get to meet Jennifer Batten as well as spotting the likes of John Entwistle and Gordon Giltrap wandering around the show. I actually met Jan by chance some years later and now consider the guitar to be ‘virtually signed’!
When I first got it, on opening the case you would be greeted by the smell of mint. Alas the smell has gone, but I still have the guitar, although it has been a while since I used it at a gig. These days, it sports a few of the sorts of dings that you might expect on a 25-year-old instrument that was taken out and used regularly. Oh and the dog chewed the selector switch tip (don’t ask!). It still looks great though and although the neck is a little more slender than my preference these days, it plays beautifully and sounds as fantastic as ever. I’m thinking that maybe the time has come to get it out again to celebrate 25 years together! I can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by, but I’m still playing and reading the magazine of course.
Anyway, thanks again for a memorable day and a very memorable guitar. Rob Hensley, via email
We’re delighted that a Guitarist prize is still giving you pleasure a quarter of a century on, Rob. And how about that smell when you open the case of a new guitar? It’s such a cool thing and every brand is different – we’ve always thought Gibsons smelled a bit like Play-Doh, while Martins have a spicy, indefinably compelling fragrance of their own too. We would suggest ‘Eau de Nouveau Guitar’ as a line of aftershave, except the only people we would probably attract are other geeky guitarists...
Rob Hensley’s slendernecked, dog-chewed fantastic-sounding Hamer Diablo