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by Tony Cochran Guitars
The Steinlite electric guitar was found in a safe excavated from beneath the foundation of The Radio Building at 823 Kansas Ave. in Atchison, Kansas. It is rumored that Fred Stein, the genius who invented plug-in radio, was hiding it from the prying eyes of Gibson Guitar who wanted to sue him. In many ways similar to Gibson’s Les Paul model, the Steinlite differed with a bolt on neck, louvered sonic channels and also incorporated parts from his famous Grain Moisture Detector. When questioned about why an electric guitar would need moisture detecting abilities, Fred said, slyly, “You have to know when the woman you’re playing to wants you to put down the damn guitar and take care of business.” Fred was quite the kidder. It’s never been apart. I preferred to leave its rusty, crusty, industrial look undisturbed, along with any secrets its guts may spill. I can’t make anything light up on it, but then I don’t play that well.
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IonoGlobe electric guitar by Tony Cochran Guitars
The most unique feature of this electric guitar is the fully wired metal ball right by the neck. Farber Endison played this guitar in the late 50’s for a band called The Bubble Tops. Their specialty was car oriented Rock-a-billy music before anyone wanted to hear it. When Farber’s Uncle, Gropper T. Endison, was on safari in what is now known as Namibia, he had nearly been hit by a baseball size metal ball that fell from he sky. (This stuff still happens there. Google it.) He gave it to Farber claiming he could no longer bear the noises it made in his head. Farber’s brother, Clayton, a hypothetical electrical genius, wired it to the guitar and told Farber that it would enhance the almost inaudible, and probably imagined, sounds emanating from the orb. It was probably not true. What we do know is that soon after, Farber grew out his hair, quit wearing shoes, and would only play the guitar in a cave found in the mountains behind his parents’ house. He was found dead in 1965, deep in the cave with the guitar in his lap. There was a partially eaten sandwich and the diagram for five never before heard chords. To this day Clayton will not release them to the public.
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OSScaster Electric Guitar by Tony Cochran Guitars
This is the only electric guitar in existence where both an OSS device and a Tone Baker have been electronically mated successfully. Buckle up, guitarionados, this instrument is a rough old relic but its story is almost unbelievable. Osso Bucca was an immigrant who came to America in the ’60s after being fired by Galanti Guitar in Italy. He brought his knowledge of “radio gain” (that’s how it translates to English) with him to Wyoming. There he met up with Tex Gilders who had been fired by Fender for working on a device of his own, called a “Baker”. It’s not real clear what either of these devices is supposed to do singularly but, supposedly, they do it way better in tandem. The only quote from Gilder and Bucca was a note that said, “It does for tone what an oven does for biscuits”. I agree.
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Strobotac Electric Guitar - by Tony Cochran Guitars
This electric guitar was the result of sound experiments performed by Clavin P. Bogold in 1961. Unlike conventional guitar music, where notes are echoed in reverb, he attempted to make a device that preverbed or, in other words, reversed reverb. Everything was so analog and noisy back then. He recorded some surfer tunes with the guitar, but they just came out sad and oddly satanic. Now the motor knob is stuck and the elevation button and comfort control switch are not hooked up. It doesn’t preverb. It doesn’t reverb. It just verbs. Sounds amazing anyway. It might be the one-of-a-kind Strobolux Pacemaker Line bridge.
- See more at: http://www.tonycochranguitars.com/strobotac.html
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Sandpiper Electric Guitar - by Tony Cochran Guitars
Monaco “Stallion” Ceriani worked his magic with this electric guitar at the now shuttered Sandpiper Motel and Lounge in Bolivia, NC. His music was a peculiar mix of P-Funk and Psychedelic Jazz with a weird Reggae flavor that left everyone confused about how to dance to it. It is rumored he built the guitar from the broken shell of a 1965 Firebird, an old Epiphone, and his dead Mom’s jewelry box. The Lounge was closed in 1975 when US 17 caused a decline in attendance. The Stallion decided to sell the guitar and switch to screenwriting. He was contributor to many Different Strokes episodes, as well as being a musical consultant to The Partridge Family. - See more at: http://www.tonycochranguitars.com/sandpiper.html
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The “Quick” Electric Guiatar
This is the only electric guitar in existence fitted with a “Quick”. The inventor, Frank Dombus, adapted this device to many musical instruments, including 2 saxophones and a unique electric bongo drum. In theory, the chrome sonic torquer bars between the pickups are receivers for the “Quick” which appears to be what Frank labeled the framework of ominous electric looking paraphernalia wedged into the guitar below the bridge. It would get hot, it would smoke, it would vibrate, and it stunk to hell when running, but it would take notes from average all the way to “what in the world”. If it was a good note, it would sail to the sublime, but if it was a bad note, it became so bad that people actually became angry at the violation. Frank let one sorry guitar player borrow it for a gig one night and so many notes hit so many people so very wrong they never found the fellow again. The guitar resurfaced in the late 80’s with the “Quick” in such disrepair it may never work again. A schematic is included with purchase.
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Angel 199 - Tony Cochran Guitars
This electric guitar was supposedly purchased in Rio de Janeiro, under odd circumstances, around April or May of 1965. I love it but can’t wait to get rid of it. The guy who bought it said there had been a horrible train wreck down there and the old woman who found it in the aftermath, crated and intact, couldn’t wait to get rid of it either. He sold it to me because HE couldn’t wait to get rid of it. He didn’t have the crate anymore, but said it had a broken seal from a Lithuanian monastery. There is a medallion of St. Michael below the bridge and the number 199 on a tag above the bridge pickup. It’s not clear why. I have no instructions on how to operate the wild circuitry, but it’s pretty. The guitar plays nice, but you don’t want it sitting out if you are by yourself. Play it when other people are with you or you’ll be the next one who can’t wait to get rid of it.
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by Tony Cochran Guitars
This electric guitar was the property of Country Western star Diamond Ted Raymond of Deadtree, Arkansas. He fitted it with what he called “a harmonic deceptor”, a crude, but effective planking system that humanized bent notes. Diamond Ted specialized in a particularly nasty breed of Honky Tonk called Flinch Wailing. After it was outlawed by the state and condemned in the Catholic Telegraph, Diamond Ted went underground with his performances until his death in 1961. He passed out drunk while eating peanut butter with his hands, and squirrels ate his fingers off. He bled to death. Rumor has it … he wanted his guitar buried with him, but his lousy brother stole it from the funeral home. The deceptor doesn’t seem to work anymore, but it’s still a handsome piece.
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Smashmouth Bass guitar
This electric bass guitar was played by Philip Endicot, who worked for General Radio back in the late 40’s - early 50’s. He scavenged parts there like a fat man in a bologna factory. His real passion was a 5 piece jazz band he belonged to called “Reform School”. This was one of the first jazz groups to go electric in Concord. He would use the pilfered parts on his bass in a quest to find “smashmouth boom”. Caught stealing red handed at G.R. in ‘58, he was sent to jail where he died in a fight over cigarettes, non-filtered Pall Malls to be exact. His brother inherited the bass and stuck it in his attic until 1998 when I bought it at his garage sale. It has the ultra rare contactor, a cool dark tone reed, and the infamous type 740 capacitance test bridge that G.R. was supposedly developing for a guy named Leo in Fullerton. (Never proven.)
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Rick Springfield owns & features his 3 Tony Cochran Guitars on his new CD
Songs For The End Of The World
Rick Springfield has 4 different covers, 3 with Tony Cochran Guitars and 1 with his raygun, for his new CD released October 9, 2012. Credit to Tony Cochran Guitars is on the home page of Rick’s website http://www.rickspringfield.com/s4eow/s4eow.html and inside each CD. The Separatorcaster and Coppercaster electric guitars are on 3 CD covers and the Alumicaster appears in promos. Rick says he is playing the guitars on stage and any TV he does for promo of the new CD. Tony Cochran Guitars loves working with Rick and has always been a great fan of his music. We know Songs For The End Of The World is a great hit! Grab them fast!!!
More pictures of Rick and details / pics for each of the guitars can be found on www.TonyCochranGuitars.com site at the following links:
Video of Rick Springfiled playing Tony Cochran Guitars at:
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Shondracaster Electric Guitar
Here’s an odd electric guitar. The Spiritualist Heron Trippe built 3 Shondra platters in 1961. He named them after his wife, Shondra. They were designed to channel never before heard music into the physical world. No one was sure if he was scamming or sincere, but he claimed to have met with varying degrees of success. The one fastened to an accordian was destroyed in a bench fire at his workshop. Another is in a museum in Prague, screwed to a microphone. No one knows how it got there. This is the 3rd, attached to an electric guitar fashioned by Trippe in an effort to pick up “freak ghost chords”. Trippe died in 1963 and left no instructions on how to use it. Anyone for freak ghost chords?
Details and pics at
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Tony Cochran Guitars created the Kamikazecaster guitar, commissioned by Dracula’s Cabaret in Gold Coast Australia for Dave Kume, aka Kamikaze D, lead guitarist. Dracula’s Cabaret is Australia’s longest running and most successful dinner theater … or circus! The new show, Transfusion, “features fast paced vampire variety that combines acerbic comedy, wicked burlesque, bizarre human circus and off the dial madness.” Check out the video of the wild guitar solo on the Kamikazecaster by Kamikaze D … even in an aerial act!
VIDEO at www.facebook.com/TonyCochranGuitars
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Boston Model L guitar
This guitar was the centerpiece of Sid Howell’s traveling circus side show, The Dark Maze. People would pay a quarter to get a chance to find the exit, thereby getting their money back. Adding to the confusion of twisted halls, dead end passages, and claustrophobic ceiling heights was an interesting noise. Larry Boston would play an almost ceaseless din of wails, screeches, and moan-like arpeggios on a guitar he modified for these performances. He named the guitar after himself. The neck plate was purloined from an old cigarette machine. Some say an old tape of one of these impromptu concerts inspired Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption back in the ’80s. I doubt it.
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This bass guitar was found in the wreckage of a Greyhound bus that ran off the road in 1951. There were only 6 people on the bus … the driver, 2 very deaf women from Huntsville, Alabama, a senator from Maine with his mistress, and a 12 year old off to visit his Grandmother in Tulsa. None checked in a guitar as luggage. There was a hand written note inside the case, on a thin sheet of rice paper. It said, “IT’S NOT MINE”… . Weird.
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