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Futurama 6 string Bass

I have an 'interesting' story of my ignorance. In 1970 I worked ? (not sure where) in Oldham. There was an interesting 'junk shop' and in the window was a red guitar. Loved it, went in and bought it (£5 I think). The thing was, it was really heavy and had the top E missing. On a mission to the guitar shops on Oxford Road / Deansgate with a piece of string the length of the string I couldn't get a top E that was long enough although one helpfull assistant offered me a (think it was a cello string).

It came to pass that I has bought a Futurama 6-string bass. Wish I still had it!! 

futurama coronado bass 

Phil Nadin - 14/2/14


Fender Precision Bass 1968

Here two pics of my "pride of the 60's: my Fender Precision Bass of 1968!  I used this bass guitar as guest bass player on my three tracks on the latest CD of the Scorpions: The end of the tail" (watch

The Scorpions, originally from Manchester and formerly known as The Chancellors were very well known here in Holland as The Scorpions, famous because of their number one-hit "Hello Josephine".

Ben Brekelans - 16/2/14 


1964 Hofner Beatle Bass - Peter (Bridgebeats)

I bought the Beatles bass from Jones's Music Shop in Ashton under Lyne new in 1964 ‎and used it for lots of venues up and down the UK. It's still in the original case and totally original.

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Peter (Bridgebeats)

Our bass player, Phil "The Count" Gregory had a Gibson Beatle bass.

In truth, it was a standard Hofner but with the Gibson logo off a packet of strings, glued on the head.  Many admiring glances - which probably prompted heated arguements in Barratts as bassists demanded more info on Gibson Beatle basses.

Paul (webmaster)

Klira Tornado

Here is a rare early 60s guitar I picked up recently - a Klira Tornado.  It has obvious connections with Framus (the pickups)  and Hofner (it is very similar to the Galaxy model).

Dig that crazy Indian restaraunt wallpaper style plastic covering. Proof that at that time with amps they were thinking record player and with guitars they had accordians in mind.


Epiphone Rivoli bass

My 1964 Epiphone Rivoli bass - made in the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo.

I used this as my stand bywhen I had my Precision. I have still got it, in all original condition, plays lovely.


Ronnie Carr

Futurama 3 (not to be confused with later Hagstrom guitars of the same name

I am enclosing a couple of pictures of a guitar I recently picked up.

This is very similar to George Harrison's first usable electric, the main differences being that this version has a rosewood board rather than maple and has a side entry jack plate (George's had a wide elongated strat type). Early versions (Georges included) had a resonet plastic sign on the top bout. The condition is superb for the year - 1959/60.

In the early 60s this was regarded as close as you could get quality wise to a Fender and was the guitar of choice. It was made by the Delicia Accordian Company and was the Futurama 3 (not to be confused with later Hagstrom guitars of the same name).

Colour choice as I remember it was red or sunburst and it retailed at 55 guineas which according to the Beatles gear book represents a cost of £780 in today's money and makes a Strat from the same period £2500.


Geoff Parkinson

Hofner Verithin

I bought this "Hofner Verithin" in 1963 and used it in the band for 3 years, I still have it to this day. Of all the guitars I have owned or played over the years this one is my favourite.

Its action is the best I have ever come across. I couldn't part with it at any price.

Jem Yates

Grimshaw GS30

In about 1968 I was looking for a guitar to replace a Vox Lynx which I had been using for a couple of years and went in all the musical instrument shops in Manchester.

I entered A1 Repairs on Oxford Rd, looking for a Gibson but noticed a guitar I had never seen before, it was a Grimshaw GS30, which did look like a Les Paul. 

At £85 (I think) second hand it was no cheaper than a current Gibson or Fender quality guitar.  I was never main stream and the thought of owning something different and maybe obscure did raise my interest, after some time trying it I was smitten and bought it.  They allowed £25 for the Vox and I paid cash for the balance. 

I had music/guitar lessons in the early sixties and was requested by the tutor to buy a copy of "Emile Grimshaw Plectrum Guitar Method" so I just had to buy the guitar. Its rarety and great sound always attracted lots of attention from other guitarist. I still have both the Tutor book and the guitar along with lots of other Grimshaw guitars which can be seen on


George Harrison's guitar

Brian Higham, manager of Barratts of Manchester at one of the most exciting periods in Manchester music, writes:

"I knew that the Beatles were in town because I had taken some gear the day before to the props department at Granada studio's. The props guy said they were due the next day.

The next morning around 10 o'clock a car pulls up outside the shop (Barratts Of Manchester) and out gets this guy dressed in an off white Mack style thing with leather buttons on it (very 60s).

As he came in to the shop I recognized him as being the Beatles roadie, Neil Aspinall (the other roadie was a great guy Mal Evans).

He was carrying one of those beige Selmer guitar cases. Anyway he walked up to the counter where one of the staff said "Can I be of some help to you?" (more probably "wad-ya want mate?" ).

He asked to speak to Brian Higham so the member of staff said who shall I say it is, his somewhat terse reply (that's Neil) was tell him "It's the Beatles".

CLICK HERE to read rest of this story (plus more pics of the Maton)

Brian Higham

Hofner Club 60

I have the Hofner bass (Selmer 500/3 brunette) and case shown in photo with Eric Haydock at Blackpool, when he was with Kirk Daniel and the Deltas. The guitar is at this time on loan to the local museum until end Nov 2006.

This Hofner bass was given as a present to a fan after a gig at Willenhall (West Mids) in the spring of 1964 - exact date not yet determined.




John Gibbs

Special memories

Any way the guy asked could he leave a message. I said sure he then said "tell John that Elvis Presley died this morning". It didn't break on the news till 12,oclock lunchtime. I knew before the rest of the world. Thats why I wrote it on the back of the scratchplate which I didn't find till some years later in a briefcase that I always used to carry.

The pic on the left is the reverse side of the original scratch off John Farrar's thinline tele. On the Barratts window pic you will see it is pearloid, on the other pic its black (I had that made by Ted Lee).

When I stayed with John in 1977 I changed them over.

As you can see it reads:

"John Farrar 75-76-77. Palm pedal 2-3. 77, ELVIS DIED. "

I took the call at John's house at 10-45. Some guy rang to tell John but they were in Vegas for a few days and I was house sitting.


Brian Higham



I first learned to play guitar on a 16 quid Rosetti, bought from Reno's on Oxford Road in 1958.

In 1961, I was in the Friendship pub in Oldham where a group, I can't remember their name, was playing. Their lead guitarist was Jeff Walker who had recently acquired a Burns VibraArtist, I was hooked, I liked the sound and the design of the guitar, so much later, after saving the deposit

I was down to Johnny Roadhouse, also on Oxford Road, where I signed up to buy the Burns, the cash price at the time was 75 guineas (£78.75) including the (butty box) case.

What a fabulous guitar, it had the thinnest neck I have ever come across on any guitar, the action was low as was frets. There were three volume and three tone controls, a lead/rhythm switch, three way pickup selector switch. In all a first class guitar at about half the price of a Fender or Gibson.

I later bought a Vox AC 30 amp and a Watkins Copycat echo unit and all three did the business in the group Tony and the Senators.

Ah, happy days.

Bert Ashton

Phil Coggan (ex Lee Wade and The Wild Ones) talks about his guitars

My first guitar was a Watkins Rapier 33, for it's price in 1962/3 £33 it was'nt at all bad, although the tremolo spring wasn't strong enough for heavier gauge strings. My second guitar (right) a Fender 'Regal' was as far as I know made by Harmony although the name was not shown anywhere on the guitar and I have not seen another one like it.


This guitar I bought new in 1965. I played these two guitars in a band called The Ten Commandments.  The Fender 'Regal' was traded in for Burns 'Marvin' I wasn't too pleased with this, one of it's faults was its tremolo was too sloppy. This was traded in for a Gibson SG standard with P90 'bar of soap' pickups. I played this one when I was with Lee Wade and the Wild Ones, and later The Wild Ones.

Hendrix was here and I wanted a Strat. I got to know a guy that had one and persuaded him to swap! This was in 1966.

The guitar (above) was made in Jan.63 No.95554. I added extra switches the 70s, not a good thing to do! but you must remember that in those days a sixties Strat was not looked upon like it is today. Anyway, I've taken them of and put the guitar back almost as it was.

This guitar I used from 1966 up until a few years ago when I quit playing in bands. It's my baby and I wouldn't sell it for any price.

Phil Coggan


"My 1st electric guitar was a Hofner which I bought around 65 & had it painted Psychedelic in 68!"


Malcolm Thompson 

Lucky Seven

When I found out that a friend of mine, Geoffrey Proffitt, who was working and earning money at the time, had actually bought a guitar and amplifier, no less than a Lucky Seven, a white electric guitar, and a Watkins Dominator amplifier "with Tremolo", I almost died.

I'd been going around the guitar shops on Oxford Road Manchester for months, drooling at these wonderful instruments with great names like "The Gibson Les Paul" and "The Fender Stratocaster". They were all very expensive at the time, at around £100 each, but a dream for me to fantasize about all the same.

Geoff very generously let me borrow his outfit for a weekend and once again I thought the neighbours would like to hear my progress on this lovely setup ... of course they didn't again, but I was hooked and all thought of me becoming an architect went out of the window, I wanted to be a Rock Guitarist from that moment on. 

Eric Stewart 

Les Paul Custom 1968

Some pics of my old Les-Paul Custom - 1968 model



Brian Higham 

Gibson L30 

I recently inherited a beautiful old Gibson L30 (made as from 1937, I believe) from a relative living in Greece. It took me ages to work out where it originally came from, but there were a few clues from the faded label inside the battered guitar case.

At last: 'Mamelok in Oxford Road, Manchester'.

Despite its 'dainty' proportions, it plays like a dream with a good strong tone.

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Rupert Sutton - 27/9/10

1969 Fender Jazz Bass

This is my 1969 Fender Jazz Bass which I paid 132 guineas for, yes guineas and sold only a few months ago for lots and lots and lots of pennies It was still in excellent condition. This replaced my Epiphone Rivoli Bass (I wish I still had that today)

Mal Greenwood - 1/11/10 

1964 L/H Epiphone Casino and L/H Gibson Les Paul De-Luxe

Pictured left (taken in 1971) me and my 1964 L/H Epiphone Casino which I bought new from Barratts on Oxford Rd.

Adrian Barratt had it converted to R/H stringing which is my unusual way of playing. The guitar cost £276.17s.6d which was an enormous sum at the time ... around £5K by today's prices.

It was made in the Kalamazoo, Michigan factory ... now home of Heritage Guitars and the Ex-Gibson Employees.

Also featured the rare short headstock instead of the elongated Epiphone style which was used a short time later and looks a little ungainly in comparison to mine.

I traded the guitar at Guitar Player in Rochdale in 1978 for an Ovation Custom Legend, something which I have since regretted as it would be nice to still have the Epi ... .and it's value now would be considerable. L/H USA Casinos are extremely rare - I wonder who has it?

Traded it in as the feedback problem with full semis was making it impossible to use live as the volume kept going up and up....changed to a L/H Les Paul De-Luxe supplied by Geoff Muir of Muir Music and Ex Rumble Fat Band (pictured right).


Paul Shaw - 10/11/10

1980/81 Fender F-05-12 string

I've recently purchased a 1980/81 Fender F-05-12 string guitar which has the Mamelok (Deansgate) logo on it for my collection of Fender F series acoustics.

I found your email address after researching the Mamelok company. I thought you may be interested in the picture. Do you know anything about the Fender dealership at Mamelok which would help with my research? Do you know when they moved from Oxford Rd to Deansgate?

Phil - 10/11/10

1978 Fender Strat Antigua

Here is a picture of my 1978 Fender Strat Antigua. I bought it from Guitar Player in Rochdale in 78 and paid £350 for it. Left hand guitars were still quite hard to find at this time and when I saw this one under a spotlight in the window it was a gift from the gods.

I assume this strat was brought from the USA on one of the many visits made by the shops owners.

I used this guitar in many groups including THE SHADES , THE MINT and more recently RANDOM HARVEST appearing at the Peter Cowap music festival in  Middleton along side a host of great bands.

Brian Leicester - 8/6/13

I played in Lagos, Nigeria with Carnival in 1970/71, using a Precision "aquired" from Jim Renos. I sold that out there and decided I wanted a Fender Mustang Bass, blue with a stripe on it. Partly cos it was lighter but mainly cos my girlfriend Carol Jason, had got a red one. So off to Barrats where Eric Haydock was a salesman. The new Mustang was £170, but he said that an alternative would be the Fender VI he had used in The Hollies. I said NO, I wanted one like my g/friend !

Kept the Mustang for a year before buying a Jazz, in Germany for £175 and I 've still got it here, now.

William G Danson - 2/9/13

Fenton Weill Amazon

Photos of my brother, Pete’s,  Fenton Weill Amazon guitar. As you can see, it is still in original mint condition. Never been played or gigged since bought new in 1965.

Pete bought it because Judd Williams, lead guitarist in The BeatLeague had the same model and Pete loved it. Work and his apprenticeship as a draughtsman at John Shaw & Sons(Salford) Ltd engineering company in Salford, soon took over so he never did learn to play guitar.

Just kept the Amazon in mint condition and thus never played or gigged.


Dave Anderton - 1/4/14

Hofner Verithin

Hi there, my name is Mick Triggs and I've just been reading your article about Barratt's of Manchester.  In November 1964, I bought a Cherry Red Hofner Verithin guitar from Barratts.

The guitar came fitted with a Bigsby unit which was removed by Barratts because I couldn't afford the extra cost of £12.00. 

I still have the guitar and original case together with the receipt for payment. These are attached and I hope they will be of interest to you.


Mick Triggs    

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