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Old 01-20-2009, 04:54 PM
12 string 12 string is offline
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Default The original Pete Seeger model 12 string guitar

The Pete Seeger model 12 string has been getting a lot of attention of late, what with appearances at the Inaugural Concert, a recent David Letterman show, the cover of the "Pete Seeger at 89" CD and "The Power of Song" DVD. The original instruments were made by UK luthier G. Stanley Francis and more recent versions by Bruce Taylor of Weston CT.

This signed drawing was given to me by the late Dr. Anthony A. Verstraete of Penn State, one of my very best friends. When we met as students in the late '60s we soon discovered that that we had each been bit by the 12 string bug at Pete Seeger concerts years earlier, before 12 string guitars were widely made or distributed in the USA. Tony had written to Seeger asking for advice in finding a 12 string. Pete sent back contact info for Stan Francis in the UK. Tony wrote to Francis and got back the drawing and a letter explaining options and pricing. A few years later, when I was seeking out every 12 string reference, recording, catalogue, article, photo, ad, and whatever, Tony gave me the drawing. He always said he would give me the accompanying letter when he found it, but he never did.






So many things came full circle for me at this inauguration. I retired as a choir director and passed the torch to others four years ago. Seeing all the choral groups featured so prominantly in the festivities renews my faith (once waning) that that torch is being picked up. It was overwhelming for me to see the grandson and the man who inspired my lifelong love affair with the 12 string guitar playing a copy of the very first 12 string I ever saw in person, a guitar now made just a few miles from the Connecticut town where I grew up in the '50s and 60's and where I first saw and heard Pete Seeger. And I miss my old friend, Tony Verstraete.

' Strang
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1945 Gibson banner headstock J-45
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1966 Epiphone FT112 Bard
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Last edited by 12 string; 01-20-2009 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:12 PM
woodruff woodruff is offline
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why the sound "hole". I always wondered the triangular hole...any ideas on why he chose this shape?

thanks...

wow, you got a G312.....would love to see a some pics of that Guild. I also love 12 strings, and plan on getting one as soon as i get the wife's thumbs up.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:15 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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'Strang,

Very interesting and touching post. Thank you! Interesting that your friend Tony Verstraete was a choir director at Penn State -- no small accomplishment.

I encouraged my now-33-year-old son to go that direction, but things sort of conspired against him. He now works with me as an engineer but he is getting to direct a choir at the local community choir. He turns out to be very good at it, as I suspected he would be.

By the way, I, too, enjoy the 12-string and have a '72 Guild F212 that I bought used when my son was only about a month old. Amazing connection to Pete Seeger...

Regards, Glenn
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:25 PM
12 string 12 string is offline
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Thanks, Glenn.

Slight misunderstanding here...I'm the choir director. I studied at Penn State and worked elsewhere. Tony's doctorate was in anthropology but he taught computers. He was one of the best guitarists I've ever known, a lover of Martin 6 strings and Guild and Taylor 12ers.

Maybe I can reword my original post for greater clarity.

David
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1945 Gibson banner headstock J-45
2002 Taylor 614 LTD
2003 Martin HD28V
1962 Goya TS-5
1966 Epiphone FT112 Bard
1966 Gibson B45-12
1967 Gibson B25 12
1969 Gibson B25 12
1976 Guild F-112
2001 Guild F-212XL
1978 Guild G-312
1990 Guild JF-65 12
1990 Guild F-512
2003 Taylor 600 SPECce 12 string
2004 Taylor 855ce
2004 Taylor 855ce all koa upgrade

Last edited by 12 string; 01-20-2009 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:47 PM
Chazmo Chazmo is offline
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Great piece of history, 'Strang!

I'll have to catch up on the inuag. festivities. I missed it today.

With Martin chomping at Guild's heels now with the F512 clone, maybe the Guild folks in New Hartford will consider a Pete Seeger model like this.

Interesting that the lower bout is 16.5". That's not a very common dimension these days.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:36 PM
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Martin_Nut Martin_Nut is offline
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Fascinating drawing - I have always wondered about Pete's 12 string and the origins thereof. Thanks!

Was just watching a PBS special about the Smothers Brothers TV Show (and how controversial it/they were back in the day) the other day, and Pete Seeger's appearance with his 12er singing "the Big Muddie" was one of the highlights!

BTW - my kids just finished piano lessons in the living room with the guy that was (occassionally still is) the orchestra leader on the Smother Brothers Hour TV Show. Nicest guy - he has the original case for Tommy's Guild in his garage. Keeps threatening to sell it on EBAY!
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:05 PM
mick n mick n is offline
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Default Pete Seeger 12 string

Thank you 12 string for this fantastic post with the drawings. I've got one of the originals by Stan Francis from 1964. If there are any others around I'd love to see them.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:13 PM
grampa grampa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodruff View Post
why the sound "hole". I always wondered the triangular hole...any ideas on why he chose this shape?

thanks...

wow, you got a G312.....would love to see a some pics of that Guild. I also love 12 strings, and plan on getting one as soon as i get the wife's thumbs up.
I heard that it was patterned after a Bozo - pronounced borjo or something like that-12 string. Bozo was the name of the maker of 12 stringers and he used that triangular hole. Pete played one way back then.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:46 PM
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devellis devellis is offline
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Gee, I would've thought that the Francis designed would have predated the Bozo by a decade or more. I could be wrong, though.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:11 PM
12 string 12 string is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devellis View Post
Gee, I would've thought that the Francis designed would have predated the Bozo by a decade or more.
I think you're absolutely right, Bob.

I have no idea where the idea for the soundhole shape came from, but Pete's guitars were made by GS Francis, then Bruce Taylor. Some videos from the late '60s show Pete playing a Martin-looking 12er, very plain looking, unlike Bozos. I never knew him to play a Bozo.

Gretsch made some acoustics with a triangular soundhole which was closer to equilateral. All the Bozos I ever saw in the flesh or in photos had round soundholes, but granted it's not that many.

' Strang
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1945 Gibson banner headstock J-45
2002 Taylor 614 LTD
2003 Martin HD28V
1962 Goya TS-5
1966 Epiphone FT112 Bard
1966 Gibson B45-12
1967 Gibson B25 12
1969 Gibson B25 12
1976 Guild F-112
2001 Guild F-212XL
1978 Guild G-312
1990 Guild JF-65 12
1990 Guild F-512
2003 Taylor 600 SPECce 12 string
2004 Taylor 855ce
2004 Taylor 855ce all koa upgrade
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Old 12-25-2010, 07:22 AM
12 string 12 string is offline
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I'm reviving this thread because the Martin Guitar Company is issuing a Pete Seeger 12 string based on this design. The 12 String Cafe has the story.

http://theunofficialmartinguitarforu...m/topic/112579

http://www.martinguitar.com/SingOut-Seeger-Edition.pdf

' Strang
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1945 Gibson banner headstock J-45
2002 Taylor 614 LTD
2003 Martin HD28V
1962 Goya TS-5
1966 Epiphone FT112 Bard
1966 Gibson B45-12
1967 Gibson B25 12
1969 Gibson B25 12
1976 Guild F-112
2001 Guild F-212XL
1978 Guild G-312
1990 Guild JF-65 12
1990 Guild F-512
2003 Taylor 600 SPECce 12 string
2004 Taylor 855ce
2004 Taylor 855ce all koa upgrade

Last edited by 12 string; 12-25-2010 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:01 AM
brad4d8 brad4d8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12 string View Post
I'm reviving this thread because the Martin Guitar Company is issuing a Pete Seeger 12 string based on this design.
Also, Sing Out Magazine as part of its 60th anniversary fundraising, is having a contest with a Seeger model 6 or 12 as the prize:
http://www.singout.org/donate.html
Brad
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:25 AM
Chazmo Chazmo is offline
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Well, it looks like Martin beat Guild to the punch on this utilizing the recent Grand J body style to build the new commemorative guitar. The G. Stanley Francis blueprint was a 16.5" lower bout, but Martin's is a 17". Also, Martin went with 12 pins rather than 6 for the 12-string.

Thanks for reviving the post, 'Strang!
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Guild: 1978 G-312 (Westerly), 1994 JF-30-12 (Westerly), 2006 F-512 (Tacoma), 2010 F-212XL STD (New Hartford), 2013 Orpheum SHRW 12-string (New Hartford)
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:39 AM
RRuskin RRuskin is offline
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It was my understanding that Seeger's 1st 12-string was made by the late Fred Gerlach. He's pictured with it on the cover of his Columbia LP, "The Bitter & The Sweet."
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:51 AM
12 string 12 string is offline
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The "Bitter and the Sweet" LP shows an original G.S. Francis guitar. The guitar that Gerlach gave or sold to Pete (I don't think he made it) looks more like a bajo sexto. You can see photos of it in some old Folkways liner notes. Both guitars can be seen in various episodes of the "Rainbow Quest" TV series from the mid '60s.
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1945 Gibson banner headstock J-45
2002 Taylor 614 LTD
2003 Martin HD28V
1962 Goya TS-5
1966 Epiphone FT112 Bard
1966 Gibson B45-12
1967 Gibson B25 12
1969 Gibson B25 12
1976 Guild F-112
2001 Guild F-212XL
1978 Guild G-312
1990 Guild JF-65 12
1990 Guild F-512
2003 Taylor 600 SPECce 12 string
2004 Taylor 855ce
2004 Taylor 855ce all koa upgrade
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