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Rick's Old Lowden Rocks

Amos 23 Jun 08 - 11:22 PM
Big Mick 23 Jun 08 - 11:07 PM
Amos 23 Jun 08 - 11:06 PM
Big Mick 23 Jun 08 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,arnie 23 Jun 08 - 08:06 PM
Willie-O 23 Jun 08 - 01:47 PM
Lowden Jameswright 23 Mar 08 - 04:43 PM
Steve Latimer 16 Aug 05 - 10:21 PM
Willie-O 16 Aug 05 - 09:44 PM
Willie-O 14 Aug 01 - 03:05 PM
Marion 13 Aug 01 - 01:41 AM
mooman 12 Aug 01 - 02:27 PM
Willie-O 12 Aug 01 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,harvey andrews 11 Aug 01 - 07:47 PM
Willie-O 11 Aug 01 - 01:24 PM
mooman 11 Aug 01 - 01:21 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM
Willie-O 11 Aug 01 - 12:24 PM
Willie-O 06 Apr 01 - 11:42 AM
Big Mick 03 Sep 00 - 12:54 AM
Dee45 02 Sep 00 - 02:54 PM
Willie-O 02 Sep 00 - 02:46 PM
Willie-O 31 Jul 00 - 03:35 PM
catspaw49 31 Jul 00 - 01:03 PM
Rick Fielding 31 Jul 00 - 11:03 AM
Willie-O 30 Jul 00 - 09:08 PM
Willie-O 30 Jul 00 - 10:18 AM
Willie-O 17 Jul 00 - 09:06 AM
Rick Fielding 13 Jul 00 - 12:53 PM
Willie-O 13 Jul 00 - 10:51 AM
Rick Fielding 10 Jul 00 - 04:44 PM
Tony Burns 09 Jul 00 - 09:05 AM
Willie-O 08 Jul 00 - 09:12 PM
Dee45 08 Jul 00 - 06:31 PM
katlaughing 08 Jul 00 - 06:03 PM
Rick Fielding 08 Jul 00 - 01:09 AM
Willie-O 07 Jul 00 - 10:26 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Jul 00 - 04:58 PM
Tony Burns 07 Jul 00 - 12:32 PM
Willie-O 07 Jul 00 - 11:36 AM
Rick Fielding 07 Jul 00 - 11:24 AM
Whistle Stop 07 Jul 00 - 10:45 AM
Willie-O 07 Jul 00 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Wesley S at Home 02 Jul 00 - 08:02 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Jul 00 - 09:02 AM
Willie-O 02 Jul 00 - 08:42 AM
Lady McMoo 02 Jul 00 - 08:13 AM
gillymor 02 Jul 00 - 07:32 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Jul 00 - 07:41 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Jul 00 - 07:34 PM
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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 11:22 PM

Aw, now, Mick...the great Whites are on my side, dooood!!



And anyway, I'm in UC! LOL



A
General Lowden thread is here. --JC
Closed temporarily because of spam.

If you're advertising because you 'want to sell' or 'want to buy', use the other thread. This thread is about one specific guitar.


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 11:07 PM

Back off OB Boy!!! LOL.


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Amos
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 11:06 PM

Ummm....say, Willie...gimme a PM there, let me know what kind of numbers you are looking at. I mean, there are some things beyond reason one must look at squarely, n'est-ce pas?

A


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 10:19 PM

I hate to battle with my buddy Arnie, but I might just be interested myself. micklane at charter dot net.


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: GUEST,arnie
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 08:06 PM

I know I've seen rick play that guitar - but I can't quite remember. I may be looking for another guitar right now. email me with description & price- arnie@merriweather.ca


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 01:47 PM

Just went through this old thread cause I saw there were recent postings. Interesting how it has taken on a life of its own. Caused mostly by searches for "Flambeau guitar".

I'm kind of reticent to report that the guitar in question hasn't gotten much use the past few years. I've been playing mandolin mostly with my band The Skirmish, just added a new Trinity College Octave Mando to the family, and when I have a 6-string part I find the little Martin is all the guitar I need in the band. (doesn't have the bass or volume of the Flambeau, but nowadays they got electronic amplification that can get any sound you want out of any guitar...and a little guitar is a lot easier to work with in that regard).   

So I'm toying with the idea that the Flambeau de Rick may be wanting a new home. I know he wanted it to be played. It is a great guitar. I haven't really fallen out of love with it...I just don't use it.

Dear Ann Landers, what's a GAS/MAS/WAS sufferer to do?
(Guitar Acquisition Syndrome/Mandolin A. S./Whistle A. S.)


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Lowden Jameswright
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 04:43 PM

"Rick's Old Lowden Rocks" - ANY old (and new) Lowden rocks!


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 10:21 PM

Willie-O,

Yep, that was Rick. There aren't many people who would do something like that.


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 16 Aug 05 - 09:44 PM

Never mind that last post (unless you want to buy his guitar), I just thought I'd refresh this thread for the memories.

I saw Heather a couple of months ago and she told me that from the moment I took an interest in the guitar hanging on his wall (OK, OK, drooled all over it as I clasped it in my bony fingers) he started "interviewing" me to see if I would be a suitable owner for it.

Never really thought of that. All I knew was when I asked if he was interested in selling it, he said "yes", named a more than reasonable price, and let me pay $200 down and take the guitar with me with a promise to settle the balance within a few months. (I live 250 miles from Toronto). And I had never met the guy before.

Rick, we miss ya.

Oh yeah, that song I mentioned writing, "511 Highway", has become my most requested original. I think of all this stuff every time I play it.


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 14 Aug 01 - 03:05 PM

she's not speaking to me at the moment...but Oskar's going to lacquer over the damage anyway, so I guess if the occasion arises I'll just have to refuse if she's wearing those metal tubes on her fingertips....

Mooman I'd love to see em. I'll PM you.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Marion
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 01:41 AM

Willie-O, re: "He advised me to ignore the cosmetic scars on the top... "

So if Ani asks to borrow it again, what are you going to say?

Marion


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: mooman
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 02:27 PM

Willie-O

I have searched many times for Flambeau guitars on the net with virtually no results. However I have spoken with a long-standing and knowledgeable guitar shop in the UK and have been told that they were made for a relatively short time in a small Japanese factory from designs by George Lowden as you mention above. So to all intents and purposes "Japanese Lowdens" as you say.

As mentioned above I am happy to email you photos of mine if you are interested.

mooman


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 11:33 AM

There is a great scarcity of information on Flambeau guitars on the web, Del Vezeau told me they only called them that for a year and a half...but it seems that they are synonymous with "Japanese manufactured Lowden" for all practical purposes.

] Whatever it is, I can't wait to get it back...

W-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 07:47 PM

Rick...I remember using that guitar..what a beauty. In my attic I have a Gibson J45 played by Paul Simon and Tim Hardin, and Ozzie Osborne(trying it out),Phil Ochs (teaching me "Cannons of Christianity" and "Flower Lady") and Bjorn of Abba on a tv prog when they forgot to bring a guitar to mime with. Didn't get it autographed though...Damn!!


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 01:24 PM

A friend of mine acquired a David Wren (oh, about $2500) guitar previously owned by Bruce Cockburn...for $200. Apparently it had first been badly burned by a campfire, then thrown INTO A LAKE to extinguish it... or something like that.

My friend put a large rather cumbersome looking cedar patch over the big hole in the top, and the guitar still played and sounded great. But looked weird...

W-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: mooman
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 01:21 PM

Willie-O

I have a Flambeau very similar to the one you described...slightly curved peghead, cutaway, maple binding and exotic wood back and sides. It is the guitar I mainly use for chord backing work (as opposing to fingerpicking for which I use a Lakewood M-series). I bought it for a very reasonable price secondhand about 15 years ago and it has been giving excellent service ever since. If you are interested I will email you photos.

Best regards,

mooman


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 01:18 PM

Willie, I met Del Vezau at Hugh's room two weeks ago and immediately jumped all over him about his Flambeau/Lowden. I don't think he's a tinkerer like me, so his is cosmetically pristine. It's the third one I've seen in 20 odd years, so I gotta wonder where the rest went as well.

I dug up an old diary from 1986, and from it's contents, it's amazing that your guitar is still in one piece. I write about playing at a huge campfire way up in Northern ontario, and apparently the guitar passed through at least 25 sets of hands (some not as gentle as others) over the course of the evening. At one point I rescued it from someone who'd left it on the ground TWO FEET from the fire! Truth of the matter is that the Larrivee I had been playing up til a couple of years before would never have suffered such abuse. I believe in "passing the axe around" but not when it's a 2000 dollar pearl inlaid one. That guitar has also had a history as a "borrower" as I mentioned to you. New Mudcatter, and famous songwriter Harvey Andrews used it in concert one night and though it was getting pretty battered by then, it sung like a boid!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 12:24 PM

Just to announce, I took Baby / Flambeau/Lowden in to Oskar Graf yesterday. He's going to put in all new frets and install a Fishman piezo pickup. (Should be OK with the Pro-EQ.) Yippee!

He advised me to ignore the cosmetic scars on the top...

Also, I saw a genuine Flambeau this past weekend (owned by a guy named Del who knows you, Rick). Neck very similar, body different in detail (cutaway/maple binding/exotic wood sides/back) but an interesting comparison.

Also, I met Still On The Hill last weekend. EXTREMELY nice folks. But the bass player referenced earlier in this thread is not playing with them now. Neither is Paul McCartney.

Finally, I know for sure I'm a convert to Elixirs now. Cause after 6 months on the same set, I put cheap ones on (because I knew I was taking it to the shop soon) and within 2 weeks, they are just dead dead dead. And right away I noticed the horrible intolerable scraping noise. So I'm stuck on the twenty-dollar strings now.

And that's the news from McDonalds Corners.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 11:42 AM

Well, I have become a complete convert to Elixirs, but that's not why I'm reviving this thread.

Some new info has come to light on the possible provenance of this guitar. I was told by my friend Brian at the Ottawa Folklore Centre that it looked like a Flambeau, which was a line of late 70's/early 80's made-in-Japan guitars which were in fact designed by George Lowden and resembled Gibson J-50's. There is not a lot of info available on the Flambeau company if it even was a company...but I did find somebody's online pics of his Flambeau, which sure looked like this one. Flambeaus have a curved peghead top, a simple curve, not the more ornate compound curve which is Lowden's signature.

Don't know how many were made or are still around, but they were sure good value. Anyone see any Flambeau guitars around, take a second look. And let me know.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Big Mick
Date: 03 Sep 00 - 12:54 AM

Willie, send me a snail mail addy at mlane@accn.org and I will send you a set on me. I think you will like them if you try them on the old Lowden six....Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Dee45
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 02:54 PM

Willie-O,
As for the Elixer's there are several places where you can get them.

Contact either:

The Twelfth Fret (in Toronto) or,

Just Strings or,

Big City Strings


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 02 Sep 00 - 02:46 PM

Dear Mr. Fielding.

I regret to inform you that the guitar referenced in this thread has suffered a disaster. It has finally broken a string.

Da D String exploded Right in the middle of my last song of the year at the "Yellow Canoe Cafe." (It wasn't going to be the last song, but...) I was playing "Early Morning Rain" in D at the time, so geez, it was a struggle to finish, specially since I dropped my pick in shock.

Lucky I had my special guest Dan Whiteley playing a fabulous mandolin break at the time. Just said "keep playin" and he did. That was a lot of fun jammin with the boy, he sure can pick that porkchop. Guess I was pickin harder with him than I have been solo.

Now for some people this wouldn't be worth mentioning, but it doesn't happen to me very much.

Coda: Went home, unloaded, and got out the Martin for the first time in a month...after a night working out on the big ol' Lowden, the O-18's easy action and light weight is a nice way to wind down.

Wonder where I can get me some of them Elixir strings to try out...

W-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 03:35 PM

Spaw I already live in the Neil Young Centre...also known by Everybody as Nowhere, Ontario.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go get drunk, crash through a wall with my bare head, get more drunk, then take a bunch of drugs and make a new album...

Son of Scott


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: catspaw49
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 01:03 PM

Willie, I keep meaning to ask...........What the hell are Lowden Rocks anyway? I can understand how Rick might have some old ones, but why are you interested in them?

Please check in at the Neil Young Center for the Terminally screwed.......We handle all types of perversions.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 31 Jul 00 - 11:03 AM

Willie, I think Heather's already spent the guitar money on useless stuff like mortgage and food.

Every instrument "writes" songs in different ways. The two songs of mine that folks seem to think are the best "Voices of Struggle" and "Pitman Blues" are both hard edge musically and couldn't have been written on a softer more delicate guitar (like the little Martin)

When I really want to write something out of my normal style I go to the piano...simply because I don't know what I'm doing on it. Therefore...no cliches.

If ya get a chance send me a tape of your song.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 09:08 PM

refresh...


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 30 Jul 00 - 10:18 AM

Ya cash that cheque yet Rick? (Should be OK.)

The latest chapter in the rituals-of-breaking-in-a new guitar occurred this weekend. I wrote a song on the Lowden!

(Yes, I used washable felt-tip marker and will clean it off the back as soon as I get it typed up ;)= )

No, seriously. The free Stewart Park Festival has been going on in Perth all weekend. This is an outdoor affair in the daytime, then in the evening there are a bunch of shows in places around town so you can go club-hopping or dancing.

Fred Eaglesmith and Jenny and Dan Whitely were playing down at the Royal Canadian Legion--Jenny and Dan and their mom Mary are friends of mine, so I went over there. I don't hang out at Legions much but once in awhile I enjoy them. This was one of those times.

Anyway, the music was fine of course, the air was smoky, the beverage selection limited, and the sound had a lot of problems. Feedback and squeals and just plain bad acoustics. We were having a good time anyway. About 11:30 my neighbour Gary came in and said "Man I'm glad I got out of (another place downtown--a yuppie renovation bar). There's something good about a Legion, eh?"

There is, too. Best part was that the last guy that was supposed to play bailed so Fred and Jenny had to carry on to the end, just the two of them and the guitar sound was like it was tied onto a rope being dragged down a gravel road by a pickup truck. but IT WAS GREAT! Totally suited the scene and music.

Gary's remark struck me as a first line of something, and I got to thinking and singing to myself on the way home, so I went straight to the basement, got out the Lowden and the fingerpicks, and started scribbling (On paper, wearing fingerpicks. This is not one of the better examples of the calligraphic art you'll run across) and picking something out.

An hour later I had a couple of verses, a bridge or chorus , and a nice little alternating-bass & melody line. I haven't written a song in some time, and I really felt like this particular guitar suggested the tune and patterns to me in a way that made it a co-composer.

I don't tend to like songs very much the day after I write them, but I just added another verse, that's a good sign. I think this one's a keeper. It's a bouncy little paean to the aesthetic of authentic imperfection (You listening Peter T? That's the most profound thing I'll say all summer.) I'll post it later when I've got it down a bit more, or something...gotta go to work!

To Be Continued
Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 17 Jul 00 - 09:06 AM

A National Steel UKELELE!!!! Thats kind of hard for me to envision.

But I subscribe to the aesthetic that playing wear is not damage as such--quite the opposite. Why anyone would want an old instrument that had never been played is beyond me. Where's the fun in that? Musicians not museums. Say that's catchy ennit.

Our Lowden sounds and plays great with the Martin Marquis' on it. It might be awhile before I get the fret job done, it doesn't buzz or anything.

Willie "cheque's in the mail"-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 13 Jul 00 - 12:53 PM

Yah Willie, don't buy that Fishman til you've payed me! 'Cause I want ANOTHER one for my D-35! My God will this foolishness ever end? Oh well, some people collect cars.

By the way, I almost DID meet a Beatle once. I owned a steel National Ukelele, and knew that George Harrison (whom I apologize for stabbing) collected them. Figured he might be interested, so I contacted his "people", with the details. I fantasized about being invited to his mansion, uke, in hand, where he'd treat Heather and I to tea, and then give me huge bucks for the uke.

Got a short note back (from his "people" naturally) saying that he was only interested in "mint" condition instruments, and the picture of mine indicated it was "worn". End of fantasy.

My friend, Django-style guitarist, Robin Nolan, has played at many Harrison parties, and seems unimpressed....the dirty bird!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 13 Jul 00 - 10:51 AM

Oh, OK. That's alright, I already told half a dozen of the biggest gossips in Lanark County, although I included qualifiers which they will have forgotten...so I will probably never be able to squelch this story.

Deep down I knew you were setting me up, I was thinking, maybe Klaus Voorman? (Maybe Eric Clapton?) Had fun envisioning the circumstances under which this encounter might have taken place though--maybe Sir Paul has an anonymous rockabilly bar band you ran into, or his people called the Twelfth Fret looking for a Lowden Paul could borrow in town...?

So I got our mutual guitar on the bench, pulled and reglued the pickguard, it turned out the rattling in the peghead was just loose face nuts on the machine, and I'm about to slap a set of Martin Marquis Lights on it and get ready for tomorrow. Restrung the Martin too and now I feel like playing it again! Mandola next. Aside from this I will get no work done today and I have spent the gig profit already on strings & capo, so I guess I better get some more gigs. (Especially since I priced out the Fishman Rare Earth. And not least because I owe ya money Fielding.)

W-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 04:44 PM

No! No! No! IT WAS A JOKE...and I hadda go out of town before I could put in the punch line!

Bill (or John) who is the bass player for the great Southern Stringband "Still On The Hill" played it after doing the radio show here last year. In the sixties he was a pal of the Beatles and jammed with them at parties. Believe me if Paul McCartney HAD played it, I'd have gotten him to autograph it and put the sucker under glass!

Sorry Willie-o.........but Tony Burns is telling the truth!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Tony Burns
Date: 09 Jul 00 - 09:05 AM

Heck Willie-O, even I've played the Lowden. :-)


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 08 Jul 00 - 09:12 PM

This Rick Fielding guy certainly has a range of acquaintances....

I'll be damned.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Dee45
Date: 08 Jul 00 - 06:31 PM

Willie-O, consider yourself fortunate indeed to have an instrument with such a great history, in the sense that the former owner is able to recount that history.

I am sure there are many of us who are fortunate to own vintage instruments, that would love to know the "Red Violin" stories of them, but alas there is no way to know.

So instead we play and treasure them, and create a new legacy, to be passed on.


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Jul 00 - 06:03 PM

What a very kewl fawking thread!! I love reading about Mudders relationships with their instruments and the good homes they find for them. Totally awesome!!

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Jul 00 - 01:09 AM

Willie-o. I don't want to get your pacemaker overdriving, but actually a lot of others have played that guitar. I left out the names 'cause it already seems like a name-dropping festival........but...... a man who played a lot with J. Lennon, R. Starr, and G. Harrison (who I apologize for stabbing) also had a go on it. Heather was there to confirm it.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 10:26 PM

Jeff Healey! No shit! Y'know Rick, I don't think I'm gonna worry about the lack of a makers label in this guitar. I'm just gonna track down everyone who has supposedly played it and get them to autograph it.

Wide intervals indeed. He plays in a position most of us just use to change strings. And can you ever bend and vibrato when you're not wrapping your hand around the neck first. If you're Jeff that is.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 04:58 PM

Great memory Tony! Yup Jeff uses normal tuning but with the guitar on his lap he gets some verrrry wide intervals.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Tony Burns
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 12:32 PM

Willie-O, Rick seems to have forgotten the night Jeff Healey played swing on that guitar at the Tranzac club. Maybe he can remember the tuning Jeff uses with his unorthodox style of playing on his lap.


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 11:36 AM

Thanks Rick--I was using a not-very-hot mike and couldn't get at the mixer, so as a test it wasn't very comprehensive. I've always preferred having a mike and a pickup at the same time, whenever I could do it without being accused of selfishness. (That's the blend effect I guess).

Had better results at my gig last week when I miked it with the sm-57. Guess I'll shop for a pickup. Wait I am already paying $261/month for a Japanese pickup.

But I want one my better half isn't always using! (Like right now.)

Bill


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 11:24 AM

Boy, have I tried EVERYTHING! Over the years I've used magnetic AND piezo. It usually boils down to the piezos being tinny (or feeding back when you bring up the low end) and the magnetic pickups being a little too "smoothe".

I currently use the Fishman Rare Earth (not the blender...cause I'm usually playing into a mike anyway) and I'd say it's pretty good. A bit more acoustic than the Seymour Duncan I was using before.

Willie, I always miked the S-10 (nice to finally have some kind of model number) at the end of the fingerboard rather than in the middle of the soundhole....and I have to say...virtually every sound person I worked with commented on how well the guitar miked. When I miked it in the middle of the hole, I'd have the same problems as folks with D-28s (too much boom). This is why I have to use a Fishman on my D-35.

The "Frets" article "alluded" to "copyrite infringements" with Gibson. I wrote Gibson once about this and....of course, got no answer. Just yesterday I played a 1962 Gibson J-50.(selling for 2600!) and design-wise they are identical....but not sound-wise!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 10:45 AM

I have a more typical big-bodied Lowden -- a 1998 O-32C made in Northern Ireland, spruce and rosewood -- and it is an amazing guitar. Big, rich, warm sound, with a personality all its own. I use it for everything -- flatpicking, fingerpicking, standard and alternate tunings, you name it. As someone mentioned, the flattish fingerboard feels a little weird to people who are accustomed to the tighter fingerboard radius on Martins and Gibsons. But as someone who came from the classical guitar world, I like it just fine (my other principal steel-string is a Larrivee, which also has a flatter-than-typical fingerboard). I have it strung with phosphor bronze mediums.

I highly recommend the Fishman Rare Earth Blend pickup; I just finished raving about it in Jed Marum's thread about his Martin Backpacker, so I won't repeat all that here. I have this pickup installed in both my Lowden and my Larrivee (OM body style), and it beats everything else I've ever used. The acoustic sound is still best, but if you need an on-board pickup, that's what I'd recommend.


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Jul 00 - 09:34 AM

So, I joined the Cult of Lowden mailing list (lowden-L@egroups.com) and started pestering them with questions...the lowden cultists don't think there's any truth in the Gibson patent infringement story, they maintain that it was a simple matter of supply & demand--moving production to Japan was a way of making a lot more guitars as the name was gaining a reputation, then by the mid-80's it wasn't economically advantageous and they shifted back to Ireland.

The guitar is probably an S-10 according to these Lowdenites.

Played my first open stage jam with it last night, with Keith Glass...had to mike the Lowden which was inadequate with the available equipment. Which leads me to...

HEY RICK!!!!

what kind of a pickup setup have you used in this here box? (And did you pull it to reinstall in another guitar, or because it wasn't satisfying you?) History and advice please.

Yours, playing as loud as I can,
Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: GUEST,Wesley S at Home
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 08:02 PM

I hope that someday I'll be able to show you my 80's vintage Lowden 12 string. The sound is HUGE. And pretty as a picture too. I keep picking up 12 strings in stores just to see if I can find one with a sound to equal it but I haven't yet. Mine is ovankol and cedar. I can't imagine parting with it. Or my Martin 6 strings. I'm glad I have several good instruments so that whenever I shed this mortal coil both of the twins { due in February } will have something to remember their old man with. Isn't it amazing how a piece of wood and wire can get under your skin??


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 09:02 AM

I'm told that (once again because of Gibson copyright restrictions) the few that were made may have had different labels in different countries. Mine (Willie's) didn't appear to have any name..just a serial number. T'was the guy who sold it to me from Boddington's music, who told me about it's Lowden origins...but that name didn't mean anything to me at all back then. I have seen a Flambeau (which was a lovely guitar) at Encore Music. Looked about 15 years old (early to mid 80s)

As I told Willie, the "flat bridge", although great for sound was glued back three or four times. Finally I had my guitar Guru Bruce Dowd make a replica (but of denser rosewood). Doubt if it will need any glueing for a few years. 'Course I was using those heavy strings, so as I said, the guitar will appreciate the lesser tension of lights.

The guy who really liked it was Archie Fisher. He was playing an old Gibson J-50, and seemed to really appreciate the Lowden's shape, but with all that extra sound.

Now as some of you know, I had the neck on my Martin 0-18 shaved down, and when Bruce gets some time I'm going to get him to do the same thing on my Herringbone D-35. I've just gotten used to the Lowden's thin neck, and even if it's heresy, I want to recreate that on my Martins.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Willie-O
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 08:42 AM

A Flambeau/Lowden? Quest-ce que c'est?

Ani di Franco mutilated my guitar? It is worth more than I thought. Seriously though, that wear looks like it occurred over a long period of time--how many times did she play it? (She wears those weird little finger tubes doesn't she?)

Thanks for the playerography. Lots of history in this baby!

W-O


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 08:13 AM

I guess it's a Flambeau/Lowden Rick? Am I right? I also have one dating from 1983 and it's been a great workhorse guitar. I've done 100's of gigs with it, has a good sound and it never let me down once. I've been toying with the idea of selling mine having acquired a new wide necked Lakewood M-18 which feels like it's been made for me personally and which I cannot put dow. The trouble is feel like I'm being unfaithful to my trusty old Flambeau/Lowden if it is possible to be unfaithful to a guitar! If I do sell it it will only be to a good home...so if any "catters are interested....!

Peace to all,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: gillymor
Date: 02 Jul 00 - 07:32 AM

I just wanna testify! I've had a Japanese made L27F Lowden since '87 and it's the nicest I've ever owned. It has been remarkably stable here in the SW Florida humidity with it's abrupt flucuations and the tone is so sweet you could spread it on a biscuit. Folks who play it complain about the action with it's flat fingerboard but all agree it must have some magic in it.

Frankie


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for the info Rick. It sounds quite an instrument! I am glad it has found a really good home.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Rick's Old Lowden Rocks
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Jul 00 - 07:34 PM

Jon, back in the really early days, Lowden was making a J-50 Gibson, shaped instrument. Apparently there were patent infringements and he worked out some kind of deal with a Japanese company to either use his design or assemble the parts there (I forget the details, but got them from an old "Frets" magazine). Two of these instruments showed up in Toronto with serial numbers but no name on the peghead. My friend Ron Nigrini got one (and didn't pay for it 'cause he had a hit record at the time) and I gladly bought the other one. It was the first time I'd seen the Lowden "flat bridge" (since used by Takamine) and "non glare finish" on a cedar top instrument. Other than in sound, they bear very little resemblance to the "big round" shape that Lowden has been known for these many years. Willie ain't kidding when he talks about the volume on this guitar. It is the loudest acoustic guitar I've ever heard, can even drown out a banjo if you're not careful!

Rick


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