Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Well, that song she's humming, could make my guitar start strumming?

Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby beeflin » 02 Sep 2010, 16:53

My Eccleshall Barracuda's neck is a replica of the neck of Rory's '57 (or '58?) sunburst Strat, the one he didn't wear out! Chris Eccleshall told me it was the best Strat neck he'd ever tried, and he measured it thoroughly while he had it in his workshop so as to be able to copy it. The neck on my Barracuda is just one of many ""Eccleshall Stratoblaster" necks built to the same measurements.

Also check out http://www.rorygallagher.com/#/archives/guitars - about 2/3 the way across the slider you'll see 3 Eccleshall instruments.

For more about Chris, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Eccleshall and http://www.eccleshallguitars.co.uk/.
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby eno » 12 Oct 2010, 23:37

I escaped my job & wandered into this topic, interesting it is, I copied & pasted this from the wikipedia page:

Historic guitars

Eccleshall was responsible for rebuilding Pete Townshend's smashed guitars[12][16] until he found it too upsetting to continue. He still possess an SG body with a Meher Baba sticker from that era. He was Rory Gallagher's favoured guitar technician from 1971 to 1985,[17][18][19] rebuilding and re-fretting his battered Fender Stratocaster at least 15 times (including a neck change), and was responsible for disabling the Strat's vibrato mechanism using a wooden block, a modification he was later also commissioned to apply to Eric Clapton's "Blackie".
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby beeflin » 10 Nov 2010, 22:13

I've been talking to Chris Eccleshall and discovered the truth behind the story of the "green Telecaster". His memory of the story differs from Donal's and I'm wondering how to communicate with Donal to put the record straight!

Anyway, I'll tell the story according to Chris right here just for now. The guitar he remembers repairing was a cream Esquire not the white Telecaster. It had been damaged returning to Britain after a tour and Rory wanted it back in action very soon. Chris didn't actually colour it green. He managed to glue back the broken-off pieces of wood (from the upper bout of the body only) without too much trouble, since they wasn't crushed, just broken off quite cleanly. But the time limit given was no good for a matching application of nitrocellulose lacquer, which dries rather slowly, so the only option was to finish it in clear two-pack polyurethane. There was no colour in the lacquer, but this particular compound does refract with a green tint when lit from particular angles.

Although it was Tom O'Driscoll who had delivered it to Chris' workshop, Rory wanted it urgently enough that he collected it himself on the afternoon of the gig. Chris remembers Rory's exact words as he caught sight of the guitar, unfortunately lit at just the wrong angle by the rays of the setting sun - "Oh my dear boy, I don't want a green guitar!" After Chris had explained the situation, Rory got interested in the possibilities afforded by the guitar needing to be refinished. "Could we make it a black guitar? And could we make it a three-pickup guitar?" So after the emergency Chris took it back, fitted Stratocaster pickups supplied by Rory or Tom and refinished it in black. That was the last he saw of it. By the way, Chris said the whole episode would never have happened if Rory had ever seen fit to put his hand in his pocket to buy flight cases, but he loved everything to stay original and preferred to spend far more money after something went wrong. It was all part of the charm of the man.

It's possible that we're talking about the 1959 Esquire shown in the Gallery on this website, although that has been turned into a Telecaster. The cracked black finish looks old enough, since we're talking about the 70's, whereas the pickguard looks very white so it's possible it's one of the newest parts, and the neck pickup looks pretty shiny so it too could be recent, whereas the bridge pickup mount and knobs are aged.

Chris' son and I are hoping that he will give some interview time to make a book of his life and anecdotes, so this might be one of them one day.
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby fenderbass » 11 Nov 2010, 12:24

Beeflin, that's great info. Thanks.
I'm sure I saw Rory play this guitar when in this 'green' condition. Glasgow Apollo, 74 or 75.
Does Chris still have a workshop or is he retired now?
Has his son carried on in his father's trade?
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby Rick K » 11 Nov 2010, 15:21

I very much enjoyed your story beeflin.

In it you have reflected the same situation I`ve run into a few times now. I`ve read Donal`s accounts of situations with other musicians. When I`ve met and talked with the same musicians; they have a different take on the given story. I`m not trying to be disrespectful, but I question Donal`s memory of some things. I don`t know if he was too busy, too distracted, or maybe too much alcohol......or maybe all the others were. It just puzzles me each time it happens. I know alot of good honest people who`s memories are not exactly correct. Must have been some crazy days........in the day. No wonder stories vary somewhat.

Thanks for giving a story that I hadn`t yet heard.

Best Wishes, Rick
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby asdesas » 11 Nov 2010, 16:47

Beeflin,

Thanks for sharing that great story--would love to hear more.Rick raises an interesting point that there are probably as many versions of this story as there were participants.

Regards,
Richard
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby beeflin » 17 Feb 2011, 14:22

Chris is still at work and can be contacted via the email address and phone numbers on his website http://www.eccleshallguitars.co.uk/
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby beeflin » 28 Feb 2012, 13:23

Wow Kurt, you have an Eccleshall Barracuda? There are no more than half a dozen in existence - please please please post some nice big photos of it!
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby beeflin » 28 Feb 2012, 13:29

Oh yes, fenderbass - this is Mike Eccleshall, Chris' son - he's done a lot of work with The Levellers: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=37084525546 and http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-eccleshall/a/40/430
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Re: Eccleshall/Gallagher notes

Postby beeflin » 05 Jun 2014, 16:50

I spoke with Chris Eccleshall again today and he gave me a couple more interesting tidbits about The Strat. He says he refretted it no less than 18 times! Eventually he was needing to fill the ragged fret slots by gluing mahogany veneer into them before re-sawing them. Finally he told Rory the neck was finished and needed replacing. Tom supplied another Strat neck of similar vintage which had been acquired in the States for exactly this eventuality and Chris fitted it and set it up. This would have been around 1976. The old neck must have been given back with the guitar - Chris doesn't have it. By the way, he's currently building Peter Hook's SIXTH 335 bass at the moment.
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