Please note: due to changes in regulations and constant design developments, we sometimes need to change details such as binding and inlay materials.
Findlay came to us via Megan Henwood, and their mutual project "Story Song Scientists". We have a lot of friends in common, and I was really pleased to be asked to make this guitar. It's unusual in various ways; first of course, it's an Ariel body, but with a 14-fret neck, a combination of comfort and convenience. Findlay was keen to keep the guitar eco-friendly, so the back and sides are Claro Walnut, but grown in England, the top is windfall Cedar, the neck is reclaimed mahogany from an old wardrobe, laminated with black lines and the fingerboard, bridge and bindings are "Rocklite".
Joseph has had a few unusual instruments from me. This one was actually built some time ago for Rob Armstrong of "Tarras", at the time it was a "Guitar Cittern", with five pairs of strings. Joseph bought it from Rob but soon had his own ideas.
We've fitted a new neck and changed the bridge, it's now a gentle fan fret ten string, but with six courses: four pairs and two singles. I can't wait to hear it. Joseph - that's not a hint, it's an order!
Yes, does anybody know where it goes?? It's not here anymore, that’s for sure. Christine has recorded some new videos recently, but this older one is very relevant just now, so the newer ones will have to wait.
Life is passing by at ridiculous speed, lots of people are losing track of what day it is. We are inventing a new calendar more relevant to our current situation. Friday is Sausage day, that's as far as we've got, we measure everything with sausages.
When I wrote that silly piece two months ago about preparing your sitting room for a proper "evening in" (Link to that page), I didn't imagine anyone taking it seriously, but maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. "Streaming" in all its various forms is establishing itself as part of the "new normal": Getting some drinks in, comfy chair, joining a "group", and offering encouragement in real time to the performer, complete with some mild heckles, can now be an evening’s entertainment.
We watched John Smith on "Zoom” and didn't at first realise that the video can work in both directions. Can you imagine the effect on John's performance, seeing all his audience in underpants and hair curlers? …. "Take off your dress babe", …. NO, NO, NO, DON'T!!
If you don't understand that, you need to listen to John's songs more often.
This little project has blossomed, it's very successful and is taking up more and more of Super Mike's time. If any of you have a streaming event that you want to publicise, particularly if it raises funds for charity, or for the musicians themselves, then please do tell me, with at least a few days warning. Just be sure that you give me a proper link, with the correct date and time, sufficient information to make it all clear, and some form of "visuals" that we can use to make it work. No promises, but we'll do our best.
What can I say? Astonishing.
Antonio is playing his custom Alexander, Blackwood and Spruce with ground down frets on the bass string, and a modified machine head for quick tuning change "on the fly". I've never seen Antonio play live; I do hope that will change.
I know Tris takes his pedals seriously, I helped him build the chassis for his last one. In fact, I'm a bit upset he isn't still using it!
I asked Tris for a photo and explanation of his new board, and he did this instead. I'll try and get other artists to explain their own gear when I get chance.
Tristan has a lot going on at the moment, I'll tell you more as soon as I can.
Over the last two months, Alex and Paul have worked alternate days and I have been fitting in at odd times and weekends, plus covering email (which has become enormous) etc., from home. Now we are back at work, more or less as normal. We always have gloves and masks available, it's that sort of job, our benches are about four metres apart, and we each have our own tools, so that's easy enough. There are lots of wipes, soap and new procedures, hazard markings on the floor and signs to encourage us to follow separate routes, and we have developed rather nifty "body swerves” when we get it a little wrong. We are thinking about a Fylde formation dance team.
We couldn't think of a way of turning on the alarm then washing our hands afterwards in the twenty seconds the alarm gives us, so Alex has made himself a personal poker and he can now turn on lights and switches without touching them. Moira bought us all extendable belt clips so we can have one each.
I've put a naughty spot on the floor. It's safe standing there, nothing can get through, the only drawback is the smell of sulphur.
George has his debut album available now, recorded by Ben Walker, so they had lots to talk about.
George emailed: "the guitar really makes me think in a different way and has a big influence on my approach to playing - it really pulls songs out of me. It's a joy to play and is sounding even better now than when I got it from you. It's bringing me a lot of comfort at the moment particularly -"
Good to hear.
With so much going on over the last few months, I haven't had chance to tell you about this. A compilation of pieces either commissioned by fans, or written by Gordon for personal reasons. The cover picture is of his lovely wife, Hilary.
Carrie joined Gordon on his Facebook streaming last week. she often joins him onstage and is her own little "whirlwind". She owns a ridiculous number of Doc Marten Boots. An even number, I'd like to add.
Actually, an old sales technique, but not scientifically tested before.
I've noticed a number of times over the years, that if I take a guitar home, it won't stay there long, one or other of our guitarist friends will "adopt" it, which is the main reason why I very rarely have a guitar at home. Right at the start of this "lockdown", like many others, I thought I might try and refresh the guitar skills I used to have, and maybe even learn something new. This guitar hadn't attracted much interest during the six months or so since it was made, so I brought it home. We haven't had any visitors, but guess what? I've sold it, it's on its way to the USA. QED.
Quite a lot from Ben currently, this time it's a rather nice instrumental played on his "old" Oberon. He has recently bought a brand new one which he is exceedingly pleased with. Watch this space.
John has recently posted a number of new videos, including the lovely "Roger's Roundhouse" that he recorded for the "Nimbles" album.
It's always good to see him play, and even if you can't see him, there is little doubt who is playing. Why does a second guitar appear behind him half way through?
Once again, I'm sorry! Time is passing so quickly, and the waiting list for some models is around two years. This means that I'm still completing orders agreed from the 2017 price list and I won't be completing orders taken at this year's prices until perhaps 2022. Despite the fact that our children have all left home, I still seem to be feeding them, and Moira needs a constant supply of new cushions. Sometimes her dealer threatens me, it gets quite scary.
I have left the lower price guitars as they are, it's a constant struggle to stay "in touch" and it's very important to me to be able to supply amateur and younger players.
If you are reading this, you must be "on" the new website.
It's five years since the website was significantly updated. That's a lifetime in the IT world, and it's hard for me to see clever features appearing elsewhere, in areas where Fylde led the way years ago. We've always had lots of information available, now there is even more, and a much simpler way of "Navigating". Once again, it's all down to "Super Mike" English, without whom etc.Mike English 's website
Seriously, even I am impressed. I don't think there is ANY guitar maker's website with the depth and breadth of this one, it has been an enormous task. Mike is a perfectionist, I'm glad he's on my side.
Eleven Galleries of instruments.
Mike thinks that's a lot, I think "if you've got it, flaunt it". Also, these are a very useful reference when I am discussing timber and design options with a customer.
History, customer support, video gallery, players gallery, comments, technical thoughts and info all reworked, updated and reorganised.
Website newsletter archive.
I've edited the earlier newsletters down so that a whole year is available with one click. Most of the instrument photographs have been taken out, but the best ones are now in the "Galleries", and all of the video links have been removed, because many are no longer available anyway, and the others are easily found elsewhere. I've also taken out a lot of the pictures of me, because I'm a shy quiet person, but I knew that would cause an outcry from certain chatrooms, so I've put some back in.
In 2016, Moira organised a surprise party to celebrate my MBE. I still haven't recovered. Artists came from all over to attend, and to perform. It was all recorded and video'd. David Mead announced "Last night, I played Fyldestock" and the name has stuck. We did consider making an edited video available for sale, it was a magnificent show, but a lot of it was very personal, so that will not happen. But - Mike has put together edited highlights, which will be viewable from the new website soon.
Wood Sweat and Tears (extended) has been out of print for about four years. I’m often asked for a copy, but it isn’t practical to have another print run with the costs involved. So much has happened since I wrote it: new artists, the MBE, and THAT PARTY, that I did think of writing an (extended) (extended) version, but that would be silly. Perhaps I’ll write the next chapter one day.
So - the way forward. The existing book will soon be available AS A DOWNLOAD. An e-book in EPUB format – hopefully.
Just a lovely little bit of music to finish off. Fly me to the moon - if only.
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