Just found out that I own one of ALVIN LEE ´s ES 335 !!!!

Alvinfan

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
3,035
Reaction score
4,003
As you can guess from my avatar I am a HUGE Alvin Lee fan. In 2006 I had a chance to buy
a 1958 Stratocaster that Alvin Lee had owned from 1972 - 1994. I managed to get some great authencification for that guitar.
Some months later the shop got a 1965 ES that should also have belonged to Alvin Lee. Being the big fan that I am,
I also bought that one despite the fact that the shop could not give any proof that it had been Alvins.
The guitar however had a repair after a Kahler tremolo removal, and I don´t know anyone else than Alvin who would do that.
So for me it was a strong indication, but not proof that it had been Alvins.
In 2008 I took the guitar with me to Lillehammer, Norway to see Alvin in concert and to have him sign the guitar and see if he could remember it.
I got my signature, but Alvin said he was not sure it had been his guitar - "he had had so many" as he put it.

Many years passed and I just enjoyed the guitar for the great player it also was. My preferred guitar sound changed from Fender to Gibson,
and since I could also use the money, I decided to sell the Alvin Strat.
The guitar went to a really nice guy and very passionate Alvin fan called Pieter from Norway.
When Pieter saw my ES 335 he said that the backplate that was used for the Kahler repair was exactly the same as the backplate under the kahler
that was on Alvins guitar when he played in Lillehammer where Pieter also was present and took some great photos.
My guitar also had grover tuners and all black knobs like Alvin preferred.
This got me started thinking again if I could get more proof of Alvins ownership and I decided to blacklight the guitar to see if there were sign of
stickers on the body or if I could see the ser # that had been painted over on the headstock and was unreadable on the orange label.

I have a blacklight that was out of order, probably a loos cord. Before going to the shop to have it fixed I tried one more time to get the light going,
and I managed to get a weak light. I put this light to the guitar but could not see anything of interest.
No see nr and no sign of stickers. I thought the light looked weaker than last time I blacklighted 3-4 years ago,
but thought that maybe I remembered wrong and I was just about giving up and accept that I would never
be able to prove that this guitar was Alvins, when I slightly hit the lamp and suddenly the full light came on :
AND LO AND BEHOLD THERE WAS A CLEAR SIGN OF A PEACE SITICKER AT THE LEFT HORN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( see picture )
Every Alvinfan knows what that means ( if not Google "Big Red" )Man !!! I felt shivers down my spine !!!
I could still not read serial nr, but I could see that there was something behind the lacquer at the back of headstock.
So I think I will take it to a specialist and have the gently remove the black lacquer to see if the serial nr comes out.

I immideately called my friend Pieter from Norway to thank him for getting me started on this, and he told me to check in the pick up cavities because
Gibson might have written something there if it was a guitar they set up for Alvin. ( Update to follow )
Among other things Gibson gave Alvin a ES 335 for his 50 th birthday in 1994.

Thanks for reading !!
Rock on and greetings from Denmark from a happy Alvinfan !

Lillehammermaj2008032_zps03a2e5c7.jpg


DSC09605_zps8d1f4dd5.jpg


DSC09607_zpsbd9ba504.jpg


7304782180_3531d5e415_c_zps1a39eb2c.jpg


ME AND ALVIN IN 1993

AlvinampMS_zps3465ab9f.jpg
 

Alvinfan

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
3,035
Reaction score
4,003
I have now checked in the pickup cavities, and unfortunately there were no more signs after Alvin.
If any of you guys could give some info on the pick ups to help me close in on a year for the guitar, I would appriciate it.
THE PICK UPS ARE NOT T TOPS !!!

Neck pickup :

DSC09617_zps259ad9f6.jpg


Bridge pu :

DSC09623_zpsc2df86ca.jpg


Neck pick up cavity :

DSC09620_zps63ef0b67.jpg


Bridge pu cavity :

DSC09629_zps6164da6c.jpg


Unreadable orange label :

DSC09637_zps76c6ddcc.jpg
 

GitFiddle

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
11,165
Reaction score
14,158
Cool story Alvin. :thumb:

Alvin is one of the main reasons my first real electric was a 335. After seeing the footage of him at Woodstock, I finally got to see him live in Ohio around '74.

Between Alvin, BB and Larry Carlton, I just had to have one. :thumb:

One of the only pics I have left of my long gone baby...
gitfiddle-albums-misc-picture50826-concert.jpg
 

MikeZito

Banned
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
446
Reaction score
405
GREAT story . . . now, I wonder if my blue Squier Strat ever belonged to Stevie Ray Vaughan?

Probably not, huh?
 

Dougie

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
2,013
Reaction score
1,117
The peace sign is in a different position, closer to the pickup than the one in the photo that Alvin is playing.
 

RichBrew

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
5,022
Reaction score
7,661
The peace sign is in a different position, closer to the pickup than the one in the photo that Alvin is playing.

But you didn't spot the fact that the one Alvin Lee is pictured with has a dot neck? I'm not sure if Alvinfan is suggesting it is the same guitar.

RichBrew
 

Alvinfan

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
3,035
Reaction score
4,003
The peace sign is in a different position, closer to the pickup than the one in the photo that Alvin is playing.

I am not saying that the guitar I have is the one Alvin is playing in the photo.
Mine is a 60´s vintage guitar and the one in the photo is a modern 335, probably from the 90´s.
The point is that Alvin had a unique trademark that is putting a peacesticker on his guitars. :thumb:
 

garweft

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
6,951
I typed in Alvin Lee big red right after. I knew the guitar that you're talking about, just didn't know that was it's nickname.

I'd be pretty stoked too.
 

CRobbins

Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2012
Messages
11,104
Reaction score
21,412
Right on, good luck with your quest. :cool:
 

Cookie-boy

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
16,721
Reaction score
11,007
I am not saying that the guitar I have is the one Alvin is playing in the photo.
Mine is a 60´s vintage guitar and the one in the photo is a modern 335, probably from the 90´s.
The point is that Alvin had a unique trademark that is putting a peacesticker on his guitars. :thumb:

Alvin was playing professionally from 1962 until his untimely death in March this year. He must have had dozens of "Big Red's" in his lifetime. There is every chance this is one of his. Good luck Alv' in your continued research! Have you made enquiries here?

Alvin Lee

Maybe one of his guitar techs/roadies picks up on your enquiry and can help.:thumb:
 

Alvinfan

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
3,035
Reaction score
4,003
Have you made enquiries here?
Alvin Lee

Thanks for the tip dear Cookie !!
I do know the site. Actually my Alvin 1958 Stratocaster sold after being advertised there.
Here is a thread about the sale and the new happy owner. Pieter who is also mentioned in my first post.
He is an even more dedicated Alvinfan than me ( didn´t think that was possible :)):
Alvin Lee Message & Discussion Board
 

SingeMonkey

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Messages
1,464
Reaction score
661
Can't get much better for an Alvin Lee fan than owning one of his 335s. Congrats.
 

mbowen

Premium Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
2,304
Reaction score
6,654
Congrats it is great to have one of your hero's guitars,Mike B.
 

Dougie

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
2,013
Reaction score
1,117
Oh I'm not accusing, or saying it's not an Alvin Lee owned guitar, just pointing out the difference in the photo. Cool story nonetheless!:dude:
 

Latest Threads



Top