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

Alvinfan

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I have today ( on Alvins 69 birthday ) managed to remove the paint
on the back of the headstock so I can see the ser # : 109216
Gibson dates this to 1963 or 1967 and since it is a TDC it must be a 1967.
Now I hope the ser # shows in the archives over Alvins guitars over the years.
Today I also finished my Alvin tribute poster, so it has been a great Alvin day for me :thumb::thumb: :

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dspelman

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This is the same level of excitement I'd expect from a Miley Cyrus fan who found he owned That Wrecking Ball.
 

KRaZeE

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Keep digging, man. Ignore the haters. I can only imagine I would be shitting myself quite literally if I happened across an SG Mr Iommi had once used to call forth the Devil's third or a Guild S-100 the Great Bearded One, Kim Thayil, had dropped to D or some other whacked out tuning. Awesome find and, even if it doesn't pan out, I'm sure the treasure hunt will be fun. Enjoy! And nice looking fiddle, BTW.
 

Alvinfan

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UPDATE : guitar is now 100 % identified as having been Alvins !!!

I posted the serial nr on Alvin Lee com Forum and someone there remembered a post from 2006 !!! on the forum called Audiogon
where someone had written in a post, that he had sold a red 1967 ES 335 to Alvin Lee in Minneapolis in 1983. (talk about finding a needle in a haystack)
I joined that forum and as a long shot I wrote the guy. Next day I got a mail from him. Below is his AMAZING response :


Hi Jesper!

Wow! This is unbelievable! Great detective work! I am the guy who sold the 1967 ES335 to Alvin Lee at the Cabooze bar in Minneapolis Minnesota in September of 1983. I was 25 years old and went to the show never intending to sell my guitar, but what happened was beyond belief...
My real name is Brian, but am listed as ...XXXX on Audiogon.
Well, when myself and a friend went to Alvin's show 1983, we were talking to people outside in the bar's patio (where Alvin's tour bus happened to be) and wound up talking to (Alvin's drummer)Tom Compton's drum roadie. I began asking him many questions about Alvin, and about his guitar in particular. The roadie mentioned that Alvin is always looking for 335's on the road. I told him what I had and asked if Alvin would be interested in it (I wasn't looking to sell it otherwise, but to meet Alvin would be unbelievable, so I offered). The roadie said he would check and went into the bus. I was trembling at this point, thinking that I might have a shot at meeting Alvin. The roadie came out and asked if I could bring it down before the end of the show. Oh . yeah, I can do that...

My friend and I left the bar to go back to my house, which was about 35 minutes away, and got the guitar. We made it back to the bar and gave the guitar to someone in the bus(can't remember who), and went into the bar to see the show. Alvin was just starting his encores at this point (we missed most of the show-didn't care at this point When the show was done, we went back to the patio and waited by the bus. A few minutes later Alvin came out of the bar (with a girl on each arm), and went on the bus (there were maybe 4 or 5 other people outside the bus with us).

All of a sudden, I see Alvin looking at and playing my guitar in the bus. A little while passed and the doors opened up. Somebody said "go on", and my friend and I went on. There was Alvin playing my guitar and he asked me what I wanted for it. I was shaking at this point, but tried not to be 'starstruck'. I told him $700 and he winced and said ohhh (like it was too much. Alvin's tour manager got involved and countered $450 (I think). We were invited to sit down at this point and Alvin continued to play the guitar. I told him that only his licks were played on that guitar, which was somewhat true since I had learned many of his songs and style of playing (I was obsessed with his playing for 9 years prior to this). I asked him to play "Silly Thing" from TYA Live and he did. I then asked him how he played a lick from 'Going Home'. I took the guitar and played the lick 2 different ways, and he told me which one was correct. I then started playing more of his licks and he said it was pretty good! Imagine, Alvin himself saying my playing was good! We traded the guitar back and forth a few more times, talked a bit more (we asked him how many times he has played I'm Going Home. He said he had not kept track, but still liked playing it). Alvin was really funny too. He was saying some pretty funny things, but I can't remember it all. His bass player (Fuzzy Samuel) was sitting there too, but didn't say much...

Well, Alvin's manager (John Hembrow-I think) started trying to close the deal, now offering $500 for the guitar. Alvin started challenging him saying "oh, give him $600 for it!" We finally settled on $550, and the deal was done. At this point, the bus was starting up to go on to the next gig. I was paid from John and given a receipt (which I still have somewhere), and we left shaking hands. They we all very nice and fun. I did get an autograph and custom pick from Alvin. What a night that was...

As far as the guitar goes, I believe the serial number 109216 is correct (if my memory is correct...). The guitar also was a "2nd", so there should be a '2' located either above or below the serial number. There also was a dent in the back of the neck towards the headstock and part of the nut missing on the edge of the top E string. The grover tuning keys were installed by me, the stop tail piece and metal bridge saddles were installed by Pete's Guitars in St. Paul, MN around 1981or so. The knobs were the traditional 'witch head' type, so yours look to be added. I took the pickup covers off (Alvin believed this improved the range of the pickup) and I think I still have them somewhere too. The original Kluson tuners were sold several years ago.

The Alvin Lee Band retuned to the same bar a couple of weeks later in October 1983, and I asked the same drum tech about the guitar I sold Alvin. He said he was playing it at shows. Didn't get to meet Alvin again, but that was OK.

I better end this book now. If you need any more info, just let me know (or if you want to sell the guitar..haha).

Take care and congrats on a GREAT guitar. The best I ever owned.


Alvinfan writing again :
I removed more lacquer looking for the "2" but could not find it. Maybe it was only pressed in the original lacquer that disapperred when I used fluid to remove lacquer.
However Brian wrote me again saying that he had found the receit from when he sold the guitar to Alvin + the receit from when the bought the guitar in 1975 ( this receit had the correct ser # 109216 on it !!! )

After having discovered the ser # on Alvins 69 birthday, I got the mail from Brian December 24 th !!! So you can imagine I had a pretty great Christmas - and I will have a hard time choosing any of my other nice guitars to play in the future

Rock´n Roll Music to the World and happy new year to y´all !!!
Jesper ( MS57 )
 

Cookie-boy

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Brilliant news Alv'!:thumb::thumb::thumb:

And you are right about the "2" or "second". I'm absolutely sure these were added just prior to shipping and pressed into the top surface laqueur.
 

kestrou

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Holy Cow! :shock:

I just gotta post to say, Good on ya, AlvinFan!

I'd call this a Christmas Miracle. :thumb:

kestrou
 

Alvinfan

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Now the final pieces of this amazing puzzele is in place : I got another mail from Brian, this time with the original receit from when he bought the guitar and trading in his ES 330 in 1975 including the serial # 109216 !!! As you can see below he also sent copy of the receit he got from Alvins manager when he bought the guitar, an autographed greeting from Alvin thanking for the red guitar, an Alvin Lee pick ( I got one exactly like that when I saw Alvin play in Copenhagen 2 months later !! ), tickets and ad for the show + pictures from the second show Alvin played at The Cabooze Bar in 1983.

Now starts the hunt for one of Alvins Marshall heads :)

Rock on !

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The Wedge

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that's good news. I didn't wanna burst your bubble that it could have just been owned by another Alvin fan. But I was wrong.
 

Kaicho8888

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Exciting story... I sensed the great excitement you have! That is such a great story unraveling right here!

CONGRATS!

I have always been an Alvin Lee Ten Years After Fan! Again...good detective work. Now check for Alvin's DNA on the fretboard. :applause::applause:
 

utedog

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I love the research and enthusiasm in this post. Great work and fantastic reward. Didn't realise this thread was over 12months old I got so involved in the story. Apologies in advance.
 

Tone deaf

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I've been on audiogon a lot longer than MLP. It is great to see a positive crossover between the two sites.
 

LtDave32

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Indeed, a terrific story. Thanks for sharing that with us!

How exciting, to suddenly see that sticker image under the blacklight, instantly telling the tale of that guitar's history!
 

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