JOHN BAILEY DOUBLENECK
I actually sold this
guitar in 1993, but it's here because it's the most beautiful
instrument I've had. I saw it in Bert Jansch's guitar shop in Fulham
in 1984 and immediately recognised it as that used by Gordon Giltrap
and pictured on his Visionary album. It was the one guitar I'd
ever really coveted. It seems Gordon had had to sell a number of
instruments, and I in turn sold my car to buy it. And Bert made me a
cup of coffee, too.
John Bailey built
this for Ralph
Denyer, author of The Guitar Handbook,
and actually made others for the 2nd guitarist and bass player in his
band, Blonde on Blonde. He hoped to sell a lot of guitars once
the band appeared on TV - but unfortunately they split. Not only is
the thing beautiful, but he's solved the problems of a doubleneck far
better than the more famous makers like Gibson and Rickenbacker.
acoustic-guitar hero, then bought it and used it with his electric
band. I in turn used it intermittently for 9 years, during which
it got a re-fret, until I decided to sell it to kick-start our church
In the event, the
only reply I had was from Gordon himself! He wanted to buy it back, so
he came down to
Essex and got his baby! I actually
discounted the price, though he always claims I charged him over the
odds because it had belonged to a star!
I've since spoken to
John Bailey on the phone - wonderful bloke, full of reminiscences
about the legends who used his flat as a second home in the late
sixties, and the guitars he made for them.
In view of increased interest in
John's work since his death in 2011, I've devoted an entire biography
to the doubleneck