History of seven-string solidbodies

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by voxhumana, Feb 17, 2011.

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  1. voxhumana

    voxhumana Invented the guitar.

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    Dear all

    I'm not a seven-string player. I am however a senior editor at Wikipedia, (see User:Manning Bartlett - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

    We've been having a problem there with an individual who is presenting a very specific account of the history of seven-string guitars. I am polling the members of this community to see if there is any general support for this person's account of events.

    The person is named Alex Gregory, and he (or an ardent fan/associate) has been constantly revising any page that mentions a seven-string guitar with the claim that he is the "inventor" of this instrument. Occasionally this claim is qualified as only referring to solidbody versions.

    I have thus far been able to independently verify that Mr Gregory did have an agreement with Fender in 1987 to produce a prototype solidbody seven string. (See The Fender Stratocaster - Google Books) Two or three prototypes were made, but the guitar never went into production.

    It is also a fact that Mr Gregory has been issued a number of patents for seven string guitar design, and as a result he claims this proves he "invented" the concept. However my own review of the patents indicates that they have been issued for specific design parameters of the instruments, and not for the seven-string concept in general.

    What I have not been able to find is
    (a) an independent resource (eg.reputable magazine/journal) that substantiates Mr Gregory's claims or
    (b) evidence of a solidbody seven-string that predates 1987 which would invalidate his claiim.

    If anyone can assist me in providing (or pointing me in the direction of) evidence of either case, I would be grateful.

    For general interest, we have thus far been able to refute several other of Alex Gregory's claims.
    1 - His website and his artist profile at Fender indicates he studied classical composition at the University of Milan. However this university does not have (and has never had) a music faculty.

    2 - He claims to have been granted the title "Maestro" by either Queen Elizabeth II or by the British Government. This is patently false. "Maestro" is not an official title and no such title has ever been awarded by any British institution. Our investigation has established only that Alex Gregory applied for and received permission to have the title Maestro added to his passport. It is also possible (but unproven) that he may have legally changed his name to this effect. This is not of any particular significance however. Any British citizen is free to also do this, as the title "maestro" is an unofficial and hence unprotected title (in contrast to formally protected titles such as 'Doctor', 'Professor', 'Justice', etc).

    Again, thanks in advance for any assistance people may be able to provide.
     
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  2. Kevan

    Kevan Forum MVP

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  3. voxhumana

    voxhumana Invented the guitar.

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    Sorry I should have mentioned that. We're well aware that George Van Eps commissioned Epiphone to build a seven-string archtop electric guitar in 1938, which refutes the statement that Gregory "invented" the seven-string electric.

    My question above specifically relates to solidbody seven-strings.
     
  4. DevinShidaker

    DevinShidaker ss.org Addict

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    Well it is known that Steve Vai used a prototype Ibanez Universe 7 string on the Whitesnake album "Slip of the Tongue", which was released in 1989. I will try to find more info on when he had the guitar built.
     
  5. Nazca

    Nazca SS.org Regular

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    I thought it was Steve Vai, but then I heard about this person named Lenny Breau had invented it first. I may be wrong.
     
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  6. DevinShidaker

    DevinShidaker ss.org Addict

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  7. voxhumana

    voxhumana Invented the guitar.

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    Bingo - that name was all I needed. I googled his name and immediately found this: "Lenny Breau Remembered" By Jim Ferguson

    This is from a reliable source (which Wikipedia requires) and although the article doesn't give an exact year, it can be deduced from the text that the instrument was built somewhere between 1979 and 1984.

    Hugely appreciated.
     
  8. voxhumana

    voxhumana Invented the guitar.

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    I hadn't seen this when I posted my previous comment, but a huge thank you as well. That's pretty conclusive evidence.
     
  9. voxhumana

    voxhumana Invented the guitar.

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  10. groph

    groph SS.org Regular

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    I can't contribute anything useful to the history, but it is great to see someone from Wikipedia (by far one of the best things on the Internet) coming here for information. You've probably come to the right place. Thank you and the rest of Wikipedia for providing us with the greatest way to kill 4 or 5 hours by endlessly clicking through links to different articles!
     
  11. voxhumana

    voxhumana Invented the guitar.

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    Gee let me think this through. An article on seven-string guitars. A forum called "sevenstring.org".

    Yes I know, it's amazing how brilliantly I put these things together. It's a gift really.

    <grin>

    (In all seriousness, I came here fully expecting that this community would be able to sort the matter out. Even so, I was still amazed at the speed at which it happened).
     
  12. mountainjam

    mountainjam SS.org Regular

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    Hey that's awesome. I love wikipedia. Very glad you guys are keeping the facts straight!
     
  13. The Munk

    The Munk SS.org Regular

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    Cool thread!
    :yesway:
     
  14. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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    :yesway: Awesome
     
  15. 13point9

    13point9 Now with Less Hair!

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    Awesome stuff :yesway: always amazes me how influential this forum is sometimes...

    Make sure to comeback anytime there is a question about the various fields discussed here OP ;)
     
  16. Nazca

    Nazca SS.org Regular

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    Hey, no worries :yesway:. Always like to be involved.
     
  17. asmegin_slayer

    asmegin_slayer cali-cornia bluffer

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    Here is the video of that guitar!

     
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  18. Herrick

    Herrick Hello Mangs

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    Agreed. It's like a movie where a private investigator seeks the experts' opinion [​IMG]
     
  19. WickedSymphony

    WickedSymphony SS.org Regular

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    And instead he came to us. :lol:
     
  20. littlephil

    littlephil SS.org Regular

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    I remember hearing Vai talking about the creation of the Universe :)lol:) and he mentioned that someone at Ibanez had an 8 string way back then.
    Of topic, but pretty cool nonetheless (if its true)
     
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