Dad’s lucky guitar find

Sometimes you have the most amazing luck. And for some odd reason, my Dad has far more than his fair share. Take a look at the image below.

[A photo of two near-identical apparently vintage Framus acoustic country/folk guitars, side-by-side on my back gallery.]
A pair of sibling guitars.

The guitar on the right is one that I got man, I can’t even remember how many years ago. I was a starving student at the time, and I had my old, trusty electric knock-off that I’d got at 16, but for jams at res, you really needed an acoustic. So from somewhere – I can’t even remember where – I got this old, acoustic that had seen way better days.

(You can’t see clearly in the picture, but someone inked out the brand name and logo with a black sharpie, the truss rod cover is missing, and there are numerous screws missing.)

The guitar on the left was spotted by my dad in… of all places… Value Village. The price tag is still on it: $14.99. (Which probably explains how I came by mine back when I was a broke student.)

As if it weren’t freaky enough to find a near exact duplicate of a guitar you own in Value Village, this isn’t exactly a standard Martin or Fender. We haven’t looked into the model yet, but these are Framus guitars. They are country/folk guitars made in East Germany during the height of the cold war. That’s an amusing mash-up, to say the least.

As I said, we haven’t dug into the models yet, but it’s pretty certain that mine at least is a vintage Framus guitar. The original Framus was founded in 1946, but it went bankrupt in 1975. It was revived in 1995 as a trademark of Warwick (a maker of bass guitars). I would have got my guitar sometime between 1996 and 1999, and there’s just no way it was a couple years old when I got it – pre-1975 is pretty realistic for the state it was in. Besides, both mine and Dad’s are declared built in the heart of Bavaria; Framus’s old factories were in Möhrendorf, Baiersdorf, and Bubenreuth – all very much in the heart of Bavaria, while their new factory is in Markneukirchen in Saxony. (There’s also no sign of Warwick branding on Dad’s.)

But the really freaky thing about Dad’s find is this:

The neck on my guitar is not in the best condition. Whoever owned it before me obviously fucked with it – the truss rod cover is missing, there are screws missing from the heel, and it’s warped. But the body on mine is perfect. There are some screws missing, but it’s almost scratch free, and in good condition.

Meanwhile, the neck on the one Dad found is exquisite. But the body is in horrible condition. You can see extensive scratching around the sound-hole and just south of the pick guard. What you can’t see is that there’s a massive crack running down the left side, and the body is horrifically warped (thus the $14.99 price tag, I suppose).

It’s an almost magical combination. If he takes the neck from his and the body from mine… and if he takes the metal tuning hardware from mine (note that his has plastic hardware)… and if he takes all the screws from his that are missing from mine… he’ll end up with a perfectly good guitar. It technically won’t be exactly “vintage Framus”… but for $14.99, I’d say it’s fucking close enough.

What a lucky bastard, eh?

CC BY-SA 4.0 Dad’s lucky guitar find by Mark A. Gibbs is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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