As mentioned in an earlier post I am brushing up my guitar – ahem – “skills” during my vacation. Yesterday I was sitting with my friend Holger who dusted off his old electric bass in a similar attempt. I told him about my guitar and when I mentioned the manufacturer’s name “Framus” he raised an astonished eyebrow. Since I bought the guitar back in the early Eigthies from a classmate for 100 DM (“felt” value today ~100 EUR) I always thought it was some cheap far-east factory stuff. But as it turned out Framus is a respected German guitar, bass and banjo manufacturer founded back in 1946. They went bankrupt in 1975, but began production again in 1995. Among the artists playing Framus instruments, there are the “German Elvis” Peter Kraus, John Lennon, George Harrison and Rolling Stones bassman Bill Wyman. There is quite an extensive article on Wikipedia as well as the history section on the bilingual homepage.
I was not very kind to my Framus guitar. It came in a light blue finish which didn’t look “cool” enough to me back then. So I “attacked” it with my dad’s hot-air fan and scraped the paint and finish off it, leaving bare wood and lot of scars. Then I glued a mirror between the pickup and the neck since that looked cool too. Click on the thumbnail to see the full image of the guitar. Last night I took some pictures of my guitar and sent them to Framus’ “Vintage Specialist”. This morning, he answered and told me that my guitar is a “Framus Junior de luxe (Model 10370)” which was built in the early Seventies, most likely in 1972. He also told me that it was modified since the original model only had a single coil pickup – my model is equipped with a humbucker-pickup. They only have a picture of a Junior 4 bass from 1973 on their page, but the similarity is quite obvious. So my guitar is probably only 5 years younger than I am. I have not yet made my mind up whether I should renovate it (I always feel inclined to use the article “her” on my 3 guitars), give it a new finish, get rid of the mirror etc. – or whether I should leave it like it is. Right now I’m tending more to leaving it like it is. What do you think?