Archive for the ‘Instruments’ Category

Amplified Blasts From the Past

November 21, 2012

Those of us who know Mr. Sam Towers will know him to be an outstanding musician on both guitar and bass. What I didn’t know until recently is that he is also either: a.) an archivist, or b.) a pack rat. Recently, Sam had the need to dig into some old files and boxes he hadn’t touched in almost 40 years. In the process he uncovered a trove of Baltimore musician history that just has to be shared, so we’re going to share it here.

This first installment starts with a receipt for an amplifier. Not just any amp, but a classic favorite for guitar since it’s release in 1952, two years before Fender began selling Stratocasters. The Fender Twin Reverb.

For perspective I looked up a vintage original 1967 Twin. This one was listed as “near mint” condition and was selling for $2,500.00.

1967 vintage Fender Twin Reverb guitar amp

If you’re willing to sacrifice authenticity and go for re-issue, you can get this 1965 vintage re-issue for $1,350 at Guitar Center.

1965 vintage re-issue Fender Twin Reverb guitar amp

Sam has an incredible stack of receipts from Fred Walker’s … most written in Mr. Walker’s own hand … but this is the only one from Jimmy’s Music Shop, 127 West 48th Street, New York, NY. Musical instruments of all types were always known to be about 1/2 price in New York, even compared to someplace close by like Baltimore. I drove to NY to buy a trombone in 1972 for that same reason.

Here’s Sam’s 1967 receipt for a Fender Twin Reverb. It must have looked a lot like the vintage original Twin above (but probably without wheels) … maybe Sam can tell us if his amp was black face or silver face.

receipt for a 1967 Fender Twin Reverb guitar amp from Jimmy's Music Shop on 48th St. in New York