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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Dick Dale's The Beast in the transitional Burgundy Mist/Candy Apple Purple in '63!

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Here's a great article from Collectible guitar, discussing another Dennis Swiden sparkleburst - It's not about Dick Dale, but he is mentioned. Eddie Bertrand and Kathy Marshall are mentioned as well.

I think Dennis was the go-to guy for this type of paint job.

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"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

Wow!! Most excellent, Chris! According to John, Kathy still has her metal-flake silver/grayburst Strat. Unfortunately, Eddie's has disappeared. I wonder if this could actually be his rather than Larry Robbins'? What a great article, anyway! Thanks so much for posting it!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

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Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Last edited: Dec 21, 2016 13:15:08

I wondered the same thing, Ivan. I don't know why a sax player needed a custom color Strat, and from the story Eddie B personally told me, his and Kathy's were the only ones. He said hers was meant for him, but it was "too pink" or "too girly" because it was supposed to be a redburst over metal flake that ended up a little pink. So, he gave it to her, and ordered another with a less "girly" finish.
image
image

"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

In the SG101 interview with Eddie, here's what he said about those custom-painted Strats:

I had painted my Jag black, fading into silver...sort of a "black sunburst," if you will. I liked the idea, so I asked Leo if he would make me a black sunburst metalflake Strat. He built two, actually. One was very classy, subtle flakes, a really bitchin’ lookin' guitar. The other one was way too "pretty" for me...a bit feminine. Kathy Marshall wound up with that one.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

If you compare how silver Eddies looks in the above pic, to how sort of pink-ish Kathy's looks in the pic below, I believe the story Eddie told.
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"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

And, I think I could make a case based on the dark band on the burst effect of the Larry Robbins Strat that it is very likely to be Eddie's. It is fat near the arm contour, then skinny near the strap button, then gets really fat at the output jack.

"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

I'm not normally a sparkly metal flake guy, but man that two-tone sparkly metal flake strat is delicious!

Sonichris wrote:

And, I think I could make a case based on the dark band on the burst effect of the Larry Robbins Strat that it is very likely to be Eddie's. It is fat near the arm contour, then skinny near the strap button, then gets really fat at the output jack.

I was thinking the same thing. Hmmmmm.....!!

John, wanna ask Kathy? ;) She might be able to shed a bit more light on this whole thing.

BTW, another difference between Eddie's and Kathy's Strat was the size of the metal flake - I remember Eddie saying that the flakes were just too big for his taste on the one that he gave to Kathy, and you can definitely tell that in the above photo.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

IvanP wrote:

In the SG101 interview with Eddie, here's what he said about those custom-painted Strats:

I had painted my Jag black, fading into silver...sort of a "black sunburst," if you will. I liked the idea, so I asked Leo if he would make me a black sunburst metalflake Strat. He built two, actually. One was very classy, subtle flakes, a really bitchin’ lookin' guitar. The other one was way too "pretty" for me...a bit feminine. Kathy Marshall wound up with that one.

Yeah, pretty much the same story he told me sitting around HBKahuna's kitchen table. I think he liked to tell that story. I do remember specifically that he said the pretty one was made, and he passed it on, then the other was made. I guess he didn't know who painted them for Fender.

The standard story about Fender and metal flake finishes is they farmed them out to local auto body shops. I can't figure out why up until recently nobody seemed to mention that Dennis Swiden was the guy for a very large portion. And it wasn't an auto body shop, it was a furniture store. He died in 2014, and even he didn't mention it. I read he was dismissive of the past, and held no regard for it, which might be why he kept quiet.

I sure wish there were more pictures from back then. But, when a new one shows up, like the ones in the OP, I'm really thrilled.

"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

I'm thinking that it's very likely that the above Strat is Eddie's, somehow ending up in Larry Robbins' possession. Larry's son probably got the story slightly wrong - or maybe even the above author got the story slightly wrong. Could have happened very easily. In which case, HOLY COW! Wow! Eddie's very own '64 custom Strat has been discovered!!!! A true holy grail!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Last edited: Dec 21, 2016 14:02:03

Yes! I've got a text out to HBKahuna (Tim Ferrill) who might remember something I don't. He and Eddie were close.

"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

IvanP wrote:

Glad you all are enjoying it!

SurfBeat wrote:

Ivan, since you asked and you seem to have an interest in early surf music history, (and you are one of the Polish surf pickers, Kurkowski, Wronski and me, all of us from different waves, me the old fart)

Hey Joe! Actually, I'm not Polish.

You play like a Polack (good thing) and have a similar sounding name, so, I presumed you were.

On a side note, Dick says, as recently as today, that the Strat was pearl white when he was on Sullivan's show,

Well, Dick's memory is definitely not correct here.

Ivan, I made a typo. I was trying to respond to the Thread and taking incoming phone calls from clients heading to a federal bastille, so my mind got hay wired.

Dick said the Strat was metal flake gold, or whatever ugly color it is now called.

I am busting Dick's b@ll$ trying to get him to explain how the guitar color got changed on the tour from purple to gold. Looking at the ES show tape, I can't tell.

Jim Messina had his Strat painted pearl white, too, in an homage to DD. I guess it was pretty common back then! Funny, in all the b&w photos it always just looked white, but it's nice to now know that it was actually pearl white. Fender (Japan) had some Strats finished in pearl white back in the mid-'80s, their early attempts at the heavy-metal "SuperStrat" concept popularized by Eddie Van Halen and Charvel guitars at that time. This was the only time Fender officially offered pearl white as a color, a believe. Here's a nice photo of one in that finish:

Jim attended Colton HS and me SBHS, about 15 miles apart from each other. He was two grades behind me in 62, but we traveled in the same circles and had mutual friends. His Jesters, the Tornadoes, Genteels and my Majestics/Showmen battled frequently at music events.

I remember when Jim got a Strat and had it painted pearl white, just like Dicks. He then got a trumpet and harmonica to play Dick's riffs, even dressing up like Dick with a sweater. I had to get a sax and learn to play a couple tunes to fight him. Those were some fun days. Unlike me, Jim was a great player.

A high school friend of mine who recently moved back to where we grew up and attended HS with Jim hooked up with Jim a few months ago up in Santa Barbara. I thought it would be bitchin to get the Tornadoes, Genteels, Jim and my Showmen who cut records in 62-63 to do a reunion performance at a local music festival but Jim refuses to play the surf stuff at all.

That's all folks.

image

I just emailed John Blair about this, too, drawing his attention to this thread. BTW, it might be interesting to ask Rick King, the current owner of the guitar and the guy that wrote the above article, to take a look at this thread and give his own thoughts.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Last edited: Dec 21, 2016 14:40:57

Man... I would SO LOVE to be able to play this guitar, if only for a minute or two! We gotta talk Mr. King in attending the SG101 convention with this Strat in tow! Big Grin (Notice also how white the pickguard is in the old photos, and even today - no mint green here, definitely switched to white by this point in '64. Still the spaghetti headstock logo, though)

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Last edited: Dec 21, 2016 14:52:01

SurfBeat wrote:

You play like a Polack (good thing)

Big Grin

Ivan, I made a typo. I was trying to respond to the Thread and taking incoming phone calls from clients heading to a federal bastille, so my mind got hay wired.
Dick said the Strat was metal flake gold, or whatever ugly color it is now called.

Ah, very good!

I am busting Dick's b@ll$ trying to get him to explain how the guitar color got changed on the tour from purple to gold. Looking at the ES show tape, I can't tell.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he forgot all about that candy apple purple/burgundy mist/whatever finish. It was such a long time ago and it appears to have lasted a very short time. And he had it during this east coast tour which by all accounts was not a happy experience for him.

Jim attended Colton HS and me SBHS, about 15 miles apart from each other. He was two grades behind me in 62, but we traveled in the same circles and had mutual friends. His Jesters, the Tornadoes, Genteels and my Majestics/Showmen battled frequently at music events.
I remember when Jim got a Strat and had it painted pearl white, just like Dicks. He then got a trumpet and harmonica to play Dick's riffs, even dressing up like Dick with a sweater. I had to get a sax and learn to play a couple tunes to fight him. Those were some fun days. Unlike me, Jim was a great player.

That is very cool, Joe! Thanks for your reminisces! I always enjoy reading them! Anytime you feel like sharing more, please do!

A high school friend of mine who recently moved back to where we grew up and attended HS with Jim hooked up with Jim a few months ago up in Santa Barbara. I thought it would be bitchin to get the Tornadoes, Genteels, Jim and my Showmen who cut records in 62-63 to do a reunion performance at a local music festival but Jim refuses to play the surf stuff at all.

Yeah, unfortunately.... He knew about our tribute to him at the '15 convention, and he wasn't very far, so we were very much hoping he would attend, but no luck. He at least acknowledged and complimented us on his Facebook page! That was at least something.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

And, back on topic of the OP.

I think the Ed Sullivan segment was pre-taped. I looked it up, and it was something they did. Also, I think Dick is singing to a pre-recorded track. I don't even think he's playing live, the guitar isn't plugged in, at least not as far as I can tell. Apparently, that was another thing they did. the show would have the band pre-record the music in the studio earlier in the day, then have the band or singer sing live for the taping.

And, Ed Sullivan mentions the Life magazine article about Dick, which was published on August 30, 1963. But he says it like it isn't a real thing. I don't think the article was published quite yet, but was known to be up and coming. The article says "he is currently on an east coast tour." which leads me to believe the Life magazine story was supposed to be published earlier. https://surfguitar101.com/news/story/66/

So, looking at Ivan's timeline in the OP, I don't see any possible way that Dicks guitar wasn't burgundy mist metallic for the Sullivan appearance. Possibly, he had the guitar painted especially for that tour, and when it didn't go as well as planned, he immediately got it re-painted when he got home. It's funny that as geeky as we are about these details, something like these pictures can make you -reconsider everything you think you know. I always assumed that it went from white with tortoise guard to gold flake with a white guard. I even thought he might have painted the guitar gold flake for the Ed Sullivan show.

"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

Sonichris wrote:

And, back on topic of the OP.

I think the Ed Sullivan segment was pre-taped. I looked it up, and it was something they did.

Yes, I think that's pretty much a certainty, looking at all the dates.

Also, I think Dick is singing to a pre-recorded track. I don't even think he's playing live, the guitar isn't plugged in, at least not as far as I can tell.

I must disagree here, Chris. Dick is DEFINITELY playing live. I'm 100% sure of that.

Apparently, that was another thing they did. the show would have the band pre-record the music in the studio earlier in the day, then have the band or singer sing live for the taping.

This definitely is a possibility. Though at one point he does shout out to somebody on the side, and I always thought it was a signal of some sort to the band, in which case they were playing live, just not on screen. That one is tough to know.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Sonichris wrote:

And, back on topic of the OP.

I think the Ed Sullivan segment was pre-taped. I looked it up, and it was something they did. Also, I think Dick is singing to a pre-recorded track. I don't even think he's playing live, the guitar isn't plugged in, at least not as far as I can tell. Apparently, that was another thing they did. the show would have the band pre-record the music in the studio earlier in the day, then have the band or singer sing live for the taping.

According to Dick's recollection, he played LIVE on the ES show. Dick said all of the Sullivan shows were recorded live.

From my recollection of being forced by my parents to watch that show (the only one I enjoyed was Bo Didley's performance when I was in grade school, so maybe the show was in 55-57)all the shows were in fact LIVE.

Dick said the band was back stage playing and he played right in front of an audience, with his GOLD Strat.

Dick said he was only supposed to play Miserlou, but he threw in the other material.

You boys are good at dates, so, I am sure you can find out when the show was broadcast. My recollection it was done shortly before the Marine took out Kennedy which was in late November 1963.

So, looking at Ivan's timeline in the OP, I don't see any possible way that Dicks guitar wasn't burgundy mist metallic for the Sullivan appearance. Possibly, he had the guitar painted especially for that tour, and when it didn't go as well as planned, he immediately got it re-painted when he got home.

Dick said he had the Strat painted by Swiden specifically for the ES show and it was purple before then, which was also painted by Swiden for a Eastern tour required when Dick was picked up by Capitol.

Ah ha, now that makes sense because I specifically remember Dick's dad giving me a copy of King Of The Surf Guitar for my birthday in June of 63. That was a Capitol recording, not Del Tone.

So there you have the facts, as related today, December 21, 2016, subject to a re-recollection of what actually happened at a date in the future.

Looking at the darn ES footage for the first time, it sure looks like there is no chord connecting the Strat to an amp, but, if you look closely at the very beginning, it appears there is.

Moreover, that Strat does not look like gold metal flake.

Dick's rhythm player (O'malley, or maybe it was Munson) gave me Swiden's contact number and he painted my Strat metal flake silver which in my opinion, looked like a bunch of silver flakes stuck together and no white.

I vaguely recall Swiden painted cars and I don't recall going to a furniture store to have my guitar painted. The guy that painted my Strat was of Mid Eastern decent who lived in Fullerton so, maybe it was not Swiden. Dick told me it was the same guy, so, what the heck do I remember; that was 53 years ago and i can't remember what da' boss lady told em to do ten minutes ago.

More stuff to come on a subject that very few people give a darn about.

Last edited: Dec 21, 2016 16:34:48

HBKahuna didn't have any information we don't already have.

I sent an email to Rick King guiding him here.

"You can't tell where you're going if you don't know where you've been"

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