Emile Grimshaw Guitar from a Thread on the Mudcat Cafe
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Emile Grimshaw was a noted English banjo player who played for many years in a quartet in the early part of the 1900s and eventually extended his contributions to composition and instruction. A webpage on Emile and his banjos and guitars has been prepared at the following address:

 

 

http://grimshaworigin.org/miscellaneous-grimshaw-individuals/emile-grimshaw-banjo/

 

 

The Mudcat Cafe has posted a thread on Grimshaw Guitars at the following website:

 

 

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=50477&desc=yes

 

 

This thread contains a good deal of information on the guitars and Emile Grimshaw, so it is provided below on this webpage.

 

 

 

Webpage Credits

 

The Thread…

 

References

 

 

 

 

    • Webpage Credits

 

Thanks go to the Mudcat Cafe for posting this thread.

 

 

    • The Thread…

 

… is provided below in reverse chronological order….

 

 

Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: eddie1

Date: 26 Oct 06 – 01:11 PM

Len Partridge, (an early influence on Bert Jansch) in Edinburgh, has a Grimshaw 12-string. Cyril Davies had the first, Len the second after comparing Cyril’s with the Regal owned by Rory McEwan.

I owned it for a while but gave it back to Len because I had enough trouble with six strings.

Len’s version of “The Bells of Rhymney” was a hair-raiser at the old Howff in Edinburgh back in the late fifties!

Eddie

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,Peter Sloan

Date: 26 Oct 06 – 12:23 PM

I just asked my father, who knew Emil Grimshaw, about the old hollow body electric Grimshaw I used to play around with in the 1970’s and was surprised when Dad pulled the instrument out of a closet… I didn’t think it was still around. My father bought it from Emil’s son in the late 1960’s on Goodge Street in London. Unfortunately, an electrician who worked on my parents’ home in the 1970’s moved the instrument from a shelf and dropped it on its face, cracking the sound board. It still plays fine but is obviously devalued. I’m wondering if it should be repaired or left as-is. I’d welcome any emails about this, Peter@PeterJohnSloan.com

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,Tony UK

Date: 22 May 06 – 09:45 AM

I have a Cherry Red Grimshaw semi Acoustic Which has tear drop cut outs instead of F holes

It has been worked on a bit and is an early model with out a metal truss rod

Look really good plays Not so good

This is the Grimshaw way

If any one is interested I have a Photo

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,Robert

Date: 11 Sep 05 – 04:57 AM

You may be interested in this. This is listed on Trademe which is a New Zealand auction site.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Music-instruments/Instruments/Guitar-bass/Electric-guitars/auction-35538125.htm

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,Simon

Date: 07 Sep 05 – 08:17 AM

Hi

I’ve just bought a 1962 Grimshaw SB30 BASS guitar

Literally picked it up yesterday for £250

Slight damage where different pickups and god knows what else were screwed into the bodywork which has cracked the laquer etc

I love the way it looks – Les Paul shape mustard sunburst – especially the beaten used look, I play in a rock band and it fits the image (cringe) like a glove!

It plays extremely well, great smooth neck, worn pickups and very low action though I’m starting to worry a little about its ability to hold tune. Got a guarantee though

If anyone could offer any opinions etc I’d be most grateful

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: el_punkoid_nouveau

Date: 31 Aug 05 – 05:43 AM

Errr… it wasn’t a Grimshaw – it was a Levin!

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,rem@omegaconsulting.net

Date: 31 Aug 05 – 05:41 AM

I had a cherry red grimshaw les paul in the 70s. Sold it. Wish I hadn’t. Bought a tobacco sunburst a couple of months ago after a long search.

Its even better than I remember it.

The output from the pickups was always low so a pre-amp is needed to lift it as bit and a bright channel as they are very bass weighted. Action is excellent.

I have had a few Gibsons and don’t like them. personal taste I suppose.

Could put fatter pickups on it to liven it up a bit but I like the tone I get through a Fender concert 60.

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: el_punkoid_nouveau

Date: 24 Aug 05 – 02:07 PM

PS – Anyone in Lincoln (UK) come across Steve Channing?

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: el_punkoid_nouveau

Date: 21 Aug 05 – 07:20 AM

I recall a friend of mine having a lovely Grimshaw acoustic in the mid/late seventies, on which Bill Nelson had managed to crack the purling. Steve had it repaired, and shortly thereafter disappeared to Lincoln, since which I have not seen or heard of him.

As a by the bye though, I have a copy of the Grimshaw method of Plectrum Guitar in my music collection!

epn

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw SS80 deluxe

From: GUEST,neilinspain@yahoo.com

Date: 20 Aug 05 – 12:38 PM

I had a Grimshaw SS80 in the early eighties ( tobacco sunburst semi ). It was damaged at the jack socket and had a plastic plate to cover the damaged area. I would like to buy it back if anyone knows where it is.

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,STEVE jsccjc@yahoo.co.uk

Date: 21 Jun 05 – 07:57 AM

Hi,

In the late 60s I worked in central london and went to Grimshaws a few times. They had a first floor office/workshop in (from memory) Great Pulteney St W1. I tried their Les Paul copy which was amazing and was going to buy one but had to switch to bass coz our bass player moved out of London. I don’t recollect the guitars being built there but the pickups were wound in a small backroom workshop.

A few years after, the guitarist in our band got an acoustic fret stoned and set up there but I seem to remember them either moving or packing up later in the 70s.

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,mike.macconnell@bentlet.co.uk

Date: 04 May 05 – 11:18 AM

I purchased a second hand Grimshaw guitar with single cutaway in 1967. I had never heard of the make before but because the action was so good I purchased it for £25. Its not been played for about 5 years and Im wondering how much its worth.

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,Brian Harding Northampton UK

Date: 31 Mar 05 – 09:38 AM

In the mid 60’s I was in a band, the lead guitarist of which had a Grimshaw, blonde semi acoustic electric. It did not have the Rickenbacker truss rod cover and it would have been several years old, even in 1964.( have a photo, still) I subsequently bought a Grimshaw Les Paul shaped guitar in Tobacco sunburst, which played like a dream but the pickups were weak and squeaky. That would have been 1966-67. I didn’t get a Les Paul until 1971. Exchanged it at a shop in Bletchley for a Marshall 8X10 cab. Grimshaws looked great and were well made, but the sound…..sadly.

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,Terry Garrett – Bronley Kent UK

Date: 20 Mar 05 – 12:32 PM

: Hi I own a Grimshaw GS33 solid electric guitar.Can anyone please give any informationon this maker.thank you Eric Phillips

I also own one, deep red like an SG,in fact I reckon it was modelled on an SG/LP type guitar. Ive had it since 1972 bought in Lewisham London . My pal also bought a Grimshaw (a GS 3??) this was a different colour (white ?) and had single coil type pickups making it sound (and feedback !) like a Telecaster. The Grimshaw company was a well respected small buisness based in London until at least the 70’s but you never see them around now, so I reckon they could be worth a bit – to a collector. But the trouble with mine (and my pal’s ) was the wood for the necks warp and really need a new neck or some work done on them. But the sound when I purchased it thro a Marshall stack in the 70’s was pure Gibson – I was going to buy a used SG standard but this was much cheaper (£125 at the time). But with the neck problems I wish I got that SG.

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Subject: RE: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,s critch@ eircom.net

Date: 13 Sep 04 – 07:24 PM

I USED TO OWN A LES PAUL SHAPED GRIM ,

IT WAS CHERRY RED IN COLOUR

IT HAD TWO SINGLE COIL PICKUPS

GREAT ACTION , WOULD LOVE TO HAVE IT BACK

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: C-flat

Date: 26 Aug 02 – 11:41 AM

Some info here if you scroll down the page.

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,Fat B****rd

Date: 26 Aug 02 – 06:04 AM

Sorry, forgot to rejoin (which I do most days)

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST

Date: 26 Aug 02 – 06:03 AM

OK, Raggytash. Many, many years ago I got on stage with a group from Nottingham and sang Sweet Little 16. many, many years later I wonder if Alvin lee still has the Grimshaw he played in 1962.

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: Raggytash

Date: 25 Aug 02 – 06:12 PM

All the baove is gratefully received …any more?

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,CraigS

Date: 16 Aug 02 – 06:22 PM

Mr Grimshaw made some very nice jazz guitars which were very affordable in comparison to American guitars of similar quality. Unfortunately his taste in sound meant that the electrical components were designed to give a clean, rounded tone (rather in the same way that Les Paul insisted on Gibson turning out his Recording models). All his guitars played well, but the electrics were not meaty enough for most purposes, and other makers (such as Zeimaitis) were producing better sounding flat tops and electrics, so the arch-top guitars are commoner than others.

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,King Street Smith

Date: 16 Aug 02 – 12:56 PM

Emile Grimshaw was a performer, certainly during he ’20’s & ’30s, on the banjo in the style now known as Classic Banjo. He had a Banjo Quartet and made recordings with it as The Emile Grimshaw Banjo Quartet. One recording that I know of is “Whistling Rufus” with what would today be regarded as racist, vocal in the minstrel style. Nice tune and one I’am fond of playing. He was in the London phone dirctory in the early 1980’s but I would imagine that he is deceased. You could search in Google under John Alvey Turner (Stringed Instrument (makers/repairers/shop)and they might be able to give you more info. Grimshaw banjos, especially pre-world war II models, are highly regaded by Trad Jazz players.

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: Davetnova

Date: 15 Aug 02 – 04:53 PM

I actually had a grimshaw in 1970. It was a les paul type guitar, beautiful action, beautiful finish but quite a dull tone as I remember and a horrendous head logo. But I liked the guitar and sold it for a good price. Can’t supply any more detail though, sorry. (London company I believe).

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: fat B****rd

Date: 15 Aug 02 – 04:42 PM

Sorry, can’t help technically but I believe Martin Taylor was inspired by the beautiful Grimshaw Guitar held by Val Doonican on an LP cover and years later when he met the man himself and told him of this he (Mr. D) actually gave him the guitar. There’s also a story that when Cyril Davies came out of Grimshaws with his brand new 12 he broke it over some yob’s head for swearing at a woman.Just thought I’d mention these bits of useless information.

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: MMario

Date: 15 Aug 02 – 04:22 PM

well – he did 41 years ago…

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: Raggytash

Date: 15 Aug 02 – 04:04 PM

Hi BigJ, I take it Emile Grimshaw has a shop/workshop if so where, when, how. What was the one you like, solid bodied? You have just given more information than we had collectively. Thanks for that

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Subject: RE: Help: Grimshaw Guitars

From: GUEST,bigJ

Date: 15 Aug 02 – 03:56 PM

Prior to getting my Martin in 1961, I had a Grimshaw although I don’t remember what model it was. I had been in London at the Roundhouse pub to see Alexis Korner and his group which included the late Cyril Davis who played a 12-string guitar made by Emile Grimshaw. So impressed was I that I contacted Grimshaw about one for myself but he was quoting such a long time to make one that I decided to go for one that he had in stock; a 6-string cutaway. It was OK but it wasn’t the guitar for me, I think it was mainly a jazz guitar and certainly couldn’t match the Martin that I bought to replace it – and which I’ve had for the last 41 years.

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Subject: Grimshaw Guitars

From: Raggytash

Date: 14 Aug 02 – 06:50 PM

An acquaintance is trying to find some info about a company who made Grimshaw Guitars. Apparently they were better known as banjo makers in the post war era, but expanded into solid bodied guitars. He knows about a GS33 guitar made by Emile Grimshaw which has a truss rod. Any info would be great

 

 

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Webpage posted November 2006.