Guitar Nerd's Compendium of Stringed Acquisitions

Celebrating 30 years together
Happy Anniversary! 30 years and still going strong. I remember the day Nick Dias introduced us. Audible on the new ABC album and forthcoming albums by Jewly Perso, Bill Blue and Nicholas Heyward amongst others.



Out of the Ordinary Instruments
Matt bows a cello at BBC studios and here's a photo of Matt with a banjo. Let the banjo jokes begin


1946 Gibson LG 1 Acoustic
(Yes we know - second photo- but worth it don't you think?)

the more tattered it gets, the better....


The Bastardcaster.....
Black tele with tortoise shell pick guard and three pick ups. Most elements are 1963ish.
"It survived Indonesian baggage handlers so it can survive anything....."

What does Matt Backer have in common with Ry Cooder and David Bowie?

alt Other than charisma, talent and good looks, he now is the proud owner of a 1956 Supro just like the ones played by Bowie and Cooder. Impressive. Yes.

ES-335 21st Birthday gift from Dad

Guitar history: World's first commercial thinline archtop semi-acoustic electric guitar
Manufacturer: Gibson (Production started in 1958)
Who played it: Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, Alivin Lee, Larry Carlton, Freddie King


Gibson Flying V

Guitar history: Part of Gibson's "modernist" guitars. Issued in 1958 along with The Explorer and The Moderne, The Flying V featured a radical, futuristic body design. The Flying V was discontinued in 1959 due to poor sales.
Manufacturer: Gibson (1958)
Who played it: Albert King, Lonnie Mack, Dave Davies and Jimi Hendrix


Paul Beard Resonator/Dobro

Guitar History: Designed by legendary builder Paul Beard, The Gold Tone is hand made and provides unmatched tone. All USA assembly and set up
Manufacturer: Paul Beard
Who played it: Bill Blue, Vince Gill, Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas, Robert Randolph, Keb Mo

Vintage White Fender Telecaster

History: The rich history of Fender guitars begins with the Telecaster. An indispensible workhorse instrument, it endures remarkably unchanged as a marvel of elegantly simple form and solidly utilitarian function. As the world's first successful solid-body electric guitar, the Telecaster revolutionized guitar playing, changed the sound of music and became a signature instrument for guitarists worldwide.-
Manufacturer: Fender
Who Played it: Jeff Buckley, Steve Cropper, Bob Dylan, Syd Barrett, Jeff Beck


Honey Burst Les Paul

History: The Les Paul is a solid body guitar first sold in 1952. It was designed by Ted McCarty who enlisted Les Paul to endorse the model. By the late 50's, the Les Paul was considered old fashioned, too heavy and too expensive for most players. Manufacturing ceased in 1961. In the mid 60's Eric Clapton singlehandedly revived the Les Paul by using it on his breakthrough record Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton.
Manufacturer: Gibson
Who played it: Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, John Mayall, Michael Bloomfield


Battered 1963 Stratocaster
Manufacturer: Fender
History: Designed in 1954 by Leo Fender, the stratocaster has been in production continuously since Leo Fender created it
Who played it? David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton
Matt's strat story: Bought in London in 1986. Nick Dias, now at Norm's, sold it to me and can corroborate this story. I popped into the shop and fell in love. It was £800.00. I put £50.00 down despite not having the money and no idea where or how I was going to get it. I returned home, in a panic. On the doormat was an envelope from WEA records ( remember them?). Inside was a cheque ( remember them?) for the fee for the first record I ever played on. For £800.00.


1959 Gretsch Jet Firebird
Manufacturer: Gretsch
History: The Jet Fire Bird first appeared in the company's 1955 Guitars For Moderns catalog. The flashy little semi-solid was the only production-model Gretsch to feature the vibrant Oriental Red top (the only others were the guitars specially built for Bo Diddley). The perfectly contrasting ebony black finish on the back, sides, and neck, combined with the chrome-plated hardware, offered a strong visual statement! Gretsch touted the Jet Fire Bird as being "for the progressive guitarist.- Vintage Guitar Magazine
Who played it? Brian Setzer, Brandi Carlisle, Duane Eddy


Gibson LG 1 Acoustic
Manufacturer: Gibson Guitars
History: Elvis Presley played a 1963 version of this acoustic in the 1963 movie It Happened At the World's Fair. Elvis was infamous for treating guitars roughly, often tossing them to Charlie Hodge, who sometimes did not catch them.
Who played it: Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore (Elvis' guitarist)
Photo by Julian Lennon
Candy Apple Red Precision Bass
Manufacturer: Fender Guitars
History: Fender's bass guitar was the world's first bass guitar and remains an integral part of music history.
Who played it: Duff McKagan, Roger Water

Fender Mandolin
Manufacturer: Fender
History:The modern mandolin evolved from the mandore, a stringed instrument common in the 14th centure
Who plays it: Vince Gill, Sam Bush, David Gilmour, Kristin Bush (Sugarland), Peter Buck (REM)
Photo: Matt Backer with Nick Heyward Band (2013)

Cool & Unusual


Rumble & Hiss Ltd
London - U.K.

email Matt