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Author: Subject: Duane Betts - 1959 Gibson Les Paul Conversion & his father's 1956 Fender Stratocaster

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  posted on 6/20/2018 at 04:39 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ULCaekM9PY

 

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  posted on 6/20/2018 at 09:10 PM
I really like what Duane is doing.... And not just musically, but his maturation as a person.
Seems happy, is a good interview and has reverence for the past. I can't wait to hear the EP.

 

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  posted on 6/20/2018 at 10:33 PM
Duane Betts is a nice guy and a good guitarist. His new EP and work with Devon Allman are real fine too. I have gotten opportunities to talk with him twice and he is down to earth and friendly.

It's interesting his Gibson Custom Shop Dickey Betts signature Gold Top Les Paul is not on this video. That is his no. 1 live and I think the Les Paul featured is his back up.

The Strat according to what Dickey said in 2003 to a music magazine....when he was using it for slide in Great Southern while Danny Toler was there... is a 1956 guitar that clearly has been played a bunch before Dickey bought it in 1991 or so. Dickey had a hotrail pup put in the bridge pup space. Now I know why. It gave the guitar a tone similar to a Les Paul.

Dickey suddenly stopped using Goldie, his no. 1 for 20 years, in 1994. The word was he was irritated with the Gibson suites for ignoring him. But the next year after he quit playing it, Goldie was loaned to the rock and roll hall of fame in Cleveland where it turned green while sitting in a display window for several years. When Dickey got it back he painted it red but he didn't use it much after that. He said with his new signature Les Paul he leaves his 57 at home now. Gibson quit ignoring him in 2001 with two custom shop signature Les Paul's.

In 1994 Dickey switched to Paul Reed Smith then to a ES-335 and at the Beacon I remember being surprised in 1997 when he joined Warren on stage with that Strat. Also surprisingly it didn't change Dickey's tone that much. The old Strat was his number one the next several years. I think he got a yellow Strat then as his backup.

Duane probably doesn't remember but Dickey was playing a sunburst Strat when I first saw the ABB. He had it for several shows I saw and it's on some of the old CDs such as Dimples live at the Warhouse. Then Dickey went to an SG followed by his long association with Les Pauls. Dickey went through about 6 Les Paul's before he found Goldie in New York in 1974 and that 57 had the tone and feel he liked best and he stuck with it as his no.1 for 20 years. He had a sunburst with zebra pups I liked in 1973 but a roadie said he couldn't keep the guitar in tune.

Duane had a Strat and a Tele in 1969 then he went through several Les Pauls and an ES-335 with a tobacco burst LP with his name on the back in frets as his last number one, not the goldtop at the Big House Museum. That was his number one for awhile in 1970. And the SG he used for slide in 1971 is the SG Dickey played for a few months in 1970. Dickey gave the SG to Duane .

The band was more approachable before Duane died especially Oakley. And some of the roadies would tell the fans about guitar changes and other things too and word would pass around. It was like a religious cult in away. But by the Brothers and Sisters tour, at most shows, that was over and the energy and vibe changed too for ever. And at most shows you might get to speak to a roadie here and there but the band was as sealed off as Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones. Brothers and Sisters was the number album in the US for 5 weeks and sold over 4 million copies and made Gregg and especially Dickey with 4 titles on it, multimillionaires . That energy in and from the band, vibe, unit creativity and fan access was gone and it was never the same. In a way, the Allman Brothers that we had this religious experience with ended with Duane's passing. Never was the same. I did get to chat with Gregg and Dickey a few times in the 1980s when they were without record deals and playing in bars again and they too missed the original band and it's vibe and energy. Gregg told some fans with me listening they got caught up in all the drugs and rock star BS after his brother died and it just ruined everything. Then he said. "Too bad my brother missed out on the money but he enjoyed himself and left a huge legacy. " Gregg said the money was just coming in and Fillmore East just went gold when Duane was killed. And they almost quit but the only way they could deal with it was to keep playing. And sadly that didnt help Oakley. He just couldn't function in a world which didn't include Duane Allman.

 

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  posted on 6/21/2018 at 11:23 AM
Duane is a really nice guy and seems to be more comfortable around fans/media now...

The les paul in the Norm's rare guitars video is not his... it is one for sale at the shop...

As for the Stratocasters... the Seymour Duncan pick-ups are in the neck position, not the bridge. He had put them in on both the sunburst hardtail ( now owned by Duane) and the white blonde strat he usually used on no one left to run with... I don't know if it's a vintage 50's or a custom shop reissue... either way it sounds good.


As for the Goldtop/Redtop. I don't believe the guitar that was on display in the RRHOF was the one being mentioned. I believe he did the red refin sometime around 1999-2000? Kirk West made some mention of it in his photo book. He is holding it on the cover of Gritz Magazine - post fax he has played the signature reissues, the reissue SG, the above mentioned strats etc... He also played that refinned goldtop/redtop quite a bit... in my opinion it is his best sounding guitar.... the last time I saw it was at the speedway jam in Toledo, OH years back.


quote:
Duane Betts is a nice guy and a good guitarist. His new EP and work with Devon Allman are real fine too. I have gotten opportunities to talk with him twice and he is down to earth and friendly.

It's interesting his Gibson Custom Shop Dickey Betts signature Gold Top Les Paul is not on this video. That is his no. 1 live and I think the Les Paul featured is his back up.

The Strat according to what Dickey said in 2003 to a music magazine....when he was using it for slide in Great Southern while Danny Toler was there... is a 1956 guitar that clearly has been played a bunch before Dickey bought it in 1991 or so. Dickey had a hotrail pup put in the bridge pup space. Now I know why. It gave the guitar a tone similar to a Les Paul.

Dickey suddenly stopped using Goldie, his no. 1 for 20 years, in 1994. The word was he was irritated with the Gibson suites for ignoring him. But the next year after he quit playing it, Goldie was loaned to the rock and roll hall of fame in Cleveland where it turned green while sitting in a display window for several years. When Dickey got it back he painted it red but he didn't use it much after that. He said with his new signature Les Paul he leaves his 57 at home now. Gibson quit ignoring him in 2001 with two custom shop signature Les Paul's.

In 1994 Dickey switched to Paul Reed Smith then to a ES-335 and at the Beacon I remember being surprised in 1997 when he joined Warren on stage with that Strat. Also surprisingly it didn't change Dickey's tone that much. The old Strat was his number one the next several years. I think he got a yellow Strat then as his backup.

Duane probably doesn't remember but Dickey was playing a sunburst Strat when I first saw the ABB. He had it for several shows I saw and it's on some of the old CDs such as Dimples live at the Warhouse. Then Dickey went to an SG followed by his long association with Les Pauls. Dickey went through about 6 Les Paul's before he found Goldie in New York in 1974 and that 57 had the tone and feel he liked best and he stuck with it as his no.1 for 20 years. He had a sunburst with zebra pups I liked in 1973 but a roadie said he couldn't keep the guitar in tune.

Duane had a Strat and a Tele in 1969 then he went through several Les Pauls and an ES-335 with a tobacco burst LP with his name on the back in frets as his last number one, not the goldtop at the Big House Museum. That was his number one for awhile in 1970. And the SG he used for slide in 1971 is the SG Dickey played for a few months in 1970. Dickey gave the SG to Duane .

The band was more approachable before Duane died especially Oakley. And some of the roadies would tell the fans about guitar changes and other things too and word would pass around. It was like a religious cult in away. But by the Brothers and Sisters tour, at most shows, that was over and the energy and vibe changed too for ever. And at most shows you might get to speak to a roadie here and there but the band was as sealed off as Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones. Brothers and Sisters was the number album in the US for 5 weeks and sold over 4 million copies and made Gregg and especially Dickey with 4 titles on it, multimillionaires . That energy in and from the band, vibe, unit creativity and fan access was gone and it was never the same. In a way, the Allman Brothers that we had this religious experience with ended with Duane's passing. Never was the same. I did get to chat with Gregg and Dickey a few times in the 1980s when they were without record deals and playing in bars again and they too missed the original band and it's vibe and energy. Gregg told some fans with me listening they got caught up in all the drugs and rock star BS after his brother died and it just ruined everything. Then he said. "Too bad my brother missed out on the money but he enjoyed himself and left a huge legacy. " Gregg said the money was just coming in and Fillmore East just went gold when Duane was killed. And they almost quit but the only way they could deal with it was to keep playing. And sadly that didnt help Oakley. He just couldn't function in a world which didn't include Duane Allman.

 

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  posted on 6/21/2018 at 02:45 PM
Hi Redhouse 69. I just found videos of Dickey Betts playing Blue Sky and Statesboro Blues in 1997 and Statesboro Blues with Great Southern with a slide with the 1956 Strat and you are right. The hot rail was next to the neck. And the tone was more Les Paul sounding than Strat sounding. And I found a couple Great Southern videos of No One Left to Run With and the yellow or cream colored Strat also had a hot rail in the same position but it's tone was more Strat sounding and it gives the song a Bo Didley tone/sound. I think Dickey was thinking about Bo when he wrote the song.

On the Dawes rig run down Duane Betts does show a Les Paul sunburst custom shop guitar as his backup and said his father used it as his number one for a year or so. I thought that was the guitar he was playing for Norman. But now that I've seem both, it isn't. I'm

Duane Betts number one is the original gold top Dickey Betts signature custom shop he got in 2001. Dickey was given another later and a signature red top based on what Dickey did to Goldie, his 1957 Gold top he used from 1974 to 2004 as his number one. Also I remember the interview Dickey did after the fax when he talked about Gibson ignoring him so he stopped using the guitar and the next year he let the rock and roll Hall of Fame put it on display and while it sat there, it turned an ugly green color. Then he talked about how he stripped it down and painted it red when he got it back and he made some other changes including the pickup switch and a pick guard and Gibson saw it and decided to do a Dickey Betts signature guitar of it too. It was Dickey's back up for several years in GS in the 2000s. But he said there was something about how the wood turned out on the 1957 that made it the best tone he ever had and it wasn't the pickups, it was how the wood turned out and he added they are all different because of the wood.

I looked at an interview he did about the SG brother to brother custom shop and Gibson gave him two of those and it's based on the SG he had in 1970 and gave to Duane after Dickey got his first Les Paul. Dickey said Gregg got the guitar after Duane died and Dickey didn't know where it was for years and he was able to get it back and Gibson used it to get all the wear marks and holes where a tail piece use to be on the brother to brother custom shop release. I believe Derek Trucks plays a brother to brother SG now. Or at least he did for awhile.

I saw that 56 Fender Strat hardtail up close at a Great Southern show about 2004 and the roadie said Dickey used it as his number one in 1997 to about 2000 and I was surprised at the road wear on the body and the neck. I knew Dickey didn't play it enough to do all that so somebody between 1956 and when Dickey got it in the early 90s played it plenty. And no doubt because it's a great sounding guitar. I saw Duane Betts play it on a couple of tunes with Dawes a few years back and figured it was the guitar Dickey used during his last year's with the ABB and on slide with GS. Take care.

 

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  posted on 6/21/2018 at 02:59 PM
quote:
I looked at an interview he did about the SG brother to brother custom shop and Gibson gave him two of those and it's based on the SG he had in 1970 and gave to Duane after Dickey got his first Les Paul. Dickey said Gregg got the guitar after Duane died and Dickey didn't know where it was for years and he was able to get it back and Gibson used it to get all the wear marks and holes where a tail piece use to be on the brother to brother custom shop release.


I don't believe Dickey ever got the SG back. Graham Nash of all people eventually bought it from one of their mutual friends who had it, and it has been on display in the R&R Hall of Fame in Cleveland some several years

Here is Gibson's write up on the guitar.

http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/SG/Gibson-Custom/Dickey-Bet ts-SG.aspx

Here's an old Alan Paul write-up on Goldie turning red:

http://alanpaul.net/2014/05/from-the-archives-dickey-betts-and-his-custom-g ibsons/

quote:
Oddly, Goldie is now a beautiful redtop since Betts himself stripped it and refinished it several years ago. “It had been really worn down by all the use and I just decided to make it how I wanted it,” Betts explains. “Some people think it’s nuts to do something like this to such a valuable guitar, but it’s a working tool for me.”

Betts also recurved the pickguard by hand to better suit his needs, then lowered its profile. He dressed up the hardware by adding a sterling silver Indian belt buckle to the input jack and a silver ring to the toggle switch cover. All of this will be recaptured on the second line of Dickey Betts signature guitars.


[Edited on 6/21/2018 by porkchopbob]

[Edited on 6/21/2018 by porkchopbob]

 

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  posted on 6/21/2018 at 06:33 PM
Thanks pork chop. I found the interview I remember. I don't know how to capture, paste and post with this phone but I'll copy a bit of it. DB: " We'll see what happened, my 57 I loaned to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a couple of years and when it just sat there, the paint , you know that metal flake oxidized so terribly that it had this green squish looking stuff all over it." And he goes on to explain how he took some light steel wool to get it off but the more he rubbed the worse it got so he decided to strip it down and he tells about the modifications mentioned in your link.

On the SG I seem to remember Dickey saying Graham Nash had the guitar but I clearly remember Dickey saying he didn't know where the guitar was for years. But he had it when he was interviewed by Leroy Parnell for the brother to brother custom shop copies. If I find that old interview I'll let you know.

 

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  posted on 6/21/2018 at 08:24 PM
Great resource on Duane’s guitars
https://www.groundguitar.com/duane-allman-guitars-and-gear/

Guy named Gerry Groom had the SG and sold it to Nash. I saw it in the RnR HOF. Was loaned out to Gibson for the tribute series.

 

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