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Topic: An interesting story, The Knight guitar< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Johnrc Offline




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Posted: Aug. 09 2013, 11:21

I'm new to this forum, thought I would add a story for those who may be interested :
Around 1974 there was an advert in Melody Maker that said "guitar for sale £100". My friend was intrigued as that was a fair amount back then. When he phoned the conversation went something like this: "What guitar is it"? "I don't know... wait a minute... Oh it's a Knight"! It just so happened my friend owned a guitar made for him by Dick Knight. When he met the seller at some half way point it turned out to be MO's brother. I bought it a little after that for a bit more than £100! At the time it didn't really interest me that it had belonged to MO apart from the conversation piece, I bought it because it's a really beautiful instrument, plays wonderfully and has a fantastic sound.
The one he played on the 1973 BBC live version of TB.
You can hear it at   http://youtu.be/WKFuDU5o3vs
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Cavalier (Lost Version) Offline




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Posted: Aug. 10 2013, 08:29

Hello!  I'm on my last dregs of data so will view the video at some point yet to come.  You may have cause to update the instrument list, if you haven't already fired off an e-mail - the date for one thing!  Interesting that Terry was acting as the go-between - Mike must have been throwing cushions over the telephone at The Beacon at the time.   :D

--------------
"Who was that?"
"That was Venger - the force of Evil!  I am Dungeon Master - your guide in the realm of Dungeons & Dragons!"
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Airborne Offline




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Posted: Aug. 10 2013, 13:48

The guitar looks similar to the one Mike had during the Sallyangie sessions.



Terry acted as a "minder" for Mike during 1974 so it is no surprise that he helped sell the guitar.
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Aug. 10 2013, 18:49

Quote (Airborne @ Aug. 10 2013, 17:48)
The guitar looks similar to the one Mike had during the Sallyangie sessions.

Indeed it does! What's interesting is that they hired a Martin D35 for recording Tubular Bells - if Mike had the Knight at the time, did he use it alongside the Martin on Tubular Bells, or was there a reason that he didn't?

I seem to remember that, around the time of Tubular Bells 2003, he complained that the acoustic guitar (and I have the sense he was referring to the hired Martin) had such a high action, it was almost unplayable, which was why he was panting and puffing so much during the acoustic guitar parts! Funny that he'd carry on using that if he had a nicer one sitting at home, but maybe he felt that time was so much of the essence in that week of recording that going to get it wasn't an option?

Anyway, welcome to the forum, Johnrc - it's great to see that the guitar is still out there and still being enjoyed, and wonderful to hear it played so nicely as well! If you have any more information about it, I think a lot of us would be fascinated to hear it.
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Johnrc Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2013, 04:35

Hi as I understand it my friend went to see Dick Knight around that time about his own guitar and he said that MO was p***** off that his brother had sold the guitar without his consent. A bit of context about prices although this is nearly 40 years ago ! I think a hand made guitar at that time would set you back closer to £500. Most of us ordinary mortals had guitars like second hand Yamaha FG180's for £30. As for the guitar being used on the actual recording of TB I'm not sure about that. I know I bought it in 74-75 because I packed things in and travelled during 76.
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Johnrc Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2013, 04:46

Hi forgot to say it's definitely the one in the pic. It has such a distinctive bridge. You can move it slightly to get the guitar in perfect tune when using different strings. If there was ever any problem with action I know DK would have fixed it.
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Airborne Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2013, 13:14

johnrc,

You have a real piece of history there. Looks like it was his main acoustic guitar for the first 6 years of his performing career.
Can we have some decent close up shots?
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2013, 13:33

There's a little bit of history on it in Chris Dewey's biography - apparently at one point after buying it, Mike tried to lower the action himself by filing down the saddle and frets, which didn't end well! After his engineering apprentice neighbour rescued it, it seems he had it strung with what's referred to in the book as silk-wound (I guess actually silk and steel) strings. You can have a look at that in the preview sample.

That might actually explain his complaint about the action of the hired Martin, if he was used to really super-light strings and a super-low action.

It'd be really interesting to find out if he used the guitar on Tubular Bells - he must at least have done some of the writing using it...a piece of history indeed!
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Airborne Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2013, 15:14

Quote (Korgscrew @ Aug. 11 2013, 18:33)
he must at least have done some of the writing using it..

So it must be on the demo recording?.

Thanks for finding the relevant paragraph in Chris Dewey's book. It shows what a useful resource that is. Something never been mentioned before.
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Aug. 14 2013, 11:02

Quote (Airborne @ Aug. 11 2013, 19:14)
So it must be on the demo recording?

I think it probably is, yes!

It's rather hard to say for sure, but there's certainly an acoustic guitar on 'Peace Demo A' which sounds like it's probably something with a big body and possibly quite light strings (though it also sounds like it's probably a cheap dynamic mic fairly close to the soundhole, so it's hard to say too much!).

Anything beyond that is a bit of an educated guess, but it seems rather likely it's the Knight there...and I do wonder if, considering he found the hired Martin so difficult to play, he might at least have fetched the Knight for the second half of Tubular Bells. Perhaps there's a clue somewhere!
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Johnrc Offline




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Posted: Aug. 14 2013, 16:27

Thanks for all the extra info about the guitar, didn't realise he used it very early on in his career. Love all the speculation. In many ways it makes sense that it was used somewhere in the making of TB after all it was good enough for the live version in 73. I'll try to post some photos once I've figured out where & how to.
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