The Hard Life of a Much Traveled Guitar...

I've met a lot of guitars and guitar players in my life. In all sorts of places and situations but some really stand apart.
I first met Julz Parker and Leesa Gentz (I think for the first time anyway) in the dining room of a hotel in Verona, Italy in May 2009. I was there for work along with Alan Samin, Michael Fix and Alberto Meucci and it was my first night after a long flight from Melbourne followed by a long wait at the airport. Julz and Leesa were joining us for a tour of clinics and a few gigs. They were already veterans at this game having toured their duo, Hussy Hicks, though Europe several times.
Anyway, they came in pretty late and joined our circle, sitting down with their guitars and started playing along. They are both gifted musicians and extraordinary singers and it became apparent very quickly that Julz was no ordinary guitar player as well. Julz oozes music and was squeezing all sorts of amazing sounds out of her beaten up old Maton EM225C (it looked old but I later discovered it was about 10 years old and really well traveled). Eevn through my jet lagged eyes and ears I was super impressed and after I got to see some of their shows whilst on the road, even more so. It's safe to say I'm a big fan.
Julz and Leesa also played a key role in getting me back into performing as a musician. At the end of our ten days or so on the road we were sitting round a table in Tuscany, well lubricated with local food and wine, when I decided I would be brave enough to sing one or two of the songs I had written before I gave the game away in 2004. I must have done alright because they recorded the session on their Zoom recorder and I would get little quotes of lines from where ever they were around the world for a year or so afterwards. They encouraged me to keep writing and playing so I owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for rekindling the flame.
Anyway, the same battered old 225C turned up on my bench the other week with a back that was completely stove in along with a bunch of other issues. Once the back came off I could see the work of many different repairers from around the world so I took a picture of the insides before putting a new back on the old axe. While I was working on it I couldn't help thinking of that magic Italian tour 6 years ago and of the fantastic music I saw this guitar make in Julz's hands. It's going to sound great and I'm sure Julz will get many more years out of this old guitar as it travels around the world with her and Leesa. She'll have to, because just today I received a message from Julz in London telling me her Custom Shop Maton had been smashed up by the airline. I've seen the pic and it has too! So I guess we'll see the new guitar back on the bench real soon. We were able to help her out with a loner Maton so Hussy Hicks will still be playing Maton on this current tour.....Thank the Lord!
To check out Julz and Leesa's music go to Hussy Hicks. They're brilliant!
In the meantime have a look at the pics below. This is one tough old guitar....

Bridge Plate Removal. Note the previous repairs around the bracing.

New back glued on. Not too long now before she's sings again..

6 comments

  • Julz Parker

    Julz Parker London

    What timing hey - guess the old guitar will again be the road dog while the Custom shop takes the back seat for a while. Brought little tears to my eyes to see the inside for the first time. Was also so happy to hear we helped get you back playing. What a great dinner it was.

    What timing hey - guess the old guitar will again be the road dog while the Custom shop takes the back seat for a while. Brought little tears to my eyes to see the inside for the first time. Was also so happy to hear we helped get you back playing. What a great dinner it was.

  • Jimmi Nolan

    Jimmi Nolan London

    Don't know if you remember Pat but I was there with girls at that festival in Verona. What a fantastic story that sparked that pesty but precious muse in all musicians. They do it to me everytime I see them, they just have that effect on people! Hope you are well Pat, take care. Jimmi

    Don't know if you remember Pat but I was there with girls at that festival in Verona. What a fantastic story that sparked that pesty but precious muse in all musicians. They do it to me everytime I see them, they just have that effect on people!

    Hope you are well Pat, take care.

    Jimmi

  • Matty Zarb

    Matty Zarb Australia

    What a great read. Love this story . I love the woody sounds of Julz's old friend.. Glad it's in your hands Patrick .. Can't wait see them back in your hands Julz x

    What a great read. Love this story .
    I love the woody sounds of Julz's old friend.. Glad it's in your hands Patrick .. Can't wait see them back in your hands Julz x

  • scott Whatman

    scott Whatman burleigh heads

    love that guitar

    love that guitar

  • Lecia

    Lecia Queensland

    Aah. Open back surgery. Must be hard to see your guitar pulled apart like that Julz. But sounds like your old faithful isn't letting you down just yet and still has a long life ahead ;-) xo

    Aah. Open back surgery. Must be hard to see your guitar pulled apart like that Julz. But sounds like your old faithful isn't letting you down just yet and still has a long life ahead ;-) xo

  • jo

    jo goldie

    Grateful to read and to see this...means the world..and heres to many more musical memories to come....love this story.. cheers

    Grateful to read and to see this...means the world..and heres to many more musical memories to come....love this story.. cheers

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