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Instruments

As a ’60s band we endeavour to play period-correct instruments where possible.

Bass

Mathew predominantly plays Hofner 500/1 violin basses, made famous by Paul McCartney. Mathew has two variants of this iconic instrument; the “Cavern” model as used by McCartney during the Beatles’ Hamburg days and on their early records, and the ’63 model, which has been McCartney’s bass of choice for almost sixty years.

Hofner ’63 500/1 Bass
Hofner “Cavern” 500/1 Bass

Patrick and Mathew sometimes play a Squier Bass VI. Originally produced by Fender from 1961 to 1975 it is a sort of guitar/bass hybrid and was favoured by many session musicians of the era. Famous players include Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce of Cream, and country star Glen Campbell who recorded one of his most enduring records, “Witchita Lineman”, on a VI.

Squier VI

Guitars

Barry and Patrick (and sometimes Mathew) play a selection of period appropriate guitars.

Fender Stratocaster – a double cutaway guitar that has been continuously manufactured since 1954, the Strat is one of the most iconic electric guitar models of all time. Strats have been played by many great artists, such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton.

Fender ’60s Stratocaster in Sonic Blue
Fender “Rocky” Stratocaster

The Fender Jaguar is a short-scale (24″) offset-body electric guitar introduced in 1962 as Fender’s feature-laden top-of-the-line model, designed to lure players from Gibson, and achieved its most noticeable popularity in the surf music scene; notable players include Johnny Marr and Carl Wilson.

Fender Jaguar HH

Gibson SG – first introduced in 1961, the SG has gone on to become one of the world’s most iconic model, associated with many renowned guitarists such as Pete Townshend, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Angus Young, Frank Zappa, and Tommy Iommi. Patrick plays a reissue of the very first SG model, branded as a “Les Paul” before Gibson later dropped the designation shortly afterwards, and fitted with Gibson’s unique “sideways” vibrola system.

Gibson SG

Gretsch G5410T – Gretsch guitars were played by many artists throughout the ’50s and ’60s, including Eddie Cochran, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Chet Atkins, and George Harrison.

Gretsch G5410T

Epiphone Casino – originally created as a budget version of the more prestigious Gibson 330 semi-acoustic, the Casino was popularised in the mid-’60s by the Beatles. Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon all used Casinos extensively in the studio and on tour during this period, and their endorsement led to the humble instrument outselling its Gibson counterpart.

Epiphone Casino

Fender Coronado – a double-cutaway thin-line hollow-body electric guitar, announced in 1965. The aesthetic design embodied in the Coronado was a departure from previous Fender instruments, and the design remains an uncharacteristic piece of Fender history.

Fender Coronado

Martin Dreadnought – originally developed in 1916, Martin guitars have been played by many artists including Johnny Cash, Elvis, Hank Williams and Willie Nelson.

Martin Dreadnought

Epiphone EJ-160E Electroacoustic – this model is a faithful reproduction of John Lennon’s iconic Gibson original. Lennon’s EJ-160E was a central pillar of The Beatles’ sound on records from Please Please Me to Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and beyond. The first ever use of guitar feedback on a record (the introduction to I Feel Fine, 1964) was the result of Lennon’s EJ-160E reverberating to a note played by Paul McCartney on his Hofner bass.

Epiphone EJ-160E Electroacoustic

Harmonicas

Barry plays Hohner Marine Band harmonicas, the top-selling harmonica of all time; they were commonly used during the British Blues Boom in the ’60s, and have been played by artists such as John Lennon, Paul Butterfield, Little Walter, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Sonny Terry and more. Barry also plays Seydel 1847 harmonicas.

Drums

Mark plays a limited edition 2020 Vox Telstar drum kit. This rare, glistening beast comes with an unusual elliptically shaped bass drum, and is coated in a silver crocodile-skin wrap, so you can only play it wearing dark glasses. The design is based upon an earlier vintage kit known as the ‘Speedfire’, manufactured by Trixon in the late ‘60s. The best thing about the Telstar is that it looks like it has just melted, probably out of sheer ecstasy. It sounds great and is terrifically boomy. Mark uses Istanbul cymbals and Remo drum heads, and an old cowbell he found in a car-boot sale in Crawley.

Vox Telstar

Amplifiers

The Hurdy Gurdies use Vox guitar and bass amplifiers, which are famous for their chimey “British” sound. Vox released the AC15 in 1958, and the AC30 in 1959; their amplifiers helped to produce the sound of the British Invasion, being used by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and The Yardbirds, among others.

Vox AC15

Why Hurdy Gurdies?

Hurdy Gurdy Man” is a 1968 song by the Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. Donovan wrote “Hurdy Gurdy Man” while in Rishikesh in India, where he was studying Transcendental Meditation with the Beatles. It also features an Indian influence with the use of a tambura, a gift to Donovan from George Harrison, who also helped write the lyrics. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurdy_Gurdy_Man

The hurdy-gurdy is a mechanical string instrument that produces sound by a hand-crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to those of a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents—small wedges, typically made of wood—against one or more of the strings to change their pitch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurdy-gurdy

The Hurdy Gurdies

Contact/Bookings

07570 408561‬
@hurdygurdies