Introduction to Tony McKenzie's Guitars

My Guitars: Short introduction to my guitars

Find out more about some of my guitars - Mckenzies collection

Over the years I have had loads of guitars of many different brands, some good, some reasonable and some really bad. But over time I have built up a number of classic (and not so classic) guitars. Some I have collected and some I have bought purely for playing. What makes me choose a specific guitar? or even build a guitar to a particular specification? Actually its a multitude of things.

I started out in life when I was 16 or so with A 'Futurama top 20' guitar sold in a company called 'Woolworth's that is now defunct. That was a sort of really bad fender copy, but what did I expect for £29 ($40) back in 1966! I should have expected a lot really because in those days the shopping bill was £3 a week! but unfortunately it was not that great. I would describe it as a 'scholars' guitar.


Moving on, a couple of years later I bought a 'Ned Callan Salisbury' guitar distributed in the UK by Sims-Watts (anyone remember these guitars?) It was in the day a branded guitar that cost me about £105 ($150) and that was a massive improvement over the Futurama. But it was absolutely not a USA guitar which were here but priced typically where an 18 year old could not afford one. Man how it's all changed today!

You have to think that the Ned Callan was a Telecaster but with two humbuckers and a very nice mahogany body not dissimilar in many ways to a Gibson SG of the time. The Ned Callan's main features were its quality for such a low price and the sounds were great. The neck in particular deserves a mention; it was rather like a PRS thin and wide profile to play and was one of the main reasons other than price why I bought this guitar at the time. I do have an image of me playing the Ned Callan and I'll probably post it here for posterity. I'm the guy playing the Ned Callan but you really would not relate that image as being me compared to today. That's called age and I guarantee it will happen to you or you might just 'do a Black Sabbath' burn out and and 'Die Young!'

Please note that this image is not my copyright and is from an original brochure from Sims-Watts. If this is your image and you don't want it on this site please say so and I'll remove it immediately.

But I always wanted a Gibson! My first Gibson came in 1971 it was a Gibson SG special with a Bigsby and cost in those days around £410 ($600) and needless to say I bought it on drip at so much a week forever, indeed just like most other guys with no money had to do. About that time I saw a Fender 62 Stratocaster in a pawn shop and met the guy who had put it in there on commission sale. He wanted the princely sum of £200 cash. I had no chance of buying that guitar but man did it sound awesome. I distinctly remember plugging it in and getting those 'Hendrix' tones right away. Man did I really want that guitar probably more than any other guitar I can remember and the olympic white did nothing to hold me back it looked exactly like Hendrix's guitar and sounded as cool.

From that day I have always been torn between Fender and Gibson with PRS thrown in as a Gibson 'alternative'. The only digression really has been Ibanez as they really do make some of the best rock guitars in the world, but less so at the cheap end of Ibanez I think now.

So all of that brings me to my guitars as shown on this website. You can see them from the top menu under Tony's guitars. For each one I have tried to say why I bought that guitar and other stuff like that as well as trying to describe the particular guitar and its basic features. So I hope you all like that section.

Please note that some of those quick review pages were written some time ago and because this website has been so hard to update here in 2015 I did leave most of that section as it was with a small bit of updating here and there where necessary.


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