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Jack Golder 'Making Music' Tribute Jack Golder died in the early hours of Thursday, April 9th, 1992; he was 70. During the 1960s, he worked alongside Jim Burns; in the 1970s, he built instruments for Hayman and Ned Callan, amongst others, before building his own Shergold guitars. Guitar Guru Paul Day remembers Jack's special talents...
"I first met Jack in the 1970s, in the course of my research for The Burns Book. He proved to be very friendly and knowledgeable, providing invaluable help on numerous occasions. We kept in regular contact over the years, and I could always rely on him to come up with the right answers to so many wrong questions.
"Naturally, I took the opportunity to delve a little deeper into the workings of Shergold guitar manufacture and the company's history, and in doing so I came to realise the full extent of Jack's talents as a guitar maker. He had the expertise to utilise the facilities and machinery of his efficient factory just as a small operation luthier would use his craftsman's tools. There is no doubt that Jack was a craftsman too, and he had those additional skills necessary to translate hand woodworking into quality production methods without sacrificing quality and adding all important consistency.
"Another important aspect of Jack's craft was the way he could take parts from apparently unrelated instruments and put them together to create something entirely different. He demonstrated this unique 'new from old' ability to me on various occasions, creating custom guitars using components culled from previous projects. The results were fully playable, totally believable, and I still find the process akin to magic.
"While Jack's guitar necks were highly recommended, the cosmetics of Shergold instruments were sometimes criticised. His steadfast refusal to change eventually turned this so-called 'non-style' into a style all its own. This attitude was typical of Jack, emphasising his positive approach and his total commitment to his craft and his instruments.
"In the past I've described Jack as the godfather of the English electric guitar; he contributed so much to the guitar making industry in this country, and I know that he's going to be a hard act to follow. It was a privilege to know Jack Golder as both a friend and adviser. He will be sorely missed."
Text from 'Making Music' magazine (UK), June 1992. Written by Paul Day.