Bill Hillman Guitar No. 18
Yamaha APX6
Acoustic/Electric Guitar
No. 20815721A

  .  .

Not much to say about this guitar . . . it's proven to be a real workhorse.
It spent some of its first years hanging on the wall behind the stage in our SOO'S Restaurant Showhall.
We reserved this electric-acoustic for visiting musicians to use during our Saturday Night Jam Sessions.
Since most guitarists/singers brought their own instruments,
this guitar was only occasionally pressed into service.

When I was recruited by Brandon University to teach in the Faculty Eduation
as Assistant Professor I moved this guitar into my BU office.
It proved to be a useful tool for putting variety into my classes . . .
as well as for a few after-class jams with students.

When I retired from University after a 40-year career as an educator,
the guitar was passed on to our grandson, Soulin,
who showed an interest in learning the instrument.

Saturday Night Jams in SOO'S Showhall
Pop-Up Captions
Bill ~ Ian ~ John ~ VaughnVaughn ~ Bill ~ Ian ~ Doug ~ John ~ Ken ~ JanGarry Peech - Bob Peech - Jim Andrey
Bill - Ian - Roy ~ BobSue-OnBill with Poor Boy Rodger, Rockin' Roy and Peech Brothers: Playing the BluesFinally off the wall with guest Joe Ducharme

Yamaha ready for action in the rear of my Brandon University Office.

Bill Hillman's Music Links Collection: Volume I (Hundreds of Sites)
G.B. Peech and the Sidebanders
Rock School

Yamaha APX6A Acoustic/Electric Guitar Features include:
Yamaha APX Body Style
Spruce Top
Mahogany Back & Sides
Indian Rosewood Fingerboard
Mahogany Neck
Deluxe Gold Tuners
1-way Pickup System
Electronics: Volume, 3-band EQ, Adjustable Mid Frequency, EQ Bypass
 Brown Sunburst, Natural Stain Finish Translucent Blue Burst or Translucent Green Burst

Other APX Models:
Yamaha APX10A Acoustic/Electric Guitar Features include:
Yamaha APX Body Style ~ Spruce Top ~ Sycamore Back & Sides ~ Indian Rosewood Fingerboard ~ Mahogany Neck ~ Deluxe Gold Tuners ~ 2-way Pickup System ~ Electronics: Volume, 3-band EQ, Adjustable Mid Frequency, EQ Bypass, Mix and Battery Check ~ Black Cherry, Yellow Natural Satin

Yamaha APX8A Acoustic/Electric Guitar Features include:
Yamaha APX Body Style ~ Spruce Top ~ Ovangkol Back & Sides ~ Indian Rosewood Fingerboard ~ Mahogany Neck ~ Deluxe Gold Tuners ~ 2-way Pickup System ~ Electronics: Volume, 3-band EQ, Adjustable Mid Frequency, EQ Bypass, Mix and Battery Check ~ Brown Sunburst or Natural Stain Finish



Whose Guitar?
B. B. King. Interesting note: B.B. is short for Blues Boy (his nickname when he was a DJ in the 40s). He named the guitar after he played a show in a juke joint that caught fire and he ran in and grabbed the guitar. He reflected on how foolish that was and he decided only a man in love would act that way so he named the guitar after a woman.

Stratocaster #0001:
David Gilmour. This is NOT the first Stratocaster ever produced but it was made in June 1954. It has a special paint job (it has a gold finish) and Gilmour suspects it was a custom shop job with the special numbering included. He said it is the kind of guitar that separates the players from the wannabes and will never be sold.

Billy Gibbons. Billy had this guitar built after a trip to Muddy Waters' birthplace. He was allowed to take a board from the porch and had Rich Rayborn build it. It features a recreation of the Mississippi River on its body and neck. NOTE: Billy was Jimi Hendrix' favorite guitarist.

The Beast Stratocaster:
Dick Dale. The "King of the Surf Guitar" has played the guitar since 1961. He used to change the paint on it every few months to fool imitators. It is now painted "glitter gold" and has his karate dojo sticker permanently attached.

Space Bass:
Bootsy Collins. The bass was created by Larry Pless for Bootsy. It was first seen on the 1976 cover of "Stretching Out". It was once stolen in Chicago and was returned to Bootsy a year later because the thief couldn't pawn it anywhere. Everyone knew who the real owner was.

Keith Richards. Supposedly named after a character in Charles Dickens’ book David Copperfield, Micawber has been Keith’s main guitar since Exile on Main Street. Keith says: "There's no reason for my guitar being called Micawber, apart from the fact that it's such an unlikely name. When I scream for Micawber everyone knows what I'm talking about."

Kurt Cobain's. According to the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, he designed his own guitar by taking Polaroids of a Fender Jaguar and a Fender Mustang and cutting them to fit together. Fender began producing the guitar after Cobain's death, and Courtney Love gave her husband's powder blue prototype to R.E.M.'s Peter Buck. 

George Harrison dubbed “Lucy” in honor of red-headed comedian Lucille Ball, this cherry-hued ’57 Les Paul was given to George Harrison by Eric Clapton in 1968. As a favor to George, Clapton played the instrument during the recording of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” In the ‘70s, the legendary guitar was stolen from Harrison’s home and ended up in the hands of a Mexican musician who purchased Lucy from a music shop in California before returning to his native country. However, Harrison was able to get his beloved guitar back by trading a ’58 Les Paul and a bass to the musician in exchange for Lucy, which he owned until his death in 2001.

Flying V and Whammy
Lonnie Mack: A pioneer in rock guitar soloing, Mack is said to have given the tremolo bar its nickname – the "whammy" bar – after the title of one of his instrumental hits, "Wham!" In 1958 Mack bought one of the first Gibson Flying Vs off the production line, and it became his signature guitar. Of native American descent, Mack has said he liked the guitar's arrowlike shape.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, in 1980, came across this 1965 Fender Stratocaster in a pawn shop in Austin, Texas, and instantly fell in love with the vintage instrument. Unfortunately, back then he didn’t have the $350 asking price. However, Stevie’s wife, Lenora “Lenny” Vaughan, rounded up $50 from seven of their closest friends and bought the guitar for the Double Trouble front man’s 26th birthday. Overwhelmed with emotion, Vaughan stayed up late that night writing a song. The next morning, Lenora woke up to Stevie playing the newly penned instrumental, “Lenny” for her.

Willie Nelson, in 1969, sent one of his banged-up guitars to a repair shop in Nashville. The owner told him he couldn’t fix it but he had a Martin for sale that he thought Willie might like. Nelson bought the N-20 for $750 over the phone, sight unseen. After its delivery, he immediately fell in love with the guitar, naming it “Trigger” after Roy Rodgers’ trusty horse. Willie played the Martin so much over the years that he wore a large hole in the top. However, the country star came to appreciate the unique sound so much that he refused to have it repaired.

Old Black:
Most of Neil Young's electric guitar tracks have been recorded on "Old Black," the guitarist's 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, which he traded from Jim Messina back in 1969. Old Black, which got its name due to the fact that it began life as a goldtop but was later the recipient of an amateur black paint job, has been a headache for Young’s guitar tech, Larry Cragg. The guitar has undergone numerous modifications and has endured plenty of wear and tear over the years. The old Gibson frequently goes out of tune and Young refuses to re-fret the fingerboard -- but when the stars align, Old Black can still produce one of the most distinct sounds in the music industry. “It's a demonic instrument. Old Black doesn't sound like any other guitar," Cragg once said.

Prince. Made famous in the movie Purple Rain, Prince’s voluptuously curvy custom-built "Cloud" guitar was designed by a local Minneapolis luthier and reproduced by Schecter guitars.

Miss Pearly Gates:
Billy Gibbons. The ZZ Top guitarist is known for his big beard and an even bigger guitar collection. However, the ax that has always held a place in his heart is his coveted 1959 Les Paul. As the story goes, ZZ Top gave their old 1930s Packard to a friend, Renee Thomas, to drive to L.A. for a movie audition. After landing the role, Renee and the band jokingly called the Packard “Pearly Gates” because they figured it must have had divine powers. Renee ended up selling the car and wiring the money to Gibbons on the very day he received a called about a ’59 Sunburst Les Paul that was found under the bed of a man who had recently passed away. The guitarist ended up loving the Gibson so much that he purchased it that day and dubbed it “Miss Pearly Gates.”

Woodstock Strat:
Jimi Hendrix, in his short lifetime, was able to singlehandedly change the sound of rock through his innovative guitar style and inexplicable raw talent. An intense performer, Hendrix was known to “sacrifice” his guitars by lighting them on fire. Fortunately, the 1968, the Stratocaster he played during his legendary rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock was spared this fiery fate. After Jimi’s death in 1970, the guitar was put into storage until it was sold at auction to Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for $1.3 million.

Jerry Garcia. The late Grateful Dead bandleader played his guitar of choice, "Tiger," over ten years beginning in 1979. Built by Sonoma County luthier Doug Irwin, the heavy guitar (over 13 lbs.) comprises a "hippie sandwich" of several layers of wood laminated together. Tiger's successor, another Irwin guitar called Rosebud, was in need of repair in July 1995, so Garcia played Tiger during the concert that would be his last. 

Eric Clapton. In 1970, while visiting a music shop in Nashville, Clapton came across a rack of old Fenders. He ended up purchasing six of them at $100 apiece. Once he returned to England, he gifted three of the guitars to fellow rockers George Harrison, Pete Townshend, and Steve Winwood, and kept the rest for himself. Clapton decided to experiment by seeing if he could assemble a “Super Strat” out of the best parts from each vintage guitar. The end result was the legendary “Blackie” Stratocaster, named after the guitar’s black finish.

Red Special:
Brian May. The Red Special is an electric guitar owned by Queen guitarist Brian May and custom-built by May and his father. The Red Special is also sometimes named in reviews as the Fireplace or the Old Lady, both nicknames used by May when referring to the guitar. May has used it on Queen albums and in live performances since the late 1960s. The name Red Special came from the reddish-brown colour the guitar attained after being stained and painted with numerous layers of Rustins' plastic coating. The name Fireplace is a reference to the fact that the wood used to make the neck came from a fireplace mantel. Brian and his father built this guitar from a 200-year-old mantlepiece. Brian believes the wood is what gives him his famous sustain.

Albert King. King's first instrument was a diddley bow. Next, he built himself a cigar box guitar, before buying a Guild acoustic. The instrument he is usually associated with is a 1958 Gibson Flying V, "Lucy." He retired Lucy in 1974 and began using a Flying V built by Dan Erlewine, and after 1980 also one built by Radley Prokopow.

The Frankenstein" Strat:
Eddie Van Halen. Musicians have long debated whether a Fender or Gibson deserves to be called the best guitar in the world. Van Halen front man Eddie Van Halen simply combined the two to create his legendary Frankenstrat guitar. In the 1970s, Van Halen was able to buy the ash body for $50 because there was a large knot in the wood. He then found a maple neck for the guitar for $80, bringing the grand total of his prized ax to a whopping $130. Eddie then utilized everything at his disposal, including bicycle paint, masking tape and wax to give the Frankenstrat its unique look. The crafty guitarist even cut up an old vinyl record to serve as a pickguard.

No. 1:
Stevie Ray Vaughn. This was Vaughn's main instrument that had to be rebuilt often. He was very hard on his instruments (if you ever had the priviledge of seeing him live you know what I'm talking about). He also used such thick gauge strings that his fingers would get cut up and he'd put superglue on the tips to keep playing! It was buried with him after his tragic helicopter crash.

Cigar Box
Bo Diddley. The late Bo Diddley fashioned homemade guitars from cigar boxes, an old folk tradition that gave his signature instrument its distinctive rectangular shape. Before Gretsch began producing Diddley's guitars, he built two dozen or more of this own, famously giving one to Dick Clark after a career-making appearance on American Bandstand.

Uncle Dick:
Rick Nielsen. Rick had this guitar specially built from the Hamer factory. It looks like him, with his legs being the dual necks and has replaceable heads (including one that looks like drummer Bun E. Carlos).

The Duck Stratocaster: 
Yngwie Malmsteen. This 72 Strat is yellow and has a Donald Duck sticker on the headstock. Malmsteen has played it on all of his albums and he is pictured with it often.

See 20 Iconic Guitars

  • Epiphone, originally a Greek violin company, had been making banjos since 1923 when it switched to guitars (in the 1930's). Epiphone was the only banjo company to successfully switch to guitar production. 
  • Leo Fender was a saxophonist, not a guitarist! 
  • The Fender factory makes around 90,000 strings per day. This is over 20,000 miles a year, enough to circle the world. 
  • In a peak year, Fender makes over a quarter of a million guitars. They are the largest manufacturer of electric guitars in the world. Fender also makes banjos, mandolins and violins.
  • The Fender Telecaster was originally called the Broadcaster but there was already a drum kit of the same name. 
  • Les Paul had a car accident in 1948 and asked the doctor to set his arm permanently in a guitar-playing position.
  • In 1950, Leo Fender devised a strength and durability test for guitar necks which was balancing a neck between two chairs and standing on it.
  • Van Halen's "5150" is named after Eddie's Peavey 5150 amplifuer, that was custom-built for him. 
  • Jimi Hendrix composed "Little Wing" in only 145 seconds! That's only two minutes and a half minutes - pretty much the same as the song's length. 
  • A Fender Stratocaster is carved on Jimi Hendrix's tombstone.
  • The song "Layla" was written by Eric Clapton for George Harrison's wife, Pattie Boid (the nickname Layla was inspired by a Turkish legend). 
  • Most toilets flush in E flat. 
  • You can tune your guitar to the sound of a dial tone, because it's an A. 
  • Legend has it Franz Schubert composed his music on a guitar hung from a hook over his bed, as he couldn't afford a piano. Berlioz also did his composing on a guitar! 
  • In 2001 an Englishman named Chris Black married his Stratocaster guitar. 
  • The smallest guitar in the world is 10 micrometres long with strings 50 nanometres (100 atoms) wide. 

  • Many of the worlds most popular modern guitarists were left handed, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney.

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