Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sho-Bud Club Model Acoustic

One day I was surfing through eBay and I came across this Sho-Bud Club model. I knew about Sho-Bud pedal steel guitars, but I had no idea they made acoustics too. The thing that really got me was the Club, Heart, Diamond and Spade inlays down the neck of the guitar. This is the trademark of their pedal steels, but those are just silk screened on. The acoustics had actual inlays of the symbols on the fret markers. What happened next was hard to explain...I got obsessed with these guitars. There was very little about these acoustics on the internet. In fact, almost NOTHING. I ended up winning this guitar for $550, and it turned out to be a sweet guitar. All of the Sho-Bud acoustics are based on a Martin Dreadnought and were made in Japan in the 70’s. There was a Club Model, a Diamond Model, a Heart Model, a Spade Model and a Grand Slam Model...the Grand Slam being the fanciest of all. The Club is the basic model and each one gets fancier up the line. I got so obsessed, in fact, that I started a website about these guitars. Of course I wanted to gather info about these guitars, but I also wanted to appear to be the authority on them so that people who had them and wanted to sell them would come to me first. It worked for the most part. I ended up with a Diamond Model as well (see a future post about that one) which my good friend Dave now owns and loves. A Heart Model came up on eBay at one point as well, but I was outbid on that one at the last second and it kind of cured me of trying to collect all of the models. Anyway, these are GREAT guitars and extremely rare and hard to find. If you can get your hands on one I highly recommend it. I really liked this Club Model...I think it actually sounded better than the Diamond I owned even though it was a “lesser” model.


Gary said...

Love to hear that there are others who know about the Sho-Bud acoustics first-hand! I bought my Heart Model brand new at The House of Guitars in Phoenix, AZ. on 5/22/80. I still have the receipt & price tag that was dangling from the machine head. I was about 17 and we didn't have much $. I had to buy all my gear, and the italian restaurant I worked at didn't pay much... I would ride the bus down and play the 100's of guitars on hangers. The guy was really cool, knew everything about guitars. From the first time I picked it up I fell in love with it. The sound was unlike anything else in the shop, and the inlay was just breathtaking. I was pretty sure I would never get to play that guitar anywhere but in the store, and each time I went there, I went right to it, surprised that somebody (!!!) hadn't bought it yet. My grandmother died and left my mom a pretty decent chunk of change, and I asked my mom if she would buy a replacement for my Ross distortion box (I fried mine, and electric guitars just aren't the same without that option...). It was the first time she had ever been with me in there, and after we got the distortion box out of the case, I said "Hey mom, come here, you've got to hear this guitar". I played a little diddy and she fell in love with it. I said "before we go on vacation, ( which was rare )would you buy it for me?" She said "I'll buy it right now if you really want it". I was nearly in tears... The clerk said that for a guitar like that we'd better buy a real nice case too. It was easy to see that a guitar this special deserved a nice case, so we were pretty easily talked into getting a really plush case for it, where it has spent much of it's time when not on a stand. It has brought me more joy than any of the guitars I've owned over the 30 years I have been involved in music. I have gotten so many sincere compliments on it, and several envious looks. I had a high dollar pickup installed under the bridge quite a few years back, and to play it through a Boss chorus and then a Boss analog delay creates a rich, lush sound that has to be heard to be appreciated. Mom's gone now, but I'll never be able to play that beautiful instrument without her in mind. I have another story about something just unexplainably unique, involving this guitar, but I've gone a bit long here as it is. Perhaps another time, as I rarely get sick of recounting so many years of just pure joy that this sweet guitar has given me. She has been my best friend and truest love.
Got a Sho-Bud story?
Drop me a line.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the man that got the sho-bud at the last second on EBAY. The reason i wanted it and the reason i started collecting these beautifull guitars is because, I got married when i was 18, to a girl that at the time seemed like a very good person. But i was wrong. My father baught me a sho-bud when i was 17 for Christmas, I can't remember what model but i remember sho-bud. That guitar meant the world to me, because we had always been fairly poor. Daddy worked like hell to make sure we could eat at night. And for him to buy me that guitar meant so much, I loved that guitar. Well, after about 6 or 7 months with my wife she became very nasty, never cleaned, she grew potatos in our closet for a long time before i ever knew, So she was just really sloppy, She became miserable to be around. She went and pawned my guitar one day while i was working, And i never found it. The marriage didn't last. But 23 years later after being married for a happy 15 years to my second wife. I see one on EBAY, first one i had saw since mine got pawned, ( I wasn't even looking for it, I was just browsing guitars on EBAY ), When i saw it, it was like a brother had died, and 23 years later he comes back to life !!!! I was willing to give thousands for it !!! I couldn't remember what model i had so i just baught every one i found, I now have 16 of them.
Also the Spade model at the sho-bud website, is one of my actual guitars ( I was blown away when i saw it there, It's a great honer. )
The Grand Slam model is the most rare, because only one was ever made and it was made for George Jones, For "THE GRAND TOUR" tour, one of his album covers, not sure which, Has a picture of him holding it. It's always awsome to find other people that know about SHO-BUD !!!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a Sho Bud Diamond model. I've had it since I bought it new in 1979. It has been all over the U.S. with me. The one guitar I will never sell. I recently had it reconditioned at Classic Ax in Nashville. Added an internal pickup, fret job, set up and Tone Pros Kluson tuners. I've played a lot of guitars, but this one just keeps sounding better and better. The finish on the top has really mellowed over the years. It is a very sweet guitar.

Anonymous said...

I have a diamond model that I bought from a guy I worked with years ago for $50. I loned it to my boss a few years ago and I wonder if I was ever going to get it back. When I finally did somebody had stepped on the case and put a small crack in the body(top). I never knew until several weeks later when I decided to play it. Still plays and sounds great but made me sick. I never said a word to him about it, he may not have even known. Lesson learned.

Anonymous said...

There is one more Grand Slam other than the one made for George Jones. In the late 60's Gene Martin who played with Roy Acuff, worked at Sho bud in Nashville and made himself beautiful Grand Slam. He played it for many years on the Opry. Gene Martin was also the brother of Benny Martin one the greatest fiddle players ever and the inventor of the 8 string fiddle.

Joey May said...

Well... I stumbled across these post this morning and thought I’d post some info as well about a Sho Bud I have. Back around 1978 I ended up with the hand made Sho Bud that Gene Martin made. It is the first one he made and I believe the one he played. Long story.... as teenager I loved this guitar and acquired it George Chestnut a fiddle repairman in Nashville.

I’ve had it now for over 40 plus years. It has quite a few war nicks and scratches so it’s not perfect but still lives on!

I’d be willing to part ways if you’d like to discuss.