Things they say
‘Well, playing it hasn’t put me off’
Andrew Casson after trying a 10 string cittern. I’m still wondering quite what he meant. October 2010.
Me: ‘I had my usual dream last night, dreamed I was standing on stage with a guitar about to do a folk club gig in front of an audience. And it slowly dawning on me that I no longer know any songs well enough to play and sing (which I don’t).’
Martin: ‘Were you wearing trousers?’
Comparing insecurity dreams with Martin Simpson, August 2010
‘Martin Simpson may have the flying fingers but I have the MOUSTACHE!!!!!’
Billy Moll with his newly fitted Highlander pickup, June 2010.
‘Apart from dropping it and having it thrown at me, it’s been very well looked after.’
Andy Adams on his exceedingly battered 1982 ten string mandolin. Miraculously it’s still playing perfectly. January 2010
‘Stefan, I just received the guitar and shall now embark on the task of de-mummifying it.’
Another comment on my packaging, this time from Graham Cole on receipt of his guitar, shipped to the Scottish Highlands. October 2009
‘Stefan Hello, the guitar arrived. It is stunning. I’ve only had a few strumms so far but it was enough to set my blood boiling. Thank you, thank you, thank you. PS. thank you’
Mark Kolnes on receiving his New World guitar. June 2006
‘My wife found your comments about looking at other guitars (rather than other women) very humorous. She countered by saying that no women could be as expensive as the guitars I lust after.’
Mike Moskal’s reply when I suggested that instead of getting mad with him, his wife could be grateful he looked at other guitars and not at other women. February 2006
‘Your dog’s been sick.’
Larry Campbell trying guitars in Turf House, May 2002
‘Thanks for sending my mandolin, which arrived today (Monday). Hope to have the bubble-wrap off by Wednesday.’
Customer commenting on my packing system, early 2000.
‘I played a note and sat back to listen to the sustain, but then I had to go and eat.’
Kenny Scott about his new guitar, 1999.
‘There’s a problem with this bouzouki. I can’t put the b….y thing down’
Angry telephone message from Pete Coe after collecting his new bouzouki, early 1990s.
Dave Wilson never liked lacquering dulcimers. He found them fiddly to spray and generally unco-operative. Taking him the last I made, sometime in the very early 1990s, he looked up, saw what I was bringing and said: ‘Oh no, not another b….y gondola!’
‘You’ve done the folk music world a great favour…’
Rod Patterson of the Easy Club, late 1980s.
‘…you’ve stopped a lot of people playing the tenor banjo’.
‘Anybody not got a cittern?’
John Gahagan offering tin whistles round a Glasgow pub session full of Sobell citterns. Early 1980s.
‘I suppose he buys the knobs and the wires and just screws them together.’
Country gamekeeper to joiner making early cittern cases when told what went in them. Late 1970s
‘Does he do fitted wardrobes?’
Wife of man showing her a dulcimer in early 1970s (he had already ordered one as a surprise present). I’ve always wondered if she’d have preferred a wardrobe.