Podcast with Paul Kobylensky
In this Guitar Gavel podcast episode I have the pleasure of sitting down with Paul Kobylensky and we talk guitars, music, and his life as a copywriter in the music business.
In addition to his behind the scenes work writing for household guitar and gear brands Paul is a writer for Premier Guitar. His latest article from September’s edition of PG was an interview with Dave Mustaine, one of his heroes. Paul could not hold back his inner fanboy and he shared a couple of funny stories about interviewing Dave.
And of course we look at some really cool guitars among many conversation points.
Thank you Paul for sharing your time and wonderful insights with us!
Billy Gibbons Signature Guitar That Wasn't
Billy Gibbons and Mark Erlewine have a long history together and collaborated on a couple of guitar designs.
The first was the Erlewine Chiquita travel guitar that Billy could noodle on when flying. It was famously depicted in the opening scene with Marty McFly in the original “Back To The Future”.
For a while Erlewine licensed production of the Chiquita to Hondo which has a fascinating lineage in the guitar world…
Hondo is the brand name of International Music Corporation (IMC) which was formed in 1969 by Jerry Freed and Tommy Moore in Fort Worth, TX. Their guitars were built by Samick in Korea and began as inexpensive American copies. Over time however, the Korean factories became proficient builders and turned out good to great guitars.
Among many brands that Samick (in Korea) built guitars for includes a very long tenure with Epiphone (beginning in 1984) and a short stint with Fender in the late 1980s.
Back to Hondo, some of their highest end guitars were made in Japan by Tokai and Matsumoku, but generally speaking the remainder of their guitars came from Samick.
Being dangerously presumptuous, it’s fair to imagine with IMC in Fort Worth and Mark Erlewine in Austin there was a Jed Clampett Texas connection and that’s how the relationship came to be. Now if you are thinking the name IMC rings a bell, it was IMC that bought Charvel/Jackson from Grover Jackson in 1985 and moved operations to Japan.
Back to Erlewine and Gibbons. Somewhere in the early 80s Gibbons came up with the design for a guitar he called the Coyote and Erlewine built it. If you look at the guitar from left to right you will see the profile of a coyote’s face.
Internet rumors suggest Erlewine turned this over to Hondo for production without Gibbons’ approval and that’s pretty much the end of the story. Gibbons’ name is not attached to the guitar except through legend.
Brynn Arens of Flipp has the very first Erlewine prototype that he bought in 1983 or 1984. Below is an excellent video of Brynn talking all about his Coyote, it’s 20 minutes long and well worth it. Hondo released these in 1985 and the first iteration of Hondo ceased operations in 1987
Hondo Coyote specs: Korina body, Set maple neck, Rosewood fretboard, 25.5” scale, Fully bound, Hondo humbucker
"Lick Of The Week", Blues In 'A' with Ian Cowan
Smooth master Ian delivers a nifty blues lick that covers some jazzy tones, soul, and a little grit. As always this one is very approachable, thank you Ian!