The First Monkey Grip: Teisco T-60

The First Monkey Grip: Teisco T-60

Guitar Gavel “Gear” Of The Week with Adam Gray: Martin OM-28 Authentic 1931

Adam provides an articulate mini-lecture on his modern Martin OM-28 Authentic while discussing the differences between an original from 1931 and this 2016 model.

Thank you Adam for your sharing your wonderful knowledge and history lesson!

Did Martin successfully capture the vintage OM-28 vibe? In his review, Adam tells it like it is.

Appearing in 1960 the Teisco T-60 featured a hand carved body, set-neck, and beastly hand carved headstock. 

The Jazzmaster shape and 3-saddle bridge may borrow quite a bit from Fender, but the monkey grip was all original and this guitar was of superb quality.

The model was a success and Teisco used the monkey grip again on the TG-64 and TB-64 bass a few years later.

Guyatone, another famous Japanese brand that was going toe-to-toe with Teisco in the 1960s (Japan’s version of Gibson versus Fender) debuted their own model with a monkey grip in 1966, the LG-160T.

Of course the break-through moment for the monkey grip is Steve Vai’s JEM in 1987.

Fernandes deployed a monkey grip on the STX-85 about the same time.

Perhaps monkey grip guitars were meant for shredders?

Because fans of one of the original shredders, Glen Campbell, will recognize the T-60 as Campbell played it in numerous sessions as a Wrecking Crew member, used it on early TV appearances, and alongside Steve McQueen in the movie, “Baby, The Rain Must Fall.”

Campbell’s guitar is now on display at the Glen Campbell Museum in Nashville. 

Here’s a great montage of Glen Campbell solos, his Teisco is a common theme in the early clips.


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