The late and great Glenn Frey with his Takamine guitar
We lost a lot of musical celebrities in 2016. Glenn Frey was maybe the one who meant the very most to me.
2016 will long be remembered as a year when a lot of celebrity artists died. 2017 will likely be just the same way, as the baby boomer generation is experiencing the effects of father time. Maybe 2016 will be remembered as the year when the baby boomers started dying in large numbers.
The thing about the musicians who passed away in 2016 was the deaths were pretty unexpected. David Bowie apparently knew he was dying, but he never let anyone outside his inner circle know about it. The death of Prince was a shocker because he was quite young, and because of strict adherence to his religion, nobody considered he'd be a guy battling an opiate addiction.
I'll make no bones about it, Prince was a stupendous guitarist, he was as good as you can get. At least there aren't many people more talented at it than he was. David Bowie's classic rock was something I always enjoyed too, but the death which bothered me the most was the death of Glenn Frey.
I've always thought of myself as a bit of a redneck. I prefer to be out in the country where I could go outside and shoot a squirrel or whatnot, with a shotgun, and nobody would think anything of it. As a country sort of guy, the music of The Eagles, something which is really country rock, was like a constant companion. Glenn having passed away isn't going to change any of this, The Eagles and their awesome twang rock is here to stay. It's the kind of music a body can sing along to, even when you are like me, and can't really sing. Glenn wasn't the only vocalist in The Eagles, of course; but those guys were putting out singing in their songs which wasn't so technically challenging you didn't bother to try.
Glenn and fellow Eagle Don Henley with their acoustic guitars
The Eagles were a band where roles were loosely defined. They were like The Beatles in that way, you never know who's going to be the singer for the next song, because everyone in the band can sing quite well enough. So too with the guitar. You know Joe Walsh was the primary guitarist, but even Don Henley, the drummer, would play a guitar when the time was right.
As a Texan myself, I can tell you Don Henley, who is from here, is almost as Iconic in these parts as the great Willie Nelson. Texans love our fellow Texans. Me, I'm a heretic, and lucky to have not been burned at the stake, I always liked Glenn Frey songs better than Don Henley songs. I just loved Glenn's voice and his vibe, he could give me a peaceful, easy feeling, if you follow me.
While we're on the subject of diversity in entertainment roles, let us not forget Glenn Frey had been an actor too. After years of Frey and Henley doing a Lennon and McCartney sort of partnership, the good times ended for a while. The great Bakersfield sound of The Eagles landed, or went to roost. Glenn had a successful solo career too.
Glenn got older, and died way too young, at just 67 years. He was worth ninety million dollars. His music was the soundtrack to countless lives, including mine, and maybe yours too.
Glenn Frey could own any guitar he wished. He still chose Takamine.
When you're a guy like Glenn Frey you play whatever guitar you want. Glenn could have been playing the most expensive guitars Martin, Gibson, or Taylor could produce. But he did not, he played Takamine guitars. That really tells you something, or at least it should. Takamine is a damn fine manufacturer of acoustic guitars.
For long years people in the know have known about the great quality offered by Japan's Takamine. They are named after a mountain in Japan. They provide Martin level quality for less dollars than that upscale stalwart of US guitar manufacturing. The craftsmen and women of Japan will never shame themselves, they don't build a thing unless they're going to build it right. Takamine makes some less expensive models, student level or amateur level instruments, this is not one of those.
This guitar is a rosewood and spruce dreadnought with electronics. One could say, and be very correct, that it is a guitar much in the vein of the Martin HD-28, but with electronics added, as Martin isn't so much into putting pickups and such into their world renowned classic models.
The Takamine Glenn Frey signature guitar
Specifically, this guitar is known as the EF360GF. The 'GF' are the initials of the guy who it is made for. These aren't cheap, but they aren't expensive either. They regularly sell for around sixteen hundred dollars, and will hold their water with any rosewood and spruce Martin or Taylor dreadnought. You can hold me to what I'm saying when I'm talking about fine guitars, friends, I'm a full throttle addict of such information and things.
Rosewood body acoustic/electric dreadnought guitars are always going to be something used by the singer songwriter, and the reason is they offer so much in the way of accompaniment. Rosewood provides a dark, overtone laden tonality, and the spruce provides volume and clarity. The guitar would be equally terrific for rhythm and lead duties. Rosewood and spruce dreadnoughts are the stuff of Appalachian bluegrass music royalty. A guitar never cares what music one chooses to make with it though, it just wants to be played.
On-board here is the CT4B pre-amp, and this includes a three band graphic equalizer. Takamine's electronics for acoustic guitars are superb in every way. They are truly surpassing some of the long standing big names in that particular game. Because Takamine's electronics are so very good and useful, they're more competing with Taylor guitars than anyone else these days. That invisible hand of the market, you know, serves to give us what we both want and need. Also included is an extremely useful and accurate chromatic tuner.
This guitar, as most other Takamine steel string offerings, features the X bracing made famous and nearly universal by C.F. Martin & Company. What the bracing translates to for you, is the guitar will be pleasingly loud when played acoustically, not plugged into anything. The nut is of genuine bone. I can't say enough how great it is when a guitar manufacturer uses bone instead of some sort of plastic. Bone nuts absolutely make a steel string acoustic guitar both louder, and the notes clearer. The bone nut will also, naturally, increase the sustain of the notes played. This guitar comes with a hard shell case. Glenn Frey is gone, but never forgotten. Who knows how long Takamine will produce this instrument? I sure wish I owned one, and if you are into steel string guitar, then you definitely wish you had one too.