Friday, 1 March 2013


Hello Brummies, Folks, Folkettes, Drunks and Drinkers

It's with a heavy heart and a slight 'niggle' that I have to report that my recently awarded 'Golden Dibber' has been suspended, not literally of course, that would just be cheap humour and, as you know, I'm not that sort of chap/chapette.  It is true to say though, that I find myself under a BBBCGLM investigation for "heartlessly annoying a sensitive guitar freak" when, with my usual crass eloquence, I dared to suggest that this guitar:

a Fenton Weill,  was awful, thereby 'wilfully annoying a reader', contrary to sub section 12a of the BBBCGLM statutes for award winners.

 "I'VE NEVER HAD SUCH A DELUGE OF BAD COMMENTS" shouted His Eminence, The Lord High Editor-in-Chief of BRUMBEAT,  J Woodhouse.

"YOU'VE OVERSTEPPED THE MARK THIS TIME BOB!!!!" ...."I'M REPORTING YOU TO HENRY TROUSERS!!" he yelled down the office upon the receipt of a second 'anonymous' comment being received through the 'cybernetic contact device'................  WHO IS THIS FENTON WEILL ANYWAY???

'Anon The Commenteeras he shall be known, was obviously upset enough by my opinion of this inferior thing to feel compelled to send two comments about how great they were and how wrong and bonkers I must be.   Mrs Bob would say he was being a 'Stirrer', I think I agree.

I thought I had been quite the gentleman in my first reply to 'Anon' having covered the ground with some reasonable acknowledgement of this here geetar', given it's early days but it appears my actual wording was, or is now, the centre of the complaint.  It's like guitar nurd PMS.  In answer to 'Anon The Commenteer', who appears intent on trying to get me to break my news years resolution... 

"No, I don't mean it's not a looker...., I mean it's soddin' awful and if I had the choice of any early guitar, it wouldn't be a Fenton Weill.

I mean look, who wants to get into a row about something that I think was rubbish?, not me, I just happened to mention it in the context of early guitars. I'm pretty sure you're all old enough to make your own minds up?  Simply because it's old doesn't mean it's good either or because of the Jim Burns connection.  His association with Herr Weill didn't last longer than a bat's fart and frankly I'm not surprised, I can just imagine the conversation between them.   

Jim.   "Good God that's bloody awful, I'm off to build my own guitars"...
Auf Viedersen".  
Herr Wiel......."Pig!"
Burns Sonic
... off went Jim and indeed, built some lovely, quality guitars, but the small bodied style of the first Burns sonic model, which I've highlighted before, is similar in shape... end of similarity.  It must be remembered that Guyatone and others were also producing small bodied guitars at the same time so it really was a fashion and moreover, a lot of these early models were all made at the same factory and used some of the same parts. Burns would change this style radically with their huge bodied range of models.

A Fenton Weill is not a Burns........It's like all those guys who say "I jammed with Jimi" what? wordplay inferring that he too was a genius and had been touched by the hand of God are far removed from the truth.   At the Cedar Club in Birmingham I saw local guitarists jam with Jimi too and also at clubs in London like the Bag o' Nails, none of whom are, or were later guitar heroes themselves....fame by association means sod all.

It is what it is.

Lets Leave it Up to Others!
I am a man with an open mind, or as Mrs Bob refers to it, 'that large void, capable of engulfing what's left of the Arctic"', so I went further afield as I did with the Award Winning investigation exposing the Brumbeat vote rigging scam of The Strollers and sought out other serious and reputable sources who may have voiced their opinion on the subject, and who better to start off with than, the world famous:

Stan Curtis? yes sir, world renowned sound engineer and hi-fi guru, I guess he knows something about circuitry and sound. Stan owned more than one of these guitars and at one time actually owned the Brand name itself, so I doubt if I could find a better source.  He was a bass player and probably still is.

Quote: "They weren't very good guitars to play"

Probably the UK's most thunderous bass player of all time had a Fenton Weill once.
Here is a short piece reproduced from the John Entwhistle 'Gear' page on The Who's website which is a good read

"Fenton Weill, a guitar manufacturer with a factory in Chiswick, made oddly shaped but serviceable guitars.  For a fiver (about 12 dollars), Entwhistle convinced someone who worked for Fenton Weill to smuggle out a body for his next instrument. A second factory had put on all the other parts.  Peter remembers this bass sounding "pretty good".  John Entwhistle swore it was "diabolical".

Here is a list of all the other famous guitarists that have either owned or liked the Fenton Weill:
hair balaclava and glass jug on left,
ugly slab of wood on right

The bassist of Mungo Jerry... who had a summer hit with 'In the Summertime' which featured a 'blown' glass jug playing the bass line.  Coudn't find any more.  

Hey I've just noticed they're all Bass Players as well, that explains it all.

You fashionistas will be more interested in guitarist Jerry Dorsey's 'hair balaclava'.

so no guitarists then!!

When asked for a comment by the worlds press, the Editor of Brumbeat said  " Fenton Weill is a TV Ventriloquist isn't he?".
Henry Trousers, Chairman of the BBBCGLM had this to say.  "Well I have to say that I've never seen a Fenton Weill but I've been told they were capable. These days though, I personally prefer a Spear and Jackson No5 spade, with a composite handle mind you!, it's sharper edge really cuts through the sod..... I don't actually know if a FW had that??".

"Regarding the suspension of Bobs Golden Dibber, it is true that he is currently under investigation and as soon as our Sparkhill representative, Seamus O'Tarmac, reports back to us we will convene a general meeting of the Brotherhood and, if found guilty, Bob will be ceremoniously de-capped at Villa Park and his name expunged from The Shed of Fame".  
Previous De-capping  ceremony picture supplied by Albert Trousers (centre, wearing grey )
Guy Mackenzie is the other person I found who thinks Fenton Weill are great and collects them!!  So at the very least I may have helped one soul mate find another, you could get together, I bet the hours would fly by.

You other serious guitarists are not obliged to look at the following link if, like 'Anon The Commenteer' you're 'touchy' and only like to look at EKO's for example.  I guess Anon will be rushing over there as we speak. 

.... but I can tell you straight away that collector Guy is a drummer!!!! and buys Fenton Weills to hang on the wall.  He reports on his web page that his most desired guitar is yet another Fenton Weill (belonging to his best friend) and added that his wife thinks he is mad and has moved into the spare room.  

To be inclusive gender wise, I thought Mrs Bob would fit the bill nicely especially with my growing feminist fan base and when asked the question "Mrs Bob, what about a Fenton Weill?"......she replied "Oh shut up with your sex talk and have a digestive", then followed up with "Wait a mo', wasn't that the guitar that all the fret wire used to drop out of the neck????..... 
How would I know, I never owned one?

Thats why I love her, she's a storehouse of knowledge about those little things that I have no interest in, you know me?  I'm not the sort of person who goes on about things, she just feeds me facts...  Her proper name is Lucy but I call her Mrs Bob, especially when she's being coquettish after fish and chips on Saturday night and you know, there's something about the smell of stale vinegar and mushy peas that set's her afire.... at the moment, as an added delight, she's taunts me with derogatory facts about Villa's current goal deficit, she's a a real temptress that one, whew! a blood boiling 15 seconds of non stop passion.

There you have it, I haven't made any of that up?  Those are some other peoples opinions on Fenton Weill.  So Anon the Commenteer, with the exception of John Entwhistle who can't answer back, why don't you go and bother them with your "Not wanting to get into an Argument" argument.  I await judgement by the league of flat capped peers.

It has just occurred to me that Anon the Commenteer could have led a miserable life until one day and quite by chance, he stumbled across an old delapidated warehouse and there in the corner was a secret door.  On opening the secret door he  found it to be stuffed with boxes marked 'Old 60's Guitars'. he must have thought "Yahoo!!! Bonanza!!  I'm gonna be rich".  I can't imagine how disappointed he would have felt to find they were all Fenton Weills but, ever the optimist, he set out to corner the EBay market until Bob Investigates blew the lid off his aspirations. 

That's just a maybe of course, and any implication that Anon was entering an old warehouse, without wearing the appropriate hard hat, would have been foolish on my part as this suggestion would be a further breach of the Statutes for Winners mentioned above and would incur an immediate debagging and decapping punishment.

It would have to happen this year, the very year where I promised to be a bit nicer to people?.......bollocks to that then!.  I can just imagine the shame of having to enter the boozer without my jauntily placed flat cap, tackle akimbo, and having to look at the empty space behind the bar where my Golden Dibber would have been standing proud.  I know that Doris the barmaid loved to give it a daily buffing. 

The next thing you know is that someone is going to disagree with me about the plastic nightmare that was the Hagstrom Futurama!!, no-one is that thick or geeky.   Oh what a disaster!.  I notice that even Stan Curtis agrees with that too, we're like peas in a pod, Bob and Stan, we could form a double act and visit homes for nervous guitarists, you'd probably have to pay the travel costs though Stan cos' I'm a musician and ain't got no dough.  These are just my 'hands on' recollections of these guitars, I do this for some fun.

As usual all comments are welcomed and, like this one, will be answered in full.

So anyway on with the Motley.  This months blog was going to be the annual update on Brummies abroad which I really love doing to see what's happening with the Brummie muso's across some 'ponds'....until 'Anon the Commenteer'  distracted me from my normal peaceful existence, so now I am hiding away in the cyber shed worrying about my public image. What will Lanky Len say when he hears?  He's been working away creating the Bob T Shirt, he phoned the other day and said he'd worked day and night for three days and had a grand total of 4 small ones.  "How come so few?" I said, it was then he told me he had a small problem with his printing set-up, allied to a rare form of sleeping sickness but promised to update me on his Bob Campaign at the next meeting at the boozer, after the darts.

The Brummies Abroad will now appear Next Month and jolly good it will be too, full of the most interesting snippets and actual photographs! that you won't want to miss.

Ho's another year and accordingly it's my favourite Brumbeat picture time again.  Just love it, always worth reproducing again and again if you've missed it.


copyright Ken Reeves(right)

Just wonderful, it's really representative and captures the youth and fun of being a musician in a band back then.  Life was so much simpler.  Two beautiful Gibsons, would have been a great sound.

It's a bit like the Brumbeat Mona Lisa to me.   "I wonder what the drummer is thinking, with his inscrutable smile?"  Maybe something like "I wonder if they would like the idea of having matching Fenton Weills??", it's definitely the way a drummer would think.  Well the Lead guitarist looks like he knows the answer to that particular thought, and probably, so do the other two! I also see the guitarist has chosen the chord of C sharp7 for the pose, most unusual, perhaps he thought it was exotic? 

It kind of irritates me that the drummers shirt collar is sticking out of his jacket too, I think I'm getting fixations.

My eternal thanks to Ken Reeves, who is the only bass player on this page with a truly beautiful, high quality guitar, for sending in this wonderful gem, just fantastic.

I have yet to see a better picture, that is unless you have one that you would like to be seen occasionally, normal contact address.

OK, that's that and this is this:

THE REDCAPS- Talkin' bout you....
this was the real sound of beat groups during the brumbeat days,
and there were few better than The Redcaps, if any!! definitely not that tinny and soul-less 'Dial' Brumbeat LP Hollick and Taylor recording.....The Redcaps also 'passed' on the Fenton Weill owners opportunity..... which will only increase Anon the Commenteer's belief of how wrong we all were then.

have a nice life, love your wife and see you next month.



just noticed that Stan's website is down.  lets hope it's just a glitch.
RIP Cleotha Staples............'People Get Ready there's a train a coming'.

Older couple sought for journey to Mars........"Mmmmmm Mrs Bob?"

Come on Villa!!!
copyright Bulls Head Bob