This Jeff Beck Esquire guitar has many calims to fame. Among them, it was used to internationally create feedback on a pop recording, the first time that sort of thing was ever done. The Perpetrator? None other than Jeff Beck, who used this instrument to create the train sounds and the sliding, shriecking guitar parts he played on the Yardbirds’ “Heart Full of Soul” and “Train Kept A-Rollin’.”
According to the Esquire’s current owner, pickup baron Seymour Duncan, Beck acquired the guitar for $60 in 1964 from John Maus of the sixties pop rock band the Walker Brothers. Maus had carved a contour in the Esquire’s ash body to give it look of a stratocaster. Beck played the guitar regularly for the next 10 years and got the most for his $60 as he established himself as one of the all time greats of rock guitar. The Esquire was also used by Jimmy Page at certain performances during his tenure with the Yardbirds.
Beck destroyed several necks while the guitar was in his possession. The current neck was made in 1956 (the body is a 1954). In February 1974, Beck presented this Esquire guitar as a gift to Seymour Duncan, who kept the Esquire in the exact condition in which he received it.
It’s possibly the ugliest Legendary Guitar of all time, however nonetheless one of rock’s most wide range influential, the guitar that produced the landmark sounds of such widely influential The Yardbirds tracks such as “Over Under Sideways,” “Down I’m a Man,” “Heart Full of Soul,” and the future classic “Shapes of Things.”
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