Decca Owned and Used by Elliott Sharp Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar, made by Kawai (1967)

 Decca Owned and Used by Elliott Sharp Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar, made by Kawai  (1967)
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Item # 11681
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Decca Owned and Used by Elliott Sharp Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar, made by Kawai (1967), made in Japan, green/black sunburst finish, laminated body, nato wood neck with rosewood fingerboard, black gig bag case.

This is a Decca-branded Japanese hollowbody electric guitar (in vivid greenburst!) owned and used by protean New York guitarist/composer Elliott Sharp. While Decca is primarily remembered as a record label (with artists in the 1960s as diverse as Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee and the Who) they also operated a large home entertainment division. The profits from electric guitars were at an all-time high, so Decca capitalized with a line of guitars, amps and accessories sold through the company's distributors throughout the USA, concentrating on the east and west coasts. The range included solid body electrics, classical and steel stringed acoustics as well as amplifiers all imported from Japan.

This Decca-branded fully hollow guitar looks to be a product of the Kawai factory, from the period when they had recently absorbed the Teisco operation. The design and layout is similar to a number of period instruments, particularly the Teisco EP-8. The most striking feature is the deep green-black sunburst, originally borrowed from Burns of London but a favorite of Japanese makers at the time. This is a very handy, lightweight fully hollow guitar with a slim, short 23.5" scale length neck. The twin Kawai/Teisco pickups are surprisingly powerful sounding; the controls are simple with an on/off slide switch for each and master tone and volume. The typical Japanese vibrato is a vaguely Bigsby-styled unit.

While far from the most outrageous looking or original of 1960s Japanese guitars this is still a striking piece, mostly due to its VERY deep green finish. This was not considered professional-grade when new but within the limits of these instruments is well made with better woods and fretwork than many. Elliott Sharp tells us he has made good use of this guitar but it remains very clean and all original. Fans of Marc Ribot will note a similarity to one of his signature stage guitars, which has seen rather more extensive use!
Overall length is 38 1/4 in. (97.2 cm.), 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 9/16 in. (4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 23 1/2 in. (597 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).
This is a very clean all original guitar showing no repairs or modifications over the last 55+ years. The finish has only light scuffs and dings and virtually no fade to the truly splendid greenburst. The rosewood fingerboard in excellent shape with original frets showing very little wear; as with all Japanese guitars of this era the fretwork is a bit spotty, but this is better than many. The adjustable truss rod works, the neck is quite straight and this is a very easy playing guitar, with its very short scale and low action. The original electronics are completely intact and the twin single coil pickups sound vivid and wide-range, something like a gold-foil/P90 hybrid. Overall a neat little guitar, FAR better preserved than most of these. It resides in a flimsy but functional older gig bag. Excellent Condition.