Guild M-65 Freshman Owned and Used by Elliott Sharp Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962)

Guild  M-65 Freshman Owned and Used by Elliott Sharp Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962)
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Item # 9527
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Guild M-65 Freshman Owned and Used by Elliott Sharp Model Thinline Hollow Body Electric Guitar (1962), Hoboken, NJ, serial # 18461.

This early 1962 Guild M-65 3/4 "Cherry" Freshman is a fairly obscure but great-playing little guitar, one of the Hoboken-based company's nicest original ideas. This one has a cool NYC provenance as well.

Basically a plainer, simpler version of the upscale M-75 Aristocrat, the M-65 has a small 13 1/2" wide fully hollow f-hole body of laminated mahogany with a single pickup in the neck position. This M-65 is 3/4 model with a short 22 3/4 scale fingerboard; it was intended primarily as a student instrument but is still a fully professional quality guitar. The "Cherry" designation on the label marks this as fairly rare variation; most period M-65s carry a sunburst finish top.

This particular M-65 is one of the very first Guilds made in 1962; the serial number is about 40 numbers past the first instrument logged that year. The features are an interesting mix of the old and the new. The bright cherry finish was a new option, recently introduced with the Starfire series. This guitar is built with a laminated mahogany top like those cherry Starfires instead of the maple typically used on sunburst versions. The 1950s-style headstock has a simple silkscreen gold script Guild logo, but with the new 1960s-style metal truss rod cover.

The back is unbound and the top triple bound in celluloid. The mahogany neck has a bound, dot inlaid rosewood fingerboard. This guitar's single pickup is the older Queens, NY-made Franz unit, which was about to be phased out for good in 1962. This white-covered "soapbar" unit gives this guitar a sweeter, mellower tone than the subsequent pickups Guild employed. The newer style label, black plastic knobs with a "G" shield metal cap and back-painted Lucite pickguard are all typical mid-'60s features, while the Guild "Harp" tailpiece, and two-footed wooden-saddle adjustable bridge specific to this model were carried for many years.

This guitar has been in the possession of the amazingly prolific New York guitarist/composer Elliott Sharp for decades. This instrument has been on a number of projects and he detailed its use as follows:

Performance: Used on jazz and blues gigs in the 1980s

Recording: Mofungo: Albums "Work", "Bugged", "Frederick Douglass" and "Messenger Dogs Of The Gods".
Terraplane: album "Blues For Next" on the song "Chemically"
"Binibon: an opera" used on the track "Fun City Days"

This cherry 3/4 M-65 is a cool variation on this unique Guild, an excellent-playing little guitar for practically any style.
Overall length is 36 3/4 in. (93.3 cm.), 13 5/8 in. (34.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 3/4 in. (578 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

Overall this is guitar shows signs of long use but remains a nice example; the finish on the back is noticeably more worn than the rest of the instrument. The top is relatively clean with only some small dings and scuffing, the sides a bit more worn. The finish on the back of the neck is down to the wood in the center and has some small dings and dents but nothing too noticeable. The guitar remains all original except for the tuners, which are later '60s Japanese pieces in place of the original strip Waverlys. The frets are slightly crowned down but have only very minor subsequent wear and play fine. This is a super easily handling guitar still in the original brown chipboard case, played in many adventurous situations and ready for new adventures. Overall Excellent - Condition.