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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 9 months ago

From a Wikipedia talk page:

My name is Rich Travis; my dad used to be a pretty popular studio musician, and played with atkins, maphis and our cousin Merle Travis.

I remember sitting in Merle's RV at the Marion County, illinois fairgrounds talking about the first electric guitar; merle said he had an idea and just drew up a design for a guitar (he had notebooks full of drawings and cartoons he did), then had a friend who was a machinist (Who I now know was Paul Bigsby) make him up one; this intitial solidbody guitar had most of the features of a modern solidbody.

What i'm not seeing written anywhere is what I clearly remember him saying, that Fender asked if he could make a guitar based off of his design, and merle agreed. Apparently Bigsby found out about it while fender was first coming out with the esquire and got all bent out of shape; I think he said something like "the machinist was going to sue me", I don't remember exactly but it was something on those lines.

I had gotten the impression that Merle had been expecting to make a lot of money off of what became the esquire (and later the telecaster), but after Bigsby stated raising hell he got leo to say the idea was all his and deny Merles involvement. Since this was during a conversation about "almost-was" deals, I think that was the situation.

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