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View Full Version : George Harrison, what kind of uke?



upskydowncloud
10-11-2008, 08:55 AM
Hey guys, I know George Harrison was fond of the uke, and used to buy out entire lines of Kamakas to give away to friends etc, in my searching I found this photo and was wondering if anyone knew what kind of uke it is?

http://www.jgr-design.com/images/har.jpg

Bassukuguy
10-11-2008, 11:37 AM
humm... well i have had this pic on my computer since i have played ukulele and i have been trying to figure this out too...

my best guess would be is that its an old school Martin and Co.
just judging by the headstock, but i dont think the end of the fretboard is correct. but then again this could just be a very old model...

and i did find this sitesite talking about GH and ukulele's (http://www.americansongwriter.com/site.php?em3112=191786_-1__0_~0_-1_10_2008_0_0&content=tackle_box)

hopefuly this helped...

SinisterDom
10-11-2008, 11:46 AM
Just judging by the headstock and fretboard probably a Kamaka/Martin.

Bassukuguy
10-11-2008, 11:56 AM
dom i think you may be right on the Kamaka... i found this pic which looks like the one george has minus the bodystyle

http://www.mandoweb.com/15-6977.jpg

Edit: i also found this on the kamaka website!
George Harrison played a range of Kamakas including the concert, the tenor 6-string, and the tenor 8-string. According to one music store on Maui, Harrison would buy out all the available Kamakas in stock to give as gifts to friends.

so this my answer the question...

upskydowncloud
10-12-2008, 12:00 AM
Thanks guys I think you've sorted it out! It does look just like that Kamaka! Thanks for the help

UkuLeLesReggAe
10-12-2008, 01:04 AM
dom i think you may be right on the Kamaka... i found this pic which looks like the one george has minus the bodystyle

http://www.mandoweb.com/15-6977.jpg

Edit: i also found this on the kamaka website!

so this my answer the question...

that quote...

i wanna be his best friend!

Bassukuguy
10-12-2008, 07:56 AM
that is one hell of a present... i would dig that.

puremarkska
10-12-2008, 08:59 AM
The thing is, and it might just be me, but from the picture that you gave of him, it doesn't quite look like a Kamaka. There seems to be lettering going across the headstock, instead of the nice, big double K of the Kamakas.

I say Martin. Here are some shots of a Martin tenor (http://www.denverfolklore.com/instrument_photos/Martin_tenor_ukulele_photos.htm) to compare.

Nuke-ulele
10-13-2008, 08:00 AM
The thing is, and it might just be me, but from the picture that you gave of him, it doesn't quite look like a Kamaka. There seems to be lettering going across the headstock, instead of the nice, big double K of the Kamakas.

I say Martin. Here are some shots of a Martin tenor (http://www.denverfolklore.com/instrument_photos/Martin_tenor_ukulele_photos.htm) to compare.

Yes, the ukulele in that picture is definitely a Martin. They have always had that headstock shape, similar to Kamaka, although Martin was surprisingly earlier to get started. Martin begain initial designing/producing of ukuleles in 1907, started in earnest in about 1917/18, and in 1920 it was a full-fledged operation that was larger than their guitar business at the time. Samuel Kaialiilii Kamaka started making ukuleles in his basement in 1916 and opened a true shop in 1920. Chances are both simply started in that style practically simultaneously, especialy since there was probably very little islands/mainland overlap yet. Martin was trying to satisfy the ukulele demand that was part of the Hawaiian culture craze that resulted from the Hawaiian exhibit at the world's fair.

At any rate, early Martin Tenors look a lot like what a Kamaka Tenor looks like now, and that uke definitely has a banner headstock logo, which I have never seen in a Kamaka.

SinisterDom
10-13-2008, 08:50 AM
Yep. I think Nuke is right. Looks a lot like a Martin logo on the headstock.