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View Full Version : Treholipee the 4-foot uke



Spuash
11-10-2008, 03:59 PM
well i went into a music store in Florida today.... horrible Uke selection but they did have a Treholipee. google that to find out what it is... i want one, they seem so rediculous but the concept of putting the head and part of the neck in the sand while you went surfing is just awesome.

these things look crazy. does any luthier make them? or any1 know where i can get them.. im in florida visiting my grandma but by the time you guys read this ill be back in CA... does island Bizarr have them?


and what do you guys/gals think of this instrument?

haole
11-10-2008, 04:06 PM
I've never heard/played one, but I know that they were made in the 1960s by Swagerty, who made all sorts of crazy artistic designs. They're no longer in production, unless there's someone out there making repro's.

wearymicrobe
11-10-2008, 04:11 PM
I've never heard/played one, but I know that they were made in the 1960s by Swagerty, who made all sorts of crazy artistic designs. They're no longer in production, unless there's someone out there making repro's.

Now that would be fun to build, and not to hard with a bit of steam and a good jig.

Spuash
11-10-2008, 04:22 PM
I've never heard/played one, but I know that they were made in the 1960s by Swagerty, who made all sorts of crazy artistic designs. They're no longer in production, unless there's someone out there making repro's.


yeah i found one at a music shop in Florida.. like i said their uke selection sucked so i belived this was a repli bt the thing was too high on the wall for me to look. would still be cool o have one just as part of the collection.:rock:

dnewton2
11-10-2008, 05:39 PM
I have seen (online) some of these. They pop up on ebay every so often under different names. They have a uniques shape, I cannot comment on the sound or anything having never seen one in person but you can probably find one for a resonable price online. (ebay) I have thought about getting one to see what they are like. If I find one I will post a link.

salukulady
11-10-2008, 05:48 PM
Any one know how they're tuned?

Spuash
11-10-2008, 05:56 PM
Any one know how they're tuned?


Im Pretty sure they're standard gCEA or you can tune it however you'd like.. and the one i saw at the store was big but the uke part was a soprano size.

im really glad this thread is generating some conversation.. maybe we can get a luthier to make one :)

hoosierhiver
11-11-2008, 07:04 AM
I've wanted one forever,I like wierd stuff.
I've heard them called "surfuleles" before.

freedive135
11-11-2008, 07:12 AM
Check them out!!!
http://www.oddmusic.com/gallery/om26750.html

http://www.surfingmuseum.org/exhibts_ukelele.html

http://cgi.ebay.com/Kook-A-Lay-Lee-Swagerty-label-Needs-Bridge-and-string_W0QQitemZ280282879226QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_ DefaultDomain_0?hash=item280282879226&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1318

There are a few different versions of these uke's on the vintage ebay right now.

nikolo727
11-11-2008, 07:16 AM
that thing is so strange lookin lol. i want one. that would be so ackward to play though.

Spuash
11-11-2008, 07:25 AM
I've wanted one forever,I like wierd stuff.
I've heard them called "surfuleles" before.

Yeah. I've been doing some more research. The treholipee looks like a bow and arrow. And there are two more variations. The surf a lele. And the kook a lele. The surf is more swiveled and the kook is a straight end but the base all looks and plays the same.

This is such a cool concept to bring to the beach and stick it in the sand when you go surfing. These seriously would make a great addition to any collection. I know I want one. At at least to play one :)

hoosierhiver
11-11-2008, 12:53 PM
UAS strikes again.I bought a "polk-a-lele" off ebay and it showed up today.It is really,really cool looking,despite having a crack in back and a glue repair on the head above the tuners.The first thing I noticed was,it's a pain in the arse to tune,very awkward.The second thing I noticed is that the plastic pegs slip and won't hold the tension for long,I'll have to fix that somehow.The tone isn't especially great.Otherwise,I love it,even if it just hangs on the wall most of the time.

jonny-uke
06-10-2009, 03:50 PM
spuash, where and what was the store called in florida called?
i visit florida quite often so maybe i can take a look

jdmcnasty
06-10-2009, 04:11 PM
Looks cumbersome...but interesting.
I like the portablility of a uke.

Iolaus
02-22-2014, 08:54 AM
This thread popped up in a Google search, so I thought I'd let y'all know that there's one on eBay right now.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1960-039-s-Vintage-Swagerty-The-Singing-Treholipee-Surf-Surfer-Ukulele-Red-Rare-/171248788060?&_trksid=p2056016.m2516.l5255

SailingUke
02-22-2014, 11:28 AM
I found this one a while back, I am only the 3rd owner.

64126

RyanMFT
02-22-2014, 01:33 PM
I have a red Treholipee, and it is a lot of fun. They really need the cord/strap, and with it over your shoulder, it is pretty well balanced.

This picture is of me with mine, right after I bought it in an antique mall. Luckily, I was able to add an original cord/strap. Brought it to CA from Chicago on two different planes....that was fun!
http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/zz199/RyanMFT_photos/1502_105130685351_5146_n_zpse1b0c738.jpg (http://s827.photobucket.com/user/RyanMFT_photos/media/1502_105130685351_5146_n_zpse1b0c738.jpg.html)

UkerDanno
02-22-2014, 02:21 PM
there's actually 2 on ebay, one for $28.00 and one for $185.00...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1960s-Vintage-Swagerty-The-Singing-Treholipee-Ukulele-Green-Rare/161209215420?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%2 6asc%3D261%26meid%3D5027495014346496471%26pid%3D10 0005%26prg%3D1088%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D171248 788060%26

a local guy picked up a Treholipee AND a Polk-a-lele at a garage sale for peanuts, both are in really good shape. I think I heard him say $10 a piece!

TheCraftedCow
02-22-2014, 08:44 PM
The one I bought for $10.00 was pristine;even down to the cord for the strap. The sound is lacking body resonance because the body hardly resonates. It is just a little plastic soprano fretboard. The paddles are known to break off the blades, and there is nothing to use for leverage to tune if but locking pliers (vise-grips) If you want to stand out, it is an attention getter!! There is no need to steam the neck. A good straight grain 2 x 4 will give you all the wood you need to lay up the curve. Beyond the paddle tuners, the appendage has no musical purpose. My Martin Backpacker ukulele sounds better . They were well designed to serve as a locator and indicator of side current drift for surfers.

kohanmike
02-22-2014, 08:58 PM
It looks like it could be an instrument used by Charles Napier ("Silence of the Lambs") on the original Star Trek show "The Way to Eden" in 1968.

64145

RyanMFT
02-23-2014, 03:50 PM
The one I bought for $10.00 was pristine;even down to the cord for the strap. The sound is lacking body resonance because the body hardly resonates. It is just a little plastic soprano fretboard. The paddles are known to break off the blades, and there is nothing to use for leverage to tune if but locking pliers (vise-grips) If you want to stand out, it is an attention getter!! There is no need to steam the neck. A good straight grain 2 x 4 will give you all the wood you need to lay up the curve. Beyond the paddle tuners, the appendage has no musical purpose. My Martin Backpacker ukulele sounds better . They were well designed to serve as a locator and indicator of side current drift for surfers.

Wow, lots of incorrect info Craftedcow. Actually, they are not soprano scale, they are tenors, with a scale of about 18 inches.

The appendage has the same musical purpose as say...Peghead tuners. There are lots of geared tuners out there, but those particular tuners look a certain way, which is appealing to some. The long headstock gets the job done and does it in a stylish way.

The headstock deflects about ten inches from a straight board, so no cutting it out of a 2 by 4, and the sound is what I would expect from a smaller plywood i.e. laminated body.

They were made as novelties, but are fun and playable.

Strumdaddy
02-26-2014, 03:44 PM
Check out the mint one for sale on Fleamarket right now!

Ukejenny
02-26-2014, 04:07 PM
You could put an eye out with that.

dkcrown
02-27-2014, 01:34 AM
Check out the mint one for sale on Fleamarket right now!

That person should be ashamed of herself. I saw that yesterday. It is in anything but mint condition and I guess that she is hoping that "a sucker is born every day". Even if it was mint it is not worth anything close to what she is asking for it. I was going to email her to tell her what I thought about her $500 treholipee, but refrained. I have one that is in much better shape with the original tags featuring Steve Allen. (that's right, he and his wife Audrey Meadows leant their name to it). Not worth anything close.

Patrick Madsen
02-27-2014, 05:20 AM
I've had mine for over twenty years; used as a wall hanger. Cool looking but the tuners are fragile and one of the paddles on the tunerhas broken. I'm from Huntington Beach and remember when they came out in the '60's. It was advertised that you could play to your wahinee(sp); stick the end in the sand and go surfing.

salukulady
02-27-2014, 07:20 AM
I've had mine for over twenty years; used as a wall hanger. Cool looking but the tuners are fragile and one of the paddles on the tunerhas broken. I'm from Huntington Beach and remember when they came out in the '60's. It was advertised that you could play to your wahinee(sp); stick the end in the sand and go surfing.
Hey Patrick, are you an HBHS alumni? If so, what year?