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Thread: Tom Petty on George Harrison/uke

  1. #1
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    Default Tom Petty on George Harrison/uke

    Apologies in advance if this has been posted before or if this is a well-worn story around here. I'm reading "George Harrison: Living In The Material World" and thought I'd share this story on George as told by Tom Petty.

    "He came in with two ukuleles and gave me one. 'You gotta play this thing, it's great! Let's jam.' I have no idea how to play a ukulele. 'Oh, it's no problem, I'll show you.' So we spent the rest of the day playing ukuleles, strolling around the yard. My wrist hurt the next day. But he taught me how to play it, and a lot of the chord formations. When he was going I walked out to the car and he said, 'Well, wait... I want to leave some ukuleles here.' He'd already given me one, so I said, 'Well, I've got this.' 'No, we may need more!' He opened his trunk and he had a lot of ukulele in there, and I think he left four at my house. He said, 'Well, you never know when we might need them, because not everybody carries one around.'"

    Pretty cool huh? I'm guessing that the ukes he was carrying around probably weren't cheapies.
    Ohana CK-42R concert - all-solid, sinker redwood top, rosewood back and sides, maple binding, Ltd. Edition
    Kala KA-FMCG concert- solid spruce top, laminate spalted flame maple back and sides, mahogany binding
    Ohana CK-120G - all-solid acacia, mahogany binding, Limited Edition
    Kala KA-ZCT-C - all-laminate ziricote, walnut fretboard, satin neck
    Ohana SK-30M - all-solid mahogany long neck soprano (concert scale)

  2. #2
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    Great story, thanks for sharing!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    Apologies in advance if this has been posted before or if this is a well-worn story around here. I'm reading "George Harrison: Living In The Material World" and thought I'd share this story on George as told by Tom Petty.

    "He came in with two ukuleles and gave me one. 'You gotta play this thing, it's great! Let's jam.' I have no idea how to play a ukulele. 'Oh, it's no problem, I'll show you.' So we spent the rest of the day playing ukuleles, strolling around the yard. My wrist hurt the next day. But he taught me how to play it, and a lot of the chord formations. When he was going I walked out to the car and he said, 'Well, wait... I want to leave some ukuleles here.' He'd already given me one, so I said, 'Well, I've got this.' 'No, we may need more!' He opened his trunk and he had a lot of ukulele in there, and I think he left four at my house. He said, 'Well, you never know when we might need them, because not everybody carries one around.'"

    Pretty cool huh? I'm guessing that the ukes he was carrying around probably weren't cheapies.
    I heard that George when in Hawaii would buy all the Kamaka's he could find. I don't know if it was a certain size he would buy, or just all Kamaka's. But he bought them to give away. I heard another story like the one with Tom Petty, that George ALWAYS had 2 ukuleles with him. One so that he could play, and the other so that who ever was around had one to play.
    - Aaron

    Kamaka Ukulele History & Info Site (Unofficial)

    My Ukes: Kamaka Tenor, Pono Mahogany Concert

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    Quote Originally Posted by PedalFreak View Post
    I heard that George when in Hawaii would buy all the Kamaka's he could find. I don't know if it was a certain size he would buy, or just all Kamaka's. But he bought them to give away.
    The same story is told about George and the Kamakas at McCabe's, the guitar shop here in Santa Monica where I spend all my time and money

  5. #5
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    Aren't Kamakas around $800.00 on the low end in stores? Those are pretty nice ukes to be handing out and leaving behind. Oh to be so wealthy!
    Ohana CK-42R concert - all-solid, sinker redwood top, rosewood back and sides, maple binding, Ltd. Edition
    Kala KA-FMCG concert- solid spruce top, laminate spalted flame maple back and sides, mahogany binding
    Ohana CK-120G - all-solid acacia, mahogany binding, Limited Edition
    Kala KA-ZCT-C - all-laminate ziricote, walnut fretboard, satin neck
    Ohana SK-30M - all-solid mahogany long neck soprano (concert scale)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    Aren't Kamakas around $800.00 on the low end in stores? Those are pretty nice ukes to be handing out and leaving behind. Oh to be so wealthy!
    Well, this would've been in the 80's, so they wouldn't have been as much then. Maybe Stan can chime in on what the prices would've been then?
    - Aaron

    Kamaka Ukulele History & Info Site (Unofficial)

    My Ukes: Kamaka Tenor, Pono Mahogany Concert

  7. #7
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    I'm sure they were expensive even then, but Beatle-level wealth (around $150 Million), especially for one of the songwriters like George, was extremely high. To a guy with millions in the bank, buying an $800 uke is like you or I buying a Big Mac.

  8. #8
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    Great story...Still would love to know what the kamakas went for before the uke boom though!

    Chris

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