Howard Roberts wanted an instrument he could really hear acoustically when he designed his namesake instrument, and decided on the oval soundhole instead of traditional f-holes. In fact, the first batch of Howard Roberts guitars made by Epiphone, Gibson's sister company, were very acoustic in nature, featuring both the oval soundhole and a carved solid spruce top.
According to Howard Roberts himself, these Epiphone models were "a little too expensive and a little too fragile." The subsequent versions by Gibson, like this Steve Miller-owned piece, had bodies made entirely out of maple.
In addition to the standard volume and tone controls, a mid-range roll-off control was also standard on the Gibson Howard Roberts, but many players didn't find it useful and ended up disconnecting it from the circuit.
I thought it was pretty cool that Gibson decided to retain the elaborate Epiphone-style pearl inlay on the Gibson Howard Roberts headstocks -- there's some fine, old-world craftsmanship for you!
This guitar comes with documentation from Guitar Showcase in San Jose stating it was consigned from Steve Miller's collection as well as a purchase receipt from the Gibson factory indicating that it was made for Miller.
eBay Item number: 120559295205
Many years ago I ordered from Epiphone for a customer Joseph Barone a howard Roberts guitar.ReplyDelete
When it arrived at the shop it was glorious.
Andy Nelson the Fender Regional Salesmanager was in our shop and played all afternoon on it.
The new owner to be arrived to pick u the guitar and noted that the pickup was not as shown on the Howard Roberts Goodies lp, and freaked.
What a prediciment...Well I called the guys at Epi and , as we were a good customer they took another off the line and placed the pickup where it shold have been. In the meantime Barone calls Howard in Arizona t learn what the pickup was etc.
Now facing a delima as to what to do wiht an expensive special order, I called someone who I know would appreciate the instrument.
That someone was Gus De Gazion in New Rochelle, NY.
He came right over, looked at the guitar, picked it up, plaued two or three chords....He fell in LOVE. SOLD, he proclaimed.
Now De Gazio was Barones teacher.
Although nothing was said, or realized at the time as time went on the correct guitar came in and Barone was satisified. He developed into quite a good player, although that was not his profession.
Then, I get a call from Gus De Gazio.....His studio was broken intoand the Roberts guitar was nowhere to be found..We always suspected that someone felt there shold only be one in town...It wasnt until later years that I found one in Mandolin Brothers ahd hooked up Gus to purchase it.
I will always remember these instruments and the history connected with the three instruments..But most of all I will remember how Howard Roberts connected with that instrument and drew in so many of his colleagues and fans to his guitarplaying and instrument.