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Had a great time on the phone with Paul Hamer today.


BCR Greg

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I have really enjoyed reading your posts Paul...Welcome. I am pretty much a Harmer virgin....just bought my first Hamer last week.

It is great to hear from the man behind the magic!

I live near Kalamazoo, MI and am friends with the good 'ol boys down to Heritage, (Marv Lamb, JP Moats, Ren Wall, Jim Derlou, Bill Paige)....did you ever have any encounters with those guys over the years?

Thanks for the great guitar!!!

Brent

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If you insist - I don't take her out that often these days though... That's her with some of her siblings: Yeah that was more money than I wanted to spend, and the Hamer was by no means chea

Hi there, thought this great threat deserves a little bump on a Sunday morning... I started playing in a band here in Germany in the late 70s and saved all my money for a Les Paul, that's what I alwa

So great to have you here Paul. Sam Moss (dealer in NC) introduced me to your guitars in 1983. I got this from you after my first Hamer purchase. That meant a lot to a 12 year old kid!

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This is a Very Cool "then" shot! Any chance at adding a "now" shot Jurgen?

Brent, your recent FB purchase made me get my '86 Scepter out to play to help suppress the G.A.S. it induced. :lol::D Great buy on your part.

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So finally Standard #0345 followed me home on June 28, 1980 for an expensive DM2400 (~$5000 US at the time) and I never regret it.

Great picture and story. It is fantastic that the guitar is still with you.

$5000 :D .........in 1980 :lol: . And people complain about the prices today.

Paul, I've heard Jol talk about the early days and going to Kalamazoo to buy parts. As part of Brent's question could you tell us about that early relationship with Gibson?

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Sounds like they marked it up over list and then added on the import taxes, shipping etc.

Geez that's a lot!

Then again, the fact that you still have it makes it all worthwhile.

How many 1-owner Hamers are out there.

$5,000 over 30 years isn't bad.

That's only $166.667 a year!

Great story!!

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Just wanted to post a quick thank you to Mr. Hamer. I am really enjoying reading all of the stories generated by both long-time and new Hamer owners. It is quite a legacy knowing that your efforts have resulted in transforming pieces of wire and wood into something that provides joy to so many.

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This is a Very Cool "then" shot! Any chance at adding a "now" shot Jurgen?

If you insist :D - I don't take her out that often these days though...

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That's her with some of her siblings:

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Yeah that was more money than I wanted to spend, and the Hamer was by no means cheaper than any of the the Les Pauls.

As I was really into Gibson and never heard anything about the Hamer brand before, you can imagine how convincing the guitar was.

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AWESOME Standard and story, Jurgen!

And a HUGE thanks to Paul Hamer for all the effort and input over the years to the instruments !! I had to quit playing from CTS/tendinits poblems for about 2 years back in the early 90s, and I didn't think I would be able to really get back into it again until I found my 1981 Cruise on consignment from a Studio guy out in Clovis, NM. My introduction to design and balance that actually made a difference. That bass got me through a rough time and eventually back to where I don't need to be as particular about what I play--but that bass will always be the cornerstone for me.

Many thanks and Welcome!

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Is that Red Wine on that Studio? That looks awsome!

It really is a dark brown, similar to what PRS would call Tortoise. Could have have a reddish shine in certain light though.

Wasn't a common Hamer color when I ordered it, had to explain and send samples, but you can see it more often now.

Really a stunning top, kind of hard to photograph , can't stop staring at it in real life :D

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Thanks you guys like the Hamer stuff as much as I do, it's some awesome gear...

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Wow.

Just... wow!

Seriously.

Paul told me some time ago (as did Peter Wolf, who I understand is now with Knaggs and was formerly PRS) that Hamer exported quite a few guitars to Germany in the 80s-one of their biggest markets.

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studio4.jpg

Wow.

Just... wow!

Seriously.

Paul told me some time ago (as did Peter Wolf, who I understand is now with Knaggs and was formerly PRS) that Hamer exported quite a few guitars to Germany in the 80s-one of their biggest markets.

In that picture I see the color. That's an awsome top and finish.

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Great photo, you refinished it a cool color.

......John and Monty eventually parted ways and Monty stopped working. John had a small workshop in the city where he continued doing work for me. John did the woodwork on the first 6 or 7 virtuosos! An unsung Hamer Hero.

Paul Hamer

Paul Hamer

Paul...

Wow! Thanks for the new info on this. Much appreciated.

Steve Matthis actually picked the refin color before I got it from him. Yeah, cool color.

May I ask a few more question?

I've been a bassist forever it seems but I also play guitar. Because of my really big hands/long reach I especially LOVE the Virtuoso (the design I heard was not especially loved by all at Hamer?)

Since you mentioned the Virt....here are mine. I recently let the marble one go. The korina one I think is a prototype...all small dot inlays, deeper scallops, slightly different body bevels? The SN# predates any of the dates of the original run of 10. Some previous owner hacked off some of the upper frets and put a humbucker in it with the pole pieces off. So, I put blade PUP in it so I don't get dropouts on bends w/a 6-way. It's actually my favorite Hamer 6-string I've ever owned.

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Also...I have a couple Hamers with YOUR SIGNATURE on them under the clearcoats. Any recollections about the axes/owners and why they got signed?

The fancy Scepter was made for "George Gryparis" (name on headstock) and your sig in the trem cavity....and the '82 fretless Cruise Bass has "Scooter" on the truss cover, with your (and Jol's) sigs on the back.

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Last oddball Hamer ID question for the moment.....The Standard 8 pictured (SN0599) has a 4-to-8 headstock conversion that I was told by two different people was done while new at the factory for Jon Brandt...but he was out of CT by the time it was ready and he never picked it up. Supposedly the first long-scale Hamer root-octave bass? True/False/Myth? I was also told that the same "Scooter" guy bought it at the factory after Brandt didn't claim it. My info came from John Tooke, a friend who ordered a number of early custom Hamer basses (Quad 12, B12A, B12S, etc.)

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-jon/mc2

Scooter was the nick name of a really talented man named Scott Stephenson. He was living in Denver when I first heard from him. He was playing in a locally popular band and previously had toured as a roadie on a world wide Bob Dylan tour. He was always calling with guitar ideas and I believe he worked during the day at a chain of Colorado music stores. I did several guitar clinics out there that Scott helped with, I even went to his apartment one time where he showed me all his guitars. Scott is most famous Hamer-wise for coming up with several guitar ideas that were built including a double neck and a guitar shaped like a saxophone. I always wanted Scott to work for me but I could never afford it. I really admired his musical talents and his big personality, I wonder where he is today? The four string was one that Scott ordered very early on. Scott was very creative, I think he really wanted to be a graphic designer. I still hang from our Christmas tree every year an ornament Scott made out of styrofoam in the shape of a checkerboard standard. I can't say enough about how talented he is.

I don't remember the eight string per se, but with that serial number it well may be the first long scale multi-string. It rings a bell with me about the bass staying at the factory and if Scooter ended up with it that is a possibility.

The Scepter is one I remember for the color combination, though I do not remember who George is. When someone asked me to sign a guitar when it was being made at the factory I always signed the bottom of the bass pickup route. When I signed guitars on the road I always signed the inside of the back plate. I was never comfortable signing on the front or back of a guitar though I did on occasion when someone was insistent.

I remember John Tooke who should have some reliable early information.

What is the serial number of the virtuoso! that you think is a prototype?

Paul Hamer

I think you're talking about Gracin's in Hempstead LI.

I remember going there often. They had ads describing Gracin's Music Zoo, where all the salesmen had nicknames of zoo animals.

They always had a killer guitar/bass department.

Pop Gracin was the owner, and Dan Vitalo, who went by the nickname of "Snake" was in guitars.

Also, there was King James Music in Bayside (then later - Bellrose?) and Brooklyn. Richie Carnese was a guitar salesman there, who convinced me to buy #0531. He was always passionate about Sunbursts.

Jim

Thanks for correcting my spelling!!! Paul Hamer

Oh yeah...Gracin's WAS spelled that way. huh? Oops....appologies to Pop.

The korina Virtuoso was originally sold out of Keller Music in Columbus Ohio. It was one of many Hamer prototypes, one-offs, etc. that graced the showroom there. I didn't buy it at the time, because it wasn't shiny, and didn't have a neck pickup...

As an aside, the candy apple red Phantom 12 that one of you ended up with from me came from there, too. About a year after I bought it, the factory called me and offered to buy the 12-string back, or trade me something for it, because they needed one right away for somebody. I was using it for an original music project, so I declined their offer :D

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  • 3 months later...

Wow! Epic thread. I just signed on to this forum yesterday, and I already have a huge respect for Mr. Hamer and his creations. Cheap Trick's In Color had just come out around the time I started playing bass, and I was always fascinated with Tom's 12 string quad bass. I thought it was white, but I guess it was natural??? Anyway, that fascination has just recently led to me buying a pearl white (not crazy about the pearl...) B12S from my friend Baz Cooper. What a creation! I had never played a 12er, and this thing is like an instrument unto itself. The neck is amazing, and the intonation is unbelievable. Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm happy to be part of the Hamer world.

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Wow! Epic thread. I just signed on to this forum yesterday, and I already have a huge respect for Mr. Hamer and his creations. Cheap Trick's In Color had just come out around the time I started playing bass, and I was always fascinated with Tom's 12 string quad bass. I thought it was white, but I guess it was natural??? Anyway, that fascination has just recently led to me buying a pearl white (not crazy about the pearl...) B12S from my friend Baz Cooper. What a creation! I had never played a 12er, and this thing is like an instrument unto itself. The neck is amazing, and the intonation is unbelievable. Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm happy to be part of the Hamer world.

Welcome aboard! Lots of great stuff here for sure-it's THE place for Hamer info on the net.

Tom's bass was several colors-black, natural, etc. He originally had a pink 10 string prior to the 12ver.

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Tom's bass was several colors-black, natural, etc. He originally had a pink 10 string prior to the 12ver.

Also dark green for a short time.

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