The Höfner 500/1 violin bass was designed by Walter Höfner and launched at the Frankfurt Music Messe in 1956.  It has since gone on to become one of the most recognisable electric bass guitars in the music world in terms of both looks and sound.  The Höfner 500/1 Vintage 63 model has a slim profile neck, and the white celluloid neck binding distinguishes the V63 from the other German made Höfner violin basses.  This 500/1 violin bass was purchased at Rock N Roll Vintage Guitars in Chicago.
This stylish, professional guitar features redesigned Gretsch Dual-Coil humbucking pickups, adjustable bridge, chrome-plated die-cast tuners, and wicked cool colors!  It is crafted with a laminated maple body, 24-3/4" rosewood fretboard on maple neck, and sweet Gretsch appointments like G-Arrow knobs, Bigsby B60 vibrato tailpiece, and knurled strap knobs.  If you have the opportunity, ask Ian about how this guitar faired a particular performance of a grunge version of the song "Steppin' Stone."
Purchased new by Evan Hansen in 1999, and sporting a few quirks and flourishes that make it a one-of-a-kind instrument. Its sunburst top is made of solid Sitka spruce, but its back and sides are made of solid Indian rosewood.  Also unlike the standard model, this J-45 is adorned with abalone mother-of-pearl inlays; note especially the soundhole rosette, the “Flying Eagle" headstock design, Gibson logo, and triple-diamond fretboard markers. As a final touch, all of the hardware is gold.
The Goal is Soul! Bono and Gretsch recently collaborated on this updated version of the iconic green Gretsch guitar known as the Irish Falcon. Used extensively on U2's 2005 Vertigo tour, the G6136I incorporates classic Gretsch Falcon specs, including an arched laminated maple body with multiple gold sparkle bindings, two-piece maple neck with ebony fingerboard, High Sensitive FilterTron pickups, Gretsch Cadillac "G" tailpiece and lustrous Evergreen finish.  Ever the die-hard U2 fan, Patti received this guitar as a Christmas present in 2012.
Fête Featured Guitars
Dressed to Kill!  The Les Paul Custom made its debut in 1954 after the initial success of the Les Paul Goldtop. Les Paul himself suggested the color, because it looked "classy" and went well with a tuxedo on state.  From that point on, the Les Paul Custom has often been referred to as the "tuxedo" Les Paul.  With its gold appointments, fully bound body, neck, and headstock and pearloid inlays, we think you'll agree that the Ephiphone Les Paul Custom is "dressed to kill."  This axe has played many a Fête!

One of only four "Folk Era" banjos custom made by the Wildwood Banjo Company in Arcata, California in 1986 for Folk Era Productions, these banjos had eight frets between the nut and the fifth-string tuning peg, three ferts more than most five-string banjos.  They also had open backs without resonators allowing for a softer, quieter sound than normally associated with a banjo.  The addition of the three additional frets was the invention of Pete Seeger, who had become frustrated with the limitations of the shorter neck.  Seeger took his invention to the Vega Banjo Company of Boston, Massachusetts which then produced "Pete Seeger" model long-neck banjos. Although the folk boom of the 60's has faded, acoustic guitars and banjos have remained the starter instruments, if not the primary instruments of high school and college students.  Although the demand for guitars, with their greater versatility, is much greater than for banjos, almost all banjo makers offer, or will custom build, a long-neck model.
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2015   ALLAN SHAW'S WILDWOOD FOLK ERA BANJO
2014   RYAN LANE'S  EPIPHONE LES PAUL CUSTOM
2013   PATTI LANG'S GRETSCH G6136I IRISH FALCON
2012   REV' EV' HANSEN'S GIBSON J-45 ROSEWOOD
2011   IAN SHAW'S GRETSCH G5120 ELECTROMATIC
2010   DON LANG'S HÖFNER 500/1 '63 VIOLIN BASS
2016   RIK NEU'S FENDER KINGMAN SCE ACOUSTIC BASS
The Kingman Bass SCE is a special instrument, delivering fantastic acoustic projection, built with versatile onboard electronics, and dressed in the phenomenal retro-cool style of Fender's California Series. More than just a pretty bass, it also provides the smooth and comfortable playing experience you expect from a fine Fender bass, with a maple Jazz Bass neck and a convenient cutaway that gives easy access to the upper reaches of the fingerboard. The Kingman Bass features a solid spruce top, scalloped X bracing, premium onboard electronics, dreadnought cutaway bass body style, 20-fret rosewood fingerboard with bone nut, rosewood bridge with compensated bone saddle, gold pickguard, checkerboard rosette, and multiple body bindings. Rik went to purchase a Dean acoustic bass, but it buzzed horribly, and he started to look at other brands. He grabbed the Fender, which was out of his price range, and a salesperson asked if he liked it. Rik replied, “Well yea, but it's way too expensive.” The salesperson asked if Rik would be interested at the same price as the Dean. “Duh, YES!!” Rik replied. It wasn't until Rik got out to his car, that he realized it wouldn't fit into the trunk of his Miata, so he bought a new car it would fit in…