The Smith Family Melobar Guitar - the real story of Melobar from Ted Smith - melobarted@gmail.com

FUN MELOBAR FACTS

Melobar was born right in the middle of the tumultuous Rock and Roll 60's and for a crazy idea of playing Steel/Slide standing up, it opened an amazing number of leading musicians doors...
Some Fun Melobar Facts and the Stories below


Did You know.........?
Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones loaned a Mosrite Melobar to Jimmy Page just before he died...later the Rolling Stones Ron Woods endorsed Melobar and played it on a video CD in the 90's, but no one knows how Brian Jones ended up with one of the very first Melobars...story below

Jefferson Airplane played one of the first Melobars on the Crown of Creation Album and on the back of the album called it the "Chicken Guitar".

Lovin' Spoonful, The Grateful Dead, Joe Walsh right at the break up of the Eagles, John Lennon, The Doors, The Mommas and the Poppas, John Cougar Mellencamp's band, Heart, Brooks and Dunn, Charlie Pride, Glen Campbell, Journey, Fleetwood Mac, the list just goes on and on of bands and musicians that played a Melobar and the Smith family worked diligently to try and build an instrument these musicians could use on albums and stage, below are some of the stories and photos.

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Some of the stories are directly from Walt, Ted, John Selby, Mildred, Arlon Roth, Jeff Peterson, Dan Forte and witnesses to the events but you can also look up documentation from Tom Wheeler's Book AMERICAN GUITAR published in 1982, GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE article The Melobar Story March 1985, GUITAR WORLD magazine article with the Melobar Purple People Eater centerfold Sept 1989, GUITAR PLAYER magazine article Melobar's Basement Genius, Sept 1991 and Andy Volk's book LAP STEEL GUITAR published in 2003.
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This history needs to be straightened out...Yes Jimmy Page has a Melobar and has played it. And this is how I (Ted Smith) became involved:
In the mid 80's I walked in to the house late at night to find Dad in his PJ's talking on the phone. He handed it to me and said, "some player with questions, I've talked to him before and can't help him." Dad stumbled half asleep down the hall and I called after him, "well, what's his name?" Dad shrugged, "some guy with a rock band, Jimmy Page."

You can tell dad was never impressed with rock and roll. I stood staring at the phone not believing it. I put it to my ear and this very English accent was going on and on about some effects box he wanted. It took about five minutes to realize, this really was Page.

It was a tough conversation because he kept asking for some kind of effects box that came with Melobar. I kept telling him there wasn't any effects box. I asked him what Melobar he had and he wouldn't tell me. Finally it ended with me saying I'd look around.

He called back some time later; again looking for this effects box. This time Jimmy opened up a bit and tentatively admitted it was a Mosrite Melobar. I knew we had some Mosrite Fuzzrite boxes and sent him one. He called and said that wasn't it. Finally the story came out...The guitar had belonged to Brian Jones with the Stones. Brian had used the guitar on a sound track for a girl friend with some kind of effects box. He loaned the guitar to Jimmy just before he died. Jimmy didn't want to give the guitar back to anyone and really wanted the effects box. We never did figure out what the box was but it opened an amazing thought that Melobar may have even been on the early Stones albums.

No one knows how Brian got the Melobar and the mystery of the effects box died with him.
Our music society is a strange small world.
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One of the greatest Melobar Pioneers was Rusty Young of Poco. Rusty wrote one of the best books ever on the stand up steel. At the time he got his first Melobar was the the exact time Dad pulled the plug in L.A. and Melobar disappeared. Rusty called his custom Rosac/John Smith built Melobar the Bear in his book and the nick name has stuck to this date. We reconnected in 1981 where I can still see Rusty walking down the NAMM hall and seeing the new Melobars for the first time, he stopped in mid stride and his jaw dropped - it was pretty funny. Rusty re-connected and we built him a Rosac body version with the Lawrence pickups.
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Kevin Kries of Ala KartMa Melobar
You've seen the pictures in the history section of my late mother (mama Melobar) as known by the musicians; and she was very old school prim and proper. Living in a small town like Payette Idaho you can appreciate the gossip that happens. Well Melobar players have always been considered a part of our family. And Kevin with his very hard rock punk look band was no exception. However; unknowingly, they ruined Mom's reputation in little Payette Idaho. A local Payette music store owner stopped to see our booth at NAMM, now this Payette music store was VERY brass band (NO EVIL GUITARS) allowed type of store and the owners wife was talking to mom as Kevin and the band came running in with chains a jangling off their leather jackets and picked mom completely up off the ground with huge hugs saying - "can't wait to party with you tonight."
Well...Mom's reputation was soiled for life in Payette Idaho. Her response, "oh well, Kevin is family, I'll just have to buy a leather jacket now."
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We were always getting great pictures from our Melobar family - this is one of my favorites before the wall was torn down. Lot of guts to pose with machine guns pointed at you!!!
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One of the first Melobar endorsers was Pat Boone just as the Rock scene hit. We have recordings with "Hi This is Pat Boone with my Melobar Guitar..." as part of Dad's easy guitar program. John Smith claims he met the Boones when Mrs. Boone ran out of a house looking for help with thier dog having puppies...have to check with them on that story. But even as young as I was I remember being baby sat by his daughters while Dad and Pat worked on Melobar stuff.
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Dad is fuming in his grave with me sharing this one but I can't help it.
That is his "Beatles" wig and this definitely captures the other side of his personality.
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Walt with friend Sheb Wooley (Rawhide, Warwagon, Hoosiers and wrote Purple People Eater song) and Gabby Hayes


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My Bad...
This guitar was built specifically for Bonnie Raitt. It was at a West Coast managers office when Ron Woods and Keith Richards walked through. They thought it was way cool and the manager gave it to them. Dad asked me if I should build another one for this new artist Bonnie Raitt and I stupidly said...nah, don't worry about it. If you're out there Bonnie; sorry about that.
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Then the story above gets interesting...
Dad...being Dad; demanded the Stones give back the guitar because they didn't give an endorsement with it. He had the nerve to call the East Coast manager who conveniently would only speak French. I'm standing next to Dad as he tells the guy, "well, you'd sure as hell better get somebody who can speak English to tanslate that I'm going to call the New York police and report a custom Melobar stolen by the Rolling Stones." Amazingly the guy suddenly spoke perfect English and said he'd get back to us. Ron Woods called upset and said he just wanted the guitar, not hassles. Dad's reply was, no hassle, just give us an endoresement or the guitar back. I couldn't believe how Dad was handling it and begged him to back off. He wouldn't budge. We then go to a NAMM show and Dad meets with the piano guy (I think his name was  McLaughlin) and they talk like old friends for two hours. After that we got one of the first endorsements from Ron Woods and dad and I built the red explorer on the right side for them.
I had a ticket to go back and meet with them but I was 20 years old and started reading the book Up and Down with the Rolling Stones and it so freaked me out that I gave my ticket to my brother John Selby who went back to New York and; in a snow storm with Arlen Roth, delivered the guitars to Ron in his apartment. I guess I should have used that ticket. 
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Smith Curry with the first Steelgitr
This guitar took 8 months of design to finally make work. I had just built a very rough proto-type when Jeff Peterson with Clint Black came into town. Jeff has always been a great friend so I'd built him a very custom tear drop Melobar. I went back stage with the Tear Drop and carried the Steelgitr with me for him to check out. Smith Curry was there and he latched onto it like a man seeing his first Corvette. He walked around back stage all day with it while we ate with Clint and hung out with the band. When show time came I went looking for Curry to get the guitar back and he flatly said, "I can't give it up. I don't have any money to pay for it but I have to have it." Well I've had guitars do that to me too so I relented and let him keep it. This double neck has had that effect on players and I fully know the emotion.
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Another Steelgitr story
This is the first production Steelgitr - that we sponsored in Guitar Player magazine. Great story with this is the guy plays it all the time at a club in AZ. He called me one day and said he was only going to do a short set so he didn't have his Steelgitr. Two guys came up to him and asked him where the guitar was, they'd driven thirty miles just to see him play it. He had to run home and get the Steelgitr to appease the guys. Ever since Rusty Young Melobar has made fans which is the one thing that will make me smile when I die.
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This is one of my favorite moments in Melobar.
I was taking the pictures we were using for the 88 model brochures. Dad of coarse was more musician than business man and broke up the photo shoot plugging the guitars and he and Roy had a blast.
About got us kicked out of the place too...
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Denny Hemingson with Tim McGraw is continueing the Melobar saga really well!

on the left side...


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JOHN SELBY SMITH
Melobar history doesn't include John Selby Smith Walt's second son mostly because there was a falling out between Walt and John about how to promote Melobar and the 60's drug era, but John really was the one who did amazingly at getting Melobar into the Pro's hands the ultimate with his trip with Arlen Roth delivering in person a custom Melobar for a hand written endorsement to Ron Woods of the Rolling Stones.

Here is a History he penned recently after a stroke and my urging that he get this history down before it is forgotten, really interesting at how connected he was in the 60's music world, if Walt had just let him have a free reign Melobar may have ended up with more than a half page in the history books.

This was written as he was selling one of the custom Melobars he built that ended up in Rusty Young with Poco's hands and many other amazing people...his words:

The Guitar - a customized Rosac much like Denny Hemingson even uses today 



The Original ‘Selby’ Melobar Guitar

 1 of 6 prototypes
completed in May, 1973
Authenticated by the original and current owner …

John Selby Smith

(second son of Walter Smith, inventor of the Melobar Guitar)

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Dated: August 24, 2014

Instrument Background:  In the summer of 1972, having just been kicked out of a Presbyterian Seminary where I was dodging the draft by becoming a minister (didn’t work) I moved to the Venice canals in LA and for the second time in my life, went back to work with my father Walter Smith on his Melobar Guitar project. As I’ll explain later, he and I had banged heads about the Melobar’s development five years earlier, and I’d stopped actively helping him – but now, after a visit home to the ranch in Idaho that summer, we’d found a new way to work together, and I’d agreed to help advance the instrument commercially.

Specifically, because I was insisting on playing the Melobar as a rock/blues instrument (he was folk/country), he gave me permission to take 6 Rozac Melobars (built a few years earlier in Bakersfield by former Mosrite employees), tear them apart – and rebuild them in a more rock/blues-friendly format.

During the following nine months, with a monthly check from Melobar, I worked on those 6 electric instruments, while also (see ‘Selby Acoustic’ Provenance paper) working to develop and build two new prototype-designs for a unique acoustic Melobar. My assistant, Jesse Buck, was of great help during this period. Taking the 6 electric instruments, we stripped them down from their sunburst paint job (which I didn’t like) and repainted them – three white, three red. Jesse was an intuitive electronics genius and he rewired the guitars for three pickups, one very close to the bridge for a super-sharp sound, one mid-way, and one way off from the bridge for a deep mellow sound. The controls let you mix however you wanted to – and back then, that was a great freedom onstage. In a lot of later custom Melobar rock guitars, that positioning was maintained because, especially for slide, mixing the mellow with the sharp edge gave remarkable sustain and feedback potential.

While Jesse was working out the electronics, I was busy up the hill a few miles at the luthier Fred Gerlach, who was renown at the time for his powerful custom 12-strings, as played by Leo Kottke etc. He and I had designed a prototype acoustic Melobar built on a basic Dreadnought format, but with the tilted neck etc of the Melobar design. As part of that project, I took a big hunk of rosewood (from an old schooner beam) and started making Melobar fret boards that looked beautiful, as compared with my Dad’s ‘learner’ metal fret boards that, to say the least, didn’t appeal to professional musicians. I’m sure my lungs still have that rosewood sawdust still imbedded (we didn’t know enough to even use a mask back then) but I did manage to make a couple dozen perfect samples, and each of the six ‘Selby’ electric Melobars got one of them.

We also put the newly-introduced Shaller black-plastic machine heads on those instruments (they’re no longer available and one has stripped), and a rosewood cover for the instrument panel. I insisted on dropping the instrument from 12 to 8 strings, and tuning it to blues/rock rather than folk/country like my Dad always did – so I had to hand-make a bridge for those 6 guitars, and that bridge is still on the current guitar of this provenance paper. Finally, just in time for the NAMM show that year (1973) in Chicago, we had all 6 guitars finished, and went to the show driving the van of a guitar amp company.

Everything that could go wrong went wrong. We sold three of the instruments there, I held on to the other three – but soon thereafter decided that the guitar business wasn’t for me – and returned to my alter ego as a research psychologist, therapist, and author. I sold one of the three remaining ‘Selby’ Melobars, one was stolen – and I somehow still have this final Red one. I’ve used it in a few fun bands but making a living playing guitar, even the Melobar, was never an option for me; so the instrument has spent a lot of time in the closet or on the wall. I’ve done absolutely zero modification to the guitar – it’s exactly how it was in 1973.

Early Melobar Work: I’d been involved with Dad’s Melobar project since 1962 when he first came up with the slanted-neck concept. Every summer I’d worked with him on prototypes, and during the summer of 1967, when the first Mosrite Melobars were made, I spent the summer in California meeting with rock bands and turning them on to the Melobar. It was great fun! I remember taking Jorma Karkonen of the Jefferson Airplane an electric Melobar and teaching him how to play it during the 2 weeks they were recording the album Bathing At Baxters. They were on a giant recording stage, RCA studios in LA. I remember him practicing a riff for just a few minutes during a break, then laying down crazy Melobar tracks; you’ll find three playful slide tracks on the album with Melobar if you listen close. Shortly thereafter Jorma returned to acoustic with Hot Tuna – I don’t know what he did with his Melobar after that.
I also gave early Melobars (the straight Mosrites) to Jerry Garcia when we met in LA during the summer of ’67, and also spent a (blurry) afternoon with the Mommas and the Papas up at their house in the Hollywood hills showing them the unique slide/steel left-hand style. Then I was scheduled to give one to Jim Morrison of the Doors, because the Melobar was easy to play on stage – but I had to head back east for my senior year in college – so Dad came down from the ranch to take over the promotion work I’d set up. He went to the infamous Hollywood Bowl concert the Doors gave in September ’67 – and then when he went to their hotel the next day to deliver the Melobar, instead he gave Morrison and friends a serious 20-minute lecture on morality, and refused to let them have a Melobar on principle. That was Walt Smith, and even though I often disagreed with him, I still deeply honor his sticking to his principles.

Around that time (maybe a year earlier as I remember) John Lennon hid out at my friend Jim Churchill’s parents house in Ojai while avoiding the police on his marijuana charge, and during those two weeks Jim says Lennon played a Melobar I’d given Jim, re-tuning it to his particular preference. When I came by a few weeks after and retuned the guitar back to my preference, Jim about shot me. Later on, VOX (owned then by the Beatles) flew my Dad to London and offered him 4 million dollars for the Melobar patents and company – but Walt never could let go of his invention, and turned down the offer.

Through the famed and wonderful New york producer Albert Grossman, I also during the autumn of ’67 delivered a Melobar to Bob Dylan when he was in hospital, I don’t know what happened to that one either – I was just giving them away as promotion to the top rock people I met through Albert, including Judy Collins, The Band, John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful, Moby Grape, etc. Albert loved the instrument – he has one himself (or had, as he’s long-gone now), I remember John Taplin taking me up to Albert’s super-fancy office in NY and after I played the Melobar for him, the famous producer sat down on the rug and played away himself for half an hour while appointments stacked up.

Albert offered to help me get the instrument into the hands of the musicians he produced. He also became interested in the early abstract ‘zen’ Melobar music I was experimenting with in the late sixties; I sent him three different tapes and he advised me on how to make what I was developing more commercial – but I wasn’t receptive back then to such advice, so nothing came of it.

Walt Smith – Reflections: My father and I loved each other and mostly worked well together, ever since he started tearing regular Fender guitars apart in the tack room of the barn in Donnelly, Idaho in the summer of 1962. I started helping him with that early inventive work, and continued supporting him where I could, on and off, for a total of over six years of my life; so my feelings for the Melobar run deep. I did argue with Dad on tuning a lot – he insisted that his 10-string or 12-string tuning was going to change the world. I countered that even rock/blues musicians are basically traditionalists, and not about to drop a 200-year 6-string tradition overnight. So I rebelled and started retuning his instruments when I gave them to rock bands, so that they really cooked for rock and blues … and indeed they do – even this collector’s Melobar that I have in hand still cranks.

David Lindley for me was the greatest Melobar player in the world. I first met him at NAMM, I think in 1982. For years, Dad had been against his instrument being played by rock and roll stars – he didn’t approve me being a hippie earlier on, and he was dead-set against free sex and drugs, which for years pretty much sank the Melobar’s chances of business success in the rock world. But I remember in our booth at NAMM, when Lindley came walking by and asked to play the axe. Lindley with his long hair and all – somehow he and Dad struck it off right away with mutual respect, and soon Lindley had his own Melobar model, using my blues stringing and tuning as I remember, open E.

Honoring The Inventor: I’m not sure if it’s been clearly stated elsewhere, but Walt Smith’s primary intent with the Melobar was to create an instrument that’s both inexpensive and easier to play than the guitar, so that the whole world could play an instrument. His mother Imogene also strongly held this vision – and Dad’s seemingly-complex tuning was actually intended to make playing easier. I on the other hand wanted from the first to take Melobar in an opposite direction – a custom professional hot axe that just totally cooked, in a new way that enabled unique sounds to be created in rock and roll. Finally when David Lindley came along, Dad seemed ready to make one line of professional Melobars that were seriously high-end instruments.

Many people who’ve come across Dad’s inexpensive Melobars rightly judge them as just that – too inexpensive to deliver a great look and sound. There were relatively few Melobars made that were high-end. The ‘Selby’ Melobar was my attempt to deliver that superior quality of sound and presence – but I still honor my Dad’s vision of an instrument that would be inexpensive and easy to play. My vision just happened to be different, and so I built those 6 Melobars to reflect that vision.

It should be noted that Dad did pay my expenses when, finally, I got a Melobar to the Rolling Stones. John Taplin had taken me up to Malibu to hang out with the band one afternoon in 1972 and show Keith Richard the instrument – but I was shy, they were engaged in all sorts of other things (luckily my Dad wasn’t there or it would have been another lecture), and I actually never took the Melobar out of its case. Then in 1985, or maybe it was ‘86, things lined up and I found myself on a plane to New York with Arlen Roth (formerly of Guitar Player Magazine) to give Ronnie Wood a Melobar. I spent a couple of hours up in his apartment, he played it, he liked it – and he sat with me and penned a hand-written Stones endorsement of the Melobar. I thought I’d finally seriously helped Melobar take off – but within a week the Stones’ lawyers came after us and voided the endorsement.

At that point, I dropped entirely out of Melobar involvement. My father and mother continued to struggle to make their invention and vision take off as a business – but they had too many things working against them. Dad ultimately sold his ranch to finance his vision – he didn’t create a lasting business, but he surely manifested his vision in … well, for instance, in this beautiful red Melobar that looks like a work of sculpture as much as a unique musical instrument.

Current Status: There were six ‘Selby’ Melobars that Jesse Buck and I tore apart in Venice and redesigned in 1972. At this point in 2014, there’s only this sole remaining red one left in view. I played in a few fun bands with it, I remember getting adept at my particular ‘cowboy jazz’ blues style that evolved out of the early ‘zen’ slide style I discovered earlier. In one of the short-lived bands, with my brother Doug (Paul) Smith in San Luis Obispo, while playing this same red Melobar, I began to develop what I think was my true slide voice.

But my life took off totally in other directions – mind research, therapy and consulting, and 40 books (written as John Selby). Meanwhile Melobar as a business came, and finally went – even though my younger brother Ted did his absolute utmost to make it a financial success. Dad is now long-gone to the happy hunting grounds … and for me, all that’s left are enjoyable memories – and the two original ‘Selby’ Melobars that have been in my possession all along.

Letting them go: Both the ‘Karmi’ Melobar acoustic and the ‘Selby’ electric instruments have felt invaluable to me all these years; even in my hard times, until now I never considered selling them. But right now, in the lingering spirit of an inventor’s son, I’m launching my own business start-up, and to help finance this new invention, I’m now ready to part with these two instruments, hoping that a collector will cherish them, and maybe let me visit them now and then. I’m ready to move on.

So with brother Ted’s help, I’ve written my short history of these instruments, to clarify for posterity who made them, modified them, and owns them. Please feel free to contact Ted Smith or Douglas Paul Smith, my younger brothers, if you want more information on any of this. And as mentioned, people like Jorma Karkonen, John Sebastian, David Lindley, Rusty Young (forgot to mention him – he played a mean Melobar), and any of the others if they’re still alive. Jim Churchill still lives in Ojai and knows a lot of the Melobar history, as does Joe Ravetz who’s known me and Melobar since the early seventies.
John Selby Smith

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070416 Post from John Selby on Lennon Mosrite for sale - this will be included with the instrument and signed by John

The third Melobar guitar I’ve owned since the beginning is this sunburst Mosrite electric with its unique history, one of the originals from that first round of manufacturing my dad Walt Smith initiated – I think there were around 300 Mosrite Melobars built by Semi Mosley (of the original Ventures) in his Bakersfield factory. I was a junior in college and spent that summer in Bakersfield working for my dad overseeing and testing those early Melobars as they came off the production line -

I took half a dozen of those first Mosrite Melobars around to show rock musicians in Los Angeles that summer, as documented elsewhere. Then I took this particular instrument of this Provenance up to an old friend of mine near Santa Barbara, and left the guitar there when I went back to finish college. 

I returned to visit my friend the summer of 1968, partly to pick up that guitar I’d left with her. She wasn’t home when I arrived, I knew where the door key was, and went on inside the beautiful old country home. I’m not going to mention her name here, because she promised her family she wouldn’t reveal what had happened in that house related to John Lennon, for both legal and personal reasons. What actually happened from my experience was the following, for what it’s worth historically.

Walking through the house (which I knew well from my childhood) I found the Mosrite sunburst in the house’s library/music room. I sat down without thinking and started playing some riffs through the amp, and found the tuning of the guitar entirely changed and a bit incoherent from my perspective – so I just went ahead and retuned it back to its original 10-string chordal tuning that my dad had developed for the instrument. 

A few minutes later my friend came in – and totally hit the roof, shouting at me as if I’d committed some great crime. The crime was my act of retuning a unique tuning that John Lennon himself had come up with on the Melobar. In short order I promise not to tell anyone, and was informed that Lennon had been secretly in hiding in this same house for two weeks, and had amused himself by playing the Melobar ... and coming up with his special 10-string tuning for the instrument - which I forever changed and destroyed.
(Provenance Document, page 2)

Because of another unrelated drama, that guitar got put away in a closet in my friend’s house – where it stayed for a number of years before she came for a visit to my house, and brought the guitar back to me. Since then it’s been in my possession and not played hardly at all because I had my special custom 8-string Melobar that I played (Dad’s original 10-string chordal tuning was different from the 8-string blues tuning that I preferred). I admit that for a couple of weeks at one point the guitar was left by mistake down at the barn out in the open, but except for that, it’s in its original condition.

IN SUM: This document verifies the above facts about the provenance of what’s come to be called the Lennon Mosrite Melobar. I saw the instrument being made in the Mosley factory, tested it and then showed it around LA in 1967-8 while I was presenting the instrument’s design to people like the Mommas and the Papas, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Doors, etc – and then left it with my friend. John Lennon got in trouble, with a marijuana arrest as I remember, and hid out at my friend’s house to avoid being sent back to Great Britain to face criminal charges. While hiding out, he played this Melobar and at some point retuned it – then abruptly he left the house with his lawyer.  I inadvertently retuned the instrument and it got put away all these years.

Now it’s finally time to let go of all such possessions that I’ve been storing all these years – thus this provenance paper, and my request to my brother Ted Smith to handle the agenting and sale of my Melobars. If you have further questions feel free to write me at john@wizewell.net, or ask Ted, as he knows a lot of the background story from his long-term work running Melobar after my Dad died.

Signed:  John Selby Smith   _______________________________________ July 4, 2016




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VERY Excited this morning....

Only Melobar and Mosrite buffs will love this - but I'm (Ted Smith) working on my own Tel-O-Bar this morning (December 2014), a creation of a Fender Custom with the P90 on the neck (I sooo love that tone), with a JB humbucker on the bridge - the tone is so bluesy warm that I wanted my Melobar on the bottom to be the same - the most throaty tone Melobar ever had, was from the ones Semi Mosley built for Dad in the 60's (see Melobar's Basement Genius article in Guitar Player Magazine for that history). I look up at the wall last night and my very first Guitar (a white Mosrite) is hanging there with no bridge (gave it to a guy begging for one online), it's been sentimental but not played. It was an emotional decision but I took it down and put it on the bench and started stripping it...
 As I took the neck off the body...look what I found in that neck pocket cavity above
Stamped very clearly, seeing the light of day for the first time in nearly 50 years....
Oct 25 1965
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The Mosrite Melobars were officially released in 1967 but Dad and Mosley were working on the project for some time to create the 300 that were finally built ending up in the hands of the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page as discussed below.
For me it was VERY exciting to see that date.
This guitar was my first Melobar that was truly my own...in a month, God willing, it will be resurrected into a very cool double neck Commemertive Tel-O-Bar that I hope to feed my soul with warm blues 'till the day I die



and here it is complete...MORE than worth it, turned out far better than I expected
and tone ohhhhh! I AM IN LOVE


Steven Sherman Smith with a Mosrite posing at the Donelly Ranch in Idaho
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I really enjoyed working with Cindy Cashdollar, just a CLASS ACT LADY


This is with the Charlie Daniels band on Austin City Limits, still owe her a dinner for that, it was a standing offer that anyone with a Melobar on Austin City Limits got dinner during the Melobar days.
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More fun photos
 










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