Hamer 12 String

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Re: Hamer 12 String

Postby jay » Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:12 am

Dee, I actually think that Rick has that Hamer guitar in his museum. He is an avid collector of guitars and has a crown jewel...a 1963 Guild Merle Travis Solomaster. To my knowledge only 3 were made(Townsend has (had) one....and they are valued at 1M.
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Re: Hamer 12 String

Postby Dee » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:39 pm

jay, thanks so much for clarifying the info about Glen's Hamer for me.

Rick Nielsen's guitars are...far out! In appearance, they are more like works of art than instruments. I can't imagine how he played the lower / lowest fretboard, etc. of the guitar in the first photo.
The second photo's guitar looks like a showpiece, something that would be hung on a wall and admired!
It just goes to show that a guitar can be an expression of one's personality or showmanship.
Thanks for finding and sharing these RN photos!

Dee
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Re: Hamer 12 String

Postby jay » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:00 am

Dee, it was a custom built guitar from the Hamer factory. A one time deal. Hamer's reputation was if someone has deep enough pockets, they can have a guitar built that is custom built to their wishes. Rick Nielsen (of Cheap Trick) had them make some massively tricked out guitars for him. He had to be one of Hamer's biggest promoters. Glen obviously loved the feel of the Bluebird neck, that they recreated (the shape) and Jeff crafted the rest of the guitar (to Glen's preferences) around that neck. Actually, it is a very clean, simple design. So this wasn't a modified guitar as such...it was a new, one of, custom guitar from the craftsmen at Hamer. Here are a few of Ricks guitars (I believe he played on Ghost for Glen/Julian):

RNhamer.JPG
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Re: Hamer 12 String

Postby Dee » Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:52 am

Jay, thank you (and Jeff Dayton) for this most excellent post about another guitar that figures prominently in the forefront of the stairwell photo of Glen and his guitars.
The reason for the top-loaded Ovation bridge, among the other re-design features of the 12-string Hamer, certainly shows great attention and forethought to every detail in its reconstruction.
Is it common or rare for guitarists to modify their guitars in this way, whether out of necessity or other reasons?
Thanks again!
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Hamer 12 String

Postby jay » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:38 pm

Hamer Guitars was founded in 1973. Like many other guitar companies, they produced guitars similar to major brand guitars. Unlike many other companies, they were generally considered to be the first "boutique" electric guitar brand that specifically catered to pro musicians. Kaman Music Company acquired them in 88 and then Fender acquired Kaman in 2008, only to shut Hamer down in 2013.

(A big thanks to Jeff Dayton for sharing the history of this guitar) Around 1991 American Airlines damaged one of Glen's Ovation Bluebird 12's, by crushing the neck on it. Jeff sent the damaged neck to Hamer (which was part of Kaman Music Corp at the time). He asked Hamer to copy the Ovation's neck profile (the Bluebird was not a production guitar) and design Glen another electric 12 string with:

1. Two Mini Humbuckers (like the Les Paul)
2. One Volume
3. One Switch
4. A Top Loaded Bridge (this was so that Glens hair would not get caught in it when he played the William Tell Overture. They actually used an old Ovation bridge for that.)

Glen used this Hamer 12 string until his last concert.

Playing the William Tell Overture with the South Dakota Symphony

As seen on the stairwell at his Malibu home.

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And most recently in a display of Glen's collection of guitars at the Country Music Hall of Fame (thank you Dee)

12HOF.jpg
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