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Thread: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

  1. #26
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Did anyone else hear when Charlie Derrington made a comment about replacing the tuners with real good ones, that he identified as Schallers? If that was the case, in 1986 were Waverly tuners not around, or was there some other reason he apparently chose Schaller tuners? I would not have expected that...
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    Registered User Clef's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    This is a fascinating thread. Thanks!

    I'm posting so I can find it again later.
    2012 Gibson F5 Custom Goldrush (Harvey)

  3. #28

    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    Did anyone else hear when Charlie Derrington made a comment about replacing the tuners with real good ones, that he identified as Schallers? If that was the case, in 1986 were Waverly tuners not around, or was there some other reason he apparently chose Schaller tuners? I would not have expected that...
    I did hear that Nick, ...wondered the same thing. One thing's for sure, Charlie D. was not moonlighting as a sales-rep for Kluson.

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  5. #29

    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Counter View Post
    I believe when Chris first posted this he said that was his uncle.
    Who was his uncle??, the guy talking with Charlie about the repair work, the guy who supplied the special varnish, or the guy Bill was wanting to buy the 'banjer' for?? (My computer refuses to download Chris' dropbox file.)

  6. #30
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    Did anyone else hear when Charlie Derrington made a comment about replacing the tuners with real good ones....
    ...and where might the old ones be??
    Lot of history there...

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    Who was his uncle?.....
    John Hedgecoth is Chris Henry's uncle.

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  10. #32

    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    And who was the violin maker who Charlie D consulted with and who he credits with the varnish recipe? - just trying to fill in all the blanks.
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  11. #33

    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    I would bet the farm that is James Monroe talking with Mr. Derrington. (I don't actually own a farm, so I'm safe either way.)
    Quote Originally Posted by mando1man View Post
    I recognized John Hedgecoth's voice. Called him up and played a little for him to confirm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim W View Post
    I thought it was John too but wasn't certain. I was absolutely sure it wasn't James Monroe, he sounds just like his Daddy, same cadence to his speech.
    Looks like the evidence is in. Today's the day I turn over the deed to my imaginary farm.

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Tim is right, James does sound like a recording of his father in cadence and tone.
    Timothy F. Lewis
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    And who was the violin maker who Charlie D consulted with and who he credits with the varnish recipe? - just trying to fill in all the blanks.
    Jon Cooper did the finish and antiquing on the first (few?) "distressed" MMs....
    Might be him?

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  15. #36

    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Absolutely he did! That is totally NOT him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    Tim is right, James does sound like a recording of his father in cadence and tone.

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    I've been out on the high seas when this first posted so just got back and a chance to hear it. Somewhere there is a magazine that has the photo of all them standing around Monroe and Chet Atkins with CD in the middle that you might can identify others in this tape. I did not hear James Monroe in there anywhere. George Gruhn pretty obvious. I did catch when the reporter girl asked Monroe about how he got the mandolin and he said it was in 1941. Well if you have followed this same story of the barbershop buy for $150 from about late 60's until he died, Monroe never got the actual year right. I think in the first time he was asked he said 1941, then a few years later he said it was 1943, then later 1941, then later 1943 and so forth and so on. This interviews would be printed and after repeating it so many times and possibly reading the interviews you would think he would land on one or the other. I questioned these 2 dates as there were no photos of him holding it in either 1941 or 1943. It would be the F7 or the Epiphone or something else but not the '23 F5. Also there are no recordings from this time live or studio that you could hear the difference between the F7 and F5. So I came up with the date of early 1945 as it was that first song recorded Feb. 13, 1945 "Rocky Road Blues" you knew that was it. After discussing this possible error in the year with many certified "Monroeites" including the Bluegrass Boys that were with him from '41 to '45 it took an in depth discussion with Tom Ewing who is still writing a bio on Monroe, to research Monroe's tour dates for those years and sure enough he was not close to Florida in '41 or '43 but was in Jan. of 1945. When you put the facts together it's pretty easy to say the actual date was early 1945. So I was surprised to hear Monroe in this tape from 1986 say 1941 as I thought he had convinced himself it was 1943 after being asked the same question so many times over the past 40+ years. An important tape for bluegrass history. Why is it so short? Where is the part with Monroe and Chet picking some songs? Did he not play the new song he just wrote for the workers at Gibson he named "Lloyd Loar"? Chris, give us more!

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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    There is no question that the first voice is John Hedgecoth (Chris's great-uncle, his dad's uncle.)
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Thinking about Monroe not remembering the date of purchase and saying 1941 is almost like him saying the "banjo player that his house burned down" He did not remember his name right off. Could the banjo player mentioned be Bill Black? His own former "banjo player". I did read in his book about his house burning at some time.

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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    On the first section of the tape it is Charlie playing. His sound was very distinctive. There were two Loars that came in at the same time. Bill's favorite is well known, but the second seems to be a mystery as to what happened to it after that time. We saw that mandolin numerous times over the years. It was always interesting and a cause for discussion in the shop. Charlie worked on his varnish formula for over 20 years. He finally believed he had the same formula as Loar. That was what was used during his tenure on the Master Models and DMM's. The varnish is not the same since Charlie left. He had his own French polish formula as well. Only a couple people had that formula, and G was not one of them.

    Charlie was the most incredible repair person I've seen. He could hyper-focus on a small detail and work it until perfect. He understood wood like few ever have. Sometimes it was tough getting him on his bench, but when he did, it was unequaled. Just about the time one would think they really knew something about mandolins or repair, Charlie would politely let you know how little you really knew. Working with him over the years was an experience that is unequalled.
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  22. #41
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    Did anyone else hear when Charlie Derrington made a comment about replacing the tuners with real good ones, that he identified as Schallers? If that was the case, in 1986 were Waverly tuners not around, or was there some other reason he apparently chose Schaller tuners? I would not have expected that...
    Thread Bump:

    I'm still puzzled by this. Does anyone know if Grover, Gotoh, etc. were available as mandolin tuners in 1986? I've had Schallers on 2 mandolins including my current 94' F5L and I can't stand them! I much prefer Grovers and of course Waverlys go without saying. It just seems to me odd and even painful that the most iconic Loar in history ended up with Schaller tuners, ugh!
    1994 Gibson F5L Fern


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  23. #42
    Registered User Henry Eagle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Schallers where what Gibson used on the 80s and 90s. The sure look a bit bulky, too thick/long tuning pegs, too large knobs (14 mms - just like the first run of modern Waverlys - instead of 13), odd looking plates IMO, but some of those Schallers work just fine, I have to say. The alternative around that time would have been Gotoh.

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  25. #43
    Registered User Geno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    After looking through old Café threads, The Mandolin Archives, The F5 Journal, Walter Carter’s new book, and old articles in FRETS and Bluegrass Unlimited for information about the various styles of Gibson peghead inlays, I am confused about one aspect of the repairs to #73987. Based on the pre-gouging photo of Monroe’s mandolin (photo #1) and the “The” left on the peghead after he gouged out “Gibson” (photo #2), it looks to me like the mandolin originally had an ‘open loop’ style logo. When the peghead was repaired by Gibson in 1980, a new veneer with “The Gibson” logo was installed (photo #4). It was a pretty close copy of the “open loop” style, cut by Kalamazoo inlay specialist Maude Moore. A good example of another July 9th Loar with an “open loop” style logo, #73984, is shown in photo #3. At about 3:17 in the audio, Charlie acknowledges that he installed a new peghead veneer with a Gibson logo that was “closer to the original”. However, to my eyes, the Gibson logo on the repaired peghead (photo #6) looks more like the “closed loop” style, similar to the one on #72212, an earlier Feb 26, 1923 Loar (photo #5). Which style of logo did Monroe’s mandolin originally have? Is there a better picture of #73987’s peghead that shows the original Gibson logo more clearly? Am I missing something or dispersing alternative facts here? Personally, I kind of wish that the old gouged-out, broken-scrolled peghead had never been repaired to begin with. I fell in love with the look and sound of that mandolin many years ago, and like Mr. Dylan said, “none of these and nothing else can touch the beauty, that I remember in my true love’s eyes” (or in this case, gouged-out inlay).

    Click image for larger version. 

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  26. #44
    Registered User Henry Eagle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Pic #4 does not seem to show Monroe's F5, despite the name on the truss rod cover. Someone please set me straight, if I missed something. Which mando is in pic #4?
    Before the fall 1980 face lift there was no head stock scroll and no "Gibson" inlay since the early '50s The result of the face lift can be seen on the 1981 album cover of "Master of Bluegrass": Click image for larger version. 

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    That head stock is clearly not the same as in your pic #4 in more than one respect.
    Pic #6 is Charlie Derrington's interpretation appearing after February '86. It was obviously not intended to be a copy of the original Monroe F5 head stock veneer. Looks more like Charlie modeled it after his unsigned Loar #81250 or some other.

    As visible in pic #2, Mon's original script was of the (newer) open style. Some July 9th '23 Loars had the open, others the closed style script, such as Darryl Wolfe's #73992.
    Last edited by Henry Eagle; Feb-27-2017 at 10:28am.

  27. #45
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    I think you are right about pic #4, Henry. I don't know what that mandolin really is. Here's a couple other pics from after the 1980 repair, and it does look different.


    Click image for larger version. 

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  28. #46
    Registered User Henry Eagle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Thanks, Geno, may I ask, where that picture #4 appeared? Although it doesn't show Monroe's, it sure is a Loar with original tuners.

  29. #47
    Registered User Geno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    I'm afraid that I can't locate the bookmark for the site where pic #4 appeared. Seems like it might have been posted on an old Café thread, and I think it was just a peghead only shot only as I recall. It is curious that Charlie says in the audio, "I've got an old picture of the mandolin before he scraped that out, and it's as close to that as I possibly could". Either way, I'm pretty sure that ol' Bill would probably not be too concerned about whether his mandolin had the historically correct peghead inlay, as long as it sounded the way he wanted it to.

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  31. #48
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Can you guys tell from this pre-"gouging" photo?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    btw: those tuners appear to be more in line with the Waverly tuners you see on other Loars vs. the Handel F4 type that got installed on his Loar later on.
    1994 Gibson F5L Fern


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  32. #49
    Registered User Henry Eagle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    Telling from the photo, the "i" dot is part of the "T", typical for the open style.

  33. #50
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Monroe's Lloyd Loar Mandolin #73987 Returned Post-Repair

    The redneck term for the Monroe style logo is "Tit on the T ". or the dot for the i is at the bottom of the T. yeah, not sure why Gibson didn't go back with the original logo for the repairs both times. Photo No. 4 is a real July 9th reverse binding Loar with the Tit on the T logo and a modern style Monroe truss rod cover.

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