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Thread: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

  1. #1
    Registered User Sergio Lara's Avatar
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    Default Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Does anyone know how many Gibson F-5L mandolins were signed on December 18, 1980 by Richard Doan?

    Here is mine:

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  2. #2
    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Gibson has never released production records for these years and ex-employees that would know have signed papers not to tell.
    This is still in Kalamazoo and long before the Bozeman F5L, so I would guess this is the only one signed that day. If I guessed on production of the F5L in early 80's it would be about 50 per year or less. I recall waiting list at dealers for the F5L in early 80's.

  3. #3
    Registered User Sergio Lara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Thanks Tom. Either way, happy birthday to my awesome Gibson F-5L....

    By the way, Richard Doan was the luthier at Gibson that repaired the headstock on Bill Monroe's Loar F-5 mandolin. He replaced the peg-head overlay veneer with a new "The Gibson" and flower pot inlay after years of the famous pocket knife incident and also repaired the missing small scroll on the headstock and a few other things that the mandolin needed at the time.

    All these repairs were done after Gibson and Mr. Monroe agreed to make up after many years and to establish a new relationship.

    At the time, he was also presented with a brand new Gibson F-5L and he also was included in adds and posters for a new campaign promoting the new Gibson F-5L.

    Those were the days.
    Last edited by Sergio Lara; Dec-18-2013 at 10:59pm.

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    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    I think Bill Halsey might be able to shed some light on this one. Maybe he will chime in
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
    www.f5journal.com

  6. #5
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    I tuned Bill Halsey in on this, we shall see...
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    I met Richard Doan, through the good offices of Bill Halsey, a few years ago and had the chance to interview him about his time at Gibson. I am away from home and my notes of the meeting, but memory is that he told me he would work on several instruments at a time and completing a couple every week to the stage of sending off to the finishing dept for straining and lacquering. I didn't think to ask at what stage of building the label was attached. There were three or four people building mandolins at that time, but it would seem likely that on any one day Richard would only sign a couple of labels, unless they did them in batches. I suspect that Gibson in 1980 didn't have the current obsession with the dates of signed Gibson labels.

    Cheers

  9. #7
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio Lara View Post
    ...At the time, he was also presented with a brand new Gibson F-5L and he also was included in adds and posters for a new campaign promoting the new Gibson F-5L...
    Yep. Anybody else got one of these?
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    Still, it's a little bit of a shock to see the year 1980 in the vintage section! That makes my first mandolin very close to vintage!!

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  11. #8
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Yeah, vintage does not look as far back as it did once upon a time for me either John!
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Yeah I never got the promo on that poster. It clearly says "Music with the Gibson F-5L" and then it shows Monroe with a 1923 F-5.
    Are they promoting the new F-5L or the old 20's F5s? At least they could have staged a photo of him holding the 1978 F-5L they gave him and used that photo in the poster. I mean someone had to approve that poster before it went to print. What were they thinking?

  13. #10
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    What were they thinking?? They wanted you to think that '80 F5L sounded like a '23 Loar!

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Not!

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  17. #12
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Many mistakes made by advertising agencies, ad men, promotion advisors all the time. Much like weather people, don't have to be right and can still keep their jobs! I keep telling my grand children that while science and the arts are so important if they want to be wrong more than half the time and keep a job they need to be weather broadcasters. At four my grand daughter would do the weather standing in front of the window and was just as accurate as the twenty-something who,was getting paid! Sorry a little off topic but,hey it's Christmas Eve!
    Hohoho
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

  18. #13
    music with whales Jim Nollman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Does this mean that my 1984 Kentucky is a vintage instrument? Never thought of it that way before.
    Explore some of my published music here

    óJim

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  19. #14

    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Hard to fathom isn't it? but.... if in 1972 you had bought a pre WWll instrument that would have been only 30 + years old and you would have considered it "vintage" then. (But would your Dad? ) So yah I guess your '84 Kentucky is now officially vintage!

    The problem as I see it is at what point does your new stuff become vintage and when do you start to consider yourself vintage?

  20. #15
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Quote Originally Posted by barney 59 View Post
    ...if in 1972 you had bought a pre WWll instrument that would have been only 30 + years old and you would have considered it "vintage" then...
    No, I would have considered it old. I still consider them old but not "vintage"; that's for wine.

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  22. #16

    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    So then when you visit the "Vintage" instrument dealer, as they do tend to call themselves, do you prefer the red or the white? Yes, vintage does refer to wine but it is also presently used differently and I would think now to the point that it is an accepted term. I say that as I am looking at my "Vintage Guitar Price Guide" sitting on the desk next to me. Language constantly changes, IMHO, and I think this is a case where it has.

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  24. #17
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Quote Originally Posted by barney 59 View Post
    So then when you visit the "Vintage" instrument dealer, as they do tend to call themselves, do you prefer the red or the white? Yes, vintage does refer to wine but it is also presently used differently and I would think now to the point that it is an accepted term. I say that as I am looking at my "Vintage Guitar Price Guide" sitting on the desk next to me. Language constantly changes, IMHO, and I think this is a case where it has.
    Yes 'vintage" is the in word today. But John was replying on the concept of "vintage" from the perspective of 1972 -- and I'm not sure I used the term vintage then either? I owned a 1919 F-2 in 1972 and I can't remember for sure but I think I just called it an "old Gibson"

    In answer to your question I say "red" and -- good idea! I believe I'll have a few sips of a nice Alexander Valley Merlot right now.

    Just to nod at the OP. A Gibson F-5L made & signed in Kalamazoo in 1980 would have been one of the Siminoff-inspired models wouldn't it?
    Last edited by Bernie Daniel; Dec-25-2013 at 9:34pm.
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  25. #18
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Yes, language changes, but I'm old (or would that be vintage?) and stubborn enough to decide I don't have to change with it. When "vintage" is used to describe anything other than wines (where it does have a specific meaning) it is a term used to project more perceived value onto the item and thus an attempt by the seller to get a higher price.

    ...and, red for me, thank you.

  26. #19

    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Yes, language changes, but I'm old (or would that be vintage?) and stubborn enough to decide I don't have to change with it. When "vintage" is used to describe anything other than wines (where it does have a specific meaning) it is a term used to project more perceived value onto the item and thus an attempt by the seller to get a higher price.

    ...and, red for me, thank you.
    Yes, absolutely correct that is what the word implys and yes it is a marketing tool. When I was a teenager if my Dad showed up with a Falcon automobile I would have been mortified but as it is I happen to have a 1964 Falcon that I am about to sell. I was thinking maybe I would start my ad with "Vintage,Classic...." what do you think?

  27. #20
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Quote Originally Posted by barney 59 View Post
    Yes, absolutely correct that is what the word implys and yes it is a marketing tool. When I was a teenager if my Dad showed up with a Falcon automobile I would have been mortified but as it is I happen to have a 1964 Falcon that I am about to sell. I was thinking maybe I would start my ad with "Vintage,Classic...." what do you think?
    I think it would sell good if you shoe horned a vintage 351 cube Windsor V8 under the hood....
    Bernie
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  28. #21

    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    If you look at this section's sub heading it says "Discussions of all mandolin family instruments, pre-1945."
    Bill Snyder

  29. #22

    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Well, I'll be!

  30. #23
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Yep. Anybody else got one of these?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Still, it's a little bit of a shock to see the year 1980 in the vintage section! That makes my first mandolin very close to vintage!!
    Yes, I have one. Along with Tom Ewing, Blake Williams, Tater Tate, and Billy Rose, Monroe signed the poster. He also dated it, October 20, 1989, which was about a week before his fiftieth anniversary on the Opry.
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  31. #24
    Registered User Bill Halsey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio Lara View Post
    Does anyone know how many Gibson F-5L mandolins were signed on December 18, 1980 by Richard Doan?
    Sergio, I just received a response from Dick Doan. He said that they made about four or five mandolins per month in those days, and he was quite sure that yours would have been the only one that he signed that day. Dick also confirmed that the labels went in after the instrument was finished and strung.
    Last edited by Bill Halsey; Jan-02-2014 at 5:21pm.
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  32. #25
    Registered User Sergio Lara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dec 18, 1980 signed Gibson F-5L

    My good old Gibson F-5L...still here and play it everyday:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhAcqmjQNZI

    I wish I could contact Dick Doan...

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