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Thread: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

  1. #1
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    A short while back, I got a really good deal on a Gibson "Wayne Benson" model mandolin. It sounded so good that I couldn't pass it up. Anyway, I'm not a big fan of Gibson's TKL mandolin cases - (big, bulky, kinda loose fit), so I immediately transferred the Gibson to a better (in my opinion) case and threw the TKL case on the TKL case pile.

    Tonight after work, I was shuffling mandolins around and I opened that TKL case looking for some picks that I knew I left inside one of the mandolin cases. There was a white, postmarked envelope inside the case that I had previously disregarded. I figured it was my invoice from the seller that I had purchased it from and wasn't in any hurry to look at it - MAS denial stage.

    Well, I opened the envelope tonight and found this letter inside:
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    I covered up the name of one of the previous owners to whom this letter from Wayne Benson was addressed to protect privacy, but I'm a bit confused now. The first question to pop into my head is "Why would Wayne go out and purchase his own "Signature Model"? Do you think this letter might be a forgery? I would love to ask Wayne if he remembers owning this mandolin, but since I don't know him...."

    Weird huh?
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
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  2. #2
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Well, the first thing that jumped out at me was that bogus date of April 31, 2003...and it looks "typed"...who still uses a typewriter?

    I dunno...
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  3. #3
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    Well, the first thing that jumped out at me was that bogus date of April 31, 2003...and it looks "typed"...who still uses a typewriter?
    Good catch there Nick! I'm inclined to think it's a Gibson Goof up thus far. I'm not aware of any counterfeit "Wayne Benson" models out there....but it's getting more weird by the minute. It figures that it would also be #13 of 50.

    Here's some more pics.....:
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    Last edited by Emmett Marshall; Jun-16-2015 at 8:31pm.
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

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    Registered User Bill Baldridge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Gonna be fun to see if this riddle is solved.

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  6. #5
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    I don't think that looks like a typewriter font. (I worked as a typesetter for 25 years).

    Nevertheless, I could be wrong, you never know.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
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  7. #6
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    I re-examined the original letter. The one I posted up here is a photocopy made on my printer. The original doesn't appear to be typed. I can't see any imprinting from a typewriter. I might just have to call Danny and ask him where he was on 04/31/2003?
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    He wouldn't have been anywhere. April has 30 days.

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  10. #8
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by geoffreymbrown View Post
    He wouldn't have been anywhere. April has 30 days.
    Exactly.
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

  11. #9
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Aha! The plot thickens......
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  12. #10
    Registered User fscotte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    I don't care, it looks good, does it sound good?

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  14. #11
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    The smudging is a little odd too. I suppose there could have been a batch of the Colonel's finest around when the original note was printed. But, that's another thread.
    The other question is how does it sound and play, two questions,sorry.

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  16. #12
    Registered User Londy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    "Money is a complication man created that the universe doesn't care about."

    Amateurs practice until they can play it right.
    Professionals practice until they can't play it wrong.

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  17. #13

    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    I'm sure there is more than one person who sells mandolins and calls Essie Ky. home. So, I could be wrong but I think I could guess who the previous owner is. As far as I know, he has a decent reputation. Why not start there with questions.

    (He's probably reading this thread anyway.)

    There are enough similarities between the signature on the note and the inlay reproduction that I tend to doubt its a forgery. And unless it was sold to you specifically touting the provenance, what would be the motivation to forge such a letter?

    Wonder if there are any other Gibsons signed on April 31st. Wonder if Danny Roberts was playing a really late gig the night before.

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  19. #14
    Registered User outsidenote's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Well by the serial number it looks like May 1 2003 doesn't it. That would be April 31 2003 in an alternate calendar. It was a thursday. Maybe Wednesday night was happy hour?

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  21. #15
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    I'm sure there is more than one person who sells mandolins and calls Essie Ky. home. So, I could be wrong but I think I could guess who the previous owner is. As far as I know, he has a decent reputation. Why not start there with questions. (He's probably reading this thread anyway.)
    The previous owner (the person I bought it from) is not the guy in Essie KY. I "think" the Essie KY guy might be the previous owner's previous owner? I have no idea who on the forums is from Essie KY. I was thinking about trying to get a phone number for the Essie KY person and see what I could find out.
    If the letter is authentic, then the letter has now survived the transition between 3 owners.
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

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  23. #16

    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Huh. My Birthday is April 30. I always thought it was the last day of the month..I now have one more day to file my income tax!

  24. #17

    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Sent you a P.M. Emmett

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  26. #18

    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    I'll take a wild stab at it, based on my years working at a vintage guitar shop.....We sold a fair number of signature model guitars to the celebrity endorser, when they were on tour passing through town. It seems they could make a little extra money by selling the guitars to fans after a show for a premium, as an "artist model stage played guitar purchased from the original endorsee." Not saying that is the case here, but could be. A lot of fans get caught up in the excitement after a show, etc., etc.....

    My friend knew Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols when he lived in Austin and he was known for playing a white Gibson Les Paul Custom with the Sex Pistols. Supposedly, he bought every used white Les Paul Custom he could find and sold them to fans he met who wanted a piece of the Sex Pistols legacy.

    On a smaller scale, some blues harmonica players bought vintage mics from us and used them on stage and sold them to excited fans after the show...

    Again, just a guess. Usually an artist endorsee gets a free instrument out of the deal....maybe Benson just wanted a second one?

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  28. #19

    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    im the guy from Essie ky,I got the mandolin from Wayne last year ,actually I got two of them from him ,he did buy several of his signature models ,played them for awhile and would sell them this was one that he like and held on too a good while
    Danny Clark
    Danny Clark

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  30. #20
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by fscotte View Post
    I don't care, it looks good, does it sound good?
    It sounds amazing to "my" ears. I'm pretty terrible with adjectives and also hate to sound cliche. Simply put, it's the best sounding F-5 in my little squadron of mandolins. It's the loudest. It's got the Gibson woody. The treble side is so very clear with a sustain that....well...is..,just so very clear and true. The bass is "deep," complex, and resonant. There is nothing about this mandolin that is lacking. The gentleman who sold it to me said, "Emmett, you are about to have the mandolin of a lifetime." I thought he was exaggerating, but I can say that if this was the only mandolin I was able to have, I would be fine with that scenario. And as much as I love the sound of my F-5L, and I really, really do love that mandolin, this mandolin is like putting my F-5L on steroids. To be completely honest with you, I don't feel worthy of this thing - in terms of my playing ability.
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

  31. #21

    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmett Marshall View Post
    I'm pretty terrible with adjectives... It's got the Gibson woody.
    With nouns like that, who needs adjectives?

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  33. #22
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny Clark View Post
    im the guy from Essie ky,I got the mandolin from Wayne last year ,actually I got two of them from him ,he did buy several of his signature models ,played them for awhile and would sell them this was one that he like and held on too a good while
    Danny Clark
    Danny! THANK YOU so much! I was a bit concerned about strange dates and letters. There is so much weird stuff going on these days. I can see why Wayne would like this mandolin so much. It's amazing. Thank you for selling it so that it wound up here! She's still in great condition by the way. I'd say "near mint." The pick guard was off, so I'll be putting that back on soon. Did you actually find one that sounds better than this one?
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

  34. #23
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    Sent you a P.M. Emmett
    Sent a reply Clark. Thanks!
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

  35. #24

    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    Cool story/thread.
    Love it.

  36. #25
    Registered User Randy Linam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise in my Gibson Mandolin Case

    It's those wascuwy wabbits!
    Last edited by Randy Linam; Jun-17-2015 at 9:13am.

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