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Thread: John Duffey's Mandolin

  1. #1
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    Hi all,

    I've been getting into John Duffey a lot lately, I noticed his mandolin resembles a loar, but I'm not really sure what it is. So I guess my questions are what is it and is it in the archives? This maybe obvious for some people, but unfortunately John came before my time, and left this earth before I developed a passion for bluegrass... Thanks...

    flip
    Philip Halcomb

  2. #2

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    Johns mando is a '37 F7..I believe that date is right..that he..himself converted to a F5....which consisted of a new neck and probably regraduated tone bars and top...Ive played that mando and it had the neck of a small fence post....but..it has the most recognizable tone..at least to my ears...except for Muns....its instantly recognizable.

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    Think it was a pre-war F-12, that he, as you say, converted to F-5 specs.

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    Registered User f5joe's Avatar
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    I played that mando in '81 and it had a spiced in extension in the neck.

    I miss John Duffey.



    ..... f5joe

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    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
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    If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck,..... Whoops! That was his other one!
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

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    ..your probably right Alan..I thought I remembering reading it was an F7 or Big John telling me so....I miss him too..

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    There is a very cool photo of a mandolin workshop at one of the first bg festivals - Camp Springs or Berryville or Rising Sun - with a bunch of mandolin pickers on stage. There's a young David Grisman, Bob Osborne, Monroe, maybe Jesse. Duffey is peering over Monroe's shoulder, trying to catch what he is doing. Classic photo, anybody have it?

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    Registered User El Rey del Mando's Avatar
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    In the late 80s,John bought one of Phil Rosenthals Loars.We were the warm up band for them at a bluegrass show up here at that time,and my brother played it for a sound check so he could hear it himself.He wouldn't share any of his scotch with Mike though.

    John

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    AH!..., John Duffey..., the consumate entertainer! RIP, John.

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    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Johns mandolin was definately an F12
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
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    Do you have pictures of it Darryl?
    Philip Halcomb

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    Registered User El Rey del Mando's Avatar
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    Darryl,Am I wrong about John buying one of Phils Loars ?

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    The 7 that he owned now belongs to Akira Ohsuka in the DC area, this is the mandolin that John reset the neck severly and the bridge saddle is now about 1 1/4 off the top of the mandolin!

    Played that mandolin a few times at ibma

    Scott

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by (Desert Rose @ June 21 2005, 09:43)
    The 7 that he owned now belongs to Akira Ohsuka in the DC area, this is the mandolin that John reset the neck severly and the bridge #saddle is now about 1 1/4 off the top of the mandolin!

    Played that mandolin a few times at ibma

    Scott
    ..Thats the one I played..now is this the one in the same mando that John always used from the early Gentlemen days up thru the Scene?...seems to me it is.

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    Akira Otsuka here in the DC area plays it now.


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    Thanks for all the great info folks...
    Philip Halcomb

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    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    I have not heard the Duffy Loar story, however, Phil does or did own a Loar. #I have pictures of the F-12 on 35mm somewhere. #We played the Birchmere in '78 or 79 and Duffy was there with the F-12. #It definately said F-12 inside and had a 9xxxx serial number,and is the only pre-war F-12 I have seen. #This is not to say that he didn't have an F-7 also. #The F-12 is the mando that to my knowlege went missing for quite a while. #I also want to remember it having the original floral inlays in the fingerboard (not dots like above), but I will have to confirm that one.



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    I can tell you for sure that John never owned a Loar, he might have borrowed one for some reasson but he told me he never heard one that he liked...His mandolin is for sure an F-12 and we compared his serial number with one I used to own, almost the same numbers but in a different order, I believe his was a 1937 or 39...One thing I find wrong on this format is that a lot of people tend to post things that they aren`t sure of and thats how a lot of mis-information gets started, much like rumors..I don`t blame people for posting things that will help inform others but I believe they should do some research before posting and saying they are sure of such things....This forum is full of people with terrific knowledge on mandolins and pickers...John did play an F-7 for a few months when his mando got stolen and he was in the process of building "The Duck"...You can take that to the bank...John was a good friend of mine and we spent a few hours together, and Bourbon was his drink, not scotch....Of course in a pinch and if someone else was buying, who knows....Willie

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    Willie, which mando got stolen the F-12?
    Philip Halcomb

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    Flip...Yes, the F-12 was stolen and John figured it would never be found since there were so many Gibsons around so he decided to build one that anyone could recognize and he built "The Duck"...After playing that for about a year or so someone spotted his F-12 in a pawn shop in Baltimore and he went up and got it back, at least I think it was Baltimore...Lots of things in this old brain and I can`t keep them all straight...Akira still plays the F-12 among other mandos...`til later...Willie

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    The way I heard it was someone went up to Starling and said "I have one of Duffey's old mandolins, I saw it on an album cover." Apparently, he bought it, not knowing it had been nicked. Duffey heard about it, got it back.

    Not to confound you there, Willie boy

  22. #22

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    ..thats the story I heard Alan....I would like to know the story behind the story of why it got stolen in the first place...did Duffy leave it somewhere..did the culprit just lift it behind Johns back...my inquiring mind wants to know..

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    Me too, this is very interesting stuff...
    Philip Halcomb

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    By the way, is this the duck?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Philip Halcomb

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    This is not the duck. They say : "inspired by the duck".

    http://coastline.gq.nu/Mandolins.html
    "Bonjour chez vous!"
    Phil.
    Wondergrass
    MoonShine

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