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Thread: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

  1. #1
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    Default F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Thought y'all might like to know:

    An F-4 owned by Norman Blake is available at Greg Boyd's House of Fine Instruments.
    http://gregboyd.com/product/1917-gibson-f-4-mandolin/

    A little history-- I purchased this mandolin from Curtis McPeake around 2006. Norman acquired it from me in 2009, and played it often. I re-fretted it to Norman's specifications with .080" x .040" fret wire, and installed maple strips into the last four slots of the fingerboard extension, which is my preferred alternative to grinding the extension down or cutting it off. I believe that the saddle is one I made from Sambar stag horn, which is very similar to elephant ivory in texture and density.

    Norman played this instrument frequently for quite a few years. I do not know whether or not he recorded with it. He acquired the instrument after his retirement from touring.

    The pickguard on this mandolin is interesting-- it has some green highlights along with the usual tortoise shell colors. I have only seen pickguards with this color scheme on a small handful of other mandolins, all made during the same time period.

    Until I saw Greg Boyd's pictures, I had forgotten that this mandolin has a one piece back.

    This is a very fine F-4, and I hope it finds a good home. I have no financial interest in the mandolin or any connection with Greg Boyd.
    Last edited by rcc56; Dec-01-2019 at 10:40pm.

  2. #2
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Cool info.

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    Registered User John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    I've played it a couple of times. It's a great sounding mandolin.
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Thereís another 1917 down the page, $500 premium for the Norman Blake mojo doesnít seem TOO bad.
    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 John Rosett's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    The "Norman Blake" one sounds better, in my opinion.
    "it's not in bad taste, if it's funny" - john waters

  6. #6

    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    You know, when I read about an instrument once owned by someone, all I can think is here is an instrument a discerning musician rejected as a keeper.
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    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    You know, when I read about an instrument once owned by someone, all I can think is here is an instrument a discerning musician rejected as a keeper.
    Thatís one way to look at it. Another way is, Norman isnít getting any younger and he has played and collected a huge number of instruments over the years. You canít keep every instrument forever. Iíve played a Gibson guitar he used to own at a local shop ó it could be a lifer for anybody who didnít have the means or the reason to experiment with different sounds.

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    There are other reasons for letting an instrument go, especially for a person who is over 80 years old.

    And in my personal experience, I've never kept an instrument that I disliked for more than a year. I have let good instruments go after 10 years if my tastes changed, or I simply wanted something different.

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  11. #9
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Streip View Post
    ...You can’t keep every instrument forever...
    What? Who says?

    Depressing news...
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    What? Who says?

    Depressing news...
    I fully concur!
    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 Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    I fully concur!
    Nobodyíll miss my Eastman if they bury me with it but I think some people would be upset if yíall took your F4s or Loars to the grave

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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Steve made this Model 1 for him last year, so 80+ y/o hasn’t stopped him Steve’s ovals are incomparable.
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Steve who ?

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    You know, when I read about an instrument once owned by someone, all I can think is here is an instrument a discerning musician rejected as a keeper.
    Didn’t Sam bushs hoss used to belong to Norman?
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by mtucker View Post
    Steve made this Model 1 for him last year, so 80+ y/o hasn’t stopped him Steve’s ovals are incomparable.
    Than you haven't played on a Girouard oval !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    Steve who ?

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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Had to blow up the photo on my desktop, but that's a Gilchrist.
    Oh? That Steve.
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    Steve who ?

    Dave H
    Oops sorry, yes, Gilchrist.

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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    We posted a lengthy list of Norman's instruments in 2016 when he liquidated a great deal of his collection and had Carter Vintage Guitars handle the sales. This was likely among those IIRC. There were a lot of very fine instruments in that lot and we only posted a few of them. Some of them went directly to buyers without ever even being photographed. Norman Blake didn't own clunkers. A collection like this is typically a musician's IRA.

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    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: F-4 owned by Norman Blake

    And the instruments on that link are gorgeous.
    JBovier ELS; Epiphone MM-50 VN; Epiphone MM-40L; Gretsch New Yorker G9310; Washburn M1SDLB;

    Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster; Squier Modified Vintage Cabronita Telecaster; Gretsch 5420T; Fender Tim Armstrong Hellcat: Washburn Banjo B9; Ibanez RB 5string; Ibanez RB 4 string bass

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