Welcome to Shade Tree's museum of the odd, the puzzling, the absurd side of fretted instruments. I hope you enjoy your virtual stroll through our collection of oddities. . . .
Here is a rare photo of Bob Taylor's less successful brother, Evinrude Taylor. Evinrude also questioned traditional design and construction methods, but of the pleasure boat industry. Unfortunately, his groundbreaking designs haven't met with the same level of acceptance as his brother's. Believe it or not!
A close-up of construction details of the Gibbon banjo from the "Golden Age" of banjo making. Rather than relying on fixtures, machines, and, uh, measuring stuff, they took the more traditional and "folksy" approach of trial-and-error construction. Here it seems like they got these neck lag bolts right on the third or fourth try. Gibbon went out of business shortly after this instrument left the factory. Believe it or not!
There's no joke here, really. This is actually Colonel Harlan "Finger Lickin" Sanders with a mandolin orchestra of kids. He donated the money to outfit this group with instruments and riverboat gambler ties. Now that's philanthropy! Believe it or not!
Is this a:
A- Theft-proof display case for the only known Stradivarius ukulele?
B- Ukulele vending machine? (Just insert $300 in quarters. . . . )
C- Don Ho's door chime?
No, it's a player ukulele! Believe it or not!
Here we see my lovely assistant holding a very odd Martin guitar. This prototype, smuggled out of the R&D department, never went into production, presumably because they realized that a big boomerang-shaped body and a semi-circular soundhole was just too stupid to believe. Believe it or not!