1965 Zemaitis Acoustic Guitar, Birth of a Legend!


1965 Zemaitis Acoustic Guitar – The First Collaboration For Tony Zemaitis and Danny O’Brien!

A piece of Zemaitis Guitar history, this is the very first guitar that Tony Zemaitis employed the services of Danny O’Brien. Many people think that metal front number 1 from 1971 was the first collaboration, however, this Zemaitis acoustic pre-dates what is know as the “Tony McPhee Metal Front” (Tony is the guitarist with The Groundhogs, he ordered, received and still owns the first ever Zemaitis metal front) by six years.

For images of Metal front #1 go here: http://www.thegroundhogs.co.uk/texttj.html

Tony Zemaitis and Danny O’Brien had never done business together, in fact they didn’t even know of each other back when Tony Z built this guitar. The guitar had been ordered by “Bob” one of Danny O’Briens friends, Tony was busy constructing the guitar, Danny was busy working as a gun engraver at the factory of James Purdey and Sons the favored gun maker of Prince Charles and almost the entire British Aristocracy.

Bob, knowing of Danny’s work asked if Danny could make a sterling silver Z for the headstock of his soon to be completed Zemaitis guitar. The Z you see on the headstock of this guitar is one and the same, Bob delivered it to Tony, Tony installed it and asked Bob where he had obtained it, Tony contacted Danny and an excellent working relationship began, one that would change the guitar buying habits of the elite of Rock and Roll guitar and bass players.

Tony had come up with the idea of placing a metal front on an electric guitar and he asked Danny to consider decorating the metal top with engraving, enter one Mr. Tony McPhee followed closely by Marc Bolan, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Keith Richards, Ron Wood so on and so on, the list is endless, the legend was born.

This guitar started it all!

It sounds simply stunning, it has the lowest action of any acoustic you will play, it has the original White label signed by Tony Zemaitis and signed later by Danny in 2009 (Danny never signed any of Tonys labels but made an exception due to the historic importance of this guitar)

The guitar is now 46 yrs old, it is solid spruce with Brazilian rosewood back and sides, there are two repaired cracks in the back, ebony fingerboard, original nut from 65, original Grover tuners from 65, it is in fantastic shape with original frets.

Complete with images of Danny signing the guitar at his home in 2009 alongside the Zemaitis owners club president the inimitable Keith Smart, to underline the ideas and foresight of Tony Zemaitis,the other Z acoustic you see in the images with Danny features Tonys invention of “compensated frets”, that’s right, the frets were slightly angled to help the guitar play truly in tune, this is years prior to Rickenbacker releasing its own version of slanting frets, Tony was way ahead of his time which is why everyone from Bob Dylan down to the local postman came to him to design and build a guitar

This Zemaitis acoustic guitar is a fabulous piece of history!