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The Sheik custom electric, luthiers Mike Kelley, John Losch

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by markoos » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:20 pm

Backplate:
The Sheik
Mike Kelley, John Losch
Image
Image

Guitar appeared in the July 1979 Guitar Player magazine, in a full-page add for its twin Mighty Mite 1300 Distortion Humbucker pickups
Image


Guitar lived on the west coast back in the mid/late-70's day, and i believe luthiers were from close to there. Never played.

I'm just trying to trace history. Not for sale. I'd appreciate any help i could find.
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by Bassassin » Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:17 pm

What a stunning instrument!

Have you tried contacting Mighty Mite? It's possible they might have some record of their association with the luthiers that might be helpful.

Jon.
Remembering of all that is past
I see everything before me at last...
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by markoos » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:31 am

Jon,

I haven't, but i will. I did contact Michael Kelly Guitar Co, thinking there might be a connection (different spelling, but still..). I found out there's no Michael Kelly, or Michael Kelley, associated with that company name, so that was a dead end.
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by markoos » Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:39 pm

put up a post on Mighty Mite.com's forum, as well as contacting MM. Nothing yet.... :?
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by auriemma » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:17 pm

I doubt there is a connection between Mike kelly and Michael Kelly guitars since the MK guitar company were named after the owner's two kids... Michael & Kelly.
--- Joe ---
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by markoos » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:30 pm

Yup...I have conacted michael kelly guitar co (located ver near me as a matter of fact), and found out that exact info. Plus, they have since been sold from owner that named company.....dead end there. Still looking
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by Juangrande » Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:52 am

Wrong Mike Kelley, dudes. This guitar was one of about a dozen Sheiks crafted in a small shop in Pasadena, California in the mid '70s. Only a couple were completed. The name comes from the band Mike played in, along with other members Rico Lozano, Dean Rimmer, Jim "JC" Christopher, and myself.

I also worked in the shop and was allowed to use an expanded version of the body and headstock for a fretless four string bass that, via an extended cello pin, could also be played as an upright. It was finally completed in 1998 (with a EBO style PU...) and sold to a collector in Scandinavia.

At the time, Mr. Christopher was a member of the Eagles road crew, and made it possible to offer Joe Walsh the first Sheik. This could be the one featured in this thread. I was also told years ago that one of it's completed sisters found it's way to a member of Buckwheat Zydeco. Starting price at the time was $3000, I believe.

I did very little work on this particular guitar, but--along with Mike and John--a great measure of credit should go to Nell Graham who assisted in all aspects including the vast amount of inlay.
You meet up with the same folks on the way up that you do on the way down.
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by markoos » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:34 am

Juangrande,

God, I love the internet! Thanks for the info. This makes all the sense in the world as it came to via via my cousin, who grew up, and passed away, in Pasadena.

I was certain there was a pedigree associated with this instrument, just was always frustrated finding any info, until an obsessive local luthier had a hunch, and poored through stacks of old Guitar Player magazines because he had a nagging feeling that he recognized it from a 1979 issue of the mag. GEEtar forensics! That was incredible.

Anyway, ridiculously beautiful guitar. My compliments to yours, and your mates work on it! Alas, I'm a bass player...fretless and upright are my preference (have an Ergo EUB as a matter of fact). Too bad I couldn't have snagged its fretless bass sister. The Sheik rarely gets played these days.

Took a quick look at some Buckwheat images, and didn't see anything Sheik-familiar.

Any other details? Please? Private message if you'd prefer
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by Juangrande » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:50 pm

Rico just told me John Kay of Steppenwolf fame has one, too, which I did not know.
Somewhere in the 40 year clutter of my music room are pics of the Sheik bass before it went to it's new home in Yurp. If I can find them, I'll post them.
Ya got a rare gem, young man.
You meet up with the same folks on the way up that you do on the way down.
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by VintAxe » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:23 am

Hey Juangrande,

I appreciate your contribution. I'm happy to host any images you find of this guitar or it's relatives. Just send them to steve@vintaxe.com and I'll add them to your post.

First hand knowledge is the best :)
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by Juangrande » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:34 am

Thanks, Steve--the bass was completed in Lake Tahoe, and I have since moved to North Carolina. (six years ago....) Finding the pics may take a few trips to the attic or the garage, but I know I have them on a disc somewhere.
With a little luck, I'll be back soon with the goods.
You meet up with the same folks on the way up that you do on the way down.
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by ipnews » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:07 pm

John Losch is my husband. He does not recall Nell doing any inlay on the Sheik. John did not do all the inlay because his work is much more detailed and precise than on this guitar. I may post a pic of a work in progress when I'm not so busy.

John's father, the late Fred S. Losch, was a major investor in the operation, but John did not stick with the group for long.

Elizabeth Laden-Losch
Idaho
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by markoos » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:32 am

bump
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by markoos » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:43 pm

bump

guitar now for sale, btw
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by markoos » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:56 am

bump....any more info out there on this guitar in vintaxe world? I would love to track down the Sheik bass in Scandanavia :D :D
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