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In this installment, we’ll take a look at this 1956 Hofner Model 127, also known as the Club 50. Back in the early days of rock n roll, particularly in the U.K., young guitarists didn’t have a lot of affordable guitar options. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Riche Blackmore and Justin Hayward are just a few of the guitar heroes that owned Hofner guitars back in the day.
Although Höfner was established in 1887 by Karl Höfner in Germany, in 1957 a company called Selmer began distributing the Club models in England and, well, as they say, “the rest was history.”
The guitar shown here is a player’s dream. Its semi-acoustic body is constructed of a carved spruce top and flat one-piece maple back and sides. The neck is constructed of three pieces wood: maple / beech / maple with the headstock being capped with a beautiful tortoiseshell and mother-of-pearl faceplate. A 3-ply (white / black / white) nut is set behind the zero fret of the 22-fret rosewood fingerboard. Two single coil pickups, which have rosewood sides and Bakelite faces are controlled by four (two volume, two tone) Hofner tea cup control knobs and two toggle-type selector switches. The floating rosewood bridge has adjustable saddles which are actually small pieces of fret wire. A trapeze tail with the “K.H.” insignia plate and a tortoise shell pickguard edged in white round out the appointments of this beautiful piece of seventy-year-old workmanship. As you may have expected, this guitar plays and sounds amazing!
As caretaker of several local collections owned by some rather prominent collectors, I am fortunate enough to have many VERY COOL guitars cross my bench. For that I would like to say thank you to the collectors, such as Richard Gonzmart, who owns this guitar, and the others who allow me to share some of their passion with you.
From Soho Guitar in Tampa, FL, I’m Rob Meigel. Visit us online at www.sohoguitar.com.