Johnny Ramone CBGB Mosrite Guitar Reproduction Kit from Ed Roman Guitars
- Nov 18, 2010
- in Guitar Kit Builder - Electric Guitars
Today we're featuring an electric guitar kit - the Johnny Ramone CBGB model Mosrite guitar reproduction kit - sold by Ed Roman guitars. To do the story of this kit justice we've got to integrate a few bits of rock guitar history, and the story of the dealer, Ed Roman. Please be sure to check out this dealer thoroughly before purchasing.
Mosrite (generally pronounced "MÖZE-right) is an American guitar manufacturing company started in Bakersfield, California in 1952, the same starting year as Fender. The company was founded by Semie Moseley, and his guitars were known for their innovative design, beautiful engineering, very thin, low-fretted and narrow necks, and extremely hot (high output) pickups.
In the 1960's a Mosrite was priced at about double that of a Fender Stratocaster. The cost of all the integral parts of the Mosrite forced the price up. One innovation was the famous Mosrite Vibramute roller bridge, shown below. This was developed to aid in tuning problems caused by the previous cast bridge. These were made in house out of folded brass plate and 6 individual saddles each with it's own roller. The Vibramute was made in both chrome plated sandcast and polished finish.
Mosrite guitars were played by many rock and country artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Ventures, The Ramone's, Kurt Cobain, Buck Owens, The Beach Boys, Jimi Page, Duane Allman and many more.
A clear, bell-like tone was characteristic of Mosrites, and the instrument characterized the early Ventures sound. Give a listen to the iconic Ventures tone in this video of a Mosrite demonstrated through a Princeton Reverb amplifier:
By the way, the name "Mosrite" came about because a friend of Moseley's, a singing preacher named Rev. Ray Boatright, was deeply impressed with Moseley's guitar designs, and put up front money for Moseley to found his guitar company. In gratitude, Moseley named the company by combining his and Boatright's last names.
We fast forward now to the early 1970s when an unknown dry-cleaning deliverer named John Cummings (future stage name Johnny Ramone) meets Douglas Colvin (future stage name Dee Dee Ramone). They ate lunch together and discussed their mutual love of bands like the Stooges and MC5. In January 1974 they went to Manny's Guitar Emporium in New York City, where Johnny bought a used blue Mosrite Ventures II model guitar for $54. Colvin bought a Danelectro bass during the same visit. They collaborated with future bandmate Jeffry Hyman (future stage name Joey Ramone) and formed the punk band Ramones.
Johnny Ramone's guitar style was a key part of the Ramones' sound and would become a major punk rock influence. Give a listen in this video of the Ramone's classic Blitzkrieg Bop and check out Johnny on his Mosrite:
The above video is of a live television performance by the Ramones, but their iconic venue was a New York City music club named "Country, Blue Grass and Blues" or CBGB for short. Founded in 1973, it was originally intended to feature its namesake musical styles, but became a forum for American punk and New Wave bands like Television, Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads and many others. The Ramones made their CBGB debut in August 1974 and the history of the Ramones and CBGB became forever intertwined.
ED ROMAN GUITARS
Ed Roman Guitars of Las Vegas, NV is selling a Johnny Ramone CBGB Mosrite Guitar Reproduction Kit for $999. This is the kit version of the Mosrite CBGB model that they sell for $2500 and up (shown at right). The kit comes with all the hardware you will need to build a reproduction of this guitar. Components include Seymour Duncan pickups, Tune-A-Matic bridge & tail Piece, ebony fretboard, quarter sawn maple neck and mis-matched knobs to match Johnny's guitar.
Now before you consider purchasing this kit you really need to do your homework on Ed Roman guitars. We at Guitar Kit Builder do not know Ed and have not done business with his company. A search of the web will provide you with plenty of very strong feelings about this business, positive and negative (but more negative it seems from our review of various forums). Ed describes himself as a "tell it as he sees it" kind of guy, and this can rub people the wrong way. If you review Ed's website you'll see many strong and unvarnished opinions expressed about different manufacturers and practices. One statement on Ed's site seems particularly telling:
So Ed is telling you that he will sell products he doesn't believe in. Some will say this is bad. Others will say he's the only one being honest. We say be careful, and if this kit interests you, please do your research. And if you buy it, please respond to this article with your comments on the kit and your experiences with Ed Roman Guitars. And for anyone else who's done business with Ed, we'd also love to have your comments here.
Check out the Johnny Ramone CGBG Kit Guitar at Ed Roman Guitars