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The Kingston Trio

The Kingston Trio

At the 2011 Grammy awards, my favorite crazed customer was inducted into the Lifetime achievement award, I speak of The famous Bob Shane of the KINGSTON TRIO. I grew up in the pre-rock era, ruled by acoustic guitars, banjo, and strong vocals, pre Beatles-Stones, and there wasn’t much around.  So all us folkies took it seriously.  Upon the THE SONG WE HEARD “Hang down your head Tom Dooley” was a sad, tale of love and murder, but sold a lot of records for THE KINGSTON TRIO.  Along with Dylan and other acoustic guitar / singer bands, we all became mesmerized by their blend of matching shirts, and well blended harmony, with traditional tunings, along with some comedy skits thrown in.

The Kingston Trio

The Kingston Trio

Imagine my surprise when I received a call from C.F. Martin and company, asking me if I had heard of the Kingston Trio?  Talk about karma, one of my favorite Kingston CD’s was in the player right then.  I said of course, how can I be of service??? “Bob Shane (a founding member) needs his C. F. Martin Kingston D-28 refretted and had heard I was a man to handle the job”.  I was totally thrilled, getting to possibly meet Bob Shane, and work wonders on his well worn guitar. Sure enough 5 minutes off the phone I got a call .. “This is Bob Shane, and the folks at Martin said to take my guitar to you!!!!!.”  I couldn’t get him into my shop fast enough!

He was a delightful older hippie, long white hair half way down his back, a nice sun tan and a hawaiian shirt.  He had obviously played the heck out of the first 2 positions as I expected, and I was prepared to do the necessary restoration and return it promptly to him. I asked him to play for me and got to see and hear a Kingston song, and to witness his playing style.  What a treat to have Bob Shane in my shop playing for me!!!!  Of all the influences I’ve had, Shane was as big as they get and there I was about to refret his Martin; what a treat!!!

After a very careful refretting, I returned the guitar to him and he played it and was happy, as I had expected him to be, as I was very very careful to get everything right!!!!!!  We chatted a bit about his life on the road for 40 years, his different gigs and all, and just hung out together.  When it came time to part ways, he snuck a joint into my hand (or was it a hand rolled cigarette?!).  I asked him to autograph my CD cover, he wrote “What a strange, long trip its been, Bob Shane”.

Take a listen to The Kingston Trio; well worth the time.

The Kingston Trio

The Kingston Trio