Why Players Know Guild: Robert Marr

Robert Marr vividly remembers the moment a Guild D-55 fell into his lap.

“It was 1976,” said the guitarist, who lives in Fenton, Mich. “I walked into Ron Zehel’s Guitar Land in Amherst, Ohio, and I was looking for an acoustic with a balanced sound. I played every guitar on the wall, and the D-55 gave me just what I needed.”

But buying the classic Guild model wasn’t exactly easy—Marr had to trade in a Gretsch Tennessean for it, ending a longstanding electric guitar phase.

Although the Gretsch was hard to let go of, the sacrifice paid off. Marr learned a lesson or two, and he became the proud owner of a beautiful Guild acoustic guitar.

“Don’ t get rid of your favorite guitar,” he said emphatically. “Ever. My Guild will be passed on to future generations. My kids are very heavily involved with music, and my D-55 is going with them at end of the road.”

Marr enjoys writing songs on his Guild, and has released six self-produced albums since 2005.

To learn more about Marr, visit www.robertmarr.com.

Guild Fan Spotlight: Michael Rapp

Michael Rapp

Michael Rapp of San Diego is a retired chef with the highest degree of culinary expertise. As such he’s no stranger to the stressful life of the restaurant business—he ran bustling restaurants for more than 25 years, working long, strenuous shifts.

But once the kitchen lights were turned off, Rapp’s chops moved from the cutting board to the fretboard.

“I’ve always worked with musicians in the kitchen,” said Rapp. “After working for 12 straight hours, we’d want to play music. It was great camaraderie, and it was a good way to relax and unwind.”

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Why Players Know Guild: Ed Diaz

Seattle’s Ed Diaz went a long way for his Guild D-44.

Diaz, who has played for nearly five decades and enjoys composing music, was living in upstate New York in the mid-’70s when he and a friend hitchhiked 70 miles to famed Manhattan retailer Manny’s Music. It was there that he purchased the richly resonant dreadnought model, which was introduced in 1965 with an unusual pearwood back and sides, with maple offered in 1971.

“As soon as I walked into the area displaying acoustic guitars, I saw the D-44 in a glass case,” recalled Diaz. “It did not take me long to make the decision to purchase it. It played and sounded fantastic!”

Diaz got exactly what he was looking for. The long trek had paid off.

“The maple body gave the guitar the brilliance and volume I wanted,” said Diaz. “The action was perfect and the Guild neck felt great.”

Almost 40 years later, Diaz said his Guild still plays like a charm.

“It’s got outstanding tone, playability, looks and craftsmanship,” said Diaz. “I especially like the neck.”

Further, Diaz – who calls his D-44 a “dear old friend” – has a few words of advice for those who don’t own a Guild yet.

“Do not hesitate to try a Guild when you are looking to purchase an acoustic guitar,” he said. “You hear so much about the ‘other’ big name brands, but if you don’t try a Guild, you’ll have no idea what you’re missing.”

Why Players Know Guild: Jonathan Zabin

First Impressions Are Lasting

Jonathan Zabin from Woodridge, Conn., found his heartstrings being tugged the moment he strummed a beautifully resonant E chord on his Guild D-40SB.

“The guitar just spoke to me,” recalled Zabin, who purchased the guitar in 1975. “It sounded like what an acoustic guitar should sound like.”

Zabin had walked inside a local music shop intending to buy only guitar strings, but couldn’t resist the D-40’s undeniable appeal.

“It had a wonderful, balanced tone,” said Zabin, still enamored by his Guild 40 years later. “Its tone was unlike anything I’d ever heard, and it’s only gotten better as it’s aged.”

And it should be noted that Zabin has been exposed to a variety of guitars. A few years ago he worked at Daddy’s Junky Music, where he received a salesman of the year award for outstanding service and well-rounded knowledge on musical instruments.

Although Zabin now serves as a court clerk in New Haven, music will always be his vocation. He is an active member of The Milford Folk Music Society, and plays regularly at his synagogue.

Why Players Know Guild: Kate Hogan

United in Matrimony

Kate Hogan of Olean, N.Y., has a strong bond with her Guild D-35.

Received as a birthday present from her parents 37 years ago, the guitar is priceless to her. Hogan recalled the trouble her family went through to get her prized possession.

“My dad made incredible sacrifices to buy it for me,” Hogan recalled. “My mom passed away the next year, so I consider it one of their last gifts to me.”

Hogan remained resilient and kept her D-35 as a sweet reminder.

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Why Players Know Guild: Michael DeAngury

A self-proclaimed acoustic nut with over 40 years of playing experience, Michael DeAngury from Charlotte, N.C., gets more than just sound out of his Guild guitar.

“Playing my F-412 is good therapy,” said DeAngury, who saved up for years to get his dream guitar. “Getting it has basically brought me out of my shell.”

The seasoned guitarist has been exposed to music from an early age, and has developed a fine ear for acoustic excellence.

“I know Guild guitars and I haven’t played one I don’t like,” he said. “Guild has been around for years and they offer good value for great quality guitars.”

DeAngury doesn’t discard the possibility of expanding his Guild collection, but for now, he has a personal attachment to his trusty F-412.

“I just have my one Guild,” he said. “I like everything about it; the headstock, the quality of the inlay. Ever since I’ve gotten mine, I can’t keep my mouth shut about it.”

But DeAngury knows it’s not only about looks.

“They’ve got a unique, resonating sound,” he enthused. “They’re not only visually appealing, but they’ve got an audible appeal, too.”

DeAngury clearly has his priorities in line.

“Besides my wife and family, this guitar comes in strong at number three,” he stated.

Why Players Know Guild: Kurt Grotyohann

Kurt Grotyohann of Freehold, N.J., has a mind-blowing collection of Guild instruments that easily seems to exceed the Guild inventory of most large music shops. In fact, his gargantuan collection of all things Guild is so large that he just might hold a world record for owning the most Guild products ever.

Get a load of this: Grotyohann owns 102 Guild instruments. That’s 72 guitars (including 13 acoustics, six of which are 12-string models) and 30 Guild basses. Not to mention 18 Guild amps (!) and all sorts of Guild accessories and collectibles.

Grotyohann’s collection dates back to 1967 when his father bought him his first Guild—his beloved 1966 T-100D in sunburst.

“The more I learned about Guilds, I said, ‘Gee, it’d be nice to have one of everything,’” Grotyohann said, describing how he developed such a massive collection. “I like them because they’re American-made. Guild always seemed to be the underdog, and I followed the underdog. Besides, I love the neck on a Guild; there’s nothing like a thin, fast Guild neck.”

Out of his 102 instruments, the T-100D is his all-time favorite.

“It’s my favorite guitar because it was my first guitar,” Grotyohann said. “I think a lot of people out there wish they still had their first guitar.”

After that, he narrows his favorites down to the top five.

The rest were purchased from music stores, through classified ads and on eBay.

“The ones I like the best are the rarest ones,” he said. “The S-200, S-260 Sprint, Nightingale, Studio 24, and the M-85 hollow-body bass.”

Grotyohann, a professional musician with over 20 years of experience, is very involved in Guild forums and is well known among Guild aficionados for his massive collection.

Why Players Know Guild: Chris Putnam

There’s a long history behind each member of Putnam’s Guild family. He recalls that his first, the D-25, came from his guitar instructor. Shortly thereafter, he got the D-40 from Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, Tenn., which is where “the disease started.”

Putnam said he didn’t need more guitars, but he was destined to cross paths with the ’95 Bluesbird and the ’99 Starfire, which he bought on eBay. The latter was a lonesome instrument that had been sitting in a storage room for seven years as part of a music dealer’s bankruptcy settlement before it fell into Putnam’s lap and found a cozy new home.

But out of his five models, there’s one that holds a very special place in his heart—the 45th anniversary model he bought online from New Hope Guitar Traders in Fayetteville, Tenn. He owns number 10 out of the 45 limited edition models built.

“Not only is it a beautiful guitar to look at, but the complexity of the tones on this guitar; I’ve never picked up anything by any other brand that was quite like it,” Putnam said. “It’s an extremely nice guitar.”

And when it comes to tone, you can’t fool Putnam. He specializes in audio and acoustic engineering; sciences he’s been practicing for years.

Putnam noodles for fun, but is also a devoted member of his church’s band, in which he plays his second-favorite model, the ’99 Starfire.

“I play regularly in a band at church with my Starfire, so it gets a lot of play,” he said. “It plays well, has a good tone and it’s got the Bigsby® tailpiece.”

Putnam is also a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Guild Fan Spotlight: Michael Julian Christopher Taylor

Michael Julian Christopher Taylor of Kansas City, Kan., has been a confirmed Guild player for over 40 years, describing his first encounter with one as “heavenly.”

His love affair with Guild guitars began after receiving a six-string Guild for his 12th birthday. The guitar was lost in a house fire, leaving him with only bittersweet memories. He had a second encounter with a Guild as an adult, but this time it was a 12-string G-312 and it was his to keep forever.

He bought his Guild G-312 in the late ’70s in a music shop on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and promptly named it “Julia” after listening to landmark 1968 album The Beatles (the “White Album”).

“I was listening to the White Album on the turntable at the time; all the time,” Taylor fondly recalled. “‘Julia’ was the very first song I played on it. It just fit; it was that same sound.”

“Julia” has been Taylor’s constant companion for over 35 years now. He plays her for leisure, but also in the occasional jam with his band, Hejirah.

“My voice and that guitar throughout the years have melded together very, very well,” he said. “I’ve written over 200 songs on that guitar.”

Taylor’s enthusiasm for Guild guitars is hard to measure (“I only play Guild guitars; they make the best guitars on the planet,” he said). His preference can partly be attributed to their tone.

“It’s not too high; it’s not too low,” he said. “It’s a really nice blend of high, low and mid-range. That’s why they sound so full; even the six-string models.”

Although Taylor is a bona fide Guild aficionado sharply keen on six-string models, he prides himself on being a 12-string player, too.

“We’re a dying breed from what I understand,” he said. “The greatest music I’ve ever heard is from 12-string players. I’ve never heard an instrument that sounds as wonderful as a 12-string. I’m not going to go anywhere else; I did a lot of odd jobs to buy this guitar.”

Why Players Know Guild: Ted Hechtman – An Unexpected Find

Ted Hechtman of Westbury, N.Y., has an entire room dedicated to his vast guitar collection, but it’s his three Guild guitars that are “the delight of the bunch.”

Hechtman, a guitar player since the ‘60s, when “everyone played protest songs and went to rallies,” had no idea what he was missing out on until about two years ago. He was on his way to hike in nearby Valley Stream State Park when he decided to make a quick stop at the Guitar Center in Carle Place.

“I was in the main room and this one odd guy who used to work there showed up magically at my side holding a guitar,” recalls Hechtman. “I’m sure his real name was Anthony or Tony, but he went by Tone. So he hands me this guitar and says in a very laid-back voice, ‘You should play this.’ He then disappeared in a sort of fairy tale way. It was a 1994 Guild DCE-1. I pulled up a stool and played it, and my fingers were finally home. It was an incredible experie