Wizard of Odd: Four ‘Foils Fit for Fuzz – Premier Guitar
I think it was primarily a Northeast thing, but there were these amazing catalogs back in the day that were put out by a company called Lafayette Radio Electronics. These catalogs are such a cool flashback for radio geeks and electronics tinkerers that I still get giddy and buy up old examples every chance I get. Lumped in with all the CB radios, hi-fi stereos, and shortwave receivers were electric guitars, amps, and effects. The Lafayette catalogs even sold the same Rotovibe and Uni-Vibe pedals used by Hendrix.
When you peruse a bunch of these catalogs spanning the ’60s, you start to see the transitional path of tastes and styles in electric guitars. It’s like you’re viewing the history of the business unfolding, as American guitars get replaced with Japan-made instruments and the designs move towards a more constricted approach by borrowing from familiar Fender and Gibson models. For whatever reason, however, the Kimberly Deluxe (Photo 1) continued on into the 1970s in all its gold-and-green glory.
I’ve written my share about the insanely adventurous Kawai-made electrics from the ’60s, but even Kawai had scaled it way back by the end of the decade—except for this 4-pickup monster. It’s in my favorite guitar color, greenburst, and is a true throwback—a psychedelic leftover that refused to move on. Its design is similar to that of the Italy-made Eko Kadett I wrote about a few months back [“A ’60s Solidbody That Would Make Sergio