A bedlam of adolescent noise…

This short movie, made in 1965, gives us a little peek into the Burns guitar factory in London.

It starts with cutting the bodies at the bandsaw and routing the pickup cavities on the pin router. Note the ‘cradle’ in which the bodies are held with a ‘destaco’-like clamp. Further we see the gluing of neck and fingerboard, fretting, applying binding, spraying and stringing of the guitar.

The voice over is very clear about his view of electric guitars and their players. He notes very subtile that;

“a dozen different craftsmen will work on them in turn, all of this to make a bedlam of adolescent noise…”


“No wonder, the guitar boys have to pay so much for their guitars, that they have no money left for a haircut…”

Or after pointing out that modern nylon strings are “appropriately enough for the instrument that has become the young man’s ladder to fame…”

But the most beautiful sneer is given at the end;

“Surprising when you consider the noise they make, that each and every guitar is scientifically tuned. Just as if they were real musical instruments…”

At the start of the movie they note that at first the guitars in Great Brittain were imported from Holland. These were most likely built by the Egmond factory, of which there is also a little archive film (1966)

Most of the Egmond and similar guitar brands were made quickly and cheap of plywood. They have gotten a bad reputation among guitarists, for their notoriously bending and warping necks. But George Harisson and Paul McCartney both started out on Egmond guitars…


There is also a version with a Dutch voice over, who has a less facetious attitude. It ends with the recording of a concert by The Troggs at Soesterberg.

This entry was posted in Documentary, History, Movies, Research, Uncategorized, Woodworking, Workshop and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A bedlam of adolescent noise…

  1. rawlingsrod says:

    Great stuff–especially the girls dancing to the Troggs.


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