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Klaus's Instruments
Guitars:Dadou No 1, by Dadou and me
Dadou No 5, by Dadou (currently on loan)
1936 Gibson (currently on loan)
'Cynderella'by Knut Welch (currently on loan)
Bouzouki and dzura-bouzouki,by unreadable Greek builder.
Sitar,from India
1906 Mandolin,by Dimegglia, Naples
Percussion:African Rainsticks (self-made),Chakareh, Guapichang,
        In fact anything that makes an interesting sound;
hollow tree-trunks, bicycle spokes, 5 gal water jugs etc. It's an interesting world out there. Once in a half-sunk river-barge on the Mississippi, the notes reverberated so long, I was able to sing harmonies with myself, for hours I was drunk with the sound.

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The Story of My Dadou Guitar
         Of a crazy Frenchman, guitar groupies and Kati`s kitchen. It started innocuously enough with a knock on the door, in London, on sabbatical from university in 1972. A very wide Frenchman with a ridiculous accentintroduced himself as the brother of Piwi, known to me as one of my guitar groupies from Strasbourg. Guitar groupies are the guitar players who crowd the front row of concerts, squinting at every move the fingers make , looking to learn as much as possible. I am proud to count myself to this day, one of these dedicated people, although sadly out of practice.

         Dadou, I`m sorry to say, did not think much of the English, made his own wine, beer, butter, bread because of his poor opinion of the English version. Hearing that one of the reasons for my being in England was to acquire a Martin guitar, his reasoning and conclusion were astonishing: "ze eenglish zay know nuzzing. Zay not know zee geetarrh. We beeld eet ourselves een ma own keetchen!" Apparently having a passing acquaintance with Stephan Delpht, a well-known London guitar builder, was background enough. (It's no wonder the French don`t follow the English lead vis--vis Iraq, though in this case correctly.)

         My curiosity piqued, and totally in the ban of his eccentric energy, I agreed on the spot, and we embarked on the adventure of transforming Kati`s kitchen into the wastelandit would remain for the next 3 months. Blow torches, pails of water, shavings, sawdust and assorted stacks of wood, glue-pots and hundreds of woodworking tools, vied for elbowroom with beer, wine and butter-making paraphernalia. I never did figure out where Kati ever did the cooking.

          Using a pamphlet by John Baily, "How to Build a Folk Guitar", Dadou quickly dispensed with the notion that we were going to follow it too closely, after all it was English. So we decided to make a mold of his old Epiphone, add 3/4 inches depth all round, making a copy of a copy of a Martin Dreadnaught (what an odd name for a guitar).

         There just happened to be an exhibition of pre-war Martins in London at the time, with an exploded Guitar showing the strutting on the back of the face. Wow, we begged and pleaded and finally got permission to make a rubbing of the struts (oops), and scuttled triumphantly home to incorporate, with some modifications (mine), our newly gained knowledge. Where we got the wood was also interesting.

          The Underground (Metro) in London travels for miles anything but, namely on a series of brick bridges through those parts of the city, not suitable somehow for subterranean construction. Over time the arched bridges became bricked-in, housing various trade establishments known as the Arches. It was high up, under the roof of one of these establishments, literally under the steel rails, thundering and shaking off clouds of dust with the passage of every train, that we found the ash piano-leg, around the pipe clamped to Kati`s table, caused blackening here and almost split grain there and so on.

         Furthermore, I , the supreme reverse snob, utterly and contemptuously sneered at beautiful inlay or any kind of decorative froo-froo. This was going to be a working-class guitar, worthy of the songs of the downtrodden, the unfortunate and forgotten that lurked in my unformed mind, no, no such.... such.... bourgeois crap as pretty bindings were to sully or compromise my integrity, oh no! What I did not know of, at that time, was the structural importance of bindings, to protect the edges of the instrument against the wings and dings of the proletarian struggle.

         So I am the proud owner of a guitar, so beat-up and plain as to be obviously not worth stealing (knock on wood), slightly hunchbacked, looks like an el-cheapo from China, but with a voice that will snap your head around. Thank-you so much, Kati and Dadou.
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Klaus Weiland Main

Copyrite 2003
Contact :
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Updated July, 2003