Ian Chisholm

a long time ago …

Facebook gets a lot of well deserved stick but just occasionally it works in the most amazing way. Here’s a story. A while ago a friend posted a wonderful tale about how he was at The Manchester Free Trade Hall for Dylan’s famous 1966 concert. He mentioned a couple of people he was with including one Rick Sanders. I was a student at Manchester Uni at the time, I sadly missed the concert, but the name Rick Sanders rang a bell – I remembered selling him a 12 string guitar, one of my early attempts at instrument making. The guitar had a curious history. I was doing a degree in Physics and Electronics. My partner in one of the electronics labs was Nic Kinsey. I’ve never met him since leaving Uni but he went on to engineer a lot folk records. His father ran Livingston Studios and among the artists who went there were Adam Faith and the Roulettes. They had a Framus 12 string that, apparently, was regularly thrown around the stage as part of the act. Eventually it fell apart and somehow I ended up with the neck. For which I made a body. This was quite a few years before the guitar I count as my No 1, I really had only the vaguest idea of what I was doing. I was boosting my student grant – those were the days – by playing the Manchester area folk clubs and gigged with it for a while before eventually selling it to Rick. Now, well over 50 years later, I know a bit about what happened to that guitar. Before the neck warped beyond further use it was played on a couple of Bridget St John albums, played with Scaffold at Lewisham Odeon, even had a close encounter with Graham Nash. It was wonderful to catch up with an an extraordinary story, I just wish I had a photo to post. Maybe one will turn up.


performing in Manchester, c. 1964