A true piece of music history, this guitar was personally owned and played extensively by Howard Roberts (with provenance including a letter from his Estate). Our research suggests this factory custom HRF guitar was used by Mr. Roberts for many years of his playing career until his passing in 1992. Howard was a world famous guitarist, jazz player and session man whose influence in the guitar and music world in general cannot be overstated. And if that was not enough, he also wrote a column for Guitar Player Magazine for over a decade.
Howard is pictured with this guitar that was made in Gibson's famous Kalamazoo factory, in numerous magazines, videos and on the cover of a recent tribute album cover. A guitar magazine is included showing Howard with this guitar. There are numerous videos on-line of Howard playing this guitar wearing his “No. 1” (Hamburg) guitar strap that is also included in this sale.
Other items Howard left in the case (see pictures) including; a cord, miscellaneous items and strings including a sample Custom String Set # 4 provided by G.H.S. Strings of Michigan. Howard used very heavy gauge strings and over time the string tension bent the TP-6 tailpiece. The electronics are all in working order with the exception of the input jack which is intermittent without applying pressure to the cord. Because of the special nature of this guitar, we have chosen not to address that issue and leave it to the next owner.
Howard Roberts' one-of-a-kind Gibson artist guitar is very unusual in several important ways from the factory standard 1981 issue HRF: highly flamed one-piece maple top and one-piece maple back, one-piece maple neck, black side fingerboard dots, rosewood fingerboard (vs ebony), cream pickup rings, bound tortoise shell pickguard, and includes a large custom case with two large pockets.
At some point Mr. Roberts cracked the headstock. We black-lighted the neck and it appears the crack was glued but no new additional finish was applied over the area. There is no high E string on the guitar presently. The guitar was used professionally by Howard Roberts and shows wear, scratches, rust, tarnish, etc… (see pictures).
Howard played guitar on some of the most iconic soundtracks and albums of all time, from popular television shows and movies including Batman, The Twilight Zone, The Flintstones, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, Mission Impossible, Dirty Harry, West Side Story and Bullitt, along with many other iconic songs. He also recorded with Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. It would be difficult to go through life and not hear a riff at some point that was played by Howard Roberts. And his “H.R. Is A Dirty Guitar Player” album is considered a historically significant solo record that showcased his talent and versatility.
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