The year was 1968. The summer of love, and music was changing rapidly with guitar as the main creative force. Vinyl records, Volkswagen Bugs, The Beatles and Bob Willcutt, who was already playing in top Washington D.C. bands, began repairing antique and rare instruments. Back then there were few ways to learn the luthiery trade. The market was expanding faster than the old repair guys could keep up with. They didn't understand the needs of the day. I can still hear one of them saying, "Why do you kids want such little strings," and "don't turn that amp up too loud as it might start to distort!" Good thing Eric Clapton--playing with John Mayall's Bluesbrakers--wasn't listening!
The 70's and 80's brought great acts to town. Eddie Van Halen bought some red Sperzel keys on a private visit, and Howard Leese purchased a chrome appointed pink Les Paul from our custom department. Molly Hatchet, Metallica, The Who, Stones, Iggy Pop, and others dealt with us. At the same time, J.D. Crowe's band "The New South" from Lexington, KY. was the center of modern Bluegrass. Because of him, such greats as Tony and Larry Rice, Ricky Skaggs, Sam Bush, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Stills, and others were in and out of our little shop. We also became the east coast custom center for the original Schecter company and built guitars for their catalogs and Namm shows. Remember the "Dream Machines" ad in Guitar Player magazine?
More of the same until about 1998 when we decided to either get bigger or go back to a one man shop. Real estate was rare and expensive in the growing Lexington area but then something was opening up as an alternative method of expansion, (Thanks! Al Gore!) the Internet! Finally there was an opportunity to bring more of what Willcutt Guitars is all about to a wider audience.
Years of hands on experience has kept the old school values of proper presentation, individual set up (usually by Bob Willcutt himself) and fair dealings in place. Never resting on our laurels, we continue to reinvest in the guitar industry and search the world for new quality products and methods to better serve you, the guitar lover and player.
Certified Gibson Acoustic Specialists