Claudia and I are senior guitar builders. We consider this to be a great thing, as it means that we’ve been doing this for a long time, and it gives the impression of actual experience ;-). But considering that I opened my first shop in 1979, it really is true!
The 1970s. . . The golden years of rock ‘n’ roll, with the establishment on one side, and hippies on the other. Long hair was our rebellion against monotony, and guitars, the coolest instruments ever, were our weapons—I mean, can you imagine a revolution with a flute? ;-) For me, the long hair was easy; but I needed a guitar!
Accordingly, I built my first guitar when I was 13. OK, so “guitar” is a grandiose term for the plywood thing I’d created, but it was a start. And I continued to move forward, although my progress was disrupted by periods of being a professional musician as well as a sound engineer in various studios. But in hindsight, those phases were very helpful activities for a developing luthier!
I started out primarily building electric guitars, and I also repaired and restored countless instruments, including basses and flattops, that I brought home from trips to the US. Eventually, I came under the spell of the archop—the most royal of them all. To me, designing these instruments’ curves and arches, while maintaining the required strength and still maximizing their tonal potential, is a balancing act of epic beauty.
However, that’s not to say that we don’t enjoy building the occasional electric, flattop, or bass! But as any business strategist knows, diversity can come at a price. In the case of guitar makers, most gain a reputation for their archtops, or their electrics, or their flattops, or their basses, but not for doing everything. But somehow, we have managed to not only be accepted, but to receive praise of the highest order, and we thank you for putting your trust into our work.
Claudia has been part of Pagelli Guitars for many years. Without her natural gift to create beauty, my guitars would still look like they came from the stone-age. But today, they’ve influenced a generation of luthiers, and we’re proud to see our ideas in instruments built by others.
This is our 35th year, and as long as people continue to make music, we look forward to the next 35! To all our customers, and all those who are interested in our instruments, and really, all those who support us, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts!