Vintage Japanese Guitar: Saturn / Kawai (1968)




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Published on Jan 3, 2008

This is my first electric guitar. I bought it when I was 15 from bandmate Harold Morgan in the summer of 1974. I paid the princely sum of $15 for it - all money I had earned playing drums in our band: "Steamin'" (1974-76). This is the guitar that I learned to play on.

I've only ever seen one other guitar like it. That one was at Songbird Music in Toronto. Theirs looked much newer and had the name plate: Kingston. Mine has no identifiers anywhere inside or out. Theirs was also a violin shape but in a red-burst finish. It had cream P-90's. The pick-ups in my guitar have brass base-plates. It's a very odd piece.

Thanks to Crazy Dave for the following info about this guitar: Built by Kawai and branded as "Saturn", this guitar originally sold through the 1968 Eaton's Christmas catalogue for $49.95 CDN. That's $225 in today's money. Thanks again Dave. Mystery solved!

The only modification I made was strictly for mid-70's shock value. As soon as I got it I applied leopard-print Mac-Tac all over the tortoise-shell pick-guard. (At least I didn't paint it.)


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