It was the end of the ’80 and I was playing an Ibanez Artist special edition.
I decided to enlarge my guitar collection but I was not able to decide with which specific model. I was bored by the same old brands filling all the shops (with respect for their history), but I felt I was of another generation.
I was demanding an instrument that represented my age and my era , an evolution that reflected the present musical situation.
One day I read in “guitar club” magazine an ad for Manne Guitars. I remember I said: “wow! I will buy this”. At that time I remember I was working as helper in a pharmacy where the doctor renamed me “Johnny Guitar Watson”, so after I saved enough money I decided to go and visit with Andrea Ballarin in person, in its shop in Schio.
It was December of ’89 (so now is actually a “Vintage Manne”), it was consigned in January ’90, and it was built in the first original Manne shop located in the “Lungo Leogra” Street, where Andrea worked with the only company of a black cat. Since then me and my Manne are always together (no way to split us up!).
I did hundreds of concerts in all Europe. I lost it and magically retraced it 3 times!
Its name is “DEE DEE” inlayed on the 12° fret but barely visible now, and she always traveled with me making a good work and being appreciated.
The body is a bit smaller than the actual one, is light and born to travel. I recorded and did all kinds of music like R&B, Rock, Pop, Fusion, World; I teach in a music school in Deutsche Pop Akademie for 8-9 hours a day! Well is an aging Manne , the finish lost some gloss here and there, it looks a Manne Road Worn!
But with its 20 years, is still in very good in shape. In all these years I got so many compliments for my guitar.
One day I was on tour in Germany and I met on a lift a 150kgs American guy that was taking 95% of the space available. Destination: ground floor. He saw I had the gig bag. “are you a guitar player?” “Yes” “great, and which kind of guitar you play, Fender?” And my proud reply: “No Manne!”. “What? Meeeneeee?” and I shout back “No, MANNIII” . So he said ”Can I see your guitar?” , “sure”. So I took our the guitar from the case and in his hands was looking like a small violin. He played an Eminor pentatonic with open strings with a supersonic speed while the lift got to destination. “Thanks” and he left. I never heard who was he, but that night all John Mayall staff was based in my hotel for the city concert of that night.