'79 GUILD STARFIRE SF4 WHL Lefty, Wine Red Very Rare, OHC EX code LH967
Maple body, 3 piece maple/mahogany neck with ebony fret board. Guild/Schaller tuners and an intonatable bridge with string spacing adjustment.
In the next few years, Guild makes their first flattops, followed by acoustic archtops.
Models such as the X-175 Manhattan, M-75 Aristocrat, F-30, F-40, and F-50 are introduced.
In 1956, production moves from New York City to Hoboken, NJ. It was during this time period that Guild hires most of the people who are responsible for the tremendous growth of the company during the 1960s, such as Bob Bromberg (general/plant manager), Gilbert Diaz (final assembly), and Carlo Greco (luthier).
Due to Dronge's ties with the New York jazz scene, Guild's list of endorsees include Johnny Smith, Don Arnone, Carl Kress, and Barry Galbraith, among others. Guild's first collaboration with an artist (Johnny Smith) results in the Johnny Smith Award model, which was made from 1956-1960.
Some very popular models came out of this decade, namely the Starfire models, the Thunderbird, S-100 Polara, and Guild's first 12-string and bass guitars. This is the decade in which Buddy Guy becomes synonymous with the Starfire IV, Muddy Waters champions the Thunderbird, and Bonnie Raitt picks up her first Navarre F-50, which is a new version of the F-50 with rosewood back and sides.
Guild also begins making their first classical guitars, inspired by Carlo Greco and named after Al Dronge's son Mark.
After Guild parts ways with Johnny Smith, they developed signature models with George Barnes (George Barnes AcoustiLectric, "Guitar in F"), Duane Eddy (DE-400), and Bert Weedon (Bert Weedon model).
In 1966, the company is sold to the Avnet Corporation, and production moves from Hoboken to Westerly, RI. The first guitar to come out of this factory is an M-20 in 1967.
In 1969, Richie Havens wows the world when he opens the Woodstock Festival in 1969 with his Guild D-40. The D-40 and D-50 go on to become mainstays in the Guild line.
In 1972, Al Dronge dies in a plane crash, marking the end of an era for the Guild Guitar Company. Leon Tell assumes Presidency in 1973.
Guild's 12-string and jumbo-sized guitars pick up steam; on the other hand, Guild overhauls their entire range of solid-body electrics, including the basses. These models include the M-85 bass, JS Bass I & II, S-100, S-300, and new solid-body versions of the recently re-issued M-75 Bluesbird, called the M-75GS and M-75CS.
Guild also designs and produces the first dreadnought guitar featuring a cutaway (the D-40C), and makes the first dreadnought-shaped 12-string guitars (G-212, G-312). During this time period, the "G" designation for a dreadnought guitar crops up, although why it is introduced remains a mystery.
Little known fact: at the beginning of 1970, Jimi Hendrix purchases a left-handed F-212 12-string model from the infamous Manny's Music in New York City.
With the popularity of the heavy metal and hard rock scenes, Guild introduces many solid-body guitars and basses with body shapes and design features aimed to suit the style of these players. Popular models from this time include the X-82 Starfighter, S-80 Flyer, X-79 Skyhawk, SB-66E Bladerunner, and the SB Pilot basses.
On the acoustic side of the business, Guild partners with George Gruhn (famed American guitar historian and owner of Gruhn's Guitars in Nashville) to create a new range of flattop guitars, including the D62, D64, D66, F42, F44, and F46. Guild also continues to expand on their existing range of flattops.
Artist models from this decade include the Hank Williams, Jr. (also called the G-45), and the DE-500, a reissue of Duane Eddy's original guitar.
In 1983, the Talking Heads' groundbreaking live concert "Stop Making Sense" is filmed. Lead singer David Byrne closes out the show playing a solid-body Guild on "Crosseyed and Painless."
Buddy Guy Guild Starfire4
Lightning Hopkins with Starfire IV