My JHS Guitars - how they came about

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

My JHS Guitars - how they came about


Well, there I was looking through the window of Ivor Mairants shop in London, gazing longingly at instruments that I truly didn't need but still desired. As I looked up who should be looking back at me from inside the shop but Dennis Drumm a man I had known for many years from my London years growing up close to the legendary Len Stiles guitar shop in Lewisham, the shop where I purchased my first electric and early acoustic guitars. Den had been a young salesman there when I was frequenting the place but now all these years on he was the main man at JHS. He waved at me from inside the store and of course I waved back, and couldn't resist strolling to the shop door to "press the flesh" and chat about old times. I had long been an admirer of the products that JHS were marketing, in fact I owned one of their Tri Cone resonator guitars and really loved, in fact so much that I recorded a track using it on my Shining Morn album.

Anyway the conversation went something like "have you ever thought about creating a factory produced signature guitar?" I replied that I hadn't, and Dennis said "well why not think about doing one for us". It didn't take me long to make up my mind! I introduced the company to the great guitar maker Rob Armstrong with the view to the company replicating an instrument that Rob had made in the early 80's and was indeed my favourite all round guitar at the time. The rest as they say is history.

I have very fond memories of Ivor Mairants and his wonderful shop in the West End. I used to buy my strings from there, in fact it was in that very shop that I saw Cat Stevens standing at the counter purchasing a set of guitar strings. In later years I got to know Ivor and his wife and would frequently see them at shows and stop for little chats. Lovely memories indeed, and how great to know that his name is being kept alive by the fact that the store, thanks to JHS is still there and operating well to this very day.

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