1956 Egmond Caledonie JG 113/5

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Eric Griffiths was the guitarist in the original line up of The Quarrymen. In old photographs of the group, Griffiths is seen playing his 1956 Egmond Caledonie JG 113/5. His Caledonie was an inexpensive full-size, hollow body, non-cutaway, arch top Jazz Guitar with distinctive cat’s eye sound holes.
When John Lennon and his mate Pete Shotton formed their first group, The Black Jacks, they invited Eric Griffiths to join them. Although Griffiths was a rudimentary guitar player, he had recently acquired the new Caledonie. The fledgling skiffle group would quickly add a few more members and change their name to The Quarrymen.
One of the original surviving Quarrymen, Rod Davis, recalls that Griffiths first guitar was actually an Egmond Toledo 105/0 Flat Top.
Apparently, both Griffiths and Lennon (before he ordered his famous Gallotone Champion ) each had one of the Toledo models. The only difference was in their colors, with Griffiths guitar being more brownish and Lennon’s more reddish. Davis remembers that the pair even took a couple of guitar lessons using their Toledo’s.
Coincidentally, although they wouldn’t meet for well over a year yet, another future Quarrymen, George Harrison, also owned an Egmond Toledo guitar.
The history of Egmond guitars is an interesting one. In 1940, former railroad station-chief Uilke Egmond and his three sons Gerard, Dick and Jaap started to build guitars in a small workshop in Best, Holland. This workshop burned down two or three times, but despite that production and sales of Egmond guitars continued to go up.
Egmond became known in Europe for producing low-quality, low-cost guitars whose availability to budding young guitar players in the 1950’s was essential. In 1961, the Egmond guitar factory was formally established.
With the beginning of the Beat boom era, guitar building and selling expanded rapidly and soon more than 200 guitar builders were employed by the factory. As a result, Egmond became one of the largest guitar manufacturers in Europe. In addition to the factory, the Egmond family also ran the Musica music store. Egmond would cease to exist in the early 1980’s.
When Paul McCartney joined The Quarrymen in 1957, he was originally slotted in to be the lead guitarist. However, McCartney was unable to perform this function during his one public attempt and The Quarrymen decided that neither McCartney nor Griffiths were suitable lead guitar players.
When George Harrison was eventually brought in as lead guitarist, the folklore goes that the band members suggested Griffiths buy an electric bass and amplifier. As Griffiths was unable to afford these items, he was not invited to McCartney's house for the next rehearsal.
When he coincidently phoned them during the practice session, Griffiths was informed that he was no longer in The Quarrymen.
The rare and hard to find 1956 Egmond Caledonie JG 113/5 in our collection is identical to the one owned by Eric Griffiths.57_gallotone.html57_gallotone.htmlegmond_105_0.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2
Eric Griffiths, far left, playing his 1956 Egmond Caledonie JG 113/5 on stage with The Quarrymen

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