I have known Erik Smith for 30 years and I feel honored to be the one to represent Albert's second stage guitar that he played for about 8 of his last remaining years,, this guitar is NOT for everyone,,, but it does need a new home,, the story though is yours to read and keep.
The guitar is a 1985 Fender Telecaster Custom reissue w/binding and was made in Japan. Purchased new in 1986 and definished from sunburst to natural by a reputable Detroit luthier who routed it out for the humbucker. Neck date is 8-18-85 Serial# A-015905 and has the original Fender case. Letter of Provenance, pictures, his guitar strap, and possible video footage of Albert using it live on stage are included.
If you were lucky enough to have seen the late Albert Collins perform anywhere in the world during the whirlwind of his career in the late 1980s and early 90s, then you may have seen this guitar in his uniquely talented hands, either attached to his trademark white strap, or perhaps resting on a nearby amp on stage, just in case he popped a string, (which he did regularly.) Albert's high-energy shows were often pretty tough on strings, not to mention his 50-foot guitar cord. As fans and fellow musicians know, he refused to ever go "wireless." He was the true "Master of the Telecaster" as Fender finally recognized with a special issue tribute guitar following his death. This, however, is the real thing from his legendary past.
We were fortunate to have met Albert Collins back in April 1993 when Albert's longtime friend, television news personality Erik Smith arranged for Albert to come to our Michigan Guitar Show to do a an appearance. " To my astonishment, Albert rolls up to the show in his old Greyhound tour bus, and yes, he was behind the wheel! " He was so cool and warm with everyone, and there were literally thousands of players and collectors wandering through to find their next or maybe "dream" collectible guitar. "Master" that he was, Albert just hung out, signing autographs, dropping some licks on some vintage Teles, and adding that special charm to a bunch of photos that still hang on Ol' Gordy's Music walls. He was only scheduled to be there 45-minutes. He stayed two hours!
Aside from being one of Albert's closest friends, Erik Smith traveled the countryside from the Great Lakes to California to produce a three-part documentary on Albert's life on the road, now available for viewing on You Tube. Incidentally, Erik also found time to join Albert's wife, Gwendolyn, in writing several songs for the final Collins' studio album, properly titled: "Iceman." Incidentally, this CD is still available for listening or purchase on Amazon. It's been 25 years since the world lost Albert Collins and Erik said goodbye to the years of fun, the countless shows, the hours of collaboration, sharing Jack Daniels or E&J Brandy in paper cups, and the laughter the two men shared for so many years. The time for a personal goodbye to this unique instrument has come.
Erik actually bought this guitar for Albert who was not in the habit of carrying a backup when he needed one. It was perfectly copied to accommodate Albert's special tastes and personal liking, with the exception of the rosewood fretboard. It was outfitted with the vintage JBJ Seymour Duncan humbucker pickup to duplicate his primary guitar which now rests in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. It saw it's first known stage action in concert at St. Andrew's Hall in downtown Detroit in June 1988. Please notice: the original half-worn strings are still on the guitar as they were on the day Albert returned it to Erik. The guitar is EXACTLY the way it was 25 years ago the last time Albert played it! SOME SERIOUS MOJO-VIBES!
Shortly after our spring guitar show in '93, Albert Collins brought the instrument back to Erik along with the worst possible news. Albert had liver cancer and was undergoing alternative therapy. His touring schedule was suddenly closing and he didn't want anything to happen to this gift from his special friend. They met for a final time at his home in Las Vegas. There was a night on the strip, a shot at the slots, dinner half-eaten and in days a chapter in their life closed. Several promises were made and the guitar has been kept under lock and key for the past 25 years until now. Now, one of the world's greatest blues guitarist's own tools deserves to be heard again!The rest is as good as it can get.
After watching and listening to Albert play a lot lately,, I personally would have to say that Albert Collins was a guitar innovator,, and 10 years ago I could only say that about 2 or maybe 3 other guitar players that are alive or EVER lived. That is my personal opinion. You don't have to like it or agree,,, it is how I feel after almost 70 years of being on this planet.
Play on Albert. You are missed but we have your music.
Born October 1st. 1932After a three-month battle with cancer, Collins died at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 24, 1993. He was 61 years old. Surviving him were his wife, Gwendolyn, and his father, Andy Thomas.Collins was an inspiration to a generation of Texas guitar players, including Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan. He was among a small group of Texas blues players, along with Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Johnny Copeland, who shaped the legacy of T-Bone Walker into a modern blues template that was to have a major influence on many later players. In an interview with Guitar World magazine, Robert Cray said, "it was seeing Albert Collins at a rock festival in 1969 that really turned my head around." Two years later, Collins played at Cray's high-school graduation party in Tacoma, Washington, and the ice-pick sound sunk in deep: "That was it," Cray recalled. "That changed my whole life around. From that moment I started seriously studying the blues."Collins is remembered for his informal and audience-engaging live performances. He would frequently leave the stage while still playing to mingle with the audience. The use of an extended guitar lead allowed Collins to go outside clubs to the sidewalk; one anecdote stated that he left a club with the audience in tow to visit the store next door to buy a candy bar without once stopping his act.He is also remembered for his humorous stage presence, which is recounted in the documentary Antones: Austin's Home of the Blues: Collins was playing a lengthy solo one night at Antone's and left the building whilst still playing. He returned to the stage still playing the solo and resumed entertaining the audience in person. Shortly afterwards a man arrived at the club and gave Collins the pizza he had just ordered.
The Cool Sound of Albert Collins (TCF Hall TCF-8002) collection of singles, reissued in 1969 as Truckin' with Albert Collins (Blue Thumb BTS-8)1968: Love Can Be Found Anywhere (Even in a Guitar) (Imperial LP-12428)1969: Trash Talkin' (Imperial LP-12438)1970: The Compleat Albert Collins (Imperial LP-12449)1971: There's Gotta Be a Change (Tumbleweed TWS-103)1978: Ice Pickin' (Alligator AL-4713)1980: Frostbite (Alligator AL-4719)1983: Don't Lose Your Cool (Alligator AL-4730)1986: Cold Snap (Alligator AL-4752) - with Jimmy McGriff1991: Iceman (Point Blank/Virgin VPBCD-3; 91583; 86197; 39194)Collaborations1985:
Showdown! (Alligator AL-4743) - with Robert Cray, Johnny CopelandLive albums1969: Alive & Cool (Red Lightnin' RL-004) - live at the Fillmore West, 19691978: Albert Collins with The Barrelhouse Live (Munich Records BM 150225)1979: Jammin' with Albert (Blues Tune BT-008) - with Champion Jack Dupree, Rory Gallagher1981: Frozen Alive! (Alligator AL-4725) - live at the Union Bar, Minneapolis, MN1984: Live in Japan (Alligator AL-4733) - live at Kadan Kaikan, Tokyo, 19821989: Jazzvisions: Jump the Blues Away (Verve 841287) - with Etta James, Joe Walsh1995: Live '92/'93 (Point Blank/Virgin 40658)1995: Charly Blues Legends Live - Vol. 7 (Charly CBL-756)1998: Molten Ice (Cass Records CAS-70108) - live at the El Mocambo Club, 1973; also released as The Things He Used To Do, The Iceman Cometh, and The Hot 'Cool' Sound of Albert Collins2005: The Iceman at Mount Fuji (Fuel 2000/Varese 061457) - live at the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival, 19922008: Live at Montreux 1992 (Eagle ER-20124)2014: Funky Blues - Live 1973 (Rockbeat ROC-3275) - live at Joe's Place, Cambridge, MA2016: Live at Rockpalast - Dortmund 1980 (MIG Music 90632, 2-CD + DVD set)2017: At Onkel Pö's Carnegie Hall - Hamburg 1980 (Delta Music N-77040, 2-CD set)
Compilations1991: The Complete Imperial Recordings (EMI America 96740, 2-CD set)1993: Collins Mix (The Best Of) (Point Blank/Virgin 39097) - re-recordings of his classic tracks1997: Albert Collins: Deluxe Edition (Alligator ALCD-5601)1999: The Ice Axe Cometh (The Collection 1978-1986) (Music Club MCCD-406)Guest workGary Moore, "Too Tired" on Still Got the BluesGary Moore, "The Blues is Alright" on After HoursGary Moore, "Too Tired" on Blues AliveDavid Bowie, "Underground" on LabyrinthJack Bruce, "Blues You Can't Lose" on A Question of TimeRobert Cray, "You're Gonna Need Me" on Shame + A SinJohn Lee Hooker, "Backstabbers" on Mr. LuckyJohn Lee Hooker, "Boogie at Russian Hill" on Boom BoomB. B. King, "Call It Stormy Monday" on Blues SummitRon Levy's Wild Kingdom, "Chillin' Out" and "Defrostin'" on B-3 Blues and GroovesBranford Marsalis, Super Models in Deep ConversationBuckshot LeFonque, "No Pain, No Gain" on Buckshot LeFonqueJohn Mayall, "Light the Fuse" and "I'm a Sucker for Love" on Wake Up CallJohn Zorn, "Two-Lane Highway" on Spillane"Blues for Stevie" on Guitar World Presents...'Guitars That Rule The World' (various artists 1991 sampler)Singles"Freeze" / "Collins Shuffle" (Kangaroo KA-103/KA-104)"Defrost" / "Albert's Alley" (Great Scott 0007; Hall-Way 1913; Hall-Way/Smash 1795)"Homesick" / "Sippin' Soda" (Hall-Way/Smash 1831)"Frosty" / "Tremble" (Hall 1920)"Thaw-out" / "Backstroke" (Hall 1925)"Sno-Cone, Part I" / "Sno-Cone, Part II" (TCF Hall 104)"Hot 'n' Cold" / "Dyin' Flu" (TCF Hall 116)"Don't Lose Your Cool" / "Frost Bite" (TCF Hall 127)"(What'd You Say) I Don't Know" / "Soulroad" (Tracie 2003)"Cookin' Catfish" / "Taking My Time" (20th Century/ABC 6708)"Ain't Got Time" / "Got a Good Thing Goin'" (Imperial 66351)"Do the Sissy" / "Turnin' On" (Imperial 66391)"Conversation with Collins" / "And Then It Started Raining" (Imperial 66412)"Coon 'n' Collards" / "Do What You Want to Do" (Liberty 56184)"Get Your Business Straight" / "Frog Jumpin'" (Tumbleweed 1002)"Eight Days on the Road" / "Stickin'" (Tumbleweed 1007)Videography1986 Further On Down the Road: Albert Collins, Lonnie Mack, Roy Buchanan - Live at Carnegie Hall (Alligator)2003 The Iceman at Mount Fuji (Fuel 2000/Varese 061299)
2003 In Concert: One Filter (Music Video Distributors 6526)2005 Albert Collins: Warner Bros. Classics (Warner Bros. 9086390)2006 Live Has Many Faces (Munich MRDVD-6004)2008 Live From Austin TX (New West NW-8051)2008 Live at Montreux 1992 (Eagle Vision EREDV641)2016 Live at Rockpalast - Dortmund 1980 (MIG Music 90632, 2-CD + DVD set)
Film and television1978 Live Has Many Faces (Barrelhouse featuring Albert Collins, filmed for the Dutch television show Tros Sesjun)1987 Late Night with David Letterman (television show musical guest)1987 Adventures in Babysitting (motion picture film cameo with his band)1992 Austin City Limits [season 17, episode 5] (1991 studio concert)