I started playing guitar in 1982, did my first gig in ’83 and haven’t stopped since. Even in the early days I was taking guitars apart, modifying, re-finishing and customizing, trying to get more out of them. I was 16 when I started and as the years went by I got better as a player and learned more about the workings of the instrument. I made my first guitar at 17.
It did one gig and fell to bits.
For the next 10 years I was in and out of bands, working in guitar shops and fixing instruments on the side. In 1993 I decided to take making and repairing seriously and enrolled on a full time 2 year course at ‘The City of Leeds College of Music’ in the North of England, studying ‘musical instrument technology’ specialising in guitar. My tutors were Gordon Wittam (Gordon Smith guitars) and the great Ted Lee, who between them had fixed instruments for just about every guitarist in Britain from 1958 on. It was the best foundation a luthier could get.
I graduated from college in 1995 and set up my own guitar shop in Leeds concentrating on second hand guitars and top class repairs. A couple of years on my old college invited me back as a part time lecturer in guitar making and repair, which I did for two years until my shop got too busy. Musicians were sending instruments from all over the country and I was doing work for some pretty big names. I sold the shop in 2005 to a longtime employee and friend (Dave King) who I had trained at the college a few years before.
After a bit of travelling and a few adventures I now live in Auckland and on March 1st 2007 opened the doors of ‘Mr Glyn’s Guitar Repair’ in Onehunga.
On December 1st 2008 I moved to a new larger space at 19 Khyber Pass Rd in Grafton, Auckland Central (behind Bungalow Bill’s Music Store).
Luthier Sheena Gillbanks joined the staff in August ’09 and soon after, Sammy the dog completed the workforce. Having two luthiers at the workshop full time keeps our turn around time down to a minimum – important for gigging musicians.
I love living on Auckland’s west coast, playing in bands and enjoying the New Zealand music scene.
Hope to see you soon…