Bob ‘The Guitar Man’ Taylor

For the last decade I’ve been associated with C.F.Martin & Co., having the series of custom signature guitars that were described in my last blog post.

However, there was a period in the 1990’s when I was actively performing and recording with instruments from San Diego-based Taylor Guitars. I first visited their old factory in Santee in October of 1990 and ordered the small-bodied 812 Sitka/Indian concert cutaway guitar pictured here

At that time, they were making about 10 guitars a day. I was able to choose my own custom serial number. The side-located fingerboard position markers were, for a few years after, described as ‘Juber Dots’. The headstock sports a very cool inlay (by Larry Breedlove) based on the bird tattoo that my wife Hope has on her ankle.

This ‘Bird’ Taylor the lead guitar on this Al Stewart track that I produced and recorded in 1994:

Later, I ordered a Sitka/mahogany jumbo 12 string acoustic to use on recording sessions for a new TV show. ‘Home Improvement’ ran for 8 years and that Taylor 12 string became a signature voice in the musical stings and transitions of the show, featuring comedian Tim Allen as Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor.

The guitar pictured on the cover of my ‘LJ’ album was a cedar top/mahogany body 20th Anniversary model that was customized with a cutaway and became a precursor to their ever-popular 514C model. Notwithstanding that photo, the album itself was mostly recorded with the ‘Bird’ guitar and introduced my playing to a global audience.

As well as performing, recording my own albums and being a studio guitarist, I was an active clinician for Taylor during that period.

On my regular trips to San Diego, I made regular visits to the factory in El Cajon and witnessed their rapid expansion, thanks to Bob Taylor’s re-imagining of the art and science of guitar manufacturing.

On March 18th, I’ll make my annual appearance  at Anthology in San Diego, which as well as being one of my favorite venues, has an interesting connection to Taylor. The menus sport covers made from guitar tone woods and the club features a display of the company’s instruments.

It’s impossible to consider the modern acoustic guitar without recognizing the influence of Bob ‘The Guitar Man’ Taylor. He continues to do remarkable work and his efforts toward sustainable wood resources are having an impact on the world of guitar manufacturing.



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  1. #1 by Jirud on March 6, 2012 - 10:49 am

    This post is a great read for people interesting in blog etiquette; I came across your post while reading Taylor on Facebook’s update.

    I will definitely visit here to get some great tips and lessons.

    Thanks for an informative and useful post!

  2. #2 by tunesmith9 on March 6, 2012 - 3:39 pm

    I have always been impressed with Taylor Guitars far better than other brands for the simple reason that the sound is much more crispier and soothing to the ears. It gives me pleasure playing my own songs as well as great guitar tunes. The feeling I get while playing it is indescribable. Workmanship and materials leave nothing to be desired. I own a Big Baby and it is one of the best travelling guitar I ever owned…I will one day own a top of the line series and will never regret it regardless of price. Thanks Bob for making guitar players enjoy their craft.

  3. #3 by laurencejuber on March 6, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    You’ll notice that my long-time guitar of choice is a Martin. Much like the electric guitar world where a Fender and a Gibson are often seen in the hands of the same player, the same can be true for acoustics. All my guitars are ‘tools of the trade’ and serve different purposes.

    I found that the specifications of my Martin guitars are exactly right for my particular style of playing. That was why I made the transition (via Collings, subject of a later blog) from Taylor for my principle instruments.

    As you can see from the blog post, I certainly share enthusiasm for Bob’s innovative approach.


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