Tag Archive | Musical Instruments

The Wonder Morton Organ Console at Kings Theatre

Wonder Morton Organ Console
Photos By Gail

This is the restored console of the Robert Morton Organ originally installed in the Loew’s Kings Theatre in 1929. The design is one of the flagship models of the company, which collectively became known as the Wonder Mortons, because they were all installed in the five Loew’s “Wonder Theatres” built in the New York City area toward the end of the 1920s. The striking decoration and design of this console is not unique to this particular instrument, but it is a consistent feature of the Wonder Mortons.

The Robert Morton Company  was the second-largest producer of theatre pipe organs in the United States. Although their larger instruments have not fared well over the years, many fine examples still exist. In a relationship similar to that of the Fox Theatres and the Wurlitzer Company, the Robert Morton Company provided pipe organs to both the Pantages and Loew’s theatre chains, therefore when the Loew’s Company set about creating the biggest and best theatres in their system, they asked the Robert Morton Company to create the biggest and best organs for these theatres.

Wonder Morton Organ Console

The prototype of the Wonder Mortons is housed in the Sanger Theatre in New Orleans; currently dormant and awaiting restoration after the damages done by Hurricane Katrina. The first Robert Morton organ to boast the fence design that decorates the top of the Wonder Mortons is stilled housed in the Providence Performing Arts Center — formerly the Loew’s State Theatre — in Providence, Rhode Island.

It is noteworthy that this instrument is simply the console of the pipe organ. The pipes, bellows and airway infrastructure of the organ have been dismantled and removed, or have fallen victim to the damage that the Kings Theatre suffered due to leaking, while sitting vacant and neglected through the end of the last century.

Photographed in the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, New York.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Henri Laurens, The Guitar

The Guitar
Photo By Gail

Musical references permeate Cubist painting and sculpture. The guitar, which Picasso depicted often, is one of the movement’s most recognizable motifs. Like a Cubist painting, Henri Laurens‘ painted terracotta sculpture, The Guitar (1919), blurs, even inverts, the relationship between solids and voids; solids appear to recede, while voids assume physical presence. This effect is particularly apparent in the depiction of the sound hole and strings on the face of the guitar.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Charlie Watts’ Ludwig Drumkit Circa 1965

Charlie Watts Drumkit Front
All Photos By Gail

If you’ve already been to the absolutely phenomenal Rolling Stones ‘ career retrospective, Exhibitionism (which, go!), you may recognize this drumkit belonging to drummer Charlie Watts, which is on display in the recording gallery. This 1965, 4-piece  Ludwig  kit in a Sky Blue Pearl shell finish with a keystone badge (indicating a drum made in the 1960s), was used from 1965 -to mid-1968 by Watts on most of the band’s studio recordings and live performances.

Charlie Watts Drumkit Side

Watts remembers that, “Everyone in the early ‘60s wanted Ludwig, so I got mine from the same place Ringo [Starr] got this, I think, which was Drum City, in Shaftesbury Avenue. Ringo’s was dark grey pearl and mine was sky blue – very camp.”

Exhibitionism continues through March 12th, 2017 at Industria, Located at West 12th and Washington Streets in the Meat Packing District. Visit This Link Tickets and More Information!

Charlie Watts Drumkit Read

Illuminated Stained Glass Drumkit

Stained Glass Drumkit
All Photos By Gail

OMG! How cool are these stained glass drums? Answer: So effing cool! While they are not playable, they sure do light up the room — quite literally! Stained glass artist Paul Heller created this gorgeous lighting fixture by emulating a four piece kit made up of a kick drum with two mounted rack toms and a  floor tom, which appears to be a stand-alone unit. Even the cymbal is glass! Sweet!

Stained Glass Drumkit Detail

Paul’s talent is far-reaching. In addition to making glass musical instruments to be used as signage in restaurants, he has also created custom glass guitars for county music artists like Miranda Lambert and Sara Evans. See more of Paul Heller’s beautiful glass art at Stained Glass Sculpture Art Dot Com!

Stained Glass Drumkit
Photographed at the ICFF Show at Javits Center in NYC.

Stained Glass Drumkit

Green Violin

Green Violin
Photo By Gail

The Green Violin (Grune Geige), 1974, was created by a collaboration between artists Joseph Beuys and Henning Christiansen. It is a multiple, being one of 293 identical pieces, and can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

 

Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite Guitar Goes Up for Auction

Johnny Ramones Guitar
Pictured: Johnny Ramone’s Personally-Owned and Stage-Used 1965 Mosrite Ventures V1 Guitar

Johnny Ramone’s Mosrite Guitar will be featured at a live auction event by Boston, MA based RR Auction this month. The personally-owned and used red 1965 Mosrite Ventures V1 guitar is signed on the body in black felt tip, “Best always, Johnny Ramone, 5/22/90.”

The six-string guitar features several modifications Ramone made to make the guitar fit his sound and style, the most significant being the replacement of the tremolo system with a stop bar tailpiece and installation of a DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup, as well as a tortoiseshell pickguard. Included in the sale, is the original hardshell case.

This is a rare instrument in its own right, and the only red guitar or Ventures Model 1 that Ramone owned; it was in his possession for at least seven years, from circa 1982–83 until he sold it in 1990; the first photographic evidence of Ramone playing the guitar comes from a show at the Eagle’s Hippodrome in Seattle on May 5, 1983. Johnny most often used this guitar for TV appearances and it can be seen up-close during a 1988 performance on MTV.

In 1990, Ramone sold this guitar to friend and former Ramones band driver Gene Frawley, signing and dating it on the occasion. A subsequent owner later personally confirmed the ownership details with Ramone, who acknowledged that he owned and used the guitar throughout the 1980s before selling it to Frawley.

“This is one of just nine Mosrite guitars owned by Ramone known to exist — an exceedingly rare and historically important piece of music history,” says Bobby Livingston, Exec VP at RR Auction.

Johnny Ramone was a founding member of the seminal punk band that broke onto the New York music scene in 1974. Johnny was known for his fast, high-energy guitar playing. His style almost exclusively consisted of rapid down strokes and bar chord shapes. This unique playing style and buzz saw-like sound of Johnny’s guitar parts was highly influential on many early punk rock guitarists and keeps him listed on numerous top lists of the greatest guitar players. Johnny Ramone died in his Los Angeles home on September 15, 2004 at the age of 55 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.

The Johnny Ramone guitar will be part of a special live auction event, featuring nearly 150 items, that will take place on January 22nd, 2015 at RR Auction’s Boston Gallery, but Online Bidding begins January 15th, More details can be found online at RR Auction Dot Com.