Geoff rang BtP (May 2008) for a chat ... alerting us to his recent spate of European gigs with Roger Chapman, and mentioning that his signature guitar is now ready to be snapped up in the shops. Our illustrations don't quite allow you to see the Whitehorn autograph, which is applied by transfer to the headstock; fans may have unwittingly seen Geoff using the guitar on road-trials with Procol Harum in 2007. The story below comes from 'Gear' magazine, the freebie you can pick up in music shops in the UK. Thanks for the scan, Geoff.
Top UK guitarist, Geoff Whitehorn has recently gained a Signature Vintage guitar. Find out what this expert player felt that Vintage could offer his playing style ...
Initially inspired to take up guitar by Eric Clapton and Peter Green’s seminal guitar work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in the 60s, Geoff Whitehorn, who began playing guitar in earnest by the age of eleven, has since amassed many years of experience of top flight guitar playing. Bands and artistes who have enlisted Geoff’s prodigious talents on guitar include The Who, Paul Rogers (Free), Bad Company, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Procol Harum, Vanessa Mae and Elkie Brooks.
A superbly-talented guitarist with a deft touch, as can be seen from the names he’s worked with, Geoff’s skills on guitar certainly cover an impressively wide variety of styles. So it’s fair to say that after four decades as a top flight professional musician, this guitarist knows a thing or two about guitars, how they play and how they (should) sound ... Geoff was invited to be part of the original focus group during the planning stages for what would become the Trev Wilkinson-conceived – and now very successful – Vintage Advance series of guitars and basses. Geoff has since gone on to use Vintage instruments onstage on his professional gigs, and has more recently been involved in the development of a signature Geoff Whitehorn Vintage guitar, based on the twin-cutaway AV6 model.
The resulting guitar, the Vintage AV6HGW, is now available in all good music stores across the country. But what inspired Geoff to decide to adapt the AV6 in particular to his own personal requirements?
“I liked the AV6H design straight off,” he points out, “but having always had something of a tortoiseshell ‘fetish’ (probably down to seeing a gorgeous Fender Jaguar with torty scratchplate in my local music shop window at the age of 13 or so), I thought it might look pretty good, a vintage white guitar with a tortoiseshell scratchplate. And, black pickup covers and black rotary controls add to that ‘classic vintage’ look ... ”
Though it’s no surprise that Geoff has selected a humbucker, a custom design ‘Prizefighter’ high output version, to sit in front of the bridge, augmented by two vintage-voiced single coil Wilkinson pickups at neck and middle positions, it’s unusual to see the humbucker seated at an angle in the way that it is. Why?
“As regards the position of the humbucker, I reckoned Leo Fender had the right idea with the original design, so why not put the humbucker in at the same angle as the original bridge pickup? It seemed to work OK for Eddie van Halen on his early ‘DIY’ home-assembled ‘Frankenstein’ guitars, and if it was good enough for him..!” smiles Geoff.
But Mr Whitehorn is in no doubt as to the abilities of the new GW guitar, which he feels will be an asset to any player who invests in it. Here’s his take on the GW Vintage:
“This is a well-made, brilliant-sounding guitar, versatile enough to cover all the bases I need. It looks great, offers bonkers value for money at only £329, and I think everyone should go and check it out. Trev Wilkinson and Vintage have another winner on their hands!”
Lancaster in 16 hours … ?
And of course, Gear had to ask what Geoff’s up to himself at the moment ... “As regards moi, yes, I have handed in my notice as guitarist with Elkie Brooks, which I’ve been doing for while now. Too much schlepping up and down the motorways of Blighty, and the traffic everywhere (well, until you get to Scotland) is so bad, it just wasn't worth it any more. 550-mile round trips to Lancaster in sixteen hours just ain't my thing at my age, thank you very much!” However, Geoff’s other long-term gig with fellow ‘Thames Delta’ natives, Procol Whiter Shade of Pale Harum ‘ ... carries on regardless, I'm very proud to say, with lots of international stuff in the pipeline,” enthuses Geoff, before adding somewhat succinctly; “Can't get arrested in this country, of course ... ”
That’s coz you ain’t been singing really badly and blubbing your eyes out on crap shows like the appalling Pop Idol, mate ...
“Oh, I'm also doing another solo album,” comes the final conversational burst from GW. Erm, almost ... “Well, not really – but I AM thinking about it!”
Thanks, Asphodel, for the typing
Order Geoff's solo albums online | Geoff Whitehorn's page at BtP | 2012: a new Whitehorn signature guitar