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London's Iconic Music Store 

Shaftesbury 3265 & 3266

Posted on July 21, 2014

This is a page from our 1970 catalogue showcasing two of our favorite vintage Shaftesbury models, (we have both). Back in 1970 you could have had either of these EKO manufactured beauties for 62 pounds!! Not any more. We would like to thank Jason Kennedy for submitting these rare scans.

 

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The Shaftesbury Ricky

Posted on July 21, 2014

In tandem with our previous Shaftesbury Rickenbacker post, we submit the full profile straight from the vintage 1970 catalogue. This classy trio of Ricky inspired Italian guitars represent the most sought after of the vintage Shaftesbury due to their style, playability and rarity. Back then they could be yours for a whopping 65 pounds!

 

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Bobby Sands and His Nobbly Ned Callan Shaftesbury

Posted on July 21, 2014

Bobby Sands is without a doubt a controversial, albeit influential political reactionary who's involvement in the IRA throughout the 1970's eventually led him to various prison stints where he and his fellow Irish Republican prisoners conducted famous hunger strikes in reaction to their "special category status," concluding in his untimely death in 1981.

Some say he was a hero, some say he was a terrorist. Regardless of political opinions, he was a talented song-writer and poet who's works have been performed, acknowledged and celebrated by such artists as Christy Moore, The Grateful Dead, The Cranberries, The Undertones and Rage Against the Machine. 

Here, we see him in a recording studio holding a Ned Callan Shaftesbury Cody Bass. These hand-made, British rarities are revolutionary in their own right and known for their super low action and great sounding pickups. The Ned Callan Shaftesbury guitars are super rare and quite valuable if you can find one. They were designed by Peter Cook (who used the pseudonym Ned Callan) and made in the famous Shergold factory for Rose Morris at the highest boutique quality standard.

 

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Windows On The World

Posted on July 21, 2014

There are very few brands that last a century.

When Stanley and Leslie Rose partnered up with Victor Morris back in 1920, post-war London was an uphill venture for the young entrepreneurs. Who could predict that a few young men peddling mouth-organs to the local Cockney contingent would germinate into one of the UK's biggest names in music retail employing generations of staff and introducing some of the most legendary brands in the business? 

Thirty years before Rock N' Roll Rose Morris was thriving supplying accordions, saxophones, drums and gramophones to troops during wartime. After Rock changed the world, RM quickly adapted and ushered in a host of then new brands such as: Marshall, Vox and Rickenbacker, supplying the likes of The Beatles, The Who and The Rolling Stones. Being in the right place at the right time is easy when you never leave.

Today, Rose Morris still stands in the heart of London supplying musicians of all kinds with the tools they need at a price they can afford and service they can rely on. When you walk past No.8 Denmark St. and gaze into our famous window on the world you will see our enticing new offerings, peerless, professional staff and yourself reflected in a century of tone, tradition and value.

 

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John Lennon's Beatle-Backer

Posted on July 21, 2014

This diminutive, yet elegant Rickenbacker was a favorite of John Lennon for it's light-weight, beautiful styling and wide range of tones thanks to the three toaster -top pickups. 

This was the era of pointy boots, jangling guitars, pitch-perfect harmonies and girls who screamed so loud you thought their pretty little heads might just explode! The Fab Four were at the height of a cultural revolution cresting the second wave of Rock n' Roll that rolled Beethoven right over. The mop-top lads from Liverpool relied on Rickenbacker and Vox for years and exploited every nuance of the soundscapes therein looking stylish on stage in the process. 

Without a doubt one of our most illustrious endorsers, John Lennon and his Rose Morris sponsored Rickenbacker model 1996 might just be the most incredible page in our history book.

 

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The Vox Legacy

Posted on July 21, 2014

Few amplifiers are as classy and distinctly British as Vox. Few companies are as established and English as Rose Morris. It is no coincidence that the two legendary brands have been associated for half a century. 

Who can resist the gorgeous, glistening chime of an AC30 or the velvety and smooth breakup of a fully cranked AC15? How about the expressive vowel howl of the Vox Clyde McCoy? These diamond face deities have been wielded by some of Rock's elite from John Lennon, Pete Townshend, Brian May and Keith Richards to Lenny Kravitz, Peter Buck and Tom Petty. 

Come in to the shop today at No.8 Denmark St. in London and try out an AC15AC30 or the super-light valve AC4C1 and hear for yourself what British guitar tone is all about!

 

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Rose Morris & Marshall

Posted on July 21, 2014

In 1968, if you were a professional touring musician chances are you had at least one Marshall stack behind you. If you had a Marshall stack behind you, chances are you got it from Rose Morris. We are very proud to have been a part of Rock n' Roll history and usher in one of the biggest names in amplification. Because we were the exclusive distributor, it generated an impressive list of legendary clientele.

In those days PA equipment was not very powerful and musicians relied on stage volume not only for their own reference, but for the audience as well. As volume became more and more a part of the guitarist's expression the need for power became insatiable. Thankfully, a young man named Pete Townshend's thirst for decibles resulted in the "stack" format that is still the standard back-line approach today.

As you can see in this old Rose Morris advert here, a myriad of musical masters utilized the Marshall stack to project their sonic
visions regardless of genre. We were with them the whole way, providing the Rose Morris Sponsored Instrument to these legendary icons.

 

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Humble Beginnings

Posted on July 21, 2014

In this little snapshot from 1920, we see the earliest incarnation of the Rose Morris & Co., LTD.

Here at No.16, Rosoman St. in London's Clerkenwell district, the Rose brothers and their sister Clara paid one pound a week in rent with a staff of one lad who worked for 10 Schillings weekly. Though they started off with toys and other small goods, stock naturally gravitated toward mouth organs, accordions and even whigs! It is hard
to imagine the vibe of a musical instrument shop 35 years before Rock and Roll, but it was probably padded out with other small goods related to performance.

Rose Morris has seen a lot over the last century, but some things never change. You can still walk into one of the world's longest running musical retailers and walk out smiling with a Rose Morris Sponsored Instrument!

 

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Brian May's TBR AC30s

Posted on July 21, 2014

A great guitar player is someone who is instantly recognizable. From the second you here their hand make contact with their instrument you know it is them. There are a number of factors involved in this phenomenon, the first being a human touch. While Brian May certainly has one of the most distinct, heavenly playing styles in the history
of recorded music, in his case the subsequent gear in the signal chain is just as much a part of his unique sonic footprint.

Everyone knows about his Red Special that he and his father built together. Few guitarists start their life as a player by actually building their instrument from scratch and maybe more should if the results are anything like that of Brian May, but let us not forget the diamond-faced British legend behind him throughout his vibrant
career.....The Vox AC30!

In this 1987 Rose Morris/Vox catalogue we see the man in action administering an aural bath of velvety-smooth, vowel-like, Vox tone from a wall of green, gold, black and brown Rose Morris AC30 Top-Boost-Reverbs. This was during our ownership of Vox and we look back at that period with great fondness. It is truly an amazing thing to supply one of the world's greatest guitarists with one of the world's greatest amps.

 

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The Flannel Free Facts

Posted on July 21, 2014

Anyone who has controlled the awesome analogue power of a vintage synthesizer knows how exhilarating and strangely organic it feels. Voltage controlled keyboards emit a sound that you can feel physically because it is physical. Digital modeling is getting better every year and opened up an endless array of sounds at your finger-tips, but sometimes less is more and particularly if you want those old-school warm, fat tones.

In this old Rose Morris/Korg advert they try a new angle of marketing and give you the straight facts. The science of sound from the penny-whistle to the synth. An odd pairing of brands, but they do bridge the gap between Hohner and Korg products quite well. We still sell a tonne of Hohner mouth organs and Korg synths today, so come down to 10 Denmark St. and take your place in the evolution of sound!

 

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