History of GRECO Guitar II
During the early e70fs, GRECO asked Mr. Hidesato Shiino (formally worked
to develop the guitar producing and marketing as a consultant.
In early days, Mr. Shiino was in charge of most of guitar manufacturers not only Greco.
He consulted ELK, Guyatone, Fernandes, Kasuga and others. He contacted his old friend Mr. Shigeru Narumo (1947-2007 Mr. Narumo is grandson of founder of Bridgestone Tire, Cusin of Formal Prime Minstar, Mr. Yukio, Hatoyama); a very popular Japanese guitarist. Mr. Narumo started to supervise GRECO guitar development with Mr. Shiino. They advised GRECO to develop a better guitar than the Les Paul at a more affordable price and to scale the neck down to be more suitable for the smaller Japanese hand. Mr. Shiino conducted the factory side and made a proto type guitar for Mr. Narumo due to his required specifications in just a few days and he was very surprised with the new custom EG. He had his band members play a Gibson, a Fender and this new EG custom blindfolded and they all agreed the EG was the best of the three.
Narumo played this new EG-360 Custom on stage alternating with a Gibson. The audience was surprised to see and hear a Japanese made guitar that was as good (if not better) than the original.
Narumofs only complaint was with the finish color which GRECO had copied from a photo of Paul Kossoff (of the rock band Free) supplied by Narumo. Kossoff was playing a No. 2 that was finished in the brown sunburst but GRECO couldnft ascertain the color of the rear so they just furnished the sunburst on the back and neck.
Narumofs involvement and performances provided GRECO a huge sales increase. So much so that GRECO asked Narumo to endorse GRECO exclusively. While reluctant, Narumo saw possibilities in getting his dream guitars made. In a visit to the Fujigen factory, Narumo suggested opening the rear Humbucking pickup and to contour the back much like the Stratocaster. The resulting guitar was the EG-420 and was much superior to the EG-360.
GRECO and Narumo collaborated on many models following the EG-420 and this became GRECOfs golden age of replica and clone guitars. This culminated in the EG-800 which was largely influenced by Narumo. It had the open pickups and contoured back of the 420 with higher quality wood. The EG-420 was a semi-hollow body of 6p mahogany sandwich. The new EG-800 had an ebony finger board, a solid 2p maple top and a narrow neck. The neck joint became the set neck type, too.
Officially, Narumo has said that he didnft know anything about the EG-800.
He has mentioned that he was in charge through the prototype of the EG-700
and only heard about the EG-800 several years later. Despite Narumofs stance,
the EG-800 is called the gNarumo Modelh by collectors. As a side note,
the EG-650 has also been called the Narumo Model. It was a semi-hollow bodied construction
with other of Narumofs suggested features. Now, we could guess the reason
of their relations were not smooth, because, the middle man, Mr. Shiino
was not there, He concentrated the Armature Rock Festival that time. (Continue...)