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Author Topic: Grant Murray's Larrivee Guitar  (Read 1913 times)
bullfrog
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« on: August 19, 2013, 02:48:42 AM »

Hey Folks

I am wondering if anyone can help me find out about a Larrivee guitar that was gifted to me by my late friend Grant Murray who was a great Canadian singer, songwriter and guitarist.

I met Grant when he was living in New Zealand, we became friends and did some gigs together.

He tried unsuccessfully to gain residency in NZ and so continued on his travels around the world with his wife Yoko and his daughter Sumi.

Some time later maybe 18 months after he departed NZ, he phoned me from Canada, saying that he had come into some money and wanted to give me his Laririvee. At the time I thought it was a bit of a joke and as I was unfamiliar with Larrivee guitars, I thought he was talking about one of the many ethnic instruments he collected and had played on the odd occasion. (Ignorant eh!)

I was absolutely dumbfounded when his Larrivee arrived by courier at my home in Palmerston North NZ.

It is a beautiful instrument and has a great sound. I did take it on a few tours when I first got it but it got a bit knocked about so it very rarely leaves the house now and it is the only guitar I play when at home.

It sounds fantastic and I like I say it very rarely leaves the house, except for special occasions which are usually family gatherings, funerals, birthdays and graduations where a song is appropriate. It has marvellous projection people always say they could hear every note.

It always sounded great when Grant played it and when he played some of his instrumental fingerpicking pieces the sound was sublime.
Luckily he did some recording for Radio NZ while he was here and some of those pieces are still played from time to time, so his music lives on.

I cannot find a serial number anywhere on the guitar. The label inside has the number 78, Jean Paul Larrivee’s Name and a logo and also Victoria BC printed on it.

From reading some of the posts on this site I have gleaned that serial numbers first appeared not long after the shift to Victoria.

I guess this might be one of the guitars made not long after the shift but before serial numbers.

Around 10 years ago I took the guitar to a Luthier to do some minor repairs and they made some enquiries directly to the company.
They were told that the guitar predated all their electronic records and that also they could not find any paper records for it which led them to believe it might be one of the first 400 ever made.

Something of interest is that perhaps it was specifically made for Grant, who was a left hander.

There is a crescent and star inlay on the body of the guitar that would appear on the lower bout if you were left handed. Anyway I am just surmising as I am not very knowledgable on guitar history.

I would appreciate hearing from anybody who knew Grant or who might know more about this particular guitar.
I would like to get in touch with Grants family if at all possible.


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ducktrapper
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 03:26:07 AM »

Hi and welcome Bullfrog. Cool story. Read the rules and you'll quickly learn how long it will take to post pics. Answer. Not very. We'd like to see the guitar and hear some of Grant's tunes. I have to admit that I've been a Canadian for many years and am not familiar with him.
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Danny
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2013, 04:12:50 PM »

 welcome To the forum, sure would like to see this guitar. We were in Palmerston North NZ last summer. We had a great meal at a Chinese restaurant with a whole bunch of folks we knew and some we just met. Then we were on to Wellington for a few days and a few more weeks in the South Island and Figi. I think of that trip all the time. We love the people in NZ and the countryside is amazing. We drove through a lot of snow to get to Palmerston North and enjoyed every bit of it.

      Anyway, you can sign up to "Photobucket" for free, or another service and upload your pix to them and then download them to your post.
It's a short learning curve. Photobucket is one of the easier ones to use.
      Hope to see some pics soon.

                                                  Have a  or 
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O,OO,OOO,LS,D02
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2013, 11:24:13 PM »

He mentioned a lefty from Canada???
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2013, 11:26:05 PM »

we have an abnormal number of leftys in Canada unclrob  nice guitar    you'd love it .
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2013, 12:26:52 AM »

 welcome  to the forum. It's a great place to hang out.  Not being Canadian (I do love beer and hockey if that helps) but I did a google search of Grant Murray and came up short.  I think you have whetted a number of appetites here and now we all just can't wait to see the pictures. 
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2013, 01:54:58 AM »

we have an abnormal number of leftys in Canada unclrob  nice guitar    you'd love it .


We also have a good number of lefties in general.Must be because its the only lefty guitar made that didn't have an upcharge,the main reason the store I use to work for stocked them.One of the many things way I like Larrivee so much and I'm not a lefty,unless I have to be and again a very,very poor one.
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2013, 01:55:05 AM »


      Anyway, you can sign up to "Photobucket" for free, or another service and upload your pix to them and then download them to your post.
It's a short learning curve. Photobucket is one of the easier ones to use.


Sadly, after the last "improvement" photobucket is now one of the least easy to use.  Imgur.com is now the one I have been using, but there are dozens of hosing sites available.
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2013, 03:02:45 AM »

Sadly, after the last "improvement" photobucket is now one of the least easy to use.  Imgur.com is now the one I have been using, but there are dozens of hosing sites available.
I'll need to check out Imgur.com, but I still find photobucket is an easy hosting site. But I may just be used to it.
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 09:56:53 AM »

Hey Folks

Thanks for your helpful suggestions and also your kind comments about NZ and it is so cool that some of you have even made it to Palmerston North!

Photos as below. This guitar has travelled the world and also been played hard by moi so it is not in pristine condition but sounds great all the same. I did a close up of sound hole which you might have to zoom in on to see the no 78.

Grant I believe was more involved in the folk scene and I think he did a lot of cover band thangs when he lived in Canada and had made a record in the 70's or 80's of his own songs which I have a copy of somewhere in storage. ( I have moved a couple of times since we gigged together) I believe he had not lived in Canada since the mid 80s and had spent a lot of time travelling the world with his Larrivee always close at hand. He died in the late 90's so I guess you would not find him in a google search, but he was a very fine player and singer who inspired me and taught me a great deal about music.

It seems that there are a lot of left handed guitar players in Canada from the comments shared. Grant played it upside down with the bass strings at the bottom or do all lefties play this way?

[][/img]


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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2013, 11:48:05 AM »

Notice the back strip, the different looking backbrace, and how the end of the fret board is rounded. I sure would like a pic of the bracing.....
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2013, 12:35:37 PM »

Luvly!!!
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 12:56:13 PM »

Lovely guitar, wonderful story.

I think the 78 on the label might be the year the guitar was made, and not the actual number of the guitar.
just my 2 cents, folks around here know a lot more than me though.

What was the name of the group, or groups you and Grant played in?

Back in Canada, back in the "day"?
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 12:58:55 PM »

I think the 78 on the label might be the year the guitar was made, and not the actual number of the guitar.
  +1
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2013, 06:47:18 PM »

Interesting to note the clear pickguard on the bass side.  Presumably added to the original specifically for playing left-handed upside down?
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