Friday, February 3, 2012
1968 Vox Starstream
While they would have been appropriately descriptive, I suppose Vox couldn't call it the "LSD" model or perhaps even "Acid Head", so they had to settle on "Starstream". This guitar, in all its red sunburst glory, is the musical instrument equivalent of one of those psychedelic exploitation films that were all the rage post-Summer Of Love.
After their UK factory couldn't keep up with demand as the British Invasion caused the Vox name to blow up in popularity worldwide, sometimeinlate'64 amplifier bearing the Vox name began production at Thomas Organ Co. in California, and guitar production was farmed out to the EKO company in Italy (where this guitar was built) with production that began in the summer of' 65. The image of Brian Jones with his (UK made) Vox Mark Teardrop guitar became a staple for garage bands worldwide.
The Starstream model took the basic outline of the Teardrop guitar ad added such coolness as built in fuzz tone (and it is EXTREME fuzz!) and the weirdness of a faux wah wah, "E" tuner and tremelo-like "repeat percussion". The model was produced in limited numbers til around 1970, and was made most famous in the 1980's when Sonic Boom (aka Peter Kember) of UK psych revivalists Spacemen 3 took to using the Starstream.
Guitar courtesy of Gryphon Stringed Instruments. Photos c2012 Derek See.