The Fluffy Jackets - In Memoriam - Manny Charlton.
Two missing guitars found
The two guitars which went missing while in transit last week, have now been recovered and are on their way to Norway.
After sharing in social media, two guitars - previously owned by Manny Charlton (Nazareth) - have been returned to a UPS warehouse in the UK and are now safely on their way to The Fluffy Jackets in Norway.
Needless to say, both these guitars hold a lot of sentimental value, and we are very relieved that they are now being safely returned.
We would like to thank everyone who helped raise awareness, ultimately resulting in locating these unique guitars.
The Hofner 5140 Hawaiian Standard lap steel guitar is from the 1950's, and was used by Manny Charlton on several Nazareth records. He also used this guitar on his later solo albums and the recordings he did together with The Fluffy Jackets in USA and Spain.
About Manny Charlton's Hofner 5140 Hawaiian Standard lap steel In this video interview conducted with The Fluffy Jackets' for the "Something from Nothing" (2019) documentary, Manny explained that it was the late Nazareth-drummer Darrel Sweet and bassist Pete Agnew who found this Hofner in an Edinburgh shop during the 1970s. The guitar cost "about 20 pounds" at the time of purchase, and they gave it to Manny Charlton as a gift. Manny used this guitar both live and in the studio up until his untimely passing 5 July 2022.
Unique modifications, helping identifying the guitar Manny Charlton had the Hofner modified by cutting out the guitar-body / wood right underneath the top of fret-board, making it easier to access the higher frets (Manny liked to play the guitar like a conventional guitar, as the picture above shows). Manny also had the guitar refinished in a Green/Yellow sparkle, making this lap steel guitar easily identifiable.
Notably, Manny used a mechanical wrench socket when playing the guitar, producing a heavy slide sound. He learned this trick from legendary slide-guitarist Lowell George (Little Feat), whom he met whilst touring in the USA. As a touring musician, Lowell George found it easier to replace mechanical wrench sockets in case his "slide" went missing (it was not easy to find guitar-shops in every town during the 1970s). You can see Manny's mechanical wrench socket in the picture above.
PS. Point of interest 1:
Manny Charlton's Hofner guitar is identical to the model that John Lennon used on the song "For You Blue". As the above picture shows, John Lennon playing this guitar "correctly", IE: sitting down with the guitar on his lap and using a metal-bar for slide, as seen in Peter Jackson's 2021 documentary "The Beatles: Get Back".
PS2. Point of interest 2:
The Beatles' guitarist George Harrison also played the same type of Hofner lap steel in the Abbey Road studio.
Manny Charlton built this guitar in Scotland shortly after leaving Nazareth in 1991. He used high quality components during the manufacturing process (a "Pearly Gates" pick-up, Sparzels locking tuners and a Wilkinson tremolo system, birdseye marple neck with rosewood fretboard). The top of the guitar is made using wood from a diseased marple tree. Since the dye that was used for the top was forced in using high pressure, the guitar can be easily identified by its' trademark looks. This guitar has no tone control, one humbucking pick-up with one volume knob. The guitar is also identified by a big hole at the back at the back of the guitar (Manny put the hole for the electrics in the wrong place, and therefore had to drill another hole to fit the electrics in the right place).
Manny Charlton used his "home-made" guitar for the solo on The Fluffy Jackets' "Why Don't You Smile", which was the first single from the "Fighting Demons" (2014) album. Fighting Demons was recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis TN, engineered by Grammy winner Matt Ross Spang (Jason Isbell, John Prine), and the album subsequently won "Best Album of the Year" award, voted by listeners to the The Blues Hour Radio Show (UK & France).