1971 Veleno Traveller ex-Peter Haycock ex-Ronnie Van Zant + Case + Provenance

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At A Glance:
Model: Traveler
Year: 1971
Finish: Chromed Aluminium
Modifications: None
Repairs: None

Case: Softshell
Fingerboard: Aluminium
Neck wood: Aluminium
Body wood: Aluminium
Tuners: Correct Scalller
Pickups: Correct Guild Humbucker
Hardware: Correct Aluminium
Neck Profile: Slim C
Pots: 2 x Correct 500k

    What connects the US space program, Lynyrd Skynyrd, BB King and The Climax Blues Band? A master machinist by the name of John Veleno. 

    Working for NASA manufacturing aluminum parts for the space program in the 60s, John taught guitar in the evening. To advertise this he built a guitar shaped mailbox that was so good a friend suggested he build a working example. With an engineer’s precision he set about building guitars that soon started appearing round the necks of players such as Marc Bolan, Eric Clapton and Lou Reed with custom orders from artist such as Todd Rundgren and Pete Haycock of the Climax Blues Band who ended up owning three, a pair of Standards and the short scale example you see here on these pages.

    Legend has it that John Veleno asked BB King what kind of guitar he wanted and that BB replied that he wanted a small guitar he could carry on the bus and onto planes. Though he never took delivery of such a guitar, John is reported to have built 10 of them, each one numbered. This example came to Pete Haycock via the late lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ronnie Van Zant, both bands having toured together in the 70s. The current owner has had the guitar in his possession for quite a while and it comes with a letter from Pete Haycock proving its provenance.

    The guitar is in remarkable condition considering its age and the life it inevitably lead. There are small patches where the chrome plating has chipped slightly but these are only slight and on a whole the guitar looks fantastic. 

    The neck too is in great condition. The anodization on the fretboard has bubbled slightly in some places but that does not affect playability. There is plenty of life left in the frets. 

    The Veleno hardware is in good condition as are the plastics. 

    Electrically everything seems correct. The pickup is a Guild humbucker, commonly found on Veleno guitars. The guitar is fitted with a coil tap which was a standard feature.  The volume is nearest the bridge and the tone control is on the lower horn. 

    The guitar comes with a softshell case.

    If you've done any research into these Veleno guitars you will have heard that they are quite resonant, a trait that’s thankfully evident in this traveler guitar. The positioning of the pickup in relation to the bridge yields a pleasing tone that really compliments the singing quality of the instrument.  

    Tuned to G standard due to its diminutive scale length, the skinny neck and small fret spacing does take a little getting used to but you’ll soon forget all that once you're playing.

    These do not come up for sale. Even if you aren’t a Skynyrd or Climax Blues Band fan, this guitar is a unique experience and a special guitar in its own right. 

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