***NEW! DOWNLOAD SAMPLES***
On this page you can sample the sounds of the Watkins/WEM/Wilson guitars
I am indebted to my dear friend Pete Haycock for his patience in recording short samples on all the different guitars in my collection with several tone combinations.
The first piece is "Golden Girl", a Pete Haycock tribute to The Shadows who had such an influence on those of us who started our love affair with the guitar in the 50s and 60s
"GOLDEN GIRL" (Watkins Rapier lead)
"GOLDEN GIRL" (WEM Sapphire lead)
All rights above tracks reserved (c) Pete Haycock
Now here are the short samples of guitar tones
Rapier 22 Neck p/u
Rapier 22 Bridge p/u
Rapier 22 Both p/us
Wilson Super 6 Neck
Wilson Super 6 Bridge
Wilson Super 6 Both
Rapier 44 A
Rapier 44 B
Rapier 44 C
Rapier 44 D
Just to prove that it's still possible to professionally gig some of the old guitars, Murray Torkildsen of "The Sweeney" and "John Otway Band" has sent me a couple of demo tracks where he uses the Series 1 Rapier. Many thanks to Murray for his kindness
All rights to tracks below (c) Control 2004 Murray Torkildsen
"Imbeciles in Love" (Rapier series 1 with 3p/u)
"Chump!" (Rapier series 1 with 2 p/u)
Murray Torkildsen at The Astoria 2000
(Rapier Series 1)
A Message from Andy McCluskey of OMD (previously Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark )
Andy recently wrote to me about his experiences with his first guitar, a Wilson Rapier Bass :
I have just visited your fantastic website. Don't know why I never checked it out before.
I was having a discussion today with someone in my studio about why I play bass with the strings upside down even though I am right handed. I told them that it was because my first bass was a left handed Wilson Rapier that I bought in a second hand shop in Birkenhead in 1975. It was the only one I could afford ( I was 16 at the time). It cost me £32.
I was trying to describe it.. Bright red/ long scale/ giant headstock
looking unlike any modern bass. I typed Wilson Rapier into a search engine and there was your site! My bass looked like a red version of the black one at the bottom of your bass page.
I played it for four years, recorded my first single with it. "Electricity"
on Factory records. I was in "Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark' (later called OMD). And then at our first gig in London in 1979 at the Aklam Hall some bugger stole it from the dressing room. I could not find another like it so I've played a Fender Jazz (right hand strung upside down) ever since.. I guess I liked it because it's narrow neck reminded me of the Rapier.
Maybe one day I will find another one for sale. ( he did - I sold him one of mine!!...)
Keep up the good work.
All the best..
Andy McCluskey "
I'm very fortunate that Andy has given permission for an extract of that first hit "Electricity" to be on this site as a sample of the Wilson Rapier Bass sound. All rights reserved - Virgin Records with thanks.
"Electricity" - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
I asked Andy whether the Rapier Bass sound had any processing added in the recording process. Here is his reply:
"Regarding the sound; I loved the very bright sound used by people like Jean Jaques Burnell from The Stranglers at the end of the 70's.
I don't recall exactly how the bass was recorded on Electricity, but I suspect that it was DI'd straight out of my old Marshall head but not using a cab. The brightness and treble would have been cranked up, and I would have had really bright Rotosound Roundwound strings on the old red beast."