Let’s take a little time trip back to 1961 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, USA where four young guys have pooled their musical talents to form what will become the hottest teen band in town.
The Dynamics were formed in late 1961 when newcomer Larry Soto made contact with guitarist Richard Rohnke, John Ankony, and 15-year old bass player Randy Meisner. As was the case in many fledgling rock bands of that era, the band worked up mostly instrumentals of the day, delving into only a few vocal covers. Meisner covered the popular “Kansas City” with Soto singing some Chuck Berry & Ritchie Valens covers.
Even at 15, Randy Meisner had the best voice in the band, was fun to be with, had dedication and a burning desire to “be somebody”. And of course he certainly did that, becoming a founding member of The Eagles in 1971.
The Dynamics were considered the first pure rock-n-roll band in the area and played to sellout crowds each weekend at local ballrooms and dance halls. During this early time, the band released their first recording. It was a 45 rpm EP featuring the self-penned instrumental “Sidewinder” as well as covers of Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me”, Booker T. & The MG’s “Green Onions” and The Ventures “Walk, Don’t Run”.
Guitarist Richard Rohnke had bought his cutting edge Fender rig new from a local music store in 1961. It was a new sunburst Fender Stratocaster paired with a lovely Bandmaster amp head and matching speaker cabinet in stunning blonde tolex.
This is the rig that is listed for sale here at PREMIER GUITARS in Sydney.
By late 1962, Rich Rohnke decided to enter the military, and The Dynamics hired Paul Asmus, who brought a new dimension to the band by adding saxophone. Rich’s guitar and amp were stored at his parents’ house when he began his military service.
The sad part of this tale is that Rich Rohnke never returned from his stint in the army, as he died during an overseas posting. And for decades afterwards, his Fender rig stayed unused at his parents’ home – the Strat safely in its case and the Bandmaster & cab in their custom made canvas covers.
After their parents moved on, Richard’s sister Merrily contacted Bob Feldman at We Buy Strats in Austin Texas. Bob listed the ’61 Fender package just as you see it today. It quickly came to the attention of its current owner, who had the guitar & amp shipped to Australia in 2007. So this fabulous Fender pairing has had only two owners. Both the guitar & amp have been kept in pristine condition in Sydney for just over ten years.
The amp, speaker cabinet and guitar were originally purchased together, were played together, were sold together, and have never been apart. So that is the way they are being offered for sale – together as a complete set of mint condition 1961 Fender instruments, which are pretty much in exactly the same condition as they were on the day they were bought.
With one obvious exception – that being the obvious mark on the top of the Strat’s body. But this also has a story of its own. Back in the day, bands of this era would often perform dance steps to embellish their presentation – similar to The Shadows from Britain. Apparently during one particularly athletic move, the Dynamics’ bass player managed to run his headstock into Rich’s Stratocaster. Yes, none other than Randy Meisner was responsible for the ding on the top of this guitar – a battle scar worthy of its own back story.
This is probably one of the cleanest slab-board pre CBS Stratocasters on the planet. Because it spent the best part of forty years in its case, the stunning three colour sunburst has hardly faded at all, the metal parts are completely untarnished, and the lacquer has retained its transparency and overall unchecked condition. You could mistake the headstock for one on a brand new instrument.
Everything on this guitar is 100% original. It is the finest example of a NOS (new old stock) pre L Series Strat that we have ever seen. Yes, it has a few other marks and a couple of paint chips (see pics), but nothing has been altered or changed on this guitar. Weight is 7.6 lbs. And of course it sounds simply wonderful.
The Bandmaster amp and its 1 x Oxford 12” cabinet are in matching condition. They are absolutely museum quality. Again, no changes or updates that we can see. It has its original 110 volt transformer so a stepdown transformer is included in the sale. Plug it in and you will hear the sound of 1961 – clean, clear, harmonically rich, sparkly top end, thick lows, and loud !
This package comes with lots of documentation, photos, original leather strap, “ashtray” bridge cover, Fender cleaning cloth, a genuine original 1961 Fender catalogue, supported provenance and lots of history.
Both the amp and guitar are presented in their original case and covers in excellent condition. It is a match made in guitar heaven.
History of The Dynamics here – http://www.thedrivindynamics.com/history/