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kenog

Place Where Jimmy Gets His Les Paul Fixed

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This article mentions a workshop in Falmouth, Cornwall where Jimmy send his Les Paul to get fixed.

Tim boxing clever as rock stars head for pickup point: Deep in the midst of the Cornish countryside is a unique workshop which is bringing music to the ears of the world's biggest rock stars. Gareth Bartlett reports

Bartlett, Gareth. The Western Morning News [Plymouth (UK)] 01 June 2013: 20.

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters - the 11-time Grammy Award winning rock band - buys his guitar parts from Falmouth. As does Noel Gallagher, Lenny Kravitz, Matt Bellamy of Muse and those cheeky chaps in McFly.

And it is where Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page sends his iconic Pounds 1 million Les Paul when he wants it fixed.

Falmouth is home to Elkie Brooks' former guitar player, Tim Mills, who decided to base his new workshop there, making bits'n'bobs for guitars. The bits in question are the pickups - arguably the most important component on any guitar as they take the sound made by the strings, colour it in unique ways, and send it on to the amplifier.

But in the seven years since inquisitively taking other people's pickups apart and deciding to make his own, Bare Knuckle Pickups has become perhaps the biggest replacement pickup brand in the world - with the image of a Cornish boxer as its logo.

It has grown to become a frantic 12-man team who work to meet the demand of not only celebrities, but normal, aspiring musicians across the globe - including plenty on the local Cornish scene.

Chatting to us at the workshop which is actually located just outside Falmouth, in green, peaceful surroundings, Tim said: When I first came here in 2006 there was just one little outbuilding.

I have no business or scientific background - I'm a guitar player and performer.

I've been doing it all on gut instinct and have learnt the skills along the way.

Things have been pretty tough at times but you graft hard and get results.

If anyone tells me I've been lucky then I like to show them where I've slept in the workshop at night sometimes. We keep trying to find somewhere we can go that's more suitable than the current workshop but this works for us. Most people we employ live in the locality and we take all our orders to the local post office and use as many local services and shops as possible.

That's what we've always done and I see no reason to change.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the company, Tim has put together the Bare Knuckle Blues Band. A collection of fine musicians, several have been plucked from his own workforce to take the sound of the product to the stage. They've surprised several small Cornish venues with their huge sound after returning from the Great British Guitar Show in Birmingham.

The band gives a voice to the company, said Tim.

It's very important that our customers realise the foundations we have here are based on playing guitar, and always have been.

When I first started I could play in bands a lot but then as we got more and more busy I got locked in the workshop. Now we're very established I can get back out there. We are guitar players and this is what we do. It will double as a showcase for the pickups.

Staring out prominently from their stage set-up, the firm's website and promotional material, is an old-fashioned bare-knuckle fighter. For years it was thought to be Bob Fitzsimmons - Helston's world boxing champion. The original image was something I stumbled across on the internet, said Tim.

I wanted an old-fashioned image to typify a 'British Is Best' mentality and that meant going pre-war to the stiff upper lip, when we ruled the world. I found this picture of a boxer with a wax moustache, squaring up properly with his slicked-down hair and it just summed it up.

But we only had this one low-resolution image which we thought was Bob. But it wasn't. It was Bob's manager and when we realised that we found lots more pictures and recently we've had him redrawn.

He was a serious fighter. Despite being the boss of an inter nationally-successful company and dealing with celebrity names, Tim says the best part of the job is working with ordinary guitarists.

I get more satisfaction from that than from working with an established artist.

Driving someone through the early part of their career is exciting. He's still heavily involved in making pickups with his own hands too.

I've made about 140 coils for a Johnny Marr signature series this week - I love making pickups. But the bigger it's got, I've realised I can't do everything. I've tried. I've got a really good team and I can't do it without them, he said.

Are we where we want to be yet? Hell no. There's plenty more fun to be had yet.

'Driving someone through the early part of career is exciting' Tim Mills of Bare Knuckle Pickups

Edited by kenog

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Love the way ' Matt Bellemy Of Muse ' has to have ' Of Muse ' after his name............. And they are supposed to be the biggest rock band ever.... Dream on Muse....

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Love the way ' Matt Bellemy Of Muse ' has to have ' Of Muse ' after his name............. And they are supposed to be the biggest rock band ever.... Dream on Muse....

Er... the article also refers to "...Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page..." - maybe you missed that in your hurry to bash Muse.

In the context of this article, any point you are making about Bellamy "needing" to be identified by the name of his band seems to apply to Page as well. Let's just say nice things about all of them, shall we?

:)

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Er... the article also refers to "...Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page..." - maybe you missed that in your hurry to bash Muse.

In the context of this article, any point you are making about Bellamy "needing" to be identified by the name of his band seems to apply to Page as well. Let's just say nice things about all of them, shall we?

:)

Sorry, but no can do... Muse is shite of the worst kind.

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Didn't say anyone had to like them - I don't... ;)

Just thought it was a bit childish to single out one player for having the name of his band mentioned, when there were also others, including Page, who also had their band name mentioned. That's all. :)

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