1976 Guild S-100 Standard, as made famous by Gary Kemp
In truth, my first grown-up guitar - but also a favourite of Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, on their first album, before the big ballads took over. Check out "Musclebound" on TOTP in 1981.
This is a beautifully built and contoured guitar. And it still holds its tone and attack after more than 40 years on the planet. It's definitely been gigged . . . I know that because it was my main guitar for more than 20 years. For the curious and eclectic, this is the guitar behind "where are they now?" 80s Indie/Pop band President Reagan Is Clever. It's a perfect example of advertising truth: the "extra-fast, very thin solid mahogany neck" makes for the lowest action guitar I've ever played in my life. A real gem!
See & Hear It In Action
Musclebound: And here's the real thing. Gary Kemp plays the Guild S-100 on Top Of The Pops in 1981, albeit with a black pickguard.
To Cut A Long Story Short: And proving that guitar-sharing is not a new thing, here's Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet playing the same guitar from the same era.
Number of Frets
Guild Rotomatic Grovers
Guild HB-1 Humbuckers
Guild Stop Tailpiece
Guild produced the original S-100s from 1970 to 1978, as an evolution of the two single-coil pick-up Polara S-100 first introduced in 1963. The S-100 was reissued from 1994 to 1997, after which, as the full circle goes, Guild reintroduced the Polara name.
1976 was the first year that the S-100 became available in white, along with the unbound neck, and clear pickguard. They also took the opportunity to further strengthen the differentiation with "GUILD"-stamped Grover-like tuners and dot inlays replacing the block inlays on the fretboard.
Even with its offset double-cut body style, unfavourable claims that the S-100 was too close to the Gibson SG led Guild in 1976 to introduce the S-300, a dramatically different body shape. It has its lovers, and it definitely looked the part in the late-70s/early 80s, but it just hasn't stood the test of time like the S-100 has.
This one has its fair share of fading & distinctive dents - relic'd through use rather than craftsmanship. To play, it remains a fantastic low-action, high-speed guitar, all parts original, all parts working perfectly.
Sources & Links
Guild S-100 by Vintage Guitar And Bass: Guild S-100 History and Spec, from the incredibly thorough and well-researched Vintage Guitar And Bass people.