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Duane Allman "HOT LANTA" Story

MrBeano

New member
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
311
The "HOT LANTA" STORY
I just got off the telephone with Kurt Linhof.
I wanted to clear up a few details and get Kurt's approval to make this post.
I received more info than I asked for! Thanks Kurt.

Kenny Cordray and band just happen to be playing in Kurt's town.
They were staying at Kurt's house. What timing!

I first met Kurt in the mid 70s. He had quite a reputation for having
primo vintage gear and a wealth of knowledge. He was a good friend
of Billy Gibbons. His affiliation with ZZ Top is well known.
Check out page 175 in Tom Wheeler's book "American Guitars".
Note the photo credit on the guitar. Another amazing guitar found by Kurt.
Kurt I remember that guitar... there is another great story.

Kenny ... I have known well since I cant remember.. but it was back
there somewhere in the 70s. The last time I talked to Kenny about the Duane
Tobacco Burst was in 2000. Kenny wrote ZZ Top's hit "Francine".
Kenny I had to say it. Kenny is a killer guitar player... great guy ! ! ! ! !

Meeting Duane - Lining Up The Buy.
ZZ Top was opening for the Allman Brothers. Billy introduced Kurt to
Duane as," If anybody can find you a guitar this man can!"
Well.... and he did find Duane a guitar! And what a guitar.
Duane was looking for a TobaccoBurst. Duane's terms were,
"I'll pay you the cost of the guitar plus half...plus half of that!... plus half of that! !
...plus half of that ! ! !" it became a running joke.
The rest of the Allmans gave Kurt a shopping list of gear they were looking for.


The Sale Of "HOT LANTA".
The guitar was bought from a friend of Chris Cross's by Kurt.
Kurt traded a refin 54 strat #04XX plus some cash.
The headstock had already been repaired.
Kenny Cordray was after that guitar too. Kenny verifies all the above.
So Kenny has played and is familiar with the guitar before Duane owned it.
Kurt had the guitar for a couple months before delivery.
During this time he switched the PickUps. The Rhythm PickUp
was switched to the Bridge position. And the Bridge to Rhythm.
This was common practice among the early Burst connoisseurs.
As the Les Paul was designed originally as a solid body jazz guitar.
The higher wound PickUp was put by Gibson in the neck position to have an
even warmer tone. The other slightly lower wound PickUp produced a brighter tone.
As the style of music changed to Blues or Rock through bigger amps
the guitars were more balanced by switching the PickUp positions.
"Hot Lanta" PickUps - Bridge 8.7k and Neck 8.3k.
Kurt said he has only come across one PAF that was hotter than "Hot Lanta's"
That PAF was 8.99k. And Kurt has bought and sold lots of guitars.

Delivering The Goods
Kurt drove from San Antonio to New York - The Fillmore East Closing Shows.
The cargo included a "concentric" jazz bass for Berry, three tweed bassmans
and of course "Hot Lanta" for Duane.
When Duane received the guitar J. Geils Band was on the bill.
Duane tried out the TobaccoBurst against the CherryBurst. There was no comparison.
Duane was floored and "In Love". They also compared it to Geil's Cherry Burst.
Again no comparison. Jay lost affection for his own Burst and tried to sell it to Kurt.
He wanted one like Duane's new prize - "Hot Lanta"
Kurt has photographs from this joyous occasion one of which was posted on this forum
for a short period of time - Duane with both the CherryBurst and the TobaccoBurst.
Other photos hung in his mid 70s shop on W Gray and Montrose - Houston.

Kurt attended the Closing Fillmore Shows. He caught the Allman's performances
sitting on the stage leaning against the side of Greg's Hammond organ. Not a bad seat!
He continued on the road with the Allmans through August staying in Barry's and Duane's room.
Duane hired Kurt as his roadie. If someone brought me a guitar like that they would be my
best friend too! While Kurt was with the Allmans he turned twenty-one.
 

MrBeano

New member
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
311
I was present when Edwin met Linhof at the Arlington Guitar Show in Dallas.
This is after Edwin took "Hot Lanta" apart as he said, "screw by screw".
They discussed the sale of the guitar and the details... including PickUps and harness.
Prior to Edwin meeting Kurt I went over the details of "Hot Lanta" with Edwin.
Edwin stated the PickUps were Bridge 8.7k and Neck 8.3k.
Kurt didnt have any proper electrical tape to cover the splice (different lengths of PU braided wire)
when he switched the pickUps - so he used some kind of funky tape to cover the mend.
As Kurt was telling this part of the story I saw Edwin's eyes light up and he grinned,
"That tape is still there!" And they both laughed! They confirmed the color.
So it appears "Hot Lanta" is today as Duane played her at the Closing Fillmore Shows-
with the exception of the frets pounded in the back.

According to Kurt - Duane played straight into the Marshalls. No stomp box.
"Billy plugged straight in too... just about everybody did then..."
Kurt is unaware of any modifications to the amps, "Nobody was doing that stuff at the time..."

Kurt left the Music scene for personal reasons in the late 70s but through his career
was affiliated with many well known artist. Kurt is a legend in vintage guitar scene.
FYI - Kurt first met Tony Dukes ( another legend ) around 1975 in Houston.

Thanks again Kurt for sharing your memories. Write that book! !
Kurt has some very cool stories regarding ZZ Top, ultra rare guitars and Hendrix.
And thanks Edwin Wilson, Tom Murphy and the folks at Gibson for making Great Guitars again.
Edwin we missed you at the last show. Hope the move went ok.
Thanks to all the people over the years for putting up with my questions regarding the guitar.
I hope this clears up the "Hot Lanta" Mystery.

Thanks Duane and the Allman Brothers for the inspiration and the wonderful music.

- MrBeano
 
F

fantom1

Guest
Awesome story! Thanks for the research and sharing it with us all!:dude
 

guitarjoe

New member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
320
Wow. that guy really should write a book. Or maybe you should write it for him Mr Beano either way I'd buy it.
 

JBlues

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Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Messages
738
Beano,
A good friend of mine is also friends with Kurt, and he has told me that story on several occasions when I have asked about the origins of Hot 'Lanta.
I had the chance to buy Kurt's personal '63 Strat a couple of months ago, through his and my mutual friend. Wish now I'd have done so!
 

MrBeano

New member
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
311
One more small note I missed -
During the Closing Fillmore Shows and the month of August
Kurt wore Duane's BackStage Pass.

Kurt also mentioed he wasnt sure who owned what guitar among the Allmans.
They seemed to share... the SG Duane played slide on and Dickey used
previously may have been Greg's...????
 

davebc

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Joined
May 7, 2002
Messages
3,361
Beano,that was a great story,I felt like I was right there.Throughtout the years these stories have taken on folklore status;but your account definitely has a credence of authenticity.
 
Last edited:

fender69

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2003
Messages
990
Yeah, I had a few email conversations with Kurt Linhoff some months back when he was letting go of an Epiphone Sheraton (sorry Kurt, couldn't afford the thing...ended finding another one, although your's was probably better). I had no idea who he was until he emailed back answering a few questions concerning the aborted purchase. When I found out who was dealing with I freaked as I hadn't heard that name in about 20 years. Asked him about the "Hot 'Lanta" story which was in the Duane issue of GP many years ago (still have the issue) Anyway, here's what he wrote me -

"So somebody else has a copy of that rag. I've got it somewhere, seems like Billy Gibbons and Tony Dukes and others wrote themselves into the story.I'll have to dig it out, they are all so full of it....Steve Stone from Vintage Guitar might do the real story one of these days...

"I've been hiding for 25 years, but have been dabbling and got discovered. Went to the Arlington show last week and everybody knew who I was, I didn't know anybody. Interesting. The Gibson Historic guys even looked me up,since they are going to do a Duane darkburst reissue soon. It was all pretty exciting and very flattering, and I guess I'm back in the vintage
business. "

If Kurt reads this, sorry but just I just had to put this up for all us DA freaks. In addition, if Kurt is reading this, Kurt... I will get you the information about Hugh the master fretman very soon as he's getting his shop together.

Kurt Linhoff - a gentleman & a scholar.

Jeez.... why doesn't SOMEBODY write a book about all the famous guitars out there?!!?!!?
 

davebc

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Joined
May 7, 2002
Messages
3,361
I'll bet that even then he knew this sale would have a huge musical legacy.
 
Last edited:

CharlieS

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Dec 12, 2002
Messages
2,618
Mr. Beano, thanks for doing some more much-needed homework on this.
 

needmoblues

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Jan 30, 2003
Messages
7
great post mr.beano! since i was there during the conversation with edwin, i remember a few more interesting things edwin said about duane's burst. he stated that he counted no less than three breaks in the neck and that he was told that berry did the fret job on the back of the guitar. mr.beano please correct me on this if i'm incorrect.
 

MrBeano

New member
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
311
Thanks for the support "needmoblues"
I left out several details due to time and space. Kurt's description was actually
much more colorful regarding the events. Plus I had to save something for his book!
 

MrBeano

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Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
311
To Fender69

Take it easy on Billy Gibbons, Chris "Cross" Gepert and Tony Dukes.
They were all very good friends back in the day.
Billy and Chris both had a role in getting that guitar in Duane's hands.

I was unaware of Dukes taking any credit. I know Tony from the Dallas scene.
Last night (on the deleted posts) was the first I had heard of that.

I was a kid in Houston when Duane died. The rumors around the Guitar scene
were the Allmans asked Billy to join. Like I said a rumor.

NOW I DON'T WANT TO START BAD INFO.

The above posts were not to discredit Billy, Chris or Tony by any means.
Just to set the story straight.
 

whippost575859

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Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
3,079
I do not want to start an argument, or even elaborate on this, but I would like to say that I still disagree with this story, and that's the final word on it from me.
 

c_wester

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
2,070
MrBeano said:
I was present when Edwin met Linhof at the Arlington Guitar Show in Dallas.
This is after Edwin took "Hot Lanta" apart as he said, "screw by screw".
They discussed the sale of the guitar and the details... including PickUps and harness.
Prior to Edwin meeting Kurt I went over the details of "Hot Lanta" with Edwin.
Edwin stated the PickUps were Bridge 8.7k and Neck 8.3k.
Kurt didnt have any proper electrical tape to cover the splice (different lengths of PU braided wire)
when he switched the pickUps - so he used some kind of funky tape to cover the mend.
As Kurt was telling this part of the story I saw Edwin's eyes light up and he grinned,
"That tape is still there!" And they both laughed! They confirmed the color.
So it appears "Hot Lanta" is today as Duane played her at the Closing Fillmore Shows-
with the exception of the frets pounded in the back.

According to Kurt - Duane played straight into the Marshalls. No stomp box.
"Billy plugged straight in too... just about everybody did then..."
Kurt is unaware of any modifications to the amps, "Nobody was doing that stuff at the time..."

Kurt left the Music scene for personal reasons in the late 70s but through his career
was affiliated with many well known artist. Kurt is a legend in vintage guitar scene.
FYI - Kurt first met Tony Dukes ( another legend ) around 1975 in Houston.

Thanks again Kurt for sharing your memories. Write that book! !
Kurt has some very cool stories regarding ZZ Top, ultra rare guitars and Hendrix.
And thanks Edwin Wilson, Tom Murphy and the folks at Gibson for making Great Guitars again.
Edwin we missed you at the last show. Hope the move went ok.
Thanks to all the people over the years for putting up with my questions regarding the guitar.
I hope this clears up the "Hot Lanta" Mystery.

Thanks Duane and the Allman Brothers for the inspiration and the wonderful music.

- MrBeano

Thanx for the Story.
 
Last edited:

GuitarG

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Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
2,648
MrBeano
Thanks for the incredible story. While Twiggs had the guitar he was in my area a lot, he was managing a band that I knew, and I got to see it and hear a lot of great stories about the purchase. I had heard the story about A/Bing it with J Geils' guitar. Thanks again for a wonderful post. You made my morning.
 

GotWood

Active member
Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
3,346
Thanks Beano! :dude

I *KNEW* the pickups were 8.3 and 8.7, but I didn't know that they were reversed.
The mods to Duane's amps were simple mods, but quite effective in changing his tone from a typical Marshall tone, to what we hear on the live CD's.
I've spoke to the owner of Duane's amp on a ba-billion different occasions (to pick his brain on the mods) and he feels the amp is now, as it was back when Duane used it.
He is also a high end, old timer when it comes to hangin' with the great one's of the past and he has photos, letters and canceled checks to prove that his stories are no BS.

Thanks again Beano...............you've made my day!

:dude
 
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