Staccato, M.G., 1987


Serial Number: 
MG 0056/38
Magnesium alloy neck-through-body core
Industrial plastic
The Story Behind

About the Builder:

Staccato guitars were conceived in 1978 by Pat Townshend. The first one was cast in aluminum, all guitars after 001 were cast in magnesium alloy. At the time both Travis Bean and Kramer guitars were also cast in aluminum, Staccato was the first and only production magnesium guitars made to this day.

The first 21 guitars made by staccato were interchangeable neck models. The neck section could be replaced in a second with alternatives of 6 string, 12 string or bass guitar. This was a unique concept, doing away with the need for a heavy cumbersome double neck guitar. The prototype was commissioned by Yamaha musical instruments division in the orange country California. This was cast in Los Angeles and machined in John Carvthers guitar shop in Santa Monica. Pat Townshend did the final build, assembly and paint job at his home in Topanga Canyon, California.

A prototype bass was built in Norfolk England in 1983 and a business partnership was formed to produce Staccato guitars at the old school house in Woodbastwick, Norfolk. The partners on equal shares were Pat Townshend, Bill Wyman, Chris and Mick Jagger. This was something of a milestone in British music history for a musical instrument to be financially backed by members of the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world the Rolling stones.

The M.G. model was launched in 1985. This was along more conventional lines with fixed neck (not interchangeable) but retaining the cast magnesium alloy though neck, precision right hand turning system and fiberglass body. Just over 200 of the M.G. models were built with the production ending in 1987 after Pat Townshend resigned from the company re-entering the world of classic motorcycle racing, as a rider, turner and development engineer.

The most famous and most seen M.G. bass was the chrome plated E.M.G. pickup model, specially commissioned by Gene Simmonds from "Kiss".

Staccato still made basses to order although there are only 60 cast necks left so numbers are extremely limited. As Pat Townshend died April 9th 2011, it is know if there will be any new Staccato bass build.

More information can be found here:

About the Guitar:

This Staccato M.G. bass features a magnesium alloy neck-through-body core mated to a fiberglass shell fixed with four Allen screws.The Staccato's strings don't have to come off to detach the body and all of the electronics therein are attached directly to the neck core. The fingerboard is made of industrial plastic. The tuners are at the body in Steinberger headless fashion.

This 1987 Staccato M.G. bass has the same electronics package as on Gene Simmons' personal instrument, active EMG's.

The guitar has an literally an inside joke. Indeed on the fiberglass is taped inside a message probably from the guy having assembled the bass guitar (if someone happens to know who Alphonse or Joe or Ronnie and his duck are, we'd love to know).

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