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In 1945 a certain gentleman called Alfred Dronge opened a music store in New York alongside his partner Barney Sagman which both agreed to call Sagman & Dronge. However, that first name had a rather ephemeral existence, and just a couple of years later Alfred took over the part of his partner and changed the name of the business to Alfred Dronge Music. Just a little later, in 1952, he registered the name we all know now: Guild Guitars Company.
Guild’s first guitars were produced in April 1953 in 536 Pearl Street in New York, and as Dronge’s true passion was jazz music, during the first year Guild only focused on the production of full-depth hollow body electric guitars.
From then on Guild added different guitar models to its offer and production grew more and more. In 1956 it eventually changed its production center from New York to Hoboken, in New Jersey.
Through the decades of its history, the company has been widening and consolidating its space and its name in the production of guitars, creating its own community of artists and followers.
Thus, in the decade of the 50’s the company premiered models such as the X-175 Manhattan, the M-75 Aristocrat, the F-30, the F-40 and the F-50. Their first collaboration with an artist came right after: the Johnny Smith Award model, which was produced from 1956 to 1960. In the 60s, they also premiered models like the Thunderbird, the S-100 Polara and its first basses and 12-string guitars.
The 70s had a rather dramatic beginning for the guitar company. Dronge died in a plane crash in 1972 and left the presidency in the hands of Leon Tell. This tragedy, though, didn’t stop the production of the company, which took out its first dreadnought-shaped 12-string guitars (G- 212, G-312).
David Byrne, singer of Talking Heads, used his solid body Guild during the “Stop Making Sense” live concert in 1983. In the 90’s Stevie Ray Vaughan played a Guild JF6512 on MTV Unplugged and the company designed a model for Slash of Guns N ‘Roses. They also joined forces with Brian May and created the Brian May Signature series. This prolific decade was successfully closed with Johnny Rzeznik, singer and guitarist of Goo Goo Dolls, acquiring an entire arsenal of Guilds: including jumbos, twelve strings and the S7CE Peregrine.
Through the 2000s and till the present day more and more renowned artists have been linked to Guild Guitars. Among them Sheryl Crow, Tom Petty, The Black Keys, Laura Marling or Annie Clark (aka St Vincent), who never seems to get too far away from her Guild M-75 Aristocrat.
To this day, Guild is considered one of the most traditional guitar manufacturers in the world, with a more than long reputation in the production of emblematic musical instruments.
That’s why we had to have their guitars with us at Fanatic Guitars. Take a look at our online shop or visit us in our store in Barcelona to discover the variety of models we have at your disposal. They say it themselves: Guild guitars are made to be played.