Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

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Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby DHM » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:57 pm

This isn't strictly "Grateful Dead Equipment" but its more "equipment showing up on a Dead album"....I am interested in any photos/info anyone might have on the guitar David Nelson played on "Box of Rain"'...its a tele, with what's been described as a "Parsons White string bender"...although there was no such thing in 1970...Clarence White and Bob Warford had their guitars, with the linkage and changers from Fender pedal steels, and which are mechanically very different that a Parsons White. Dave Evans began producing his "Pullstring" guitars about that time with a mechanism sort of like what became a "Parsons White" , but there weren't a lot of them around in 1970...and I haven't heard Dave mention he made one for Nelson about that time. He did build string benders for Bernie Leadon and Albert Lee and a few others.

I've been a string bender player for a number of years..my custom guitar isn't a Wolf or a Tiger but a "Nashville West" clone of Clarence White's original guitar (although it does have a latter day Parsons White style b bender rather than a bunch of pedal steel pieces)..and I've wondered what exactly David Nelson played on that track...and I figure if anyone would know, it would be one of you guys...
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Re: Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby tigerstrat » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:21 am

Great question. Tom, can you please ask Pete to ask David?
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby Pete B. » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:52 am

Last time the NRPS were in town the young man who is Davids guitar tech told me that he has that guitar (Box of Rain Tele) at his house.
I can't remember his name but iirc, he is the son of their road manager. I think they call him Lil' Toast.
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Re: Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby PaulJay » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:14 am

It would be kind of cool to have a Jerry type guitar with a B- Bender, If possible.
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Re: Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby DHM » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:18 am

I saw some fairly recent pictures of David playing a tele with a "Parsons Green" stringbender in it..these were the mass produced b benders Fender put in their American Standard and Nashville teles. Hipshot sells them now..but the Parsons Green is a mid 90s design so it wasnt around in the 70s.

Ive thought about putting a buffer and effects loop in the Nashville West...there is ample room in the thickened body...but its got a set of original Red Rhodes' Velvet Hammers, with a switched in-out of phase secondary coil on the bridge pickup and a 4-way switch so the "Jerryified" wiring might be too much for my simple mind and soldering skills...

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Re: Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby playingdead » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:35 pm

Look no further than Scott Walker for a Tele that would be purrfect for the Jerry treatment. It's his Jimson model.

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Re: Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby pablomago » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:49 pm

Since Gene Parsons was in Northern California back then, he probably modded David's Tele. Parsons originally advertised his design as a "Pullstring" and changed it to "String Bender" (IIRC). Maybe Evans had already started doing his version?

I hope someone finds out the details. Didn't David's Tele have Alembic electronics at some point?
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Re: Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby commp5 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:04 am

In 1971 I purchased an Evans String-pull butcher-block tele at a local Atlanta music store that used to belong to Joe South. Being a NRPS fan I assumed that Dave Nelson was also playing a b-bender tele, but when they came to Atlanta in 1972, after the first album, he was playing a straight tele. After the show I went up to the stage and asked if he had ever used a b-bender. He said no and I offered to bring my guitar to him to check out. I wound up spending a smokey evening in their hotel room. Dave was impressed with the bender and asked if I knew where he could get one put on one of his teles. I said I knew a local Atlanta luthier (Jay Rhyne) who could probably make a copy of the mechanism in my guitar. Dave wound up handing his blonde tele over to me so Jay could do the work on it. I would then ship it to DN when it was done. Fortunately Jay did a great job and DN then became a b-bender player. His work on Box of Rain, and the first NRPS album were all done on a straight tele with traditional bending technique.
I couldn't post photos here, but I posted the same story here with pics:
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/b-bender-for ... -tele.html
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Re: Box of Rain David Nelson's Guitar

Postby commp5 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:09 am

Here is a great video of NRPS in 1972. Dave Nelson is playing a non-b-bender tele, using his original string bending technique:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZWw87UgrwI
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