Keith Levene of PiL

Keith Levene of PiL

djbawbag
Member
Joined: 08 May 2004, 14:20

25 Aug 2011, 17:06 #1

Noticed he had this strange wedge-shaped guitar in PiL.
Anyone identify it?

http://youtu.be/6mEeFXGT7-A
Reply

marvell78
Member
Joined: 03 Jul 2003, 18:24

25 Aug 2011, 19:10 #2

A veleno

Using an iPad so I don't know how to cut and paste

Google should get it for you

Levene one of the few guitarists who doesn't use blues rock progressions. For this, thanks
Reply

Joined: 30 Aug 2006, 20:44

25 Aug 2011, 19:34 #3

If you look at the head, its looks like a Travis Bean. they had (have?) aluminium necks like Kramers do.

http://www.travisbeanmovie.com/
Theres a guest in my house.
Reply


nonewthing
Member
Joined: 28 Oct 2015, 17:44

15 Sep 2017, 16:28 #5

inherant vowel-uh got the answer.

It's a Travis Bean Wedge TB3000, like this one http://www.travisbeanguitars.com/index. ... detail.htm

These guitars were produced between 1974 and 1979 by Travis Bean and his partners Marc McElwee and Gary Kramer. They were indeed on of the first guitar to be designed with a aluminium neck. For the non-guitar players here, you may want to know that the strings's tightness tend to bend the neck. This is why there's a metal stem ("tuss rod") inside the neck, adjustable.
Travis Bean and Marc McElwee repairing guitars in a music store started to build their own one along the way.
Travis was young and not very experienced in guitars but knew about wood.
For some reason he didn't want to put a piece of metal into a piece of wood and decided that a full metal neck would be more reliable and easier to do. It was, as he said it himself, a naive approach that turned out to be genius idea.
The first guitars they build were not only solid but also with a unique sound.

They started to make the guitas in series. Kramer joined them and left them to start his own guitar brand, largely inspired from their ideas but with a half-aluminium half-wooden necks which kept the rigidity and reduced the weight.
Bean made a joint venture with Tom "Wheeler american music" but felt the quality was going downhill and decided to call it a day. He left the business for two decades, hence the short-lived period of these guitars.

The story goes that Keith sold most of his instruments (not his actually, it was bought by PIL as a collective) when he was low on cash and complain many years after that it was stolen.

Sources :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Bean
http://www.travisbeanguitars.com/index. ... 30a736aaae
http://www.electricalaudio.com/phpBB3/v ... f=4&t=9074
Reply

DeusErac
Member
Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 13:24

15 Sep 2017, 17:16 #6

nonewthing @ Sep 16 2017, 04:28 AM wrote: inherant vowel-uh got the answer.

It's a Travis Bean Wedge TB3000, like this one http://www.travisbeanguitars.com/index. ... detail.htm

These guitars were produced between 1974 and 1979 by Travis Bean and his partners Marc McElwee and Gary Kramer. They were indeed on of the first guitar to be designed with a aluminium neck. For the non-guitar players here, you may want to know that the strings's tightness tend to bend the neck. This is why there's a metal stem ("tuss rod") inside the neck, adjustable.
Travis Bean and Marc McElwee repairing guitars in a music store started to build their own one along the way.
Travis was young and not very experienced in guitars but knew about wood.     
For some reason he didn't want to put a piece of metal into a piece of wood and decided that a full metal neck would be more reliable and easier to do. It was, as he said it himself, a naive approach that turned out to be genius idea.
The first guitars they build were not only solid but also with a unique sound.

They started to make the guitas in series. Kramer joined them and left them to start his own guitar brand, largely inspired from their ideas but with a half-aluminium half-wooden necks which kept the rigidity and reduced the weight.
Bean made a joint venture with Tom "Wheeler american music" but felt the quality was going downhill and decided to call it a day. He left the business for two decades, hence the short-lived period of these guitars.

The story goes that Keith sold most of his instruments (not his actually, it was bought by PIL as a collective) when he was low on cash and complain many years after that it was stolen.

Sources :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Bean
http://www.travisbeanguitars.com/index. ... 30a736aaae
http://www.electricalaudio.com/phpBB3/v ... f=4&t=9074

He used both (?) Veleno and Bean aluminum guitars . . . this article references both, but seems to jumble them up as if they were same (?) thing . . .

http://innocentwords.com/keith-levene-his-metal-box/
All we ever wanted was sanitary plumbing, straight roads, and a sense of belonging to a community of interest that could reasonably call itself civilized. (Charles Hayward)

jericsmith.com
Reply

DeusErac
Member
Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 13:24

15 Sep 2017, 17:21 #7

Here's a more deeply nerdy expose on them . . . . (I like musical oddities like this) . . .

http://www.magnatoneamps.com/aluminum_g ... travisbean
All we ever wanted was sanitary plumbing, straight roads, and a sense of belonging to a community of interest that could reasonably call itself civilized. (Charles Hayward)

jericsmith.com
Reply

nonewthing
Member
Joined: 28 Oct 2015, 17:44

15 Sep 2017, 19:05 #8

Interesting reads, thanks.

edit: Keith Levene apparenty went on the travis bean forum to talk about his "stolen" wedge
http://www.travisbeanguitars.com/index. ... m.view.htm

As you can see the guitar he's referencing to (owned by Steve Albini) is not the same as in this clip : different neck (dotted for albini, gibson-style for levene), different knobs and different paint.

He got it wrong since Albini owned another wedge that was maybe, or maybe not, his (" Bought in 1990 at Chelsea Guitars in NYC who claimed that it was sold to them by Keith Levine (Clash, Public Image Limited), but this fact remains unconfirmed.").
No picture unfortunately.

His conversation with albini on twitter was erased. I'd be curious to read it. Oh whatever.
Reply

misterrogers
Member
Joined: 07 May 2007, 00:35

22 Sep 2017, 08:46 #9

Levine's worth as a guitarist was always mercurial to me. I could see some brilliant ideas sprinkled on top of some other pretty average stuff
I never got him really. I understood Jah Wobble and what he was on about but I never quite understood where Keefyboy was coming from.
Sometimes the chemicals can blur the picture. Admire some of his work but I wouldn't give him a prize so to speak for metal box...some great bits and a good measure of it pedestrian.
His sounds were pretty nice ..the playing to my ears pretty competent..not a whole lot more...

Saw him as someone who never reached his potential...funny to watch those old YouTube clips where Keith talks and johnny rolls his eyes...
Reply

Joined: 06 Mar 2017, 20:22

22 Sep 2017, 14:10 #10

I caught a recent (12 August) Levene video the other day on Youtube. His Commercial Zone 2014 project has been stolen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjEAVeciICk
"Well, no Jack, I never sit down and listen to lyrics,
because rock 'n' roll is not sit-down-and-listen-to-lyrics music!"
Sterling Morrison, circa 1980
Reply