Andrew Knight Lismore guitar maker and repairer with the Green Dolphin guitar he made.
Andrew Knight Lismore guitar maker and repairer with the Green Dolphin guitar he made. Jacklyn Wagner

Guitarman Andrew and his 'machines'

FOR Lismore luthier and guitar repair guru, Andrew Knight the guitar is just a machine.

This is despite all the romance and mystery that often enshrouds the guitar as an instrument of musical expression and a vintage collectable.

For 25 years he was one of Sydney's busiest and most respected guitar repairers, setting up instruments for Billy Thorpe, Rose Tattoo, INXS and Silverchair to name a few.

But for him it is never about the famous people, it's about the instrument.

"Whether it's a kid's cheap guitar or a professional musician's instrument, I treat them all the same," Mr Knight said.

"The kid's guitar is often more precious to them than the rock star's guitar is to them.

"There is an incredible amount of hogwash written and spoken about guitars.

"They are mechanical devices and have to be maintained as such."

In 1999 he and his wife Lisa survived a horrific car accident near their Leura home in the Blue Mountains.

It prompted them to move to the Northern Rivers and in 2005 he set up Andrew Knight Guitars in Molesworth St, Lismore.

"I realised Lismore was a bit of a guitar town.

"There are a lot of incredibly good young musicians and experienced professionals here as well as a lot of old retired rock stars.

"There are more nice instruments around than you would expect and it's good to be part of the Northern Rivers guitar community."

Mr Knight is an accomplished musician himself and produced ARIA-nominated albums by Celtic harpist Dawn Egan during the 1990s.

Over the years he has worked on thousands of rare and precious guitars, but has trouble naming a favourite instrument.

"I am the same as most guitar players, my favourite guitar is the one I am playing at the moment.

"Each guitar has a different tune in it and each one leads you down a different road.

"It comes down to a dialog between you and the guitar as you work out what you can do together."

Brief history of the electric guitar:

  • 1910 Telephone transmitters used to amplify banjos and violins.
  • 1931 First electrically amplified guitar designed by George Beauchamp at National Guitar Corporation
  • 1934 First solid body electric guitar offered by Vivi-Tone
  • 1945 Richard Bourgerie makes electric guitar pick-up and amplifier for Les Paul.


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