Sadly we have just been notified of Steve's passing earlier this year. His vintage tenor guitar collection will be up for sale. Please email expressions of interest to his son Michael -email@example.com
My name is Steve Pyott and I live north of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. My musical interests particularly include original 1910s, 20s, 30s and 40s blues, ragtime, traditional or classic early jazz and hot dance band recordings, which I collect avidly on CD. My favourite musical line up in these styles of music will always include cornets, clarinets, tenor banjos, tenor guitars, tubas and washboards, or, at a pinch, traps with woodblocks and cymbals.
I became very interested in listening to classic early jazz, relatively late in my life, after moving to Australia in 1981, and seeing some great live classic jazz played here, particularly by the Vintage Jazz Band in Brisbane. It was also at the time that original 1920s 78-rpm material was being re-processed and transferred onto CD, bringing this wonderful music back to life. I then thought that I would like to learn to play the tenor banjo with its fantastic characteristic metallic rhythmic pulse that can be heard on these original recordings. For similar reasons, I also became interested in playing the washboard in jazz bands and I even started to collect metal washboards. I'm always on the lookout for that perfect one to play!
I have a couple of very nice vintage tenor banjos - a 1922 Paramount Style A and a late twenties Bacon & Day Silver Bell No.1. Through learning to play the tenor banjo, I then discovered this unknown instrument - the tenor guitar. This interest then rapidly became what can only be called an obsession. Since tenor guitars were quite rare and hard to find here in Australia, or even import at the time, my very first tenor guitar was a very nice custom-built version of a Maccaferri style tenor made by a local Maccaferri-obsessed luthier, the late Doug Foster.
After seeing and playing my first beautiful tenor guitar, I then became completely infatuated with this fascinating instrument because it seems to have been built in so many interesting forms that were often analogous to many six string guitar models. Taking advantage of the rise of the Internet at the time, I gradually started to collect and eventually acquire over thirty vintage and modern luthier-built tenor guitars, including some very unusual and rare models that were obviously one-off custom orders.
My complete collection is featured both on this website and, in more detail, on my own Vintage Tenor Guitars website: http://www.vintagetenorguitars.com/. I hope the photographs of my tenor guitar collection will be of interest and that it will help to increase the awareness of this often neglected instrument.
When I first became interested in the tenor guitar, I discovered, and immediately subscribed to a wonderful tenor guitar discussion group called the 'Tenor Guitar Registry’ which had been set up by my fellow tenorguitar.com conspirator, keen tenor guitar evangelist and excellent all-round musician, Mark Josephs.
I am very grateful that he did, because it led to the bringing together of The Five Tenors and has now grown and blossomed into a fascinating tenor guitar project, that led directly to the founding of this web site, particularly with the help and support of fellow tenor guitar enthusiasts and computer experts, Pat Reinhart in the U.S. and Tom Vincent in Japan. It is very pleasing to see that this website has now become a major focus of interest for the world-wide on-line tenor guitar community
Fellow tenorguitar.com conspirator, and excellent rock and blues lead tenor guitarist, Tom Molyneaux, and I, have been commissioned by a major music book publisher to produce a book on the history of the tenor guitar, which although struggling to be written because of the great geographical distance between us, will definitely be completed in the very near future.
Welcome to the world of tenorguitar.com!
Click below for the other members of the Five Tenors