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NORMAN’S WISDOM

With 50 years in the business and one of the world’s leading guitar collections, Norman Harris is the proprietor of a destination guitar store in Tarzana, California, which is frequented by A-list musicians and vintage obsessives alike. Here, the man who supplied the guitars for Spinal Tap holds court and introduces us to some choice pieces…

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It might be world-famous, but you won’t find Norman’s Rare Guitars jostling for position with the souvenir shops that line the star-embedded sidewalks of Hollywood. Join Highway 101 and travel about 15 miles north west you’ll find yourself in Tarzana, a neighbourhood in the San Fernando Valley established on the site of a ranch formerly owned by novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs and named after his most famous creation, the jungle hero Tarzan. Only in America.

Norman Harris’ store resides in the corner of a nondescript strip mall sandwiched between Ventura Boulevard and the freeway. When we arrive, the sky is still bruised from a weekend storm that saw years of drought conditions in Southern Californian alleviated in a matter of hours. Inside we find shelter and guitars. New guitars, used guitars and vintage guitars. Hundreds of them. And that doesn’t even include the really good stuff in the back. We ask the boss how this whole thing got started in the first place and he winds the clock back to late 1960s Miami…

“Originally I was a Hammond organ player,” Norman

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About The Guitar Magazine

The August 2017 edition of the UK’s most affordable and most in-depth guitar magazine is on sale now! You might notice a slightly different name on the cover this month, but inside you’ll find your regular monthly fix of the best gear reviews in the business, DIY tutorials, tone and playing tips, artist interviews, breathtaking photography of vintage instruments and whole lot more besides. This month there’s a feast for Fender offset fans as we offer pro set-up tips, show you how to upgrade your Jaguar or Jazzmaster and find out if Fender’s new American Professional series has finally delivered offsets for the masses. Elsewhere, we interview Joe Bonamassa, Darrel Higham, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Paul Gilbert, pay a visit to Norman’s Rare Guitars in Los Angeles, delve into the snake-oil surrounding tonewoods and give you the chance to win a Shergold electric worth a whopping £835.
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