Part 2 – Alligator

Off we go …… Back to the eighties which, for Reeve Guitars,
was a time of excitement and promise.
In 1983, we were mentioned by a mutual acquaintance to
Pete Tulett who at that time was Managing Director of
Musicians Direct Supply Co producing the Alligator P.A.
Pete was interested in bringing out an Alligator Guitar and
Bass to celebrate the company’s first anniversary.
He came to meet Ges and Mick and decided that these two
were more than capable of producing exactly what he wanted.
Pete designed the shape, colours (green) and timbers while a
guitarist and bassist helped out on the more technical aspects.
These instruments would appear as a limited edition (6 guitars
and 6 basses) to begin with.
Each instrument had First Anniversary engraved on the neck
plate and of course ‘Alligator’ on the headstock.
It was never revealed who had produced these instruments,
only that they were British made.
Ges was a bit ‘miffed’ at this and each instrument carried a
well-concealed ‘Manufactured by Reeve Guitars’ engraved plate.
I think over the years, it did leak out.
Obviously the instruments were checked regularly by Pete and
his colleagues to make sure all was proceeding to plan.
Pete had called us ‘a cottage industry’ and I guess we probably were.
But this ‘cottage industry’ could produce the finest instruments and
also provide a strong cup of tea!!!!

During this time, Ges had to rent the use of a Carpentry Shop
(at Dunstable) for a couple of days a week because obviously
this offered a range of facilities our workshop did not have.
How I ever found time to go to work I do not know.
I worked in a school and the Headmaster was well into our
Several times, he waved me off saying ‘ Off you go, go and do
what you have to!!’ Imagine that happened now!!!

The instruments were very positively reviewed in the
International Musician and Recording World (Nov 1983),
Music UK (Dec 83) and Guitarist (June 84).
But after a triumphant debut, the Alligators seemed to
gradually peter out.

Words – Val Reeve


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