John Veleno's Dedication

My Reflections

As I have stated in the past and never put it into writing until now, in 2001.  I dedicate the entire HISTORY portion of this website to all the owners of those vintage Veleno guitars and to all the fans who loved them who either could not afford to buy one or could not find one to purchase.  When, because of health reasons, I had to discontinued making guitars in 1976 my thoughts were that, since they were made of metal, 25 years later they would end up in the junk yard with used cars instead of in the fireplace like wooden guitars, and I wouldn't have one today unless my son Chris hadn't put one together from spare parts and given back to me because he thought I should also have one.  I was not searching for fame or wealth, nor did I have those in mind.  I started out by simply making a guitar for myself. 

The primary purpose in building my guitar was made for ease in all the areas of guitar playing.  It was made to be able to reach the extremes of guitar playing at a faster pace with ease and to have the convenience of the characteristics necessary in achieving those goals.   It was also intended for those who like to hear the extremes in playability.  Although appearance was secondary, it was intended to have the outstanding classy appearance without being gaudy.

Being entirely constructed entirely of aluminum I was able to incorporate the features I wanted in a guitar; a comfortable radius on the fret board allowing easy string bending without buzzing, a comfortably thin neck for players like myself with small hands who place their thumb on the back of the neck enabling maximum reach on the fret board, extremely close action at the 12th fret without buzzing while applying a minimum pressure to play the note, being constructed of a material that would not absorb string vibration it would have good string sustain, and place these features on a simply designed attractive symmetrical body shape.

After making one for myself it was continually recommended that I make more, and to sell them because it was so unusual.  As they started selling to many respected artists they gained early popularity.  A good early comment, around 1971, made to me was from Dan Ferguson, Sonny and Cher's guitarist at that time.  He told me that as a studio guitar he was able to execute runs on the guitar he hadn't been able to on his other guitars.  Recently, while in Stevie B's Total Guitar store in Clearwater, another man told me "When I was a young man, about 16 years old, I saw Mark Farner playing one.    I didn't know what kind of a guitar it was but that Veleno impressed me so much that the next day I bought a bunch of ladies hand mirrors and glued them all over my guitar."  A story I repeatedly hear is "Whenever a Veleno guitar is played in a music store everyone who has a musically trained ear immediately stop whatever they are doing and turn their heads to find out what kind of a guitar that different unusual beautiful sound is coming from."  Veleno guitar players have stated "It is so easy to play - I can do things on that guitar that I can't do on others."  It was very exciting to me when I witnessed some of these things myself. 

I never ever thought that the guitar would cause such a diverse impact on guitar lovers.  From the start, nearly all the players who ever owned and played them made wonderful comments about it being the best they've ever played.   At first I thought they were telling me things to make me feel good because I was the person who made them, and they were simply making a nice gesture.   But it gradually sank in, that they were all serious.  Although in the beginning I only made a guitar for myself, with the playability features and sound I would like to have for myself in a guitar, and continued from there never expecting more from it.

Now, 25 years later, 2001, and although less than 200 in existence at this time, they have become uniquely famous and are known around the world.  I do not wish to take credit for that.   It is all the admirers, previous owners, present owners, future owners, and Veleno guitar seekers who instrumental in making this happen.  Many, famous and non famous, have passed on stories about how great the Veleno guitars are.  Some went further in their admiration and wrote articles for various publications including music magazines, books, and newspapers.  Others took beautiful photos for magazines, etc.  HardRock Cafe gave honor by making jewelry Veleno guitar pins.  If it was not for all these people the Veleno guitar would never have been heard of.  Therefore I dedicate the HISTORY portion of this website to show my appreciation to all those numerous people who helped make them famous.  I thank you very much with all sincerity from the center of my heart.

All of those happenings prompted my family and myself to resume guitar making.

John M. Veleno

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